PREVIEW: Red Raiders Host Longhorns On Saturday

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Over the last four games, Ty Nurse has averaged 10.3 points, 3.8 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 1.0 steals.

Feb. 24, 2012

Texas Tech Notes | Texas Notes | Big 12 Notes | ESPN3.com

Game 28 • Texas Tech (8-19, 1-14 Big 12) vs. Texas (17-11, 7-8 Big 12)
Saturday, February 25, 2012 • 3:00 p.m. CT • Lubbock, Texas (United Spirit Arena • 15,020)

Television: Big 12 Network & ESPN3.com / KJTV-Fox34 (Lubbock)
   Dave Armstrong (PxP) & Rich Zvosec (Analyst)
Radio: TTSN (104.3 FM Lubbock Flagship)
   Mark Finkner (PxP) & Andy Ellis (Analyst)
Satellite: Sirius (216) and XM (202)

Texas Tech: Billy Gillispie
Record at School: 8-19 (1st Season)
Overall record: 148-104 (8th Season)

Texas: Rick Barnes
Record at School: 339-134 (14th season)
Overall record: 541-268 (25th season)

• Texas Tech enters Saturday's game after suffering a 72-54 setback at Iowa State.
• Texas is coming off of back-to-back losses to Oklahoma State (90-78) and Baylor (77-72).
• Today's game is a part the Big 12 Network and ESPN3.com. Dave Armstrong (Play-by-Play) and Rich Zvosec (Analyst) are on the call.
• The last time Texas and Texas Tech squared off, the Longhorns took a 74-57 victory in Austin. Clint Chapman paced the Longhorns with 20 points and nine rebounds. Ty Nurse led the Red Raiders with 18 points and Jordan Tolbert and Clark Lammert each added 12 points for Texas Tech.

• This is the 128th meeting between the Longhorns and the Red Raiders. The two first met in Austin on Dec. 15, 1939. Texas leads the all-time series, 74-53. Texas Tech leads the series in Lubbock, 28-25.
• Since Texas and Texas Tech joined the Big 12 Conference, the two teams have met a total of 33 times, with the Longhorns winning 30 of those matchups.
• The last time Texas Tech beat Texas was March 1, 2008, in Lubbock, 83-80.

• Texas is currently 17-11 on the season and 7-8 in Big 12 play. The Longhorns are currently sixth in the league standings.
• The Longhorns are paced by conference scoring leader J'Covan Brown, who averages 19.7 points, 3.8 assists and 3.1 rebounds. He is joined in double figures by Sheldon McClellan (11.3 ppg/3.4 rpg) and Myck Kabongo (10.4 ppg/5.0 apg).

Last time out against Iowa State, the starting lineup was Ty Nurse, Javarez Willis, Luke Adams, Robert Lewandowski and Jordan Tolbert. This is the fourth time in a row and the fifth time this season this lineup has been used and one of 12 different starting lineups used this season. Previously, the Red Raiders had not used the same starting lineup three games in a row this season.

Texas Tech features the youngest roster in the Big 12 Conference this season and one of the youngest squads in the nation with seven freshmen and three sophomores. Entering the season, only three players on the roster had played in a Division I basketball game - senior Robert Lewandowski, sophomore Jaye Crockett and sophomore Javarez Willis. Of the 12 players who have played this season, there are only two are upperclassmen - Lewandowski and junior Ty Nurse. The seven freshmen have produced 43.2 percent of the Red Raider offense this season, while playing 42.8 percent of the team's minutes.

Texas Tech senior Robert Lewandowski and redshirt sophomore Jaye Crockett have been named to the Academic All-Big 12 Men's Basketball Team, the league office announced Thursday. Lewandowski, a 6-10 senior from Overland Park, Kan., was named to the first team. It is his second straight appearance on the Academic All-Big 12 first team. He was a second team selection as a sophomore. He is one of 11 players from the Big 12 selected to the first team. Lewandowski is has started 27 games this season, chipping in 6.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. For his career, Lewandowski has played in 122 games, starting 75 for the Red Raiders. He is fifth all-time in career field goal percentage (52.0 percent) and eighth in career blocks (98). Jaye Crockett, a 6-7 redshirt sophomore from Clovis, N.M., was named to the second team. He was one of nine players from the Big 12 selected to the second team. Crockett has played in 26 games, starting three. He is averaging 8.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and has recorded three double-doubles this season. He is second on the team in rebounds (149), blocks (20) and steals (17). First team members consist of those who have maintained a 3.20 or better GPA while the second team selections hold a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA. To qualify, student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher either cumulative or the two previous semesters and must have participated in 60 percent of their team's scheduled contests. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence. Senior student-athletes who have participated for a minimum of two years and meet all the criteria except percent of participation are also eligible.

