Welcome back to In the Bonus. I apologize for no pre-Bedlam post, but we're getting back on track today. The Cowboys take on Texas Tech in GIA (8 p.m. CT, ESPNU) and both teams are desperately needing the Big 12 win.
Oklahoma State, going back to the glory days, has held a firm grip on the tilts with Tech. The Pokes lead the series 42-14 (22-3 in Stillwater) and have won eight of the last nine meetings between them and the Red Raiders.
This series dates back to 1937 when they met in the Charity Cage tournament (later called the All-College Tournament) in Oklahoma City. Last season, the two teams met three times, with OSU taking a 2-1 advantage.
About Texas Tech
Coached by Tubby Smith (who is just behind Bill Self in total career wins), the Red Raiders have held 14 of 18 opponents under 70 points this season. They lead the conference in free throw attempts (third in the country) with an average of 26.9 FTA per game. They sink, on average, 17.4 of those charity shots per game.
TTU is currently 0-5 in Big 12 action, and its 41.6 percent field goal percentage hasn't alleviated any symptoms. The Raiders have a little help from those on the pine as they average 42.0 points per game coming off the bench.
Tech boasts the youngest starting lineup in college basketball, starting more freshman than upperclassmen. They are led by Devaugntah Williams, who averages 10.9 points per game. He is assisted by Robert Turner, 8.8 points/2.9 rebounds per game, and Norense Odiase, 7.1 points/4.7 rebounds per game.
The biggest problem for the Cowboys will come in the form of freshman Zach Smith. The 6'8" forward averages only 5.5 points per game, but accrues a plethora of blocks. He is on pace to break the Texas Tech record of blocks by a freshman, having recorded 30 so far this season.
Both teams are in a bit of a rough patch (some courser than others) and could easily benefit from a win. Should the Pokes shooting
fail miserably fall flat like in their last game, OSU may be in deep trouble if Michael Cobbins gets in foul trouble. Smith is bound to make freshman mistakes, but the Cowboys shouldn't let him benefit from theirs. However, I believe the guys in orange get it done, taking the contest 78-60.