OU-Texas Tech Hoops Preview

NORMAN, Okla. — Sooners Illustrated breaks down OU's contest against the Texas Tech Red Raiders Tuesday evening at Lloyd Noble Center.

Overview:

The Sooners (11-5, 1-3 Big 12), fresh off their first conference victory the other night against Kansas State, look to win their second in a row when they host the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Tech is 7-9 overall and has yet to win a conference game in four tries. The Red Raiders won the last meeting between the two in blowout fashion, defeating OU 84-58 in Lubbock. But the Sooners own the series lead 30-19.

Sooner Notes:

--They struggled in a five-game stretch averaging just 62.6 points per game, but broke out of that slump Saturday, posting the best shooting performance of the season against the Wildcats with 82 points and 54.9 percent shooting.

--OU played three of its first four conference games against teams in the AP top-20 (at No. 7 Missouri, vs. No. 14 Kansas, vs. No. 18 Kansas State), and its schedule lightens up now.

--It averages a plus-15.8 scoring margin in home games, shooting 47.1 percent from the floor and 41.8 percent from 3-point range in those contests.

--OU ranks 10th nationally in offensive rebounds per game (15.2) despite getting out-boarded overall by 20 last game.

--The Sooners rank second in the league at the charity stripe, converting 77.4 percent.

Looking at the Red Raiders:

--They have one returning starter and three letterwinners from last year's team that went 13-19 overall and tied with OU for 10th in the conference.

--Tech ranks last in scoring in Big 12 Conference play with just 54.8 points per game and ninth in field goal percentage at 36 percent.

--Forward Jordan Tolbert leads the team and all Big 12 freshmen with 13.5 points per game.

--Guard Ty Nurse ranks second on the team and adds 9.3 points per contest.

--Head coach Billy Gillespie is in his eighth year overall with a 147-94 career record.

Projected Starters:

OU:

F Andrew Fitzgerald (6-8, 247, Jr., 13.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg)

F Romero Osby (6-8, 232, Jr., 11.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg)

G Sam Grooms (6-1, 203, Jr., 6.3 ppg, 5.4 apg)

G Steven Pledger (6-2, 205, Jr., 17.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg)

G Carl Blair (6-2, 205, Jr., 4.8 ppg, 2.8 apg)

Texas Tech:

F Robert Lewandowski (6-10, 245, Sr., 6.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg)

F Jordan Tolbert (6-7, 210, Fr., 13.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg)

G Deshon Minnis (6-3, 185, Fr., 3.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg)

G Ty Nurse (6-1, 185, Jr., 9.3 ppg, 1.9 rpg)

G Javarez Willis (5-11, 170, So., 8.7 ppg, 2.1 apg)

Sooners Illustrated's Take:

The Sooners will get their second straight conference victory after dropping their first three. And it won't be close. For the first time in quite a while, OU out-matches a conference opponent. Expect OU to blow things open midway through the second half in this one. (Big 12 Prediction Record: 2-2)

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