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Red Raiders Host Central Arkansas On Sunday At 1 PM

December 14, 2013

Texas Tech vs. Central Arkansas | Texas Tech Notes | Central Arkansas Notes | Big 12 Notes

Date/Time: Sunday, December 14, 2013 / 1 p.m.
Location: Lubbock, Texas (United Spirit Arena / 15,098)
Radio: Texas Tech Sports Network from Learfield Sports
     Brian Hanni (Play-By-Play) & Chris Level (Analyst)
Satellite Radio: None
Television: FOX Sports Southwest Plus - John Harris (Play-By-Play), Robert Giovannetti (Analyst) & Courtney Davis (Courtside)
Channel: Suddenlink (81), AT&T U-Verse (754), Direct TV (677)
On The Web: Live in-game statistics and other coverage can be found at www.texastech.com
Live Stats: http://www.texastechstats.com/
Rankings: Texas Tech: (RPI: 114). Central Arkansas (RPI: 249).
Head Coaches: Texas Tech: Tubby Smith (Career: 517-229 in 23rd season; at Texas Tech: 6-3 in first season).
UCA:  Clarence Finley (Career: 2-4 in one season; at UCA: Same).
Against UCA: This is the first meeting between the two schools. Tubby Smith has never faced Central Arkansas.

TECH RETURNS HOME TO FACE CENTRAL ARKANSAS
Texas Tech (6-3) returns to action after an 12-day break for finals to face Central Arkansas (2-4) at 1 p.m. at the United Spirit Arena. This is the first-ever meeting between the two schools that are 650 miles apart. The Red Raiders enter the game after suffering a 79-58 loss to current No. 1 Arizona in Tucson on Dec. 3. Texas Tech is a perfect 5-0 at home this season and has seen its RPI climb to 114. The Red Raiders last started the season 6-0 at home during the 2011-12 season. Texas Tech is 70-24 all-time against teams currently in the Southland Conference.

IT TAKES TWO TO MAKE THINGS GO RIGHT
Texas Tech is the sixth most prolific scoring team from two-point range this season. The Red Raiders offense nets 63.6 percent of its points off of two-point field goals, while adding 19.2 percent of its offense from 3-pointers and 17.2 percent of its offense from free throws. In all, Texas Tech is 209 of 382 from two-point range (54.7 percent) and provide 46.4 points per game. The 17.2 percent of offense from the free throw line is  the fourth lowest among teams from the Power Six Conferences, just ahead of NC State (16.2), LSU (16.2) and Michigan State (15.3).

SMITH GETS RED RAIDERS ON RIGHT TRACK
Tubby Smith has led the Red Raiders to a 6-3 start in his first season at the helm of Texas Tech. With four non-conference games remaining, the Red Raiders are looking to win nine or more non-conference games before January since Tech went 10-2 in November and December of 2009. That season, the Red Raiders went on to advance to the quarterfinals of the NIT.

CROCKETT AND TOLBERT KEEP CLIMBING
Senior Jay Crockett and junior Jordan Tolbert are on pace to both reach 1,000 points and 500 rebounds this season. The last time there were two players on the roster with both 1,000 points and 500 rebounds at the same time was during the 1974-75 season when Rick Bullock and William Johnson reached both plateaus. Crockett has 913 points and 532 rebounds, while Tolbert has 776 points and 403 rebounds. Crockett and Tolbert will be the 36th and 37th members of the 1,000-Point Club at Tech.

RECORD vs. CENTRAL ARKANSAS
Sunday’s game marks the first-ever game between Texas Tech and Central Arkansas. This is one of three first-time opponents for the Red Raiders this season, joining Texas Southern and Mount St. Mary’s.

RECORD vs. SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE
Texas Tech is 70-24 all-time against teams currently members of the Southland Conference – Abilene Christian (23-12), Central Arkansas (0-0), Houston Baptist (5-0), Incarnate Word (0-0), Lamar (3-1), McNeese State (2-1), New Orleans (1-1), Nicholls State (4-0), Northwestern State (3-0), Oral Roberts (7-1), Sam Houston State (7-2), Stephen F. Austin (8-5), Southeastern Louisiana (3-0) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (4-1).

