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Oklahoma Opponent Preview: Texas Tech

How They Are Doing So Far:

Most expected Texas Tech to reach the NCAA Tournament again in 2019, but the Red Raiders are now looking like a team that can compete with the likes of Kansas for a Big 12 title. And there first big test of the Big 12 campaign comes on Tuesday night when Oklahoma comes to town. The Red Raiders are already 2-0 in conference play with a big win over West Virginia last Wednesday and a hard fought victory over Kansas State on Saturday. Add those to wins over USC, Nebraska and Memphis, and Texas Tech has proven to be a serious contender to make an NCAA Tournament run.

 

Last Time Out:

Like in their win at West Virginia, Texas Tech had to grind out a win against Kansas State. The Red Raiders had a 15 point lead at the intermission, but the Wildcats kept coming and managed to pull within one point with about seven minutes left to play. Coach Chris Beard’s team managed to stave off KSU though and win 63-57. For just the second time this season, somebody other than Jarrett Culver led the team in scoring. Once again it was Davide Moretti, who tallied 19 points. Matt Mooney was the only other player in double digits against Kansas State. Culver managed just nine points, but he still made an impact grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out a team high seven assists.

 

Who To Watch:

Jarrett Culver is coming off his worst game of the season, scoring just nine points against Kansas State. Culver is still easily leading the team with 18.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists. He can do it all and he often saves his best for the tougher competition. Against Duke in the Red Raiders lone loss of the season, the sophomore guard scored 25 points. He dropped 26 on Nebraska. The more the rest of the team needs Culver to score, the more he will shoot, but he will look for his teammates too and that helps keep the rest of the team involved offensively.

 

Who Else To Watch:

Matt Mooney and Davide Moretti are often the other scoring threats. Mooney, who transferred in from South Dakota State, is averaging 10.9 points per game and is a threat to score from anywhere. He can shoot the ball effectively, but Mooney will also attack the basket effectively. Moretti is off to a great start to his sophomore season and is coming off one of his best games of the year. Moretti is mostly an outside shooter, with over half his attempts from the floor coming from beyond the arc, and he can score in bunches when his shot is falling.

 

Prediction:

This could be a huge game in the Big 12 title race. With Kansas losing on Saturday to Iowa State, the rest of the Big 12 must be thinking that this could be their year. And Oklahoma and Texas Tech are the two teams with a realistic shot of unseating the Jayhawks. But they likely have to win this game to have a realistic opportunity.

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