Turnovers have been a struggle for the Red Raiders this season, as Texas Tech has committed 17.0 per game. One by-product of turnovers are opponents' points off of turnovers. In Big 12 games this season, the Red Raiders are allowing 18.6 points per game off of turnovers. Texas Tech opponents are averaging 68.5 points per game in league play, meaning 27.2 percent of their offensive output is the result of turnovers. Against Oklahoma, the Red Raiders bucked the trend, committing a season-low seven turnovers and allowing just four points off of turnovers. Texas Tech has also recorded 14 or less turnovers in three of their last six games.

Lubbock native Kevin Wagner  suffered a season-ending knee injury on Feb. 4 in Austin against Texas. Had a breakout performance on Jan. 25 against Kansas State. The 5-8 freshman, played in 18 games this season, starting six for the Red Raiders. He averaged 2.5 points, 1.4 assists and just under a rebound per game for the season. He had a breakout performance against Kansas State in Lubbock, when he netted 16 points, dished out four assists and had a pair of steals and rebounds in 37 minutes.

For the sixth time this season, the Red Raiders saw nine players enter the lineup against Iowa State. On 13 occasions, 10 players have seen action in a game, six times 12 players have played and once time each seven and eight have entered the rotation. Of the nine players who saw action, six scored for the Red Raiders, including two in double figures.

Texas Tech's Jaye Crockett has elevated his play since Big 12 Conference play began on Jan. 4. In the 15 league games this season, Crockett has scored in double figures eight times and notched nine points in three other outings. He notched his second career double-double at Oklahoma and had a career-best 19-point effort at Texas A&M. His 19 points eclipses his previous best effort of 14 points against North Texas on Nov. 16, 2010. He added double-doubles against Missouri (11 points and 11 rebounds) and Oklahoma State (16 points and 14 rebounds). He chipped in a 17-point, seven-board effort off the bench at Iowa State. Crockett now has 15 career double-digit scoring efforts, with 11 coming this season. He is averaging 8.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game this season and 10.3 points and 6.4 rebounds in Big 12 games. His 14 rebounds against Oklahoma State were a career best and the most by a Red Raider since Brad Reese had 16 against Texas-Arlington on Dec. 22, 2010.

Jordan Tolbert leads all Big 12 freshmen this season in rebounds (5.7 rpg) and field goal percentage (51.9 pct.). He is third among league freshmen in scoring at 11.2 points per game. Overall, Tolbert ranks 11th in rebounding. He has scored in double figures 13 times this season, including a season-high 27 twice -- once at TCU on Dec. 6 and once against CSU-Bakersfield on Dec. 27. It was the most by a Tech freshman since John Roberson went for 28 against Northwestern State on Dec. 29, 2007. It is the second highest scoring mark by a Red Raider freshman in the Big 12 Era. He also netted 20 points against Indiana State at the Old Spice Classic, 22 against Grambling State and 21 against Oral Roberts. Tolbert has pulled down five rebounds in 14 of 19 games this season and had a his first double-double at Oklahoma State with 13 points and 13 rebounds. He added 10 rebounds at Oklahoma. He has recorded five 20-point games as a freshman, which has only been recorded one other time in the last 20 years at Texas Tech by a freshman. He also did it four times in a row, which was last done by Jarrius Jackson in November, 2006. He was named the Big 12 Conference player of the Week for the Week of Dec. 26-Jan. 1, after averaging 19.0 points and 4.0 rebounds, while shooting 78.9 percent from the field.