ABOUT CENTRAL ARKANSAS
Central Arkansas enters Sunday’s game 2-4 on the season with wins over Hendrix College (109-59) and Troy (60-53), but will be looking for its first road win of the season (0-3). The Bears will be looking for their first non-conference road win since topping Southeast Missouri State (88-85) on Dec. 8, 2012 – a span of five straight. Central Arkansas is led by freshman forward Jalen Jackson, who is averaging 14.3 points and 4.7 rebounds, while senior guard DeShone McClure adds 13.0 points and 2.7 rebounds. Clarence Finley was named interim head coach in August after Corliss Williamson resigned to take a position with the Sacramento Kings. UCA’s most famous alum is Basketball Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen, who was a 1987 NAIA Consensus All-American.

POINTS IN THE PAINT
Texas Tech is in uncharted territory when it comes to scoring inside.  The Red Raiders have netted 349 points in the paint through the first eight 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, 26 versus Pitt, 36 against Houston and 54 against UTSA. The 54 points is the most points in the paint for a Red Raider team since Nov. 20, 2008, when Texas Tech rolled past East Central, 167-115, at United Spirit Arena. That night the Red Raiders drained 90 points in the paint. It spans 168 games between the two largest efforts for the Red Raiders. The last time Texas Tech scored at least 355 points in the paint over an eight-game span, it poured in 322 points in the paint against New Mexico (44, 12/04/96), TCU (38, 12/14/96), UTSA (48, 12/17/96), Fresno State (44, 12/21/96), New Mexico State (42, 12/27/96), Wyoming (34, 12/28/96), Baylor (36, 01/04/97), Oklahoma State (35, 01/08/97) and Colorado (34, 01/11/97). It has taken 530 games and 17 seasons to equal that mark.

THE BOARD SITUATION
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 and Houston, 46-26. The Red Raider then out-rebounded UTSA, marking the third straight game they had won the battle of the boards (39-29). But Arizona overpowered Tech, 43-23.  It is the largest board deficit since Kansas won the battle of the boards, 45-23, on March 4, 2013. For the season, Texas Tech is averaging 34.1 rebounds per game and has a rebounding margin of +2.2 through nine games this season.

A POSITIVE RATIO
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 108 assists and 103 turnovers. Texas Tech has committed fewer turnovers than its opponent in seven of nine games this season. Last season, Texas Tech had fewer turnovers than its opponent only seven times all season.

BALANCED SCORING
Texas Tech has three players averaging 10 points or more per game through nine games and another three players each chipping in at least 5.0 points per game. Leading the way is senior Jaye Crockett, who is averaging 14.1 points and 6.8 rebounds, while shooting a league-best 65.5 percent from the field. Junior Jordan Tolbert adds 12.6 points and 6.3 rebounds and is second in the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 62.7 percent. Junior college transfer Robert Turner chips in 10.7 points and 2.8 assists per game. Dusty Hannahs (7.7 ppg), Toddrick Gotcher (5.7 ppg) and Aaron Ross (5.6 ppg) are also key contributors for the Red Raiders. In all, Texas Tech is averaging 73.0 points per game.

DISHING DIMES
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. For the season, Tubby Smith’s Red Raiders have raised the assists per game from 11.0 to 12.0, while decreasing the turnovers from 14.7 to 11.4 in just one season.

TECH COMMITS DECADE LOW FIVE TURNOVERS
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.

BLOCK PARTY AT THE USA
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. Last season, Texas Tech averaged 3.1 blocks per game, but has increased that number to 4.6 per game through nine games this season.

HITTING FOR PERCENTAGE
What a difference a year makes. Texas Tech is currently shooting 48.5 percent from the field. If the season ended today, that percentage would rank as the 11th best mark in program history. The Red Raiders rank 46th 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.

12 FROM DOWNTOWN
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.

TURNER KEYS OFFENSE
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 (10.7 ppg), assists (2.8) and steals (1.2). He has scored in double figures in  five of his first nine 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. He added another 15-point performance against Houston. Turner also has a 2.3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio this season.

CHECKING IN WITH TOLBERT
Jordan Tolbert began the 2013-14 season with a 16-point, 12 rebound performance against Houston Baptist and has since added a total of seven double-digit scoring efforts this season. Through nine  games, he is averaging 12.6 points and 6.3 rebounds, while shooting 62.7 percent from the field. Tolbert also eclipsed the 700-point plateau against Alabama and the 400-rebound mark against UTSA. Tolbert now ranks third at Texas Tech in career field goal percentage at 54.4 percent behind Red Raider greats Will Flemons (59.8) and Rick Bullock (56.5). He is also ranked nationally in field goal percentage (19th) and total  blocks (233rd). Tolbert needs just 24 points to reach 800 career points. JT has also converted 13 consecutive free throws raising his season free throw percentage to 80 percent (16-20).  Tolbert is a career 65.7 percent free throw shooter.

