Major Win Streak On Line in Texas Tech-Texas Big 12 Showdown

Rainman M.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 1:44 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018 1:44 PM UTC

In Big 12 action Wednesday night, Texas (11-6) looks to extend its 21-game home win streak against No. 8 Texas Tech (15-2). The Red Raiders haven't won in Austin since 1996.

No. 8 Texas Tech Red Raiders at Texas LonghornsFree NCAAB Pick: Texas Tech -3Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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Inexperience characterizes Texas' lineup. The Longhorns rank 338rd in returning experience. Freshman Matt Coleman has established himself at the point guard position. Despite building a strong assist rate, Coleman commits too many turnovers. He has the worst turnover rating among Texas starters. He is also ice cold from three, going 0-for-10 in his last three games from behind the arc.

Whereas Coleman is cold, shooting guard Eric Davis is hot, scoring a combined 40 points in his last two games. But he has been really unproductive against the top-ranked defenses that he has faced, such as Michigan and Gonzaga. Texas Tech ranks third in defensive efficiency.

Jacob Young, Jase Febres, and Jericho Sims are struggling to replace the production of injured small forward/guard Kerwin Roach, who had been the team‘s most efficient scorer inside the arc. Power forward Dylan Osetkowski leads the team with 15.1 points per game, although he completes less than 50% inside the arc. Highly-touted freshman center Mohamed Bamba is Texas‘ most complete player. He ranks in the Top 100 in both offensive and defensive rebounding percentage. He is fifth in block percentage and 269th in two-point completion.

This is a very good Texas Tech team that ranks in the Top 50 in KenPom’s offensive and defensive efficiency. Point guard Keenan Evans is arguably the most important Red Raider. He leads the team in percentage of possessions involved in and of shots. The senior leads TTU with 17.5 points per game. Evans is a dominant force around the rim. He completes 60% from two and ranks in the top 200 in fouls drawn and free throw completion.

Evans is one of three Red Raiders who rank in the Top 400 in steal percentage. Another is shooting guard Jarrett Culver, who has been even more ball secure than Evans and ranks 94th in steal percentage. He ranks 125th in two-point percentage at 63.3 inside the arc. Zhaire Smith is the other steal-hungry Red Raider. He is the team‘s other player who averages double-digit points per game and is the team‘s most efficient scorer inside the arc, completing 64.2% from two.

Texas Tech ranks in the Top 50 in height and both offensive and defensive rebounding percentage thanks to different big men who share playing time. Norense Odiase leads TT with 5.4 rebounds per game.

The Verdict

Texas is in a tough spot after a deflating loss at Oklahoma State in which it surrendered a late 12-point lead. UT has competed well enough despite having two injured starters — Roach and small forward Andrew Jones. But TTU‘s elite defense will prevent Texas from covering by taking away its strength on offense. Texas has the 60th-highest point distribution from two. But TT allows the 311st-lowest point distribution inside.

The Red Raiders have the edge in the battle of strengths. Texas has repeatedly failed to cover against teams of similar defensive quality, such as Duke, Gonzaga, Michigan, and Kansas. TTU, like those teams, ranks in the Top 50 in two-point completion percentage allowed.

Conversely, Texas Tech has enjoyed consistent success against the stouter interior defenses, having dominated both Kansas and Baylor already and completed over 60% from two in a win against West Virginia. Expect a Texas Tech cover on our NCAAB picks thanks to its superiority around the rim.

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