Senior Robert Lewandowski has been a steady stalwart for the Red Raiders for the last four years. Against Oklahoma on Jan. 17, he recorded his 400th rebound. He has 734 career points, 434 career rebounds and 98 career blocks. His blocks rank eighth all-time at Texas Tech. He needs two more blocks to move into sixth on the career list. He has connected on 313 of 602 career shots for a 52.0 percent field goal percentage, which ranks fifth all-time at Texas Tech. This season, Lewandowski is averaging 6.9 points and 3.7 rebounds a game. He has scored eight or more points in 11 of the team's 27 games this season. Lewandowski also recorded his first career 3-pointer in just his third career attempt against Southeastern Louisiana. It was 61 games between his first 3-point attempt against UTEP on Jan. 3, 2010 and his first career make against Southeastern Louisiana. The 6-10 Lewandowski has played in 122 career games with 75 career starts. He ranks sixth in career games played at Texas Tech, passing Tony Benford (1982-86).

Texas Tech has out-shot its opponent from the field in 16 of 27 games this season. In the last outing, Iowa State shot 49 percent to Texas Tech's 45.7 percent. The Red Raiders have been out-shot by DePaul (42.3/46.6), Baylor (39.6/48.9), Kansas (31.4/50.9), Texas A&M (33.3/47.8), Oklahoma (32.6/38.9), Iowa State (35.1/48.4), Kansas State (37.5/48.1), Texas (43.4/40.7), Kansas State (28.9/30.0), Kansas (40.9/56.3) and Iowa State (49.0/45.7).

Texas Tech shot 92 percent from the free throw line (23 of 25) against North Texas. It is the highest output since connecting on 23 of 24 last season against TCU (95.8 percent). The Red Raiders connected on nine consecutive free throws over the final 3:04 to secure the victory.  At Kansas on Saturday, Texas Tech converted 8-of-8 from the line. It is the first time the Red Raiders have been perfect from the line since connecting on 8-of-8 against Nebraska on Feb. 6, 2007. Conversely, against Texas A&M, the Red Raiders failed to convert a free throw on two attempts. It is the first time in the Big 12 Era, that Texas Tech has not made a free throw in a game. Texas Tech has failed to attempt 10 free throws in a game over the last three games, marking six times this season the Red Raiders have not shot 10 free throws in a game. The Red Raiders are eighth in the Big 12 in free throw attempts (19.0 per game). On the season, Texas Tech is 361 of 513 from the line (70.4 percent).

Texas Tech has out-rebounded four of eight Big 12 opponents on the road this season - Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Missouri, but came up short against Texas, Kansas State, Kansas and Iowa State. In Stillwater, the Red Raiders out-boarded the Cowboys, 38-27 (+11). In College Station, Texas Tech pulled down 36 rebounds to Texas A&M's 28 (+8). In Norman, Tech edged OU, 37-34 (+3). In Columbia, The Red Raiders topped the Tigers, 31-27 (+4). At Texas, the Red Raiders were out-rebounded 41-25 (-16) and came up short against Kansas State, 40-34 (-6). In Lawrence, the Jayhawks won the battle of the boards, 32-21 (-11). At Iowa State, the Cyclones topped Tech, 35-25, on the glass.

Javarez "Bean" Willis is one of three returning players from last year's squad who has started 26 of 27 games this season. Over the last four games, Willis has averaged 14.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists. Against Kansas, Willis lead the Red Raiders in scoring for the seventh time this season, as he chipped in 17 points. Two games earlier, Willis recorded a career high with 21 points and five rebounds against Oklahoma on Feb. 11, while playing on a sprained ankle. Earlier in the season, he had a streak of 27 consecutive free throws. For the season, he has converted 40 of 49 from the charity strip this season. His 81.6 percent from the line is second on the squad to Ty Nurse. Willis is third in scoring (8.4), leads in assists (48) and is second in 3-pointers made (36). He also is second on the team in minutes played. He has recorded nine or more points 15 times this season. He had 16 points against Cal State-Bakersfield thanks in large part to a season-high four 3-pointers. He tied that mark at Oklahoma after connecting on another four treys. Willis followed up that outing with a team-best 15 points against Southeastern Louisiana and another 11 against Oklahoma State. He has also dished out at least two assists in 14 of 27 games this season.

