Texas Tech And LSU Square Off Wednesday On ESPNU

Jordan Tolbert leads the Red Raiders against RPI Top 50 LSU on Wednesday at United Spirit Arena.

December 17, 2013

Texas Tech vs. LSU | Texas Tech Notes | LSU Notes | Big 12 Notes | SEC Notes

Date/Time: Wednesday, December 18, 2013 / 8 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: Sirius (108) / XM (191) -- Texas Tech Broadcast
Television: ESPNU / WatchESPN - Brad Sham (Play-By-Play) & Reid Gettys (Analyst)
Channel: Suddenlink (503), AT&T U-Verse (605), Direct TV (208), Dish (141)
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: 109). LSU (RPI: 41).
Head Coaches: Texas Tech: Tubby Smith (Career: 518-229 in 23rd season; at Texas Tech: 7-3 in fi rst season.)
LSU: Johnny Jones (Career: 230-176 in 14 seasons; at LSU: 25-14 in two seasons).
Against LSU: Texas Tech leads the all-time series 3-1. Tubby Smith is 12-2 all-time against LSU (9-2 at Kentucky / 3-0 at Georgia).

Texas Tech (7-3) is in the midst of three games in seven days after a 12-day layoff, as the Red Raiders host LSU (6-2) at the United Spirit Arena on Wednesday at 8 p.m. This marks the second straight year that Texas Tech has hosted a Southeastern Conference school, after Alabama came to town last Decem- ber. The Red Raiders lead the all-time series, 3-1, but the two schools have not met since Dec. 16, 1960, when LSU upended Tech, 73-69, at the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum.

Texas Tech is the fifth most prolific scoring team from two-point range this season. The Red Raiders offense nets 63.0 percent of its points off of two-point field goals, while adding 18.8 percent of its offense from 3-pointers and 18.2 percent of its offense from free throws. In all, Texas Tech is 232 of 423 from two-point range (54.8 percent) and provide 46.4 points per game. The 18.2 percent of offense from the free throw line is  the fourth lowest  among  teams  from  the  Power  Six  Conferences,  just
ahead of NC State (17.5), LSU (16.2) and Michigan State (15.7).

Tubby Smith has led the Red Raiders to a 7-3 start in his first season at the helm of Texas Tech. With three 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. Tubby Smith's 7-3 start marks the fourth time in program history that a first-year Red Raider head coach has started the season 7-3 or better, joining Gene Gibson (1961, 8-2), Bob Knight (2001, 9-1) and Pat Knight (2009, 7-3).

Senior Jay Crockett and junior JordanTolbert 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 923 points and 536 rebounds, while Tolbert has 786 points and 408 rebounds.

Wednesday's game will mark the fifth-ever meeting between Texas Tech and LSU, but the first since 1960. The two schools played a four- game home-and-home series from 1957-60, with Texas Tech
winning three of four games between the two schools.

Texas Tech is 121-138 all-time against teams currently members of the Southland Conference - Alabama (1-7), Arkansas (40-36), Auburn (1-1), Florida (0-2), Georgia (0-0), Kentucky (0-4), LSU (3-1), Ole Miss (4-1), Mississippi State (1-0), Missouri (7-16), South Carolina (1-2), Ten-
nessee (1-0), Texas A&M (60-62) and Vanderbilt (2-6).

LSU enters Wednesday's game with a 6-2 record, but the Tigers are 0-1 in true road games this season. LSU finished third at the Old Spice Clas- sic after winning in overtime over Butler, 70-68. The Tigers also have four home wins over four schools from the state of Louisiana -- North- western State (88-74), New Orleans (81-54), Southeastern Louisiana (89-66) and Louisiana-Monroe (61-54). LSU is led by Johnny O'Bryant III, who is averaging 14.9 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, while Mickey Jordan adds 14.8 points and 8.8 rebounds. Andre Stringer adds another 13.1 points, while Anthony Hickey chips in 9.5 points and 4.0 assists per game.

Texas Tech is in uncharted territory when it comes to scoring inside. TheRed Raiders have netted 393 points in the paint through the first 10 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 Tex- as Southern, 34 against South Dakota State, 26 versus Pitt, 36 against Houston, 54 against UTSA, 28 at Arizona and 40 against Central Arkansas. 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 393 points in the paint over an 10-game span, you have to go to the 1996-97 season when Tech poured in 412 points to start the season. It has taken 530 games and 17 seasons to equal that mark.

Texas Tech dominated the boards the first two games of the season. The Red Raiders out-boarded Houston Baptist, 42-33, (+9) and North- ern 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 South- ern 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.

Entering the 2013-14 season, Texas Tech only had a positive assist toturnover ratio 12 times over the previous two seasons (62 games). 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. 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. Texas Tech added a fourth positive effort against
Central Arkansas with 17 assists and 14 turnovers. For the season, Texas Tech has 125 assists and
117 turnovers. Texas Tech has committed few- er turnovers than its opponent in eight of 10 games
this season. Last season, Texas Tech had fewer turnovers than its opponent only seven times all

Texas Tech has three players averaging 10 points or more per game through 10 games and another five players each chipping in at least 5.0 points per game. Leading the way is senior Jaye Crockett, who is averaging 13.7 points and 6.5  rebounds, while shooting a league-best 62.9 percent from the field. Junior Jordan Tolbert adds 12.3 points and 6.2 rebounds and is third in the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 60.2 percent. Junior college transfer Robert Turner chips in 10.5 points and 2.6 assists per game. Dusty Hannahs (7.6 ppg), Toddrick Gotcher (6.1 ppg), Aaron Ross (5.4 ppg) and Dejan Kravic (5.4 ppg) are also key con- tributors for the Red Raiders. In all, Texas Tech is averaging 73.6 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. For the season, Tubby Smith's Red Raiders have raised the assists per game from 11.0 to 12.5, while decreasing the turnovers from 14.7 to 11.7 in just one season.