CHARTING CROCKETT
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, surpassed 900 against UTSA and currently has 913 points and now needs just 87 points to become the 36th member of the 1,000-point club at Tech. He joined the 500-rebound club against South Dakota State. He now has 532 career rebounds. If he reaches 1,000 points and 500 rebounds, he would become the 17th Red Raider to complete the feat. Crockett has 85 career steals and ranks 25th on the all-time list at Texas Tech. He needs two 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.

TWO SHOOTING FOR AVERAGE
Senior Jaye Crockett and junior Jordan Tolbert are lighting it up from the field, as Crockett leads the Big 12 and Tolbert is second in field goal percentage. Crockett is hitting 65.5 percent of his shots and has converted 57 of 87 from the field. His 57 field goals ranks 79th nationally, while hist 65.5 percent from the field ranks ninth. Tolbert has converted 47 of 75 field goals, which is 62.7 percent from the field. Crockett’s 65.5 percent from the field is the best by a Red Raider since Don Grove converted 70.7 percent from the field during the 1947-48 season, while Tolbert’s 62.7 percent is the fourth top single-season mark in Texas Tech history. For their careers, Tolbert has converted 54.4 percent from the field, while Crockett has made 51.1 percent of his shots. Tolbert’s career average ranks third all-time at Texas Tech, while Crockett ranks ninth.

GOTCHER HAS BIG GAME
Toddrick Gotcher came up big for the Red Raiders against Houston on Nov. 26, as the sophomore netted 16 points in 23 minutes off the bench. Gotcher came off the bench to connect on 3-for-6 from the field and 2-for-3 from beyond the arc, while sinking 8 of 10 free throws. He also dished out a season-high four assists, pulled down three boards and added a block and a steal. His 16 points eclipses his previous best of 14 points he recorded at TCU on Dec. 6, 2011. For the season, Gotcher is averaging 5.7 points and 2.6 rebounds.

TAPSOBA RECORDS CAREER HIGH
Kader Tapsoba came off the bench at Arizona on Dec. 3 to record a career-high 11 points on 4 of 7 shooting and 3 of 3 from the line in 20 minutes. Tapsoba is averaging 1.9 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in nine games this season.

ROSS STEPS UP AGAIN
Freshman Aaron Ross has stepped up of late, reaching double figures in each of the last two games. Ross had 13 points in 15 minutes against UTSA and added 10 points in 25 minutes against Arizona. Over the last four games, Ross has connected on 78.6 percent of his shots from the field (11-14) and 8 of 11 from the line (72.7 percent). The former ESPN Top 100 player is averaging 5.6 points and 2.1 rebounds this season.

ONWUASOR FINDING GROOVE
Freshman Randy Onwuasor has seen his minutes climb over the last two games and the result has been 11.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 steals while averaging 19.5 minutes. For the season, Onwuasor is averaging 4.1 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists, while shooting 50 percent from the field.

FRESHMEN BREAKOUT AGAINST UTSA
Freshmen Randy Onwuasor, Aaron Ross and Alex Foster came off the bench to have big performances against UTSA last Friday. Onwuasor hit 6 of 7 from the field for a career-high 15 points in 16 minutes. He also had four rebounds and assist and a steal. Aaron Ross had a career-high 13 points in 15 minutes, after converting 3 of 5 from the field, including 1 of 1 beyond the arc, and 6 of 8 from the line. Ross entered Friday’s game never having scored more than six points in a contest. Alex Foster had a career best nine points as well, as he connected on 4 of 6 from the field and converted 1 of 1 from the line in 11 minutes.

IMPROVING FROM THE LINE
Texas Tech has seen a drastic improvement at the free throw line over the last five games, converting from better than 70 percent from the line for five consecutive games for the first time since 2010 – a span of 94 games. The Red Raiders have hit over 70 percent against South Dakota State (86.7), Pittsburgh (76.9), Houston (81.8), UTSA (71.0) and Arizona (78.9). Prior to the South Dakota State game, Texas Tech was converting 59.3 percent from the line. Since then, the Red Raiders have converted 78.0 percent from the charity stripe. For the season, Texas Tech has raised its average to 71.1 percent, which ranks fourth in the Big 12 and 127th nationally.

