Texas Tech-Texas: Red Raiders Seek Two in a Row Vs. Longhorns

Andrew GloverCorrespondent IJanuary 15, 2009

In 1996, Pat Knight had just finished his playing career at Indiana University under his dad Bob. James Dickey led the Texas Red Raiders’ basketball team. In that year, the Red Raiders beat the Texas Longhorns three consecutive times on their way to a 30-2 record and a Southwest Conference Title.

Last season the Texas Tech Red Raiders beat then No. 5 Texas 83-80 and in 2009 Knight, as head coach of the Red Raiders, will have his chance at a winning streak against the Longhorns on Saturday.

The Red Raiders (10-6, 0-1), enter the game losing three of the last four, including their opening game at Baylor. Tech has been tough to beat at the United Spirit Arena with a 9-1 record. The Red Raiders only loss at home was 85-80 to TCU. Tech’s only game this season against a ranked opponent they lost 80-67 to now No. 1 Pittsburgh.

Alan Voskuil and John Roberson led the Red Raiders in scoring, averaging 14 points per game. Both guards will need to play strong and score close to their averages for Tech to have a chance. Additionally another player or two will have to reach double figures.

Mike Singletary leads the team in rebounds, averaging just over 5.6 per game. Tech averages 38 rebounds a game compared to their opponents average of 39.

Roberson leads the team in assists, averaging 6.1 per game. Robert Lewandowski leads the team in blocks averaging 1.1 per game, and Voskuil leads the team in steals averaging four per game.

The No. 11 Longhorns (12-4, 1-1), enter the game losing two of their last three. Texas lost 67-61 to Arkansas on January 6 and lost last Monday 78-63 at No. 5 Oklahoma. The Longhorns are 2-3 against ranked opponents. They beat then No. 9 UCLA 68-64 and then No. 12 Villanova 67-58. The Longhorns lost to then No. 8 Notre Dame 81-80, then No. 22 Michigan State 67-63, and No. 5 Oklahoma.

A.J. Abrams leads the Longhorns in scoring, averaging 17.8 points per game. Damion James averages 14.7 and Gary Johnson averages 10.9. All three of them will have to shoot well for Texas to have a chance.

James leads the team in rebounds, averaging 8.3 per game. Johnson is second on the team with 7.2 while Justin Mason leads the team in assists, averaging 5.2 per game. Connor Atchley leads the team in blocks with 1.9. Mason leads the team in steals with 1.5 per game, James averages 1.3, and Abrams averages 1.1 per game.

The keys to victory for both teams will be how well they shoot. Whoever shots well will be able to take an early lead and put the other team in a hole.

Both teams will have to limit the other team’s opportunities by getting defensive rebounds. If either the Red Raiders or the Longhorns get two or more chances per possession, it will be a long day for the other team.

The Longhorns have to contain the Red Raiders and not allow them to fast break. Texas must protect the ball and hurry on defense after missed shots.

The Red Raiders will need to reestablish their home court advantage after losing to TCU and keep their crowd in it.