Preview and Game Thread: Arkansas-Pine Bluff vs. Texas Tech

The Red Raiders host the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions in the hopes that the Red Raiders can earn their 8th win of the year.

Date: Saturday, December 19th
Time: 3:00 pm
Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (7-1, 0-0)
Bad Guys: Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions (2-9, 0-0)
Location: United Supermarkets Arena | Lubbock, Texas
TV/Stream: FOX Sports Southwest Plus
Radio/Stream: 93.7 FM/104.3 FM/950 AM

POINT GUARD Kennan Evans (6-3/180) 8.6 / 2.9*
SHOOTING GUARD Devaugntah Williams (6-4/205) 15.4 / 4.4
SMALL FORWARD Toddrick Gotcher (6-4/205) 11.4 / 5.1
POWER FORWARD Zach Smith (6-8/215) 10.0 / 6.5
CENTER Norense Odiase (6-9/260) 8.9 / 4.5
SIXTH MAN Aaron Ross (6-8/225) 6.4 / 5.5
SEVENTH MAN Justin Gray (6-6/210) 7.3 / 2.3
EIGHTH MAN Devon Thomas (6-0/170) 3.8 / 1.3
POINT GUARD Ghiavonni Robinson (6-3/190) 9.8 / 2.5*
SHOOTING GUARD Marcus Wallace (6-3/180) 2.5 / 0.8
SMALL FORWARD JoVaughn Love (6-9/220) 11.6 / 4.9
POWER FORWARD Thaddeus Handley (6-6/200) 5.2 / 4.3
CENTER Chauncy Parker (6-8/225) 1.4 / 1.6
SIXTH MAN Marquis Cunningham (6-8/200) 2.5 / 2.4
SEVENTH MAN Deshon Bayless (6-8/220) 4.0 / 2.4

* Assists.

1. According to KenPom, Arkansas-Pine Bluff is a pretty terrible team. Out of 351 teams, the Golden Lions are ranked 335th overall so that would be pretty bad. They are ranked 342nd in adjusted offense and 240th in adjusted defense. This may be the worst team on the schedule for Texas Tech. The Red Raiders are ranked 64th in the overall rating, 126th in adjusted offense and 37th in adjusted defense. They sorta just keep creeping up the rankings.

2. So, it was really tough to try to figure out who is playing for Arkansas-Pine Bluff. What I usually do is look at the latest box score to look to see who started and played and the starting five is who started, despite the lackluster stats. So, I’m confused and there are a ton of players that play for the Golden Lions. What you see above is my best guess as who plays for APB.

3. Apparently the best player is Love and he’s a big guard, 6’9″, but he shoots 36% from the field and 28% from the three-point line. Robinson doesn’t shoot very well either, under 23% from the three-point line and 28% from the field. So their best shooters shoot 36% and 28% from the field and they are the only players that are in or close to double figures.

4. Texas Tech is coming off of maybe their best win of the year against South Dakota State. That’s a strange sentence to type, but it is true. Texas Tech is playing really well right now, and the thing that surprised me was the fact that the offense looked really smooth. Much of that is because Toddrick Gotcher is beginning to make an impact on the offensive end and the team is just so darned well-rounded. There are competent bench players. Strike that. There are impact bench players, like Gray and Ross. And head coach Tubby Smith likes the way this team is playing:

“I like the way that we’re playing coming off a good performance against a talented South Dakota State team,” Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith said. “I like our guys’ frame of mind, and I’m hoping that we carry over into tomorrow’s game. We know we have to be ready to play because they’re a very capable team of having a good game if we don’t do our job.”

5. I would expect Texas Tech to win this game fairly easily and I’ll be disappointed if they don’t win easily. It will most likely be an ugly game because Arkansas-Pine Bluff maybe won’t play very well. Still, Texas Tech should be able to play significant defense to make this a game that will be a blowout. I’d also add that maybe the other idea about a convincing win is focus. Focus for a young team that needs to prove that they can focus game-in-game-out. I’d like to see that today.


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