Red Raiders Host The Mount On Monday Night

Texas Tech's Tubby Smith will coach his 750th career game on Monday against Mount St. Mary's.

December 29, 2013

Texas Tech vs. Mount St. Mary's| Texas Tech Notes | Mount St. Mary's Notes | Big 12 Notes

Date/Time: Monday, December 30, 2013 / 6:00 p.m. CT
Location: Lubbock, Texas (United Spirit Arena / 15,098)
Radio: Texas Tech Sports Network from Learfield Sports
     Brian Hanni (Play-By-Play) & Craig Wells (Analyst)
Satellite Radio: None
Television: Fox College Sports Pacific -- Robert Giovannetti (Play-By-Play), Andy Penney (Analyst) & Chuck Heinz (Courtside)
Channel: Suddenlink (511), AT&T U-Verse (649), DirectTV (623)
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: 137) —/—. Mount St. Mary's (RPI: 293) —/—.
Head Coaches: Texas Tech: Tubby Smith (Career: 518-231 in 23 seasons; at Texas Tech: 7-5 in first season).
MSM: Jamion Christian (Career: 21-22 in two seasons; at MSM: Same).
Against MSM: This is the first-ever meeting between Texas Tech and Mount St. Mary’s. Tubby Smith is 1-0 all-time against MSM (1-0 at Minnesota).

Texas Tech (7-5) will close out 2013 with its final non-conference game of the season, as the Red Raiders host Mount Saint Mary’s at 6 p.m. at United Spirit Arena. This is the first-ever meeting between the two schools and just the third time Texas Tech has faced a school from the Northeast Conference. Mount St. Mary’s (3-8) is looking for its first win away from Emmitsburg, Md. The Mountaineers are 0-7 this season in road games and are currently riding a 10-game non-conference road losing streak.

Tubby Smith will reach a milestone on Monday, as the Red Raider head coach will serve as head coach in his 750th game. It is just his 13th game at the helm of the Texas Tech program. Smith coached 122 games at Tulsa (1991-95), 64 games at Georgia (1995-97), 346 games at Kentucky (1997-07) and 205 games at Minnesota (2007-13). In the midst of his 23rd season, Smith has recorded 22 consecutive winning seasons, won 20-or-more games 19 times and made 17 trips to the NCAA Tournament. He is currently 518-231 all-time as a head coach.

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 949 points and 546 rebounds, while Tolbert has 815 points and 426 rebounds.

Texas Tech’s Jordan Tolbert and Dejan Kravic each recorded double-doubles against Arizona State on Dec. 21. The last time Texas Tech had two players record a double-double in the same game was against Iowa State on Jan. 16, 2011, when Mike Singletary recorded 33 points and 10 rebounds and D’walyn Roberts had 16 points and 11 rebounds. Tolbert had 25 points and 12 rebounds, while Kravic had 11 points and 12 rebounds.

Monday’s game will mark the first-ever meeting with Mount St. Mary’s for Texas Tech. It is the second time Tubby Smith has faced the Mount. Smith defeated Mount St. Mary’s 85-56 as the head coach of Minnesota on Nov. 21, 2011.

Texas Tech is 2-0 all-time against teams currently members of the Northeast Conference – Bryant (0-0), Central Connecticut (0-0), Farleigh Dickinson (0-0), LIU Brooklyn (0-0), Mount St. Mary’s (0-0), Robert Morris (0-0), Sacred Heart (0-0), St. Francis (NY) (0-0), St. Francis (PA) (1-0), Wagner (1-0).

Mount St. Mary’s is currently 3-8 on the season, including 0-7 on the road this season. In fact, the Mount has lost its last 10 non-conference road games. Julian Norfleet is pacing the Mount with 18.9 points, 2.8 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game. He is joined in double figures by Rashad Whack (14.7 ppg) and Sam Prescott (10.4 ppg). Mount St. Mary’s is a deep threat, averaging 8.5 3-pointers per outing. In fact, five different Mountaineers are averaging over one made 3-pointer a game. The Mount has struggled on the glass, averaging just 30.7 boards per game and has been out-rebounded in nine of 11 games this season.

