Texas Tech Red Raiders. Coached by Tubby Smith in the Big 12 Conference When:
Wednesday, December 18th - 8PM Where:
United Spirit Arena (15,098 - 29th NCAA) How:
ESPNU (TV), 98.1 (Radio), ESPN3.com (Stream)
LSU hits the road to start a critical week for the Tigers. After sleepwalking through their weekend contest versus UL-Monroe, LSU takes on Big 12 foe, Texas Tech. Coached by legendary Kentucky head man, Tubby Smith, the Red Raiders are a team on the rise. They are currently 6-0 at home and will be a formidable opponent for LSU.
They will likely try and slow the game down. They average a possession length of 18.3 seconds per possession to LSU's 16.0 seconds. Their three losses came to #1 Arizona, #27 Pittsburgh, and Alabama.
Texas Tech will play 3 forwards most of the game, similar to LSU. They like to score in the paint and dedicate a large portion of the offense to driving to the hoop. They are 291st in assists per fieldgoal really giving you an idea of the nature of their offense. Even more, they score 63% of their points from two point shots, which is 5th highest in the NCAA.
They bring a 7 footer (Dejan Kravic) off the bench. He will be the first 7 footer LSU has faced this season. He isn't a major scoring threat, but it will be interesting to see how Johnny O'Bryant reacts to a taller defender.
While this would not be a signature win, losing this road test would be very detrimental to LSU's postseason aspirations. Even as improved as they have been this year, they are likely to be a Big12 bottom dweller. It will also be another good test to see how the young LSU players react to a road game environment. ESPN BPI:
ESPN Released their first BPI (Basketball Power Index) this morning and LSU comes in at 19th.
While BPI isn't an official measurement used by the selection committee, it takes into account scoring margin (diminishing returns for blowouts), pace of game, location, Strength of schedule, and they de-weight games with key players missing.
It's good to see that LSU's work thus far haven't gone unnoticed by this Power Index. Prediction:
LSU 70, Texas Tech 60