Texas Tech Red Raiders
Big 12 Conference (17-15, 4-12)
Big Wins: 12/3 Washington (99-92), 1/3 UTEP (86-78), 2/6 Oklahoma State (81-74)
Bad Losses: 12/19 at Wichita State (83-85), 2/27 at Nebraska (79-83), 3/6 at Colorado (90-101)
Coach: Pat Knight
Why They Can Surprise:
Texas Tech has four big time scorers who can explode at any time. Mike Singletary is the best of the bunch, but it is three players on the perimeter who have turned around this team and made them relatively competitive in a tough Big 12 Conference. And the backcourt starts with point guard John Roberson. When Roberson is not setting up his teammates with one of his 5.6 assists per game, he is scoring himself. Roberson knocks down about two three-pointers per game, but he is also a superb scorer around the basket.
Junior college transfer David Tairu has been a pleasant surprise for the Red Raiders. He is shooting 45.8 percent from long range and averages 9.5 points per contest. While his numbers have become much more inconsistent during conference play, Tairu is always a threat to put up points in a hurry and will provide a nice spark off the bench. Nick Okorie is the more consistent option. Okorie spent some time at the same junior college as Tairu, but he played at Texas Tech last year and that year of experience in the system has been very helpful. Both of those players could come off the bench in favor of 6-6 forward Brad Reese who is a versatile athlete.
Why They Can Disappoint:
The reason for starting another forward is to help out on the glass where the Red Raiders are pretty bad. Darko Cohadarevic is the usual starter at the five spot and averages a steady 6.8 points and 4.8 rebounds. D’Walyn Roberts is a strong rebounder as well and, along with Reese, a decent shot blocker. Theron Jenkins and Robert Lewandowski are both experienced big men who play around ten minutes per game and will do what they can to help out on the glass and play some decent defense. Yet, the Red Raiders cannot afford to get outrebounded as often as they do. They have plenty of depth in the frontcourt and plenty of size on the perimeter with Singletary, but they need to find the toughness to hit the glass and play better defense if they expect to make a tournament run.
Who To Watch:
Singletary is the dominate force on this team. He is the best rebounder and scorer on the roster and he will even block some shots, grab some steals and dish out some assists. Singletary will often score 20 or more points in a game and when he does, Texas Tech usually wins. If Singletary is having an off day, which does happen, his team will make an early exit.
John Roberson, Junior, Guard, 14.7 ppg, 5.6 apg
Nick Okorie, Senior, Guard, 11.0 ppg, 1.9 apg
Mike Singletary, Junior, Forward, 14.7 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.3 apg
D’Walyn Roberts, Junior, Forward, 6.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.3 bpg
Darko Cohadarevic, Senior, Forward, 6.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg
Theron Jenkins, Junior, Forward, 3.1 ppg, 2.1 rpg
Robert Lewandowski, Sophomore, Forward, 2.2 ppg, 2.0 rpg
Brad Reese, Junior, Forward, 7.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg
David Tairu, Junior, Guard, 9.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 76.4 (38th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 76.4 (319, 12)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.9 (153, 10)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.3 (184, 9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.6 (231, 12)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.6 (45, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.6 (83, 5)
Rebound Margin: -2.9 (277, 11)
Assists Per Game: 14.1 (95, 8)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.7 (167, 8)
Joel’s Bracket Says: First Round loss to Seton Hall