SPREADING THE MINUTES
Texas Tech has 10 players averaging double-digit minutes this season, lead by Robert Turner’s 28.7 minutes per game. In all, four players are averaging more than 20 minutes per game – Turner, Jaye Crockett (27.4), Jordan Tolbert (24.9) and Dusty Hannahs (20.6). The Red Raiders are also receiving double-digit minutes from Dejan Kravic (18.4), Toddrick Gotcher (18.3), Jamal Williams, Jr. (14.3), Randy Onwuasor (12.7), Aaron Ross (12.6) and Kader Tapsoba (11.6).

GOING GLOBAL
Texas Tech currently has two international players on its roster – seniors Dejan Kravic (London, Ontario, Canada) and Kader Tapsoba (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Africa). They are two of 13 international players competing in the Big 12 and among the 496 international players competing in NCAA Division I. The Big 12 has an international flavor at nine schools, including Baylor (2), Iowa State (2), Kansas (2), Kansas State (1), Oklahoma (1), Oklahoma State (1), TCU (1) and West Virginia (1). Kravic is one of 82 Canadians competing in Division I and one of 54 from the province of Ontario. Tapsoba is the only player in Division I from Burkina Faso and one of 98 players from the continent of Africa. Texas Tech has had an international player on its roster for six of the last seven seasons.

RECORD vs. CENTRAL ARKANSAS
Sunday’s game marks the first-ever game between Texas Tech and Central Arkansas. This is one of three first-time opponents for the Red Raiders this season, joining Texas Southern and Mount St. Mary’s.

Overall: 0-0 • Home: 0-0 • Road: 0-0 • Neutral: 0-0
DATE        LOCATION    W/L    TT    OPP
First-Ever Meeting

RECORD vs. Southland CONFERENCE
Texas Tech is 70-24 all-time against teams currently members of the Southland Conference – Abilene Christian (23-12), Central Arkansas (0-0), Houston Baptist (5-0), Incarnate Word (0-0), Lamar (3-1), McNeese State (2-1), New Orleans (1-1), Nicholls State (4-0), Northwestern State (3-0), Oral Roberts (7-1), Sam Houston State (7-2), Stephen F. Austin (8-5), Southeastern Louisiana (3-0) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (4-1).

ABOUT CENTRAL ARKANSAS
Central Arkansas enters Sunday’s game 2-4 on the season with wins over Hendrix College (109-59) and Troy (60-53), but will be looking for its first road win of the season (0-3). The Bears will be looking for their first non-conference road win since topping Southeast Missouri State (88-85) on Dec. 8, 2012 – a span of five straight. Central Arkansas is led by freshman forward Jalen Jackson, who is averaging 14.3 points and 4.7 rebounds, while senior guard DeShone McClure adds 13.0 points and 2.7 rebounds. Clarence Finley was named interim head coach in August after Corliss Williamson resigned to take a position with the Sacramento Kings. UCA’s most famous alum is Basketball Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen, who was a 1987 NAIA Consensus All-American.

POINTS IN THE PAINT
Texas Tech is in uncharted territory when it comes to scoring inside.  The Red Raiders have netted 349 points in the paint through the first eight 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, 26 versus Pitt, 36 against Houston and 54 against UTSA. The 54 points is the most points in the paint for a Red Raider team since Nov. 20, 2008, when Texas Tech rolled past East Central, 167-115, at United Spirit Arena. That night the Red Raiders drained 90 points in the paint. It spans 168 games between the two largest efforts for the Red Raiders. The last time Texas Tech scored at least 355 points in the paint over an eight-game span, it poured in 322 points in the paint against New Mexico (44, 12/04/96), TCU (38, 12/14/96), UTSA (48, 12/17/96), Fresno State (44, 12/21/96), New Mexico State (42, 12/27/96), Wyoming (34, 12/28/96), Baylor (36, 01/04/97), Oklahoma State (35, 01/08/97) and Colorado (34, 01/11/97). It has taken 530 games and 17 seasons to equal that mark.