Freshman Jordan Tolbert has led the Red Raiders in scoring and rebounding for the majority of the season. His efforts have seen him climb into the Texas Tech freshman record book (see page 32). With his six points at Iowa State, Tolbert became the 10th freshman to reach 300 points in a season with 302. Next on the list is assistant coach Bubba Jennings (1980-81/305) and Lance Hughes (1991-92/305). His freshman points per game average of 11.19 ranks eighth all-time at Texas Tech, while his field goal percentage of 51.9 percent ranks fifth. His three rebounds against Iowa State moved Tolbert into a tie with Jason Sasser (1992-93 season/154 rebounds) into fourth in single-season freshman rebounds with 154. Next on the list is Rick Bullock (1972-73/202).

Texas Tech extended its streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 42 straight games against Iowa State after connecting on 7 of 16 against the Cyclones. The last time The Red Raiders did not connect from the 3-point line was against Texas (0-11) a year earlier on Jan. 11, 2011. Ty Nurse and Javarez Willis led the way, as each connected on three treys from beyond the arc.

Against Oklahoma on Feb. 11, Robert Lewandowski was struggling from the field. He started the game a mere 1-for-11. But then the 6-10 senior from Overland Park, Kan., went 7-for-8 from the field the rest of the way to lead Texas Tech to its first conference win of the season. Lewandowski scored 12 points during Texas Tech's 17-5 run in the second half to secure the win. He finished the day connecting on 8-of-19 shots from the field. The 19 attempts were a career high for Lewandowski. He had just two points at halftime.

Ty Nurse has the ability to be an offensive threat each time he steps on the floor. He has led the team is scoring five times this season and scored in double figures on 12 occasions. Over the last four games, Nurse has averaged 10.3 points, 3.8 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 1.0 steals. He has been an ironman of late, playing 35 minutes or more in five of the last six game, including 40-minutes  three times. Nurse leads the team with 30.8 minutes per game. He had a remarkable debut, chipping in 29 points. He has scored in 22 of 26 games this season. Nurse is second on the team in scoring at 9.0 points per game, while chipping in 1.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists. He is an 91.7 percent foul shooter, connecting on 55 of 60 from the charity strip this season. He has had streaks of 13 straight and 27 straight free throws made this season. He currently has the third highest free throw percentage in the nation, but it just misses out on qualifying as the nation's top charity stripe shooter. A player must make 2.5 free throws per game to qualify and Nurse currently is averaging 2.2 made free throws per game.

Walk-on Luke Adams stepped onto the court against Grambling State not only playing in his second career game, but making his first career start. The freshman from Big Spring, Texas, who is deaf, connected on his first four shots of the game (all 3s) to spark a 27-2 Texas Tech run against the Tigers. He earned his second career start at Oral Roberts, chipping in with four points and four assists. Then at Kansas State, Adams came off the bench to net 15 points to lead to Red Raiders. He earned his third career start against Oklahoma and played 35 minutes, recording six points, three rebounds and two assists. He notched his fourth start against Texas A&M, playing 40 minutes with three points and four assists. In 19 games, the 5-9 walk-on has recorded six starts and averaged 3.9 points and 1.3 assists in 18.3 minutes of play per game.

Texas Tech is sixth in the Big 12 Conference in field goal percentage through 27 games, as the Red Raiders have hit on 43.9 percent of its shots from the field. The Red Raiders are 149th nationally in field goal percentage this season. Tech has hit 60 percent or better in a game three times this season -- Troy (61.1 percent), Stephen F. Austin (62.9 percent) and CSU-Bakersfield (60.0 percent). When Texas Tech shot 61.1 percent from the field (33 of 54) against Troy in the opener, it eclipsed the highest percentage of any game last season. The highest percentage last season was 58.8 percent (30-of-51) against Delaware State on Jan. 4. Two games later against Stephen F. Austin, the Red Raiders connected on their first six shots of the game to take a 15-5 lead. Texas Tech connected on 14 of 17 shots from the field in the first half (82.4 percent) and hit four of five 3-pointers (80 percent). The Red Raiders finished the game hitting 62.9 percent from the field. It is the best shooting performance by Tech in the last three years, eclipsing the 62.1 percent the Red Raiders shot against Eastern Kentucky on Nov. 22, 2008. The Red Raiders added their third 60 percent shooting performance against Cal State-Bakersfield, as Texas Tech connected on 24 of 40 shots, including 7-of-14 from 3-point range. In all, the Red Raiders have shot better than 50 percent in six of 27 games this season. Only one team in the nation, Creighton, shoots better than 50 percent from the field.

