Who: Texas Tech (14-9, 4-7) vs. Baylor (18-6, 7-4)
Where: Waco, Texas, Farrell Center
When: 7:00 p.m. (CT) Saturday
Radio: Texas Tech Sports Network
Notable: Baylor’s current four-game winning streak against Tech equals the Bears’ longest in series history.
Quotable: “You can’t be happier for a kid who’s gone through two knee surgeries on the same knee and what he’s gone through. He stuck it out through three coaches; I may be the fourth coach he has been a part of. All that tells you is that he has always been a very good shooter, a very good scorer. That’s what he does. But now that he is healthy he is rebounding the ball, with six rebounds. He is moving laterally a lot better, and he has a great touch on the shot, the best on the team. He has about the best touch of any player I’ve been fortunate enough to coach.”—Tubby Smith on Aaron Ross
Just as Iowa State had lost two of their last three games before meeting with Texas Tech on Wednesday, so too with the Baylor Bears who dropped a home decision to Texas and a road game against West Virginia before bouncing back with a 10-point victory over Kansas State in their last outing. The consecutive losses to Texas and West Virginia were the only back-to-back losses for the Bears this season.
Still, delivering Baylor’s third loss in four games will be a tough task. The Bears score the ball well averaging 78 points per contest, and are highly efficient, connecting on 47 percent of their field goal attempts, 36 percent of their 3-pointers, and 74 percent of their free throws. They also have 464 assists to only 300 turnovers. That is a good ratio.
Nota bene: Baylor is an exceptional second-half team outscoring their opponents by an average of seven points in the second stanza.
Taurean Prince leads the Bears in scoring with 15 points per game, but shoots a modest 43 percent from the floor. Rico Gathers, one of the nation’s premiere rebounders with 10 per contest, also averages 13 points per game.
And after facing Texas’ Isaiah Taylor and Iowa State’s Monte Morris, Texas Tech point guard Keenan Evans will have another challenge on his hands with Baylor’s Lester Medford. The Bear point guard buried Tech’s hopes for victory with a 3-pointer at the buzzer in the teams’ earlier meeting, and he continues to have a very good season. Medford averages nine points, seven assists, two steals and two turnovers per outing.
Devaugntah Williams played his best game in a very long time against Iowa State in Texas Tech’s last appearance, scoring 19 points, pulling down five rebounds and handing out four assists, and not coincidentally, the Red Raiders nabbed what was probably their biggest win of the season. Williams currently averages 12 points per contest to lead the Red Raiders.
Second leading scorer Toddrick Gotcher (10 points per game), may be even more valuable as a distributor. His assist/turnover ratio is now approaching 4-to-1.
Zach Smith 10 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots per game, and is a true rim-protector.
Aaron Ross has been Tech’s best offensive weapon of late, and has now pushed his scoring average to 10 points per outing.
As a team the Red Raiders outshoot opponents by two percent from the field and are outshot by that same amount from three. Tech is plus-two in rebound margin, and has shot 106 more free throws than their opponents on the season.