Preview for Texas Tech vs. WV and Baylor
This week No. 7 Texas Tech Men’s Red Raider Basketball has arguably two of their most challenging opponents in Big 12 conference. No. 14 ranked West Virginia and No. 2 Baylor are the big opponents the Red Raiders are looking to beat. With both being top-ranked matchups, the Red Raiders will need to be on top of their game as Big 12 play starts to round the corner with the end in sight. The Big 12 Championship and March Madness also lies ahead.
Texas Tech and West Virginia
Monday, February 8ths game against West Virginia is at home at United Supermarkets Arena beginning at 8 p.m. It’s sure to be an intense game as the Red Raiders look to split the season series 1-1 by getting their payback. Two weeks ago, in their first matchup of the season, the West Virginia Mountaineers merely escaped with a one-point win, with Mac McClung missing a game-winning shot.
In their last matchup, Junior guard Mac McClung put up a season-high 30 points, but it wasn’t enough as the notoriously sound Red Raider defense allowed 88 points. With six players in the first matchup scoring in double digits for the mountaineers and just two for Texas Tech, the team looks to tighten up their defense and shoot better all around.
Texas Tech and Baylor Rematch
In a much-anticipated rematch, the No. 7 ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders take on the No. 2 ranked Baylor Bears at Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas, at 1 p.m. The Baylor Bears are currently 17-0 overall and look to keep up their historic undefeated season, but the Red Raiders have a different plan. The Red Raiders, like West Virginia, are looking to give Baylor not only their first loss of the season but split the series 1-1, rather than being swept in a single series this season.
In their first matchup of the season, the Red Raiders kept within striking distance but could not finish the game as the Bears hit key shots within the last two minutes putting the Red Raiders out of reach. The Red Raiders look to improve on their shooting percentages from the first go-around. The team only shot 35.5% on field goals and 25% from beyond the arc in the first game. which is something the Red Raiders are looking to improve on.
The key matchups in the game are going to come from the two team’s guard play. Baylor’s leading scorer, Jared Butler, is averaging 17 points per game but only scored 7 points in the first matchup. Behind Butler are three other Bears averaging double digits in Macio Teague averaging 14.7 points per game; Davion Mitchell averaging 13.6 points per game, and Adam Flagler averaging 10.2 points per game. With arguably one of the most explosive core of guards in college basketball; the Bears have multiple players who can go off in a barrage of points at any time.
The Red Raider’s response to this is fair guard play of their own. The team will have to have several players step up on both sides of the floor. Tech will look for big-time plays from players such as Kyler Edwards, Kevin McCullar, and Micah Peavy. Also from McClung and Shannon Jr, who are both having the best seasons of their college careers.
Tune Into This Big 12 Action
Texas Tech Men’s Basketball is set to be a good one with two top 25 ranked matchups. Tuesday’s game against West Virginia will be at the United Supermarkets Arena or on ESPN 2 at 8 p.m. Saturday’s game against Baylor’s network has not yet been announced.
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Story by Trint Porter, Sports Journalist Intern