Jordan Tolbert has recorded three straight 20-point games as a Red Raider.
Dec. 26, 2011
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THE OPENING TIP
Texas Tech returns to Lubbock after falling to Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, 72-56. The 16-point loss was the largest of the season for the Red Raiders.
CSU-Bakersfield is coming off a 30-point win over Pacific, 83-53, at home on Dec. 22. But the Roadrunners have lost their last five road games, including a 70-64 setback at former Big 12 rival Colorado.
The game is being televised by the Texas Tech Sports Network and ESPN3.com. Brian Jensen (Play-By-Play) and John Harris (Analyst) are on the call for the broadcast.
The Red Raiders host Southeastern Louisiana on Friday to close on the non-conference portion of the schedule. The game will be carried on ESPNU at 8 p.m. CT.
Tech opens Big 12 play in Stillwater on Jan. 4 against Oklahoma State at 7 p.m.
TEXAS TECH-BAKERSFIELD SERIES
This is the first-ever meeting between Texas Tech and CSU-Bakersfield. The Roadrunners are currently independent.
Bakersfield made its mark in basketball in the 1990s by winning three NCAA Division II National Championships (1993, 1994, 1997).
The Roadrunners are coached by 2001 Naismith National Coach of the Year Rod Barnes, who led Ole Miss to 27 wins, an SEC divisional title and a berth in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen that year. Barnes mentored under former Tech assistant Rob Evans.
Bakersfield made the transition to Division I in 2006.
The Roadrunners are led by Issiah Grayson (11.9 ppg/5.1 apg), Tyrone White (9.3 ppg/2.3 rpg) and Stephon Carter (8.8 ppg/4.6 rpg).
HITTING FOR 20
Since Texas Tech joined the Big 12 Conference at the beginning of the 1996-97 season, there have been 39 Red Raider players scored 20 points in a game at least once. In that group, 25 have performed the feat twice. The school's all-time leading scorer, Andre Emmett did it 55 times. In all, five of the school's top seven scorers have played in what we call the Big 12 Era. Here is a complete list of the 39 Red Raiders, who have compiled 371 20-point games at Texas Tech. Red Raider freshman Jordan Tolbert is the newest member with four 20-point games this season. He had 20 against Indiana State, added 27 against TCU, netted 22 against Grambling State and added 21 against Oral Roberts. His 27 are the most by a Red Raider freshman on the road in the Big 12 Era, but John Roberson holds the freshman record with 28 against Northwestern State in 2007. Tolbert is one of 10 freshman to record a 20-point game at Texas Tech, but joins just Roberson (7) as Red Raiders who have done it at least four times. Red Raider Ty Nurse also joined the list this year, when he went for 29 points against Troy in the season opener. Tolbert and Nurse are the Red Raiders' top two scorers this season.
FROM THE START
Last time out against Oral Roberts, the starting lineup was Kevin Wagner, Javarez Willis, Luke Adams, Robert Lewandowski and Jordan Tolbert. It was the first time this season that lineup was used to start the game. It was the fourth different starting lineup this year. Willis, Lewandowski and Tolbert have started every game.
TOLBERT LEADS BY EXAMPLE
Jordan Tolbert is just a freshman, but his play has definitely not been that of a first-year player. Tolbert leads the team in points (14.7), rebounds (6.5), field goal percentage (.624), field goal attempts (93) and makes (58) and he ranks second on the team in free throw percentage (.756). The 6-7 freshman is seventh in the Big 12 Conference scoring and eighth in rebounds and ranks third in field goal percentage and 12th in free throw percentage. He is the leading freshman scorer in the league and is second in rebounding. Tolbert has scored in double figures seven times this season, including a season-high 27 at TCU on Dec. 6. 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 nine of 10 games this season and had a season-best nine on three different occasions. He has recorded four 20-point games as a freshman, which has only been recorded one other times in the last 20 years at Texas Tech by a freshman.