The board SITUATION
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 and Houston, 46-26. The Red Raider then out-rebounded UTSA, marking the third straight game they had won the battle of the boards (39-29). But Arizona overpowered Tech, 43-23.  It is the largest board deficit since Kansas won the battle of the boards, 45-23, on March 4, 2013. For the season, Texas Tech is averaging 34.1 rebounds per game and has a rebounding margin of +2.2 through nine games this season.

A POSITIVE RATIO
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 108 assists and 103 turnovers. Texas Tech has committed fewer turnovers than its opponent in seven of nine games this season. Last season, Texas Tech had fewer turnovers than its opponent only seven times all season.

BALANCED SCORING
Texas Tech has three players averaging 10 points or more per game through nine games and another three players each chipping in at least 5.0 points per game. Leading the way is senior Jaye Crockett, who is averaging 14.1 points and 6.8 rebounds, while shooting a league-best 65.5 percent from the field. Junior Jordan Tolbert adds 12.6 points and 6.3 rebounds and is second in the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 62.7 percent. Junior college transfer Robert Turner chips in 10.7 points and 2.8 assists per game. Dusty Hannahs (7.7 ppg), Toddrick Gotcher (5.7 ppg) and Aaron Ross (5.6 ppg) are also key contributors for the Red Raiders. In all, Texas Tech is averaging 73.0 points per game.

DISHING DIMES
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. For the season, Tubby Smith’s Red Raiders have raised the assists per game from 11.0 to 12.0, while decreasing the turnovers from 14.7 to 11.4 in just one season.

TECH COMMITS DECADE LOW FIVE TURNOVERS
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.

BLOCK PARTY AT THE USA
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. Last season, Texas Tech averaged 3.1 blocks per game, but has increased that number to 4.6 per game through nine games this season.

HITTING FOR PERCENTAGE
What a difference a year makes. Texas Tech is currently shooting 48.5 percent from the field. If the season ended today, that percentage would rank as the 11th best mark in program history. The Red Raiders rank 46th 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.


12 FROM DOWNTOWN
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.

TURNER KEYS OFFENSE
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 (10.7 ppg), assists (2.8) and steals (1.2). He has scored in double figures in  five of his first nine 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. He added another 15-point performance against Houston. Turner also has a 2.3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio this season.

CHECKING IN WITH TOLBERT
Jordan Tolbert began the 2013-14 season with a 16-point, 12 rebound performance against Houston Baptist and has since added a total of seven double-digit scoring efforts this season. Through nine  games, he is averaging 12.6 points and 6.3 rebounds, while shooting 62.7 percent from the field. Tolbert also eclipsed the 700-point plateau against Alabama and the 400-rebound mark against UTSA. Tolbert now ranks third at Texas Tech in career field goal percentage at 54.4 percent behind Red Raider greats Will Flemons (59.8) and Rick Bullock (56.5). He is also ranked nationally in field goal percentage (19th) and total  blocks (233rd). Tolbert needs just 24 points to reach 800 career points. JT has also converted 13 consecutive free throws raising his season free throw percentage to 80 percent (16-20).  Tolbert is a career 65.7 percent free throw shooter.

CHARTING CROCKETT
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, surpassed 900 against UTSA and currently has 913 points and now needs just 87 points to become the 36th member of the 1,000-point club at Tech. He joined the 500-rebound club against South Dakota State. He now has 532 career rebounds. If he reaches 1,000 points and 500 rebounds, he would become the 17th Red Raider to complete the feat. Crockett has 85 career steals and ranks 25th on the all-time list at Texas Tech. He needs two 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.

TWO SHOOTING FOR AVERAGE
Senior Jaye Crockett and junior Jordan Tolbert are lighting it up from the field, as Crockett leads the Big 12 and Tolbert is second in field goal percentage. Crockett is hitting 65.5 percent of his shots and has converted 57 of 87 from the field. His 57 field goals ranks 79th nationally, while hist 65.5 percent from the field ranks ninth. Tolbert has converted 47 of 75 field goals, which is 62.7 percent from the field. Crockett’s 65.5 percent from the field is the best by a Red Raider since Don Grove converted 70.7 percent from the field during the 1947-48 season, while Tolbert’s 62.7 percent is the fourth top single-season mark in Texas Tech history. For their careers, Tolbert has converted 54.4 percent from the field, while Crockett has made 51.1 percent of his shots. Tolbert’s career average ranks third all-time at Texas Tech, while Crockett ranks ninth.

