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|Texas Tech Red Raiders||TBA||TBA|
Two ranked teams will be facing each other on neutral ground on Saturday. Gonzaga is the better team of these two. The Bulldogs have a stronger roster and some of the best players in the country. However, Texas Tech is also a good team that has only lost one game this year. This game should be close, but Gonzaga will squeak out the victory.
Gonzaga beats Texas Texas Tech 67-63.
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|Mark Adams||Head Coach||Mark Few|
|8-1 (0-0, 1st in Big 12)||Standing||8-2 (0-0, 1st in WCC)|
|Leader (Per Game)|
|Terrence Shannon Jr. (16.8)||PPG||Drew Timme (18.4)|
|Kevin McCullar (6.5)||RPG||Chet Holmgren (8.2)|
|Mylik Wilson (3.3)||APG||Andre Newbhard (4.9)|
|Mylik Wilson (1.9)||SPG||Andre Newbhard (1.5)|
|Mylik Wilson (0.8)||BPG||Chet Holmgren (3.9)|
|Marcus Santos-Silva (.594)||FG%||Chet Holmgren (.639)|
|Davion Warren (.444)||3P%||Julian Strawther (.415)|
The Red Raiders are the underdog, but they have a chance to win this game. They have only lost one game, and one of their eight victories came in overtime against #13 Tennessee. Texas Tech has a knack for scoring and shoots the ball pretty well from the field and free-throw line. With that being said, Texas Tech is even better on defense. They allow less than 60 points per game and average an impressive 8.6 steals per game.
Texas Tech needs to continue playing strong defense and limit the scoring of Drew Timme, Justin Strawther, Chet Holmgren, Rasir Bolton, and Andrew Newbhard. That is an incredibly difficult task because they are all talented scorers.
In addition, Texas Tech needs to shoot better than they usually do. They shoot the ball from the field well, but they could do a lot better from behind the three-point line. If they hit 40% of their three-point attempts and 80% of their free-throw attempts, they will win the game.
The Bulldogs are the favorite to win and might have the most well-rounded roster in the NCAA. Gonzaga is a team with a lot of size. The interesting thing is, their tall players tend to be very skilled scorers.
Gonzaga is not a team that lacks scoring abilitity. They average 85.6 points per game, seventh-best in the NCAA. Those 85.6 points come from a lot of different players. They will need all hands on deck for this game and all their scorers being efficient, as they usually are. If one or two of their scorers are not shooting well, they need to depend on the others. It is crucial that Gonzaga rides the hotter hands against this tough Texas Tech defense.
The most important thing for Gonzaga to do is ride the hotter hands on offense. After that, it is imperative that they play lockdown defense. In their last five games, they have allowed more than 80 points twice (against ranked Alabama and ranked Ohio State). They cannot let that happen again. If they do, they will be flying back to Spokane with a loss.
On paper. guard Terrence Shannon Jr, may be the best player on the Red Raiders team, but after a closer look, guard Kevin McCullar is the most impactful player. He averages the most minutes (31.9) and rebounds (6.3), and is second on the team in points per game (14.3), assists per game (3.1), and steals per game (1.4). McCullar also shoots the ball well and hits almost half of his shots from the field.
McCullar is the definition of a well-rounded player. He can do a little bit of everything very well. I expect him to perform well on the offensive side against Gonzaga, but he needs to have a stellar game on defense and lockdown those Gonzaga guards. If he does, Texas Tech should be able to outshoot the Bulldogs.
I do not have a bad thing to say about Chet Holmgren. The 7’0” freshman center can score from from behind the arc and near the hoop, rebound, pass well, and block opposing players attacking the rim. All of these skills make him a potential top-three pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Holmgren is not Gonzaga’s leading scorer. He is Gonzaga’s third leading scorer, but his impact on both sides of the court is immeasurable. He is an incredibly gifted basketball player and will be very hard to stop in this game.
If this game goes down to the wire, Holmgren’s play will be the difference between a Gonzaga victory or loss. That is why it is important for Texas Tech to figure out a way to limit the lanky center’s scoring. Texas Tech will probably not be able to stop it and Gonzaga will win because of Holmgren’s dominance.
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|#25 Texas Tech vs #5 Gonzaga Information|
|What||#25 Texas Tech vs #5 Gonzaga|
|Where||Footprint Center, Phoenix, Arizona|
|When||Saturday, December 18, 1:00 PM EST|
|How to Watch||CBS|
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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