No. 8 Kansas at Texas Tech
▪ WHEN/WHERE: 8 p.m. Tuesday at United Supermarkets Arena in Lubbock, Texas
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▪ TV/RADIO: ESPN2; KCSP (610 AM)
▪ ABOUT KANSAS (19-4, 8-2 Big 12): Three days after a road loss at Oklahoma State, Kansas can re-assert itself in the Big 12 race with a victory at Texas Tech. The Jayhawks own a one-game lead over Iowa State, and with four road games remaining — including trips to West Virginia, K-State and Oklahoma — Tuesday’s matchup is positioned as the most winnable road game remaining. If the Jayhawks can hold serve at home — no easy task in the Big 12 — and defeat Texas Tech, they would be positioned to finish no worse than 13-5. Kansas, of course, will also have a solid opportunity to pick off a couple of more road victories, but it begins on Tuesday. The Jayhawks are coming off a sloppy offensive performance at Oklahoma State. They finished with 18 turnovers and shot just 33.1 percent inside the three-point line. Cliff Alexander appears to have hit a freshman wall of sorts. In his last four games, he is averaging just 4.5 points in 16.2 minutes per game. Freshman wing Kelly Oubre will also try to shake off some road struggles. Oubre is averaging just 4.4 points in five Big 12 road games, while scoring 14.2 points per game in five home games.
▪ ABOUT TEXAS TECH (12-12, 2-9 Big 12): It’s been a long season for Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith, one filled with disappointment, injuries and blowout losses. The Red Raiders are a half-game ahead of last-place TCU in the Big 12, but have been considerably more competitive at home. After notching a shocking upset of Iowa State on Jan. 24, Texas Tech handled a short-handed Kansas State team 64-47 last Wednesday. The Red Raiders are coming off a 75-38 loss at Iowa State and have lost their last four road games by an average margin of 30.2 points. Texas Tech also lost 86-54 to Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 10. For the Red Raiders, the struggles have been most glaring on offense. Texas Tech ranks 262nd in offensive efficiency, according to KenPom.com. The Red Raiders are making just 36 percent of their two-point attempts during Big 12 play. Injuries haven’t helped, either. Freshman forward Justin Gray, who started 13 games, is expected to miss the rest of the season because of nagging knee injuries. Gray was averaging 6.7 points per game.
| Rustin Dodd, firstname.lastname@example.org