Texas gets to ease their way into Big 12 play with a trip to Texas Tech, the worst team in the conference. Texas is coming off a one point, overtime loss to UConn. Tech opened their Big 12 schedule with a loss to Baylor. The Longhorns will look to improve on an already impressive 12-3 record, which has them ranked 14th in the country. Meanwhile, Texas Tech is trying to avoid falling below .500 overall, and 0-2 in conference play.
Mike Singletary vs. Jordan Hamilton
Singletary is the only Tech player who seems to have a pulse, and if Tech wants to make this a game, they need him to score early and often. He’s the team’s leading scorer at 13.7 a game, but he will have to improve on that to give his team a chance. A repeat of his performance against Oral Roberts (29 pts, 13 reb, 6 ast) might be necessary. He’s very good at drawing fouls, and that might be a win-win strategy in this game. He’ll need to bring it defensively as well, because he’s guarding one of the best players in the conference.
Hamilton is probably the toughest player in the conference to guard. He’s been nearly equally proficient shooting two pointers and three pointers, which means you have to pick your poison. Given Texas’ depth, it is difficult to double-team Hamilton, even if turning him into a passer (something he’s not always willing to do) is probably Tech’s best option.
In the unlikely event that Singletary can win the matchup against Hamilton, Tech might be able to make this a game.
Texas’ wealth of depth is clearly just one of the many advantages the Longhorns have in this game, but it will be the biggest difference. J’Covan Brown is having a really nice sophomore season at point guard. Gary Johnson and Tristian Thompson have controlled the paint all season, and that should continue in this game.
Rebounding might be the biggest difference in this one. Texas is the second best rebounding team in the entire country, Texas Tech ranks 246th. Singletary is Tech’s leading rebounder at 5.8 a game, while Texas has three players averaging more than seven a game.
Texas Tech Advantages
They’re playing at home, though I doubt that really matters when such a talent disparity exists.
This one won’t be that close. While Colorado’s win over Missouri should serve as warning, this matchup really isn’t comparable. Tech lacks even one true star, and Singletary is really the only player remotely capable of scoring a large amount of points. Tech is going to struggle to keep this game close in the first half, and should be so worn down by the second half that Texas can cruise.
Texas 88 Tech 64