GOTCHER HAS BIG GAME
Toddrick Gotcher came up big for the Red Raiders against Houston on Nov. 26, as the sophomore netted 16 points in 23 minutes off the bench. Gotcher came off the bench to connect on 3-for-6 from the field and 2-for-3 from beyond the arc, while sinking 8 of 10 free throws. He also dished out a season-high four assists, pulled down three boards and added a block and a steal. His 16 points eclipses his previous best of 14 points he recorded at TCU on Dec. 6, 2011. For the season, Gotcher is averaging 5.7 points and 2.6 rebounds.

TAPSOBA RECORDS CAREER HIGH
Kader Tapsoba came off the bench at Arizona on Dec. 3 to record a career-high 11 points on 4 of 7 shooting and 3 of 3 from the line in 20 minutes. Tapsoba is averaging 1.9 points, 1.1 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in nine games this season.

ROSS STEPS UP AGAIN
Freshman Aaron Ross has stepped up of late, reaching double figures in each of the last two games. Ross had 13 points in 15 minutes against UTSA and added 10 points in 25 minutes against Arizona. Over the last four games, Ross has connected on 78.6 percent of his shots from the field (11-14) and 8 of 11 from the line (72.7 percent). The former ESPN Top 100 player is averaging 5.6 points and 2.1 rebounds this season.

ONWUASOR FINDING GROOVE
Freshman Randy Onwuasor has seen his minutes climb over the last two games and the result has been 11.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 steals while averaging 19.5 minutes. For the season, Onwuasor is averaging 4.1 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists, while shooting 50 percent from the field.

FRESHMEN BREAKOUT AGAINST UTSA
Freshmen Randy Onwuasor, Aaron Ross and Alex Foster came off the bench to have big performances against UTSA last Friday. Onwuasor hit 6 of 7 from the field for a career-high 15 points in 16 minutes. He also had four rebounds and assist and a steal. Aaron Ross had a career-high 13 points in 15 minutes, after converting 3 of 5 from the field, including 1 of 1 beyond the arc, and 6 of 8 from the line. Ross entered Friday’s game never having scored more than six points in a contest. Alex Foster had a career best nine points as well, as he connected on 4 of 6 from the field and converted 1 of 1 from the line in 11 minutes.

IMPROVING FROM THE LINE
Texas Tech has seen a drastic improvement at the free throw line over the last five games, converting from better than 70 percent from the line for five consecutive games for the first time since 2010 – a span of 94 games. The Red Raiders have hit over 70 percent against South Dakota State (86.7), Pittsburgh (76.9), Houston (81.8), UTSA (71.0) and Arizona (78.9). Prior to the South Dakota State game, Texas Tech was converting 59.3 percent from the line. Since then, the Red Raiders have converted 78.0 percent from the charity stripe. For the season, Texas Tech has raised its average to 71.1 percent, which ranks fourth in the Big 12 and 127th nationally.

SPREADING THE MINUTES
Texas Tech has 10 players averaging double-digit minutes this season, lead by Robert Turner’s 28.7 minutes per game. In all, four players are averaging more than 20 minutes per game – Turner, Jaye Crockett (27.4), Jordan Tolbert (24.9) and Dusty Hannahs (20.6). The Red Raiders are also receiving double-digit minutes from Dejan Kravic (18.4), Toddrick Gotcher (18.3), Jamal Williams, Jr. (14.3), Randy Onwuasor (12.7), Aaron Ross (12.6) and Kader Tapsoba (11.6).

GOING GLOBAL
Texas Tech currently has two international players on its roster – seniors Dejan Kravic (London, Ontario, Canada) and Kader Tapsoba (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Africa). They are two of 13 international players competing in the Big 12 and among the 496 international players competing in NCAA Division I. The Big 12 has an international flavor at nine schools, including Baylor (2), Iowa State (2), Kansas (2), Kansas State (1), Oklahoma (1), Oklahoma State (1), TCU (1) and West Virginia (1). Kravic is one of 82 Canadians competing in Division I and one of 54 from the province of Ontario. Tapsoba is the only player in Division I from Burkina Faso and one of 98 players from the continent of Africa. Texas Tech has had an international player on its roster for six of the last seven seasons.



 

 

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