Mount St. Mary’s features two players on its roster from the state of Texas – Aaron Brown (Fort Worth) and Will Miller (Dallas). Texas Tech’s Jordan Tolbert and Mount St. Mary’s Brown will not be facing each other for the first time. The two squared off against each other in high school. Tolbert, who attended Fort Worth All Saints Episcopal, played in the same conference with Brown, who attended Fort Worth Country Day. Both schools are members of the Southwest Preparatory Conference. Miller played at Dallas Highland Park High School.

Texas Tech has won the battle of the boards in eight of 12 games this season, including six of the last seven games. The Red Raiders have out-rebounded its opponent by 10 or more boards five times this season, including a +20 effort against Houston (46-26). 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). The largest deficit this season came against Arizona, who overpowered Tech, 43-23.  It is the largest board deficit since Kansas won the battle of the boards, 45-23, on March 4, 2013. Tech out-rebounded LSU, who as the sixth best rebounding team in the nation, 28-27, and topped Arizona State on the road, 45-23 (+13). For the season, Texas Tech is averaging 34.7 rebounds per game and has a rebounding margin of +3.8 through 12 games this season.

Texas Tech is in uncharted territory when it comes to scoring inside.  The Red Raiders have netted 451 points in the paint through the first 12 games, averaging a school record 37.6 points per game inside. In seven of the 12 games, the Red Raiders have eclipsed 40 or more points in the paint, including reaching 50 twice against Houston Baptist (50) and UTSA (54). 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 highest point in the pain average in program history came during the 1995-96 Southwest Conference championship season, when Tech averaged 34.3 points per game inside. The second top total came one season later in 1996-97, when Texas Tech averaged 34.2 points per game inside. Through the first 12 games of the 1995-96 season, Texas Tech recorded 452 points (37.7), while the Red Raiders notched 383 points (40.3) through the first 12 games of the 1996-97 season.

Texas Tech is the seventh most prolific scoring team from two-point range this season. The Red Raiders offense nets 61.1 percent of its points off of two-point field goals, while adding 18.3 percent of its offense from 3-pointers and 20.5 percent of its offense from free throws. In all, Texas Tech is 265 of 510 from two-point range (52.0 percent) and provide 44.2 points per game. The Red Raiders have converted 18.3 percent of its offense from beyond the arc. It is the ninth lowest percentage among teams from the Power Conferences, just ahead of Georgia (18.2), Kentucky (18.0), Indiana (18.0), Florida State (17.2), Memphis (16.9), Oregon State (16.8), South Florida (15.6) and North Carolina (13.5).

Entering the 2013-14 season, Texas Tech only had a positive assist to turnover 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 fifth positive effort against Central Arkansas with 17 assists and 14 turnovers. For the season, Texas Tech has 141 assists and 142 turnovers. Texas Tech has committed fewer turnovers than its opponent in 10 of 12 games this season. Last season, Texas Tech had fewer turnovers than its opponent only seven times all season.

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 13.6 points and 6.3 rebounds, while shooting third in the Big 12 at 58.0 percent from the field. Junior Jordan Tolbert adds 12.7 points and 6.7 rebounds and is first in the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 60.4 percent. Junior college transfer Robert Turner chips in 10.2 points and 2.6 assists per game. Dusty Hannahs (6.9 ppg), Dejan Kravic (6.2 ppg), Toddrick Gotcher (6.1 ppg) and Aaron Ross (5.0 ppg) are also key contributors for the Red Raiders. In all, Texas Tech is averaging 72.2 points per game.

Texas Tech has seen a drastic improvement at the free throw line over the last eight games, converting from better than 70 percent from the line for eight consecutive games for the first time since 2009 – a span of 131 games. The Red Raiders have hit over 70 percent against South Dakota State (86.7), Pittsburgh (76.9), Houston (81.8), UTSA (71.0), Arizona (78.9), Central Arkansas (75.0), LSU (79.5) and Arizona State (81.5). Prior to the South Dakota State game, Texas Tech was converting 59.3 percent from the line. Since then, the Red Raiders have converted 78.1 percent from the charity stripe. For the season, Texas Tech has raised its average to 73.6 percent, which ranks second in the Big 12 and 56th nationally.

