Texas Tech Faces Old Rival Houston In Brooklyn

Jordan Tolbert and the Red Raiders will face former Southwest Conference foe Houston tonight.

November 26, 2013

Texas Tech vs. Houston | Texas Tech Notes | Houston Notes | Progressive Legends Classic Notes
Date/Time: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 / 6:00 p.m. CT
Location: Brooklyn, N.Y. (Barclays Center / 18,103)
Radio: Texas Tech Sports Network from Learfield Sports
     Brian Hanni (Play-By-Play) & Chris Level (Analyst)
Satellite Radio: None
Television: ESPN3 - Ryan Ruocco (Play-by-Play), Mo Casarra (Analyst)
Channel: WatchESPN / ESPN3.com
On The Web: Live in-game statistics and other coverage can be found at www.texastech.com
Live Stats: http://www.texastech.com/
Rankings: exas Tech: (RPI: 244) —/—. Houston: (RPI: 219) —/—.
Head Coaches: Texas Tech: Tubby Smith (Career: 515-228 in 23rd season; at Texas Tech: 4-2 in first season.)
Houston: James Dickey (Career: 216-160 in 14 seasons; at Houston: 52-47 in four seasons.)
Against Pitt: Houston leads the all-time series, 27-26. Tubby Smith is 1-0 all-time vs. Houston.

Texas Tech will close out play in the consolation game of the Progressive Legends Classic, a four-game exempt tournament operated by the Gazelle Group. This is the Red Raiders second appearance in the event. Texas Tech also played in the 2008 edition of the tournament, finishing third with a 3-1 record. Texas Tech topped South Dakota State, 68-54, and Texas Southern, 80-71, in the Lubbock Regional rounds. The Red Raiders fell to Pittsburgh on Monday, 76-53, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., in the semifinals. Texas Tech will now face Houston (5-1) Tuesday at 6 p.m. CT.  Texas Tech and Houston were conference rivals from 1976 to 1996 in the now defunct Southwest Conference.

Jamal Williams, Jr. COMES HOME
Texas Tech senior guard Jamal Williams, Jr. is coming home to play in front of friends and family for the first time since high school. The 6-4 senior began his collegiate career at Lake Land College in Matoon, Ill., before signing with Texas Tech in the spring of 2012. Williams started in his hometown on Monday night, recorded three points, four assists and two rebounds in 17 minutes for the Red Raiders. He has started 27 career games for the Red Raiders and appeared in 35 over the past two seasons. Lubbock is 948 miles from Brooklyn, N.Y. The Barclays Center, which is the host arena for the Progressive Legends Classic, is just seven blocks from Pacific High School where Williams played high school basketball. He is expected to have more than 100 friends and family in attendance at the game again on Tuesday night. For the season, Williams is averaging 3.7 points per game while serving as the team’s Sixth Man.

Texas Tech is the ninth most prolific scoring team from two-point range this season. The Red Raiders offense nets 64.9 percent of its points off of two-point field goals, while adding 22.3 percent of its offense from 3-pointers and 12.8 percent of its offense from free throws. In all, Texas Tech is 136 of 256 from two-point range (53.1 percent) and provide 48.8 points per game. The 12.8 percent of offense from the free throw line is lowest among teams from the Power Six Conferences.

Monday marks the 54th all-time meeting between Texas Tech and Houston. The Red Raiders and Cougars were conference-mates from 1976-96. Houston leads the series, 27-26, but Texas Tech has won eight straight and 11 of the last 13 meetings.

Texas Tech is 83-84 all-time against teams currently members of the American Athletic Conference – UCF (0-0), Cincinnati (0-1), Connecticut (0-0), Houston (26-27), Louisville (0-0), Memphis (0-6), Rutgers (0-0), USF (0-2), SMU (57-47) and Temple (0-1).

After starting the season 5-0, Houston suffered its first loss of the season to Stanford on Monday night, 86-78. The Cougars are coached by former Red Raider head man James Dickey, who led Texas Tech from 1991-01 and currently ranks third in career victories at the school with 153 wins. Houston is led by TaShawn Thompson and Danuel House, who are averaging 17.7 and 17.3 points per game, respectively. It is important to note that Houston’s five starters produce 78 percent of the Cougars’ offense during just 65.6 percent of the team’s available minutes.  The Cougars are in their first season in the American Athletic Conference  after residing in Conference USA from 1996-13.

Ironically, Tubby Smith’s only game against James Dickey came with James Dickey as the head coach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Smith’s Tulsa Golden Hurricane ran away from Dickey’s Red Raiders, 96-77, at the All-College Tournament in Oklahoma City, Okla., on Dec. 29, 1993. Current Texas Tech assistant coach Pooh Williamson netted 11 points for Tulsa in the win for Smith.

Texas Tech is in uncharted territory when it comes to scoring inside.  The Red Raiders have netted 235 points in the paint through the first six games, after pouring in 50 in the season opener on Nov. 8, then picking up another 43 against Northern Arizona, 40 at Alabama, 42 versus Texas Southern, 34 against South Dakota State and 26 against Pittsburgh. 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 235 points in the paint over a six-game span, it poured in 250 points in the paint against Davidson (44, 11/18/03), Massachusetts (60, 11/21/03), East Tennessee State (42, 11/23/03), versus Utah (42, 11/26/03), versus Georgia Tech (36, 11/27/03) and SMU (30, 12/02/03), which is 326 games between points in the paint efforts.

