Texas Tech Heads To Alabama For Big 12/SEC Challenge

Jordan Tolbert will lead the Red Raiders into the Coleman Coliseum on Thursday against Alabama.

November 13, 2013

Texas Tech vs. Alabama | Texas Tech Notes | Alabama Notes
Date/Time: Thursday, November 14, 2013 / 8 p.m.
Location: Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Coleman Coliseum / 15,383)
Radio: Texas Tech Sports Network from Learfield Sports
     Brian Hanni (Play-By-Play)
Satellite Radio: None
Television: ESPN2
     Dave Lamont (Play-by-Play), Darrin Horn (Analyst)
Channel: Suddenlink (230), AT&T U-Verse (606), Direct TV (209), Dish Network (144)
On The Web: Live in-game statistics and other coverage can be found at www.texastech.com
Live Stats: Texas Tech vs. Alabama
Rankings: Texas Tech: (RPI: 19). Alabama: (RPI: 40).
Head Coaches: Texas Tech: Tubby Smith (Career: 513-226 in 23rd season; At Texas Tech: 2-0 in first season.)
Alabama: Anthony Grant (Career: 162-77 in eight seasons; At Alabama: 86-53 in five seasons.)
Against Alabama: Texas Tech is 1-6 all-time vs. Alabama; Tubby Smith is 9-5 all-time vs. Alabama.

The Last Meeting
Texas Tech62
December 19, 2012
Lubbock, Texas
Texas Tech Falls To Alabama, 66-62
Jaye Crockett had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Red Raiders (5-3), and Jordan Tolbert added 12 points.

Texas Tech will look to start the season 3-0 as it heads to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to take on Alabama in the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Thursday. The Red Raiders look to start 3-0 for the third consecutive year and the fifth time in the last six seasons. Texas Tech enters the game 2-0 on the season after notching a pair of home wins to begin the Tubby Smith Era. Alabama enters the game 0-1 after falling to Oklahoma, 82-73, in a neutral site game at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. Alabama upended the Red Raiders, 66-62, in Lubbock last year.

Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith heads to Alabama with a 2-0 record after leading the Red Raiders to wins over Houston Baptist (76-61) and Northern Arizona (88-68) to open the season. The wins improve Smith's career mark to 513-226 in 23 seasons as a head coach at Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota and Texas Tech. He has won 20-or-more games in 19 seasons and made 17 trips to the NCAA Tournament, including capturing the 1998 NCAA title while with Kentucky. He has also made nine Sweet Sixteen appearances, four Elite Eight appearances. Smith is looking to become just the second coaching in NCAA history to take five different teams to the NCAA Tournament, joining Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger. He is also one of only seven active coaches with 500 career wins and a National Championship.

Robert Turner has made an immediate impact since joining the Red Raider roster from New Mexico Junior College. Tubby Smith's first signee last May is currently leading the team in scoring (16.5 ppg), assists (3.0) and steals (1.0). He has scored in double figures in each of his first two games for the Red Raiders. He notched 12 points in the season opener against Houston Baptist and then went for 21 against Northern Arizona, when he connected on 5 of 6 3-pointers and connected on 8 of 11 from the field. He has a 3-to-1 assist to turnover ratio and leads the team with six assists.

The last time Texas Tech and Alabama squared off was last season in Lubbock on Dec. 19, 2012 at United Spirit Arena. That night, Alabama's Trevor Lacey scored 21 points and grabbed six rebounds to help the Tide hold off Texas Tech for a 66-62 win. Trevor Releford added 17 points and six rebounds for the Crimson Tide, who led by 20 points with 12 minutes to play before the Red Raiders rallied. Jaye Crockett had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Red Raiders. It was Crockett's second straight double-double and fourth double-double of the season. He has seven double-doubles for his career. Jordan Tolbert added 12 points for the Red Raiders, notching his 19th career double-digit effort. Texas Tech trailed by as much as 20 points, 53-33, on a Lacey layup with 15:36 to play, but the Red Raiders would go on a 25-9 run to cut the lead to 62-58 on a Crockett dunk with 1:41 to play.

Alabama is a member of the Southeastern Conference and is currently 0-1 on the season after losing its season opener to Oklahoma, 82-73, in a neutral site game in Dallas. Four Tide players scored in double figures - Algie Key (20), Retin Obasohan (14), Trevor Releford (12) and Rodney Cooper (10). Last season, Alabama went 23-13 and advanced to the NIT Quarterfinals.

