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The following breakdown was completed by Russ Morris
TEXAS TECH SENIOR DAY BREAKDOWN
Texas Tech returns home, after a heartbreaker to Baylor on Monday
night, to take on the Kansas Jayhawks. This game is big for several
reasons. If Tech beats Kansas, Baylor clinches a share of the conference
title which, in turn, means that if Kansas and Baylor meet in the final
round of the Big 12 tourney, the winner will more than likely be the
number one overall seed for the NCAA Tournament. On the other hand,
if Kansas beats Tech, Kansas wins the Big 12 regular-season title again,
and will more than likely be the number one overall seed in the NCAA
Tournament. Texas Tech is looking to enter both the Big 12 and NCAA
Tournaments on a high note as they are currently on a four-game losing
streak. The Red Raiders are currently listed as a 9 seed with room to move
up to an 8 seed or the last 7 seed spot available. For Tech to reach a 7
seed they must beat Kansas and win the Big 12 Tournament. Tech
locked in a tournament spot weeks ago, due to how wild the season has
been. The only thing to play for is the opportunity to improve your
chances at making a run. In each of the losses the biggest stats that stand
out are second-chance points and points in the paint in the second half.
There are currently two players that give Tech chances at second-chance
points, Chris Clarke and Kevin McCuller. They have accounted for at
least 46% of the opportunities underneath the basket. If there is an “atta
boy” award for grit, those two are the leading candidates. The rest of the
lineup is giving up the other 54% of chances underneath the basket on
the offensive and defensive side of the court. The winner of the game
this week will win both rebounding categories, points in the paint, free
throws, and second-chance points. This Kansas team coming to Lubbock
is completely different than last year. The only player missing is De
Souza. This will be the best team Tech has played the second time this
year. Tech has to play complete for a shot at a victory.
Kansas Jayhawks Big 12 (15-1) 26-3
The Kansas Jayhawks enter the South Plains looking like the favorites to
cut down the nets in Atlanta, which I currently agree with. There are
four teams currently, maybe five, that are hitting their strides at the right
time in terms of completeness and Kansas is one of them. Dotson is
their best player and is an athletic fool. He is the leading scorer in the
conference averaging 18.2 points per game. Dotson will be a first-round
draft pick this year and looks like he could go early or in the middle. He
is playing looser this year because of Udoka Azubuike. Azubuike is one
of the best big men in the country. He shoots 74% from the field, has
range, and is averaging 10.3 rebounds per game. He is the staple that
holds this team together. If they are to reach the National Championship
game, it will be because of him. How Tech can keep these two in check
is the biggest key to victory on Saturday.
Texas Tech Red Raiders Big 12 (9-8) 18-12
The Red Raiders return home for a huge test against the Jayhawks on
Senior Day. Tech is looking to end their four-game losing streak, but it
will take the best game of the year to do so. The Red Raiders have had
plenty of chances to win but can never close-out the final three minutes
of games. Jahmi’us Ramsey is still the leading scorer (17.4 points per
game) but not the leading closer. Kevin McCuller looks like he has
established that role, but is inconsistent with it every week. Moretti is
still a dog on the court but we only see flashes of his true potential.
Beard said at the beginning that this will be a roller coaster due to how
young everyone is, but nobody was expecting this much on
inconsistency. There’s not much left to breakdown on the regular season
due to the given product on TV and film. It is the same song, fifth verse.
If Tech plays with consistency, makes shots and plays the best game of
the year, then we can win this game. Our best players must perform to
the level that is expected of them.
The game this weekend is going to be an interesting game. Kansas is
looking to continue their dominance, while Tech is looking to start a run.
Tech has a legitimate shot to win because of the recent history between
the two teams. Tech has championship potential but is inconsistent,
while the only weakness to Kansas is that they can be outcoached and
played defensively. It’s going to be tough, but it can happen.
Saddle Tramp News:
Our pledges are doing great! Mid-Review is around the corner and all the guys are doing great on their Saddle Tramp tests, as well as their actual classwork. Last night was also Big/Little night for our organization! All of our pledges go to meet the guys who will help guide them through the rest of their pledgeship. The pledges also joined their families last night after receiving their bigs. 2 pledges joined the Banditos family, bringing the total to 22 members. 1 pledge joined the Trampasaurus family, bringing the total to 15 members. 1 pledge joined the Regis family, bringing the total to 5 members. And 1 pledge joined the Sessadab family bringing the total to 12 members.
Saddle Tramp of the Week: Michael Zabbatino
Michael Zabbatino comes to us from Deer Park, New York where he was born and raised until he moved down to Austin, Texas when he was 14. He chose to come to TTU because this place felt like somewhere he could "call home for the next 4 years". "Zab" as we call him, rushed Saddle Tramps to get a sense of brotherhood that he had experienced earlier in life by playing sports. He is in the Fall '17 Neff Said pledge class and is part of the Regis family. Zab has been the Intramural Chairman, served on pledge staff, and was 2nd Vice President during the Fall '19 pledge class. His best piece of advice for future Red Raiders is, "you need to work hard for everything you do, don't procrastinate, and most importantly have fun." Michael's fun fact is that he has previously worked as a summer camp leader at Red Raider Camp!
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