After ranking as high as eighth in the nation in field goal percentage, the Red Raiders struggled through the first seven games of Big 12 play, shooting just 35.5 percent from the field. Over the last eight games, Texas Tech has shot 41.9 percent from the field. The Red Raiders have shot better that 43 percent in four of its last eight games. Texas Tech is 149th in the nation in field goal percentage (43.9 percent), but did you know that Texas Tech ranks 342nd in shot attempts (47.4 attempts per game)? The Red Raiders are making on average 20.8 field goals per game, which ranks 327th out of the 344 schools in the NCAA Division I. The Red Raiders rank sixth in the Big 12 Conference in field goal percentage, 10th in shot attempts and shots made.

Texas Tech has been up and down all season when it comes to 3-point shooting. Only five times this season have the Red Raiders put together back-to-back games of 35 percent or better from 3-point range. Here is a look at how the Red Raiders have fared this season -- 43% (Troy), 18.2% (North Texas), 54.5% (Stephen F. Austin), 22.2% (Indiana State), 50% (DePaul), 30% (Wake Forest), 44.4% (Texas A&M-CC), 25% (TCU), 42.1% (Grambling State), 14.3% (Oral Roberts), 50% (Bakersfield), 40% (SE Louisiana), 31.3% (OSU), 37.5% (Baylor), 9.1% (Kansas), 36.4% (Texas A&M), 50% (Oklahoma), 27.8% (Iowa State), 23.1% (Kansas State), 44.4% (Missouri), 36.4% (OSU), 36.4% (Texas), 28.9% (Kansas State), 28.6% (Texas A&M), 50% (Kansas) and 43.8% (Iowa State). For the season, the Red Raiders are 127 of 349 from beyond the arc (36.4 percent). Ty Nurse leads the way, hitting on 40 of 104 attempts (38.5 percent) from 3-point range.

Freshman walk-on Clark Lammert has become a key contributor of late. After making his collegiate debut against Grambling State, Lammert has stepped up in league play. In 12 Big 12 games, he is averaging 3.7 points and 1.7 rebounds. He notched 10 points at Texas A&M, chipped in nine points against Iowa State and added a career-high 12 points at Texas. He is shooting 54.2 percent from the field and 78.3 percent from the line in limited action.

Ty Nurse's 29 points against Troy is the most by a Red Raider since Mike Singletary had 33 against Iowa State on Jan. 26 last season. It is also the most points in a season opener by a Texas Tech player since Curtis Marshall had 30 against UNC-Ashville in 2004 and Andy Ellis had 30 against Indiana in 1999. It is also the most points in a newcomer debut in the Red Raider Big 12 Era.

Texas Tech recently held back-to-back opponents to under 50 points - Oklahoma (47) and Texas A&M (47). It is the first time since 2007, when Tech held Stephen F. Austin (44) and Alaska-Anchorage (47) under 50 points. It is the first time since 1987 that the Red Raiders have held two conference opponents under 50 points. That year, Texas Tech held Texas to 46 points and TCU to 48 points. The Red Raiders have also held three of its last four opponents under 35 percent shooting from the field - Kansas State (30.0 percent), Oklahoma (32.7 percent) and Oklahoma (34.0 percent). It is the first time in the Big 12 Era that Texas Tech has held three straight conference opponents under 35 percent shooting from the field.

There have been 11 triple-doubles performed this year in the NCAA by Keegan Bell (Chattanooga), Jesse Sanders (Liberty), T.J. McConnell (Duquesne), Jake Odum (Indiana State), Kareem Jamar (Montana), Scott Machado (Iona), D.J. Cooper (Ohio), Kenny Gabriel (Auburn), Shabazz Napier (Connecticut), Royce White (Iowa State) and Peter `PJ' Roberson (Grambling State). Did you know that Texas Tech is the only school to face three of these athletes - Odum, White and Roberson. Odum had 13 points, one rebound and four assists against the Red Raiders. White recorded seven points, nine rebounds and six assists against Texas Tech. Roberson had 14 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks against the Red Raiders. Texas Tech faced Liberty's Jesse Sanders last season.




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