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Texas Tech Preview

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Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

What once looked like one of the easier games on the schedule now has (probably) gotten much more difficult as the Jayhawks visit Lubbock tomorrow. The Red Raiders have started out well in Big 12 play, defeating Texas at home and almost grabbing a huge upset in Ames. Texas Tech still hasn't nabbed that big of a win this year, but 11-2 is 11-2 and they have a chance to grab the biggest of wins tomorrow.

Stylistically, the Jayhawks will probably like playing the Red Raiders. Texas Tech attempts just 29 percent of its field goals from three (probably because it shoots just 31 percent) and allows opponents to shoot 41 percent of their attempts from behind the arc. They'll probably do a better job of closing out on the Jayhawks, but there should be some open looks from deep. Assuming their legs have rebounded from the 3OT game Monday, it will probably behoove Kansas to take some threes rather than beat their bodies up even more.

Size wise, Tech is just a bit above average. Its tallest player who plays regularly stands 6-9, and other than that Kansas will mostly see 6-8, 6-6, and shorter. It could be a big game inside for Perry, but also for Frank Mason, who won't have to score over much size once he beats his man up top.

Other than that, Tech is mostly averagish across the board. They are barely above average in TO rate, barely above average in forcing turnovers, same with 2-point offense and defense. Given the teams they've played so far, that's good news for Kansas.

Players to Watch

Devaugntah Williams hasn't been as good this year as he was last year, but he's still a guy to focus on. Williams attempts 28 percent of Tech's shots when on the floor, and is shooting 45 percent on twos, but is just 19-61 from three. While that might mean he's in line to go 6-6 given our luck, he'll probably focus on scoring from inside the arc.

Zach Smith might be the best dunker in the Big 12, and I hope he gets a chance to show it off in garbage time (with KU ahead of course). Other than his dunking, Smith is shooting 59 percent on twos and is probably the team's best rebounder, but turns it over a lot and is poor from the line. I imagine we will see a lot of Hunter Mickelson and Jamari Traylor given how rarely they played on Monday, and it might be best for them to use a couple fouls to send Smith to the line rather than letting him dunk.

Toddrick Gotcher is shooting 42 percent on threes and 53 percent from two this season. The senior doesn't do much else, but Tech's lack of 3-point shooting other than him means that he will probably be the guy Wayne Selden shadows.

The Pick

This being a road game and Kansas coming off a 3OT game are the only things giving me much pause. Tech has been close with the Jayhawks the last couple years (kind of: Kansas needed the Wiggins miracle in 2014, and Tech was close at halftime before Kansas won by 20ish). I'm probably more optimistic than most but with Tech's lack of size and tendency to give up a lot of threes, I think the Jayhawks eventually cruise. 83-70.