Texas Tech committed just five turnovers against Texas Southern. It is thefewest 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. Last season, Texas Tech averaged 3.1 blocks per game, but has in- creased that number to 4.6 per game through nine games this season.

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 11th best mark in program history. The Red Raiders rank 45th 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.

TexasTech 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 RobertTurner connected on 5 of 6 and Dusty Hannahs hit 4 of 7 attempts.

Robert Turner has made an immediate impact since joining the Red Raider roster from New Mexico Junior College. Tubby Smith's first sign- ee last May is key contributor in scoring (10.5 ppg), assists (2.6) and steals (1.1). He has scored in double figures in five of his first 10 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 2.2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio this season.

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 10 games, he is averaging 12.3 points and 6.2 rebounds, while shooting 60.2 percent from the field. Tolbert also eclipsed the 700-point plateau against Ala- bama and the 400-rebound mark against UTSA. He is closing in on the 800-point mark with 786 career points. Tolbert now ranks third at Texas Tech in career field goal percentage at 54.1 percent behind Red Raider greatsWill Flemons (59.8) and Rick Bullock (56.5). JT has also converted 17 consecutive free throws raising his season free throw percentage to 83.3 percent (20-24). Tolbert is a career 66.1 percent free throw shooter.

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 current- ly has 923 points and now needs just 77 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 536 career rebounds. If he reaches 1,000 points and 500 rebounds, he would become the 17th Red Raider to complete the feat. Crockett has 86 career steals and ranks 20th on the all-time list at Texas Tech. He also has 84 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.

Senior Jaye Crockett and junior Jordan Tolbert are lighting it up from the field, as Crockett leads the Big 12 and Tolbert is third in field goal percentage. Crockett is hitting 62.9 percent of his shots and has con- verted 61 of 97 from the field. His 62.9 percent from the field ranks 16th nationally. Tolbert has converted 50 of 83 field goals, which is 60.2 percent from the field. Crockett's 62.9 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 60.2 percent is the eighth top single-season mark in Texas Tech history. For their careers, Tolbert has converted 54.2 percent from the field, while Crockett has made
50.9 percent of his shots. Tolbert's career average ranks fourth all-time at Texas Tech, while
Crockett ranks ninth.

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. Gotcher also keyed the Red Raiders' win over Central Arkansas, as the sophomore came off the bench to record 10 points on 4 of 5 shooting, including 2 of 3 from be- yond the arc. He also added a season-high five assists and no turnovers to go along with two rebounds and two season. For the season, Gotcher is averaging 6.1 points and 2.1 rebounds.

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. He followed it up with his first start of the season and the second of his career against Central Arkansas. Against UCA, Tapsoba eight points, two boards, an assist and a block. Tapsoba is averaging 2.5 points, 1.2 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in nine games this season.

Freshman Aaron Ross has stepped up of late, reaching double figures in two of the last three games. Ross had 13 points in 15 minutes against UTSA and added 10 points in 25 minutes against Arizona. He added four points and a season-high five boards against Central Arkansas. Over the last five games, Ross has connected on 75.0 percent of his shots from the field (12-16) and 10 of 13 from the line (76.9 percent). The former ESPN Top 100 player is averaging 5.4 points and 2.4 re- bounds this season.

Freshman Randy Onwuasor has seen his minutes climb over the last
three games and the result has been 8.7 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, 2.3 rebounds and 2.0
assists, while shooting 66.7 percent from the field.

Freshmen Randy Onwuasor, Aaron Ross and Alex Foster came off the bench to have big performances against UTSA on Nov. 29. 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.

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 six consecutive games for the first time since 2009 - a span of 131 games. The Red Raiders have hit over 70 percent against South Da- kota State (86.7), Pittsburgh (76.9), Houston (81.8), UTSA (71.0), Arizona (78.9) and Central Arkansas (75.0). Prior to the South Dakota State game, Texas Tech was converting 59.3 percent from the line. Since then, the Red Raiders have converted 77.3 percent from the charity stripe. For the season, Texas Tech has raised its average to 71.7 percent, which ranks fourth in the Big 12 and 111th nationally.

Texas Tech has 10 players averaging double-digit minutes this season, lead by Robert Turner's 27.7 minutes per game. In all, three players are averaging more than 20 minutes per game - Turner, Jaye Crock- ett (27.1) and Jordan Tolbert (24.6). The Red Raiders are also receiving double-digit  minutes  from  Dusty  Hannahs  (19.8), Toddrick  Gotcher (19.3 Dejan Kravic (17.5), Jamal Williams, Jr. (14.1), Randy Onwuasor (12.8), Aaron Ross (12.7) and Kader Tapsoba (12.6).

Texas Tech currently has two international players on its roster - seniors Dejan Kravic (London, Ontario, Canada) and Kader Tapsoba (Ouagadou- gou, 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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