Texas Tech will have a little easier schedule coming up with some of the bottom teams in the Big 12, but they’ll have to try and stop their four-game losing streak against a red-hot Iowa State team.
Winning their last three and almost beating Kansas to open up Big 12 play, the Cyclones (13-4, 3-1) have backed up their weak non-conference schedule by becoming one of the top teams in the conference. Ranking top ten nationally in points (80.5) and rebounds (41.9) per game, the Red Raiders (8-8, 1-4) will have a big test in front of them as point production has gone down since Big 12 Play.
Texas Tech still averages 69.1 points per game, but in their first five Big 12 games, only average 52.8 points per game and have given up 79 or more points three times. The defense likely won’t improve against Iowa State, so it will be up to the frontcourt to provide offense since the team only shoots 26.6 percent from the arc.
Look for Jaye Crockett and Dejan Kravic to get most of the touches inside, both averaging the most points per game – 13.6 and 9.8 points per game, respectively. They’ll have to find away to either win or keep up with the rebounding battle with Iowa State in order to defeat them.
Otherwise, the Cyclones will gain enough possessions and could pull away from the 3-point line. Even worse for Texas Tech, Korie Lucious has been much better handling the ball. If the Red Raiders are able to get any takeaways, they must score on transition. The team ranks 287th nationally in assists, potentially making it very tough for them to get it to their players inside. Texas Tech’s turnover-to-assist ratio is just 0.74, which is second worst in the Big 12.
Tipoff is at 8:00 p.m. CT at United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, Texas. The game will be televised on ESPNU.
Brian Spaen is the lead editor of Clones Confidential. Get more Cyclones coverage by following us on Twitter.