NURSE AN OFFENSIVE THREAT
Ty Nurse has the ability to be an offensive threat each time he steps on the floor. He has led the team is scoring three times this season and scored in double figures on four occasions. Nurse had a remarkable debut, chipping in 29 points. He has scored in seven of eight games this seasons. Nurse is second on the team in scoring at 11.0 points per game, while chipping in 1.3 rebounds and 1.2 assists. He is an 88 percent foul shooter, connecting on 29 of 33 from the charity strip this season. The Red Raiders are 5-2 when Nurse plays at least 22 minutes. (Nurse ranks fourth in the Big 12 in free throw percentage (87.9) and 13th in steals (1.3).
GOTCHER ADDS BALANCE
Toddrick Gotcher knows how to win. He saw his high school team win 91 percent of its games Garland (Texas) Lakeview Centennial. What he adds to the Red Raiders is a little of everything. He is third on the team in scoring (8.3 ppg), fourth in rebounding (4.4 rpg), first in assists (2.8), second in blocks (6), third in steals (4), and fourth in free throw percentage (.720). He has had three double-digit scoring games against North Texas (12), Wake Forest (10) and TCU (14). Gotcher has had five games with at least four rebounds and another three games with at least four assists. Gotcher ranks 14th in the Big 12 Conference in assists (2.8 per game).
WILLIS IS STABLE PRESENCE
Javarez Willis is one of three returning players from last year's squad who has started all nine games this season. Willis is fourth on the squad in scoring (7.2), leads in assists (2.8) and is third in free throw percentage (.762). He has recorded nine or more points five times this season and had a season high 15 against Troy and later tied that mark against Wake Forest. He has also dished out at least two assists in seven of nine games this season, while distributing four assists or more four times. Willis ranks 15th in the Big 12 in assists (2.7 per game).
CROCKETT LEADS WAY OFF BENCH
Jaye Crockett has become the key cog off the bench for the Red Raiders this season. After sitting out the opener, Crockett has averaged 5.7 points and 4.7 rebounds over the next nine games. He has had two double-digit scoring games - Stephen F. Austin (13) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (12) - and recorded five rebounds in five games this season, including nine against North Texas and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. In the Corpus Christi game, Crockett led the team in points, rebounds and assists off the bench. He is third on the team in assists (1.7).
SHOOTING FOR AVERAGE
Texas Tech is third in the Big 12 Conference in field goal percentage through nine games, as the Red Raiders have hit on 49.3 percent of its shots from the field. Texas Tech shot 61.1 percent from the field (33 of 54) against Troy in the opener, which eclipses 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. In the second game of the season against North Texas, Texas Tech was just 22 of 49 (44.9 percent), but rebounded against Stephen F. Austin. Against the Lumberjacks, 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 did not shoot well at the Old Spice Classic, hitting just 43 percent or less against Indiana State, DePaul and Wake Forest. The Red Raiders hit 46.8 percent against TAMU-CC and connected on 54.5 percent from the field against TCU. Conversely, Texas Tech is holding its opponents to 38.8 percent this season. That mark ranks sixth in the Big 12.
LEWANDOWSKI STEPS UP REBOUNDING
Through the first four games of the season, senior Robert Lewandowski was averaging 3.5 rebounds per game. Since that time, the Kansas native has jumped that mark by two rebounds a game to 5.7 rebounds an outing over the last six games. He notched a season-high nine against TCU on Dec. 6. For the season, Lewandowski is averaging 7.5 points and 4.8 rebounds. Lewandowski has 57 career starts in 104 career appearances for the Red Raiders. He is the lone senior on the squad.
For the eighth time in 10 games this season, 10 Red Raiders entered the lineup. Eight Red Raiders scored against Oral Roberts. It marked the second straight game that eight different players scored in the game.