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. This season, Texas Tech has had seven games with double digit assist performances. For the season, Tubby Smith’s Red Raiders have raised the assists per game from 11.0 to 11.8, while decreasing the turnovers from 14.7 to 11.8 in just one season.

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.

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.

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 4.4 per game through 12 games this season.

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 (10.2 ppg), assists (2.6) and steals (1.2). He has scored in double figures in  six of his first 12 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 and 14 against LSU.

Jordan Tolbert began the 2013-14 season with a 16-point, 12 rebound performance against Houston Baptist and has since added a total of nine double-digit scoring efforts this season. Through 12 games, he is averaging 12.7 points and 6.7 rebounds, while shooting 60.4 percent from the field. Tolbert also eclipsed the 800-point the 700-point plateau against Alabama and the 400-rebound mark against UTSA. He is closing in on the 800-point mark with 790 career points. Tolbert now ranks third at Texas Tech in career field goal percentage at 54.1 percent behind Red Raider greats Will Flemons (59.8) and Rick Bullock (56.5). Tolbert converted 17 consecutive free throws at one point, raising his season free throw percentage to 81.3 percent (26-32).  Tolbert is a career 66.1 percent free throw shooter. The junior from Fort Worth also leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 60.4 percent. Tolbert’s 60.4 percent from the field is the eighth top total in program history and is the best mark since Darvin Ham shot 62.4 percent during the 1993-94 season.

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 949 points and now needs just 51 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 546 career rebounds. If he reaches 1,000 points and 500 rebounds, he would become the 17th Red Raider to complete the feat. Crockett has 87 career steals and ranks 20th on the all-time list at Texas Tech. He also has 86 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 Tolbert is first in field goal percentage in the Big 12 and Crockett is third. Tolbert is converting a league-best 60.4 percent (61-101), while Crockett is hitting 58.0 percent of his shots and has converted 69-119 from the field. Tolbert’s 60.4 percent from the field is the best by a Red Raider since Darvin Ham converted 62.4 percent from the field during the 1993-94 season, while Crockett’s 58.0 percent is the 11th top single-season mark in Texas Tech history. For their careers, Tolbert has converted 54.4 percent from the field, while Crockett has made 50.5 percent of his shots. Tolbert’s career average ranks third all-time at Texas Tech, while Crockett ranks eighth.

Dejan Kravic recorded his second career double-double against Arizona State on Dec. 21, as the senior recorded 12 points and 11 rebounds. It was his first double-double since a 16-point, 11-board effort against TCU last season. Over the last three games, Kravic has stepped up his play, averaging 11.0 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.0 blocks. Through the first nine games, Kravic was averaging just 4.6 points and 2.9 rebounds. His recent efforts have raised his season average to 6.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game.

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.

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 beyond 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 2.5 rebounds.

Freshman Aaron Ross has stepped up of late, reaching double figures in two of the last four 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 5.0 points and 2.1 rebounds this season.

Freshman Randy Onwuasor has seen his minutes climb over the last six games and the result has been 6.8 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.0 steals while averaging 15.2 minutes. For the season, Onwuasor is averaging 4.1 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists.

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 10 players averaging double-digit minutes this season, led by Robert Turner’s 27.8 minutes per game. In all, four players are averaging more than 20 minutes per game – Turner, Jaye Crockett (27.7), Jordan Tolbert (26.1) and Toddrick Gotcher (21.3). The Red Raiders are also receiving double-digit minutes from Dejan Kravic (19.1), Dusty Hannahs (18.9), Jamal Williams, Jr. (13.6), Randy Onwuasor (12.6), Aaron Ross (12.3) and Kader Tapsoba (12.0).

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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