Sports

Red Raiders Wrap Up Last Week in Regular Season Big 12 Schedule

Texas Tech basketball players Terrance Shannon Jr, Kyler Edwards, and Mac McClung celebrate after a play during a game
Photo from TTU athletics

Texas Tech Basketball Wrap Up

As the Red Raiders wrap up the last week of the regular season in Men’s Big 12 Basketball Conference, we begin looking into the busy week ahead. This week the Texas Tech Red Raiders wrap up the Big 12 Conference with the lowest and highest-ranked teams in the conference. With Baylor essentially locking up the regular season, the Red Raiders look to move up in March Madness’s seeding against the bottom teams in the conference.

This week Tech takes on TCU March 2nd at the United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock, Texas, and then again at home against Iowa State. The third game is Sunday, March 7th, at Ferrell Center against Baylor, a key game moving forward. 

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       The TCU game is a game that Texas Tech should win, especially after carrying the momentum from the vital win and season sweep against Texas. TCU is unranked, 12-10 overall and 5-8 in the Big 12 Conference, and is one of the three teams picked not to make the March Madness tournament. Statistically, the Red Raiders have a fair matchup against the Horned Frogs, and many of the critical matchups come from guard play. 

TCU has two players that average double digits that the Red Raiders will need to key in on to shut down. The first is RJ Nembhard, a 6’5″ junior guard averaging 16.9 points per game and shooting 40.9% from the field. The second is Mike Miles, a 6’1″ freshman guard averaging 14.3 points per game 43.1% from the field. Texas Tech’s answer to this will be from their guards in Mac McClung and Terrance Shannon Jr, who matchup up relatively well in size. If McClung and Shannon’s duo can shut down the two, it should be a smooth sailing game with Tech picking up their game going into March. The Red Raiders won’t have a chance to wrap up both games against TCU this season due to weather and scheduling conflicts so this one game will be telling.

ISU vs. TTU

The second matchup of the week is against the Iowa State Cyclones, who Texas Tech beat in their first meeting 91-64. Iowa State is 2-18 overall and 0-15 in conference play this season, putting them last in the Big 12, but do not underestimate them. Iowa State is currently on a 14-game losing streak but has played relatively well in their last two games. The team took both No. 2 Baylor and unranked TCU to the edge in both games and are looking to wrap up their 2020-2021 season on a high note. 

The cyclones have three players averaging double-digit points. Led by Rasir Bolton, who is a junior 6’3″ guard that is averaging 15.4 points per game and shooting 45.5% from the field. Following Bolton is Jalen Coleman-Lands, who is a senior 6’4″ guard who is averaging 13.6 points on the season and shooting 43.8% from the field. The last player and potentially most dangerous against the Red Raiders is Solomon Young because of his size match-up. This 6’8″ senior forward is averaging 10.6 points per game and shooting 50.9% from the field. Texas Tech will look to stop the trio with their two guards Mac McClung and Terrance Shannon Junior, and with Marcos Santos-Silva to stop Young playing forward. Tech has the advantage of having better athletes at all three positions but will still have a fight on their hands. 

Baylor vs. Red Raiders Wrap Up Final Big 12 Regular Season Game

In a much-anticipated rematch, the No. 18 ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders take on the No. 3 ranked Baylor Bears at Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas, at 3 p.m. The Baylor Bears are currently 18-1 overall and look to keep up their historic season, but the Red Raiders have a different plan. The Red Raiders are looking to give Baylor their second loss of the season and split the series 1-1. Rather than being swept in the 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 along with defense, is something the Red Raiders are looking to improve on. 

Key Match-Ups

        The key matchups in the game are going to come from the two team’s guard play. Baylor’s leading scorer is Jared Butler, who’s averaging 16.4 points per game but only scored 7 points in the teams’ first matchup. Behind Butler are three other Baylor Bears averaging double digits. Players, Macio Teague is averaging 14.8 points per game, Davion Mitchell is averaging 13.4 points per game, and Adam Flagler is averaging 10.5 points per game. With arguably one of the most explosive cores of guards in college basketball, the Bears have multiple players set to go off in a barrage of points at any time. 

The Red Raider’s response to this is good 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. On top of both McClung and Shannon Jr, who are both having the best seasons of their college careers. 

Red Raider Conclusion

This week is sure to be a good one, as the Red Raiders wrap up this last week of the regular season before heading into the Big 12 tournament and March Madness. Keep an eye out for Chris Beard and those Red Raiders to do big things starting this month. 

Story by Trint Porter, Campus Live Intern

Check out how the end of the season compares to what we predicted at the start of the season.

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