NASH ADDS SPARK
Jaron Nash has been spark for the Red Raiders this season. The Waterloo, Iowa native has appeared in all 10 games off the bench. This season, Nash has chipped in 5.1 points and 1.9 rebounds a game. He is one of nine Red Raiders averaging better than five points a game this season. Nash's big game came against Wake Forest, when he came off the bench to finish with a team-high 15 points on six of 13 shooting. He also had a team-best seven boards, two blocks and three steals. Nash is one of two players on the squad shooting better than 60 percent from the field, joining Jordan Tolbert.
PETTEWAY CHIPS IN
Freshman Terran Petteway had a career-high 13 points in the loss to DePaul at the Old Spice Classic. He made the most of his minutes, as he hit 4 of 6 from the field in 15 minutes of play and connected on 4 of 6 from the line. He had a big first half against Indiana State, chipping in nine points on 4-of-6 shooting. In three games at the Old Spice Classic, Petteway was second on the squad with 9.3 points and 2.7 rebounds. For the season, Petteway is averaging 5.3 points and 2.4 rebounds and outing.
LUKE STEPS UP IN A BIG WAY
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 legally 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. In three games, the 5-9 walk-on has averaged 7.3 points, 1.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals in 58 total minutes of play.
UP AND DOWN FROM THREE
The Red Raiders 3-point shooting has been cyclical this season. The trend continued for Texas Tech from the 3-point line against Oral Roberts as the Red Raiders hit 1 of 7 from behind the arc. The Red Raiders have now hit 43 percent (Troy), 18.2 percent (North Texas), 54.5 percent (Stephen F. Austin), 22.2 percent (Indiana State), 50 percent (DePaul), 30 percent (Wake Forest), 44.4 percent (Texas A&M-CC), 25.0 percent (TCU), 42.1 percent (Grambling State) and 14.3 percent (Oral Roberts). For the season, the Red Raiders are 43 of 113 from beyond the arc (38.1 percent). Ty Nurse leads the way, hitting on 14 of 36 attempts (38.9 percent) from 3-point range.
ROTATING SCORING LEADERS
The Rotating scoring leaders may have found some stabilization, as Jordan Tolbert's 21 points paced Texas Tech for the third straight game and the fourth time this season. Texas Tech has had six difference players lead the team in scoring in 10 games. The Red Raiders have now been led in scoring by six different players this season - Jaye Crockett, Ty Nurse, Robert Lewandowski, Jordan Tolbert, Jaron Nash and Javarez Willis.
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.
PACKING THE STANDS
Dec. 18th's announced attendance against Grambling State was 8,171. Through four home contests, the Red Raiders are averaging 9,073 fans a game. Last season, Texas Tech averaged 8,513 fans a game. Texas Tech currently ranks fifth in the Big 12 in home attendance. The Red Raiders return home on Tuesday, Dec. 27 against CSU-Bakersfield.
Texas Tech ranks 23rd nationally in field goal percentage (49.2), 39th in field goal percentage defense (39.2), 54th in 3-point field goal percentage defense (29.5) and 81st in free throw percentage (71.5). Jordan Tolbert ranks 18th in field goal percentage (61.3) and 223rd in free throw percentage (77.8). Ty Nurse ranks 44th in free throw percentage (87.9).
FROM THE LINE
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. For the season, Texas Tech is 147 of 208 from the line (70.7 percent).
FROM THE FIELD
Texas Tech has now out-shot its opponent from the field in nine of 10 games this season. In the last outing, Texas Tech was 50 percent from the field (23-46), while Oral Roberts was 44.4 percent from the field (20-45). DePaul is the only team to out-shoot the Red Raiders this season. The Blue Demons hit 46.6 percent from the field, while the Red Raiders connected on just 42.3 percent from the field. That was also the lowest shooting performance of the season for Texas Tech.
A CLASS OF ONE
Robert Lewandowski is the lone senior on the squad this season and one of just three returning players from last year's team. He has played in 103 career games. Last season Lewandowski chipped in 8.5 points and 4.8 rebounds. This season, he is averaging 7.5 points and 4.8 rebounds.