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Kansas Vs. Texas Tech: Previewing The Red Raiders

0-3 lifetime in Lubbock.  That's Bill Self's record against the Red Raiders on their home court.  Hard to believe that the team giving the Jayhawk coach the most trouble away from home is Texas Tech. 

 If you had to guess you might say it could be Oklahoma State who has handed it to the Jayhawks twice in trips to Stillwater or perhaps someone who has been a perrenial power during his time such as Texas. Nope, it's Bob and Pat Knight and their Red Raiders.  Can the Hawks change their fortune tonight or is it Guns Up once again in West Texas.


AP Poll
SOS Projected

The Players

The Red Raiders are led by a corp of upperclassman that were expected to be competitive this season after a tough 2009-2010.  Senior guard Mike Singletary once again leads the Raiders in scoring and rebounding at 14.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per contest.  Singletary has on more than one occasion exploded for a big night including a memorable performance in the Big 12 tournament during his sophomore year.  He's a weapon in the Raider backcourt and a player that will be a focal point for Kansas.

Joining him is another senior guard and the second leading scorer on the team, John Roberson.  Roberson averages 12.9 points per game and also leads the Red Raiders with 4.1 assists per game as well.  Roberson is the most productive three point shooter on the Red Raider squad with 49 threes on the season.

On the interior the Raiders are led by 6'6" senior forward Brad Reese.  Reese ranks third on the team in scoring at 12.4 per game and adds 4.8 rebounds.  Defensively Reese ranks first on the team in both steals and block shots.  Reese also has the ability to step outside and ranks second on the team in three point production but first in three point percentage.

The only non senior starter for the Raiders is 6'10" junior Robert Lewandowski.  The name might be a familiar one for Jayhawk fans as Lewandowski's younger brother is currently a freshman on the Jayhawk football team.  Lewandowski averages 9.3 points and 5.1 rebounds per game for Pat Knight.

Rounding out the starters for Tech is D'Walyn Roberts a 6'7" senior forward.  Roberts averages 5.6 points and 4.7 reobounds per game. All in all the Raiders match up well from a size standpoint and perhaps the number one ingredient for an upset is there and that's experience.

The Raiders primary weapon off the bench is also a senior in 6'3" guard David Tairu.  Tairu averages 9 points per game and provides a three point threat of fthe bench. 

The remainder of the Raider squad goes four more deep in terms of double digit minutes but none are particularly major contributors.  Jaye Crockett, Javerez Willis, Mike Davis and Paul Cooper make up the group.  It's depth and on paper Pat Knight should be having a better season than he is.


Red Raider Trends

After a non conference season that had most expecting the worst and a four game start to the conference season that seemed to confirm that, suddenly the Red Raiders are on a three game winning streak and trending very much in a positive direction.

Now two of those three wins were by just one point and the other was in Ames against an Iowa State team that's falling off the map almost as fast as Kansas State.  Nonetheless the Raiders are now at 500 with an 11-11 overall record and a 3-4 conference record and they might be playing their most consistent basketball of the season. 

The biggest problem for Tech is they are a bad defensive team.  Last year that seemed to be a big part of the problem as the Raiders were solid offensively at times but couldn't stop anyone.  They returned much of that offense this season and with a Knight on the bench the expectation was that the defense should improve.  Problem is, it's gotten worse. 

The Raiders do a poor job in forcing tough shots, they aren't a good rebounding team and they really don't force you into a lot of mistakes.  It will be interesting to see if they can bother Kansas enough to make a game of it as this one feels like a similar script to Colorado only Tech is quite a bit lower in terms of their overall efficiency.

On the bright side for Raider fans they are as mentioned on a three game winning streak and Kansas has not managed a win in Lubbock under Bill Self so who knows?

Offensive Averages:

64th / 6th
105th / 6th
265th / 11th
FG Pct
93rd / 8th
Defensive Averages:
317th / 6th
77th / 6th
253rd / 11th
FG Pct
259th / 8th

Prediction Time

Kansas looks like a team that has come together a bit in wins on the road against Colorado and at home against Kansas State.  A two game road trip will test the Jayhawks focus, especially with neither game having any sort of name recognition to it. 

Tech is the first and Tech is a game that Kansas should have the horses to win even if it's a slightly off night.  Kansas has the defense to hold back the Tech offense and Kansas has the offense to exploit a poor Tech defense.  In reality it should be an easy one.  But that's why you play the game. 

Getting out of Lubbock while continuing the positive momentum would be good.  It's February and it's time to start putting something together on a consistent basis.

Kansas KU 82.5 51.9 66.9 37.6 39.1 11.5 27.7 18.3 14.0 8.6 4.7 17.9
Texas-tech TTU 74.0 45.4 72.3 35.6 33.2 11.0 22.2 14.0 13.8 6.0 4.6 20.3
Kansas KU Opponents 62.7 38.2 69.5 28.1 32.0 11.5 20.4 10.5 15.9 6.1 2.7 19.7
Texas-tech TTU Opponents 75.6 44.8 72.0 35.6 36.3 12.8 23.5 11.5 14.4 6.7 3.1 20.1