After a scare in their last game against Montana, Washington will want to rebound with a solid performance in the Pac-10/Big-12 Hardwood Classic. Texas Tech currently is 7-0 and has knocked off an underachieving Oregon State team already at home this year.
Although Texas Tech is off to a hot start, they have yet to be seriously challenged, winning games against the likes of South Dakota (4-3), Sam Houston State (5-2), Oregon State (2-3), Northwestern State (3-2), Lamar (3-4), at Stephen F. Austin (3-2) and Samford (1-5).
Last year the Red Raiders finished second to last in the Big-12 Conference with a record of 3-13 in league and 14-19 overall. They also started off the season strong last year at 5-0 before losing to Pittsburgh. With nine players returning, Texas Tech only lost one valuable contributor with Alan Voskuil graduating, so they are a team that won't be lacking experience.
Leading the way has been Mike Singletary, a junior small forward from Humble, Tex. So far he is averaging 13.6 points and 5.4 rebounds a game, while shooting 51 percent from the field and 87 percent from the charity stripe.
Running the offense for his third year in a row is John Roberson, a junior out of Plano, Tex. Measuring in at a listed 5-foot-11, Roberson was sixth in the nation last year with 6.4 assists a game. He also averaged a solid 13.9 points and 1.1 steals per game. However, he has started slow out of the gates this year and is only averaging 10.9 points and 4.9 assists per game. He is making up for it by averaging nearly two steals a game and has cut his turnovers down from 3.5 last year to 1.9 this year.
As a team, the Red Raiders are averaging 75.1 points, 34.4 rebounds, 13.9 assists and 14 turnovers per game. They are also holding their opponents to an average of 60 points per game.
In Pat Knight's second season at the helm since replacing his legendary father, he will surely have his guys thinking upset instead of a moral victory, especially at home.
Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar said at his press conference Tuesday that although the Texas Tech team they will face is a little different that Bobby Knight's teams at Indiana, they have a similar mentality.
"They're probably more athletic than coach Knight's teams at Indiana, but when coach got to and was coaching at Texas Tech, I think they got more athletic there," Romar said. "They're sound offensively. They are disciplined offensively. They're going to pressure you. They're going to bother you. They're tenacious defensively. So there are some similar characteristics there."
In what will be the first road game of the year for the Huskies, Romar said he is ready to see how the team will handle playing in what should be a packed United Spirit Arena.
"I think we do have some players that have played in some tough environments before," Romar said. "We've got players that played in a couple of NCAA Tournament games. I would hope we do ok in that environment, but that's one of the reasons we're anxious to see how we are going to handle it."
Following this game, the Huskies will fly back home to play Cal State-Northridge at 7 p.m. Sunday. That game will be aired on Fox Sports Northwest.
Hoops Preview - Texas Tech
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