Kansas-Texas Tech: Jayhawks Out for Blood against Red Raiders

Steve AugerAnalyst IIMarch 3, 2009

No. 9 Kansas Jayhawks (24-5, 13-1) at Texas Tech Red Raiders (12-17, 2-12)

Wednesday, March 4, 20009:30 PM EST

The Kansas Jayhawks, in search of a share of the Big 12 regular season championship, venture to Lubbock, Tex. on Wednesday night for a game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Given that his team was decimated by the NBA draft after last year’s national championship, Kansas coach Bill Self has to be satisfied to find the Jayhawks right where they’re accustomed to being: atop the Big 12 standings.

The only blemish on the record for the Jayhawks is a two-point road loss to Missouri, which they made up for with a 25-point beatdown when the Tigers visited Lawrence.

Though they didn’t return a lot of experience, Kansas has it where they need it most, with an experienced point guard in Sherron Collins and a dominating big man in Cole Aldrich.

Collins is everything a coach wants in a floor general. He’s the team's leading scorer at 18.5 ppg, drains threes at a clip of 40.2 percent, and when the game hangs in the balance, he knocks down free throws at a rate of 81.4 percent.

And Collins knows how to involve his teammates in the offense as the junior averages five assists per contest.

Anchoring the front-line for Kansas is the walking double-double known as Aldrich. The sophomore scores 15.1 ppg, and hauls down 10.8 rebounds per outing—tops on the team.

In addition to Collins, Brady Morningstar (45.8 percent), Tyrel Reed (39.6), and Travis Releford (37.5) are all deadly from behind the arc.

For the Red Raiders, the finish line to the season can’t arrive soon enough.

Texas Tech has only three wins in its last 17 games. Not exactly what Pat Knight had in mind.

If the Red Raiders are going to snap their six-game losing streak, they’ll need big games out of John Roberson (14.3 ppg) and Alan Voskuil (13.8 ppg).

Roberson is a decent three-point shooter (36.1 percent) while Voskuil excels at making triples, as he connects on 43.8 percent of his shots from behind the arc.

Nick Okorie (11.2 ppg) and Mike Singletary (10.7 ppg) will also need to contribute offensively if the Raiders are to pull the upset.

One area of concern for Texas Tech is rebounding. Singletary leads the team with 5.4 per game, but after that the next highest is Voskuil at 4.1 rpg. The Red Raiders will be forced to crash the offensive glass which will leave them susceptible to the Jayhawks' vaunted running game.


Current Line: Kansas -11.0

Kansas is 16-8 against the spread on the season, with a record of 14-6 as the favorite.

Texas Tech is 8-15 against the spread, with a mark of 6-10 as an underdog.

Kansas has been on a roll as of late, that is, if you want to call almost the entire season “as of late.” Knowing that one more victory assures the ‘Hawks of the overall top seed in the Big 12 tournament, Kansas will be out for blood against Texas Tech.


Steve’s Pick: Kansas -11.0