Texas Tech dominated the boards the first two games of the season. The Red Raiders out-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 was out-rebounded by Alabama on the road, 32-26, Texas Southern edged Tech on the boards, 37-34, and South Dakota State snipped the Red Raiders 33-32. Texas Tech then out-boarded Pitt, 33-32. For the season, Texas Tech is averaging 33.2 rebounds per game and have a rebounding margin of +1.7 through six games this season.

Texas Tech has only had a positive assist to turnover ratio 12 times over the last 62 games heading into the season opener 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 Nov. 11 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. For the season, Texas Tech has 59 assists and 50 turnovers. Despite having a negative assist to turnover ratio against Alabama, Texas Tech had fewer turnovers than its opponent in its first five games. The last time Texas Tech had fewer turnovers than its opponent for five consecutive games, was during the 2009-10 season.

Texas Tech has four players averaging 10 points or more per game through six games and another two players each chipping in at least 4.0 points per game. Leading the way is senior Jaye Crockett, who had 19 points and six rebounds against Pitt on Monday. Crockett is averaging 13.8 points and 6.3 rebounds, while shooting 67 percent form the field, which ranks second in the Big 12. Junior Jordan Tolbert adds 13.5 points and 7.0 rebounds, while junior college transfer Robert Turner chips in 11.3 points per game and guard Dusty Hannahs adds 10.0 points.  Dejan Kravic (5.3 ppg) and Toddrick Gotcher (4.8 ppg) are also key contributors for the Red Raiders. In all, Texas Tech is averaging 71.5 points per game.

The Red Raiders had 19 assists against Northern Arizona on Nov. 11. 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.

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 key contributor in scoring (11.3 ppg), assists (2.5) and steals (1.3). He has scored in double figures in  four of his first six 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. Turner added 14 points, two assists, two steals and two rebounds at Alabama and added another 15 points, three boards, two assists and two steals against Texas Southern.

Texas Tech committed just five turnovers against Texas Southern. It is the fewest turnovers in a game since Feb. 3, 2004, when the Red Raiders also committed just five turnovers in a game. That is a span of over nine and a half years between five-turnover games. It is also a span of 278 games. Current Red Raiders Randy Onwuasor and Alex Foster were in the second grade  the last time Texas Tech committed five turnovers in a game.

The Red Raiders tied the school record with 12 blocks in the game. It equaled the mark set on Dec. 22, 1998, versus Pepperdine at the Pearl Harbor Shootout in Laie, Hawai’i. Kader Tapsoba led the way with four blocks, while Dejan Kravic and Jordan Tolbert each had two and Robert Turner, Jaye Crockett, Randy Onwuasor and Aaron Ross each had one.

Texas Tech drained 12 3-pointers on Nov. 11 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.

What a difference a year makes. Texas Tech is currently shooting 48.3 percent from the field. If the season ended today, that percentage would rank as the 12th best mark in program history. The Red Raiders rank 34th nationally in field goal percentage. This is on the heels of a season where the Red Raiders shot 42.1 percent last season and returned nine letterwinners from that team. That percentage ranks as the 14th most futile in program annals.

Jordan Tolbert began the 2013-14 season with a 16-point, 12 rebound performance against Houston Baptist and then added duplicate 14-point, seven-board effort against Northern Arizona and Alabama. On Nov. 11, he added 11 points, five boards, two blocks and an assist against Northern Arizona. He followed that up with a 19-point, nine-rebound performance against South Dakota State. His streak of 11 straight games with at least 10 points was snapped against Pittsburgh. Through six games, he is averaging 13.5 points and 7.0 rebounds, while shooting 62 percent from the field. Tolbert also eclipsed the 700-point plateau against Alabama and now ranks fourth in career field goal percentage at 54.0 percent.

Jaye Crockett is closing in on some personal milestones and climbing the Red Raiders career charts. He eclipsed 800 career points on Nov. 11 against Northern Arizona and currently has 869 points and now needs just 131 points to become the 36th member of the 1,000-point club at Tech. He joined the 500-rebound club last Thursday after pulling down seven boards against South Dakota State. He now has 509 career rebounds. If he reaches 1,000 points and 500 rebounds, he would become the 17th Red Raider to complete the feat. Crockett has 83 career steals and ranks 25th on the all-time list at Texas Tech. He needs four more steals to move into 20th all-time. He also has 82 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.

Dusty Hannahs came off the bench against Texas Southern and connected on 5 of 8 shots from the field and 3 of 6 from behind the arc, while adding a perfect 6 for 6 from the line to finish with 19 points. It was a season high for the Texas Tech sophomore and it is the most points for Hannahs since he netted 21 against North Carolina A&T on Dec. 28, 2012. Hannahs tied career highs for field goals (5), free throws made (6) and attempted (6). The very next game against South Dakota State, Hannahs picks up another 12 points, two boards, two steals and an assist. But more impressively, the sophomore connected on 9 of 9 from the free throw line. He is the first Red Raider to connect on 9 of 9 from the free throw line since Nick Okorie did it at Colorado on March 6, 2010. Hannahs has also converted 15 consecutive free throws over the past two games, which is the longest streak by a Red Raider since Ty Nurse converted 27 straight during the 2011-12 season.




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