Texas Tech has netted 93 points in the paint through the first two game, after puring in 50 in the season opener on Friday and then picking up another 43 against Northern Arizona. The 50 points is the most points in the paint for a Red Raider team since Nov. 19, 2009, when Texas Tech rolled past Northwestern State, 94-75, at United Spirit Arena. That night the Red Raiders drained 52 points in the paint. It spans 126 games between 50-point paint efforts for the Red Raiders. The last time Texas Tech scored at least 93 points in the paint over a two-game span, It poured in 130 points in the paint against Sam Houston State (40, 11/17/08) and East Central (90, 11/20/08), which is 154 games between points in the paint efforts.

Texas Tech has dominated the boards for two consecutive games. The Red Raiders our-boarded Houston Baptist, 42-33, (+9) and Northern Arizona, 33-23 (+10). It is the largest rebounding margin (+11) since out-rebounding North Carolina A&T, 49-22, on Dec. 28, 2012 (22 games). But the last time Texas Tech out-rebounded its opponent by nine or more rebounds on consecutive nights was last season against Omaha (+21, 11/14/12) and Grambling State (+19, 11/20/12).

Texas Tech has four players averaging 10 points or more per game through two games and another five players each chipping in 5.0 points per game. Leading the way is junior college transfer Robert Turner, who is averaging 16.5 points per game, while junior Jordan Tolbert adds close to a double-double with 15.0 points and 9.5 rebounds a night. Dusty Hannahs and Jaye Crockett each contribute 10.5 points per game. Jamal Williams. Jr. is adding 6.5 points, while freshmen Alex Foster and Aaron Ross are averaging 5.5 points and Dejan Kravic and Toddrick Gotcher are adding 5.0 points per game.

Texas Tech has only had a positive assist to turnover ratio 12 times over the last 62 games heading into last Friday's game with Houston Baptist. In the debut of the Tubby Smith edition of the Red Raiders, Texas Tech had 12 assists and just 10 turnovers. It is the first positive ratio since the Red Raiders had 15 assists and 11 turnovers against TCU on March 2, 2013. The 10 turnovers are the fewest since committing 10 turnovers against Oklahoma on Feb. 20, 2013. Texas Tech then answered that with a 19-assist, 10-turnover performance on Monday against Northern Arizona. The last time Texas Tech had back-to-back games of 10 or fewer turnovers in a game came at Baylor (9, 02/16/10) and at home against Texas (7, 2/20/10) - a span of 102 games.

Texas Tech drained 12 3-pointers on Monday against Northern Arizona on 22 attempts. It is the eighth top total in program history and the most since netting 12 treys against Georgia Southern on Nov. 23, 2010. Five different Red Raiders converted a 3-point attempt against NAU, while Robert Turner connected on 5 of 6 and Dusty Hannahs hit 4 of 7 attempts.

The Red Raiders had 19 assists against Northern Arizona on Monday. It is the most assists against an opponent since dishing out 19 at TCU on Dec. 6, 2011 - a span of 53 games. In all, nine different players dished out an assist on the night.

Jaye Crockett is closing in on some personal milestones and climbing the Red Raiders career charts. He eclipsed 800 career points on Monday against Northern Arizona and currently has  807 points and now needs just 193 points to become the 36th member of the 1,000-point club at Tech. He has 482 career rebounds and needs 18 to reach 500. If he reaches 1,000 points and 500 rebounds, he would become the 17th Red Raider to complete the feat. Crockett has 78 career steals and ranks 26 on the all-time list at Texas Tech. He needs 11 more steals to move into 20th all-time. He also has 75 career assists. If he were to reach 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 100 assists and 100 steals, he would be the sixth Red Raider to reach the milestone.

Jordan Tolbert has begun the 2013-14 season with a 16-point, 12 rebound performance against Houston Baptist and the added a 14-point, seven-board effort against Northern Arizona. Through two games, he is averaging 15 points and 9.5 rebounds, while shooting 63.6 percent from the field. Tolbert is just seven points shy of reach 700 points for his career and ranks fifth in career field goal percentage at 53.5 percent.




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