Both Kansas and Texas Tech are 6-1 heading into tonight’s game in Lubbock. Texas Tech is currently -3 according to oddsmakers with the over/under for the game set at a total of 134.5 points.
In recent years, this match-up has been one of great offense versus great defense. Not that Tech doesn’t have a good offense or that KU doesn’t have good defense, but so far this year the Jayhawks are averaging 81.6 points per game while the Red Raiders are 4th in the nation allowing only 51.6 points per game to their opponents. KU is ranked 31st shooting 40% from 3 point range while Tech is holding their opponents to only 25% shooting from 3, ranking them 22nd in the nation in that category.
Both teams have solid depth and have 9 players averaging double-digit minutes per game so far this season. That’s not uncommon for this early in the season as teams are more willing to play a variety of players against a variety of opponents. For this game, the BIG12 opener for these teams, we might see those minutes start to weigh towards each teams top 8. Tech’s only loss this year was to Houston while KU lost it’s one game in their season opener against Gonzaga.
Pace will be important in this matchup as KU will want to play faster than Tech will. The Jayhawks are averaging about 9 more field goal attempts per game than Tech is. And KU is averaging about 15 more shots per game (65) than what Tech is allowing (50). In fact, Tech is 5th in the country in allowing their opponents only 18 made total baskets per game while holding them to an average of 35% shooting (17th in the nation).
The Red Raiders excel at getting to the foul line as they average a whopping 28 free throw attempts per game (5th in the nation), compared to The Jayhawks 22 per game (94th).
McClung, Edwards, and Shannon are the main offensive weapons for Tech and account for about half of the teams offensive production while the Jayhawks have 4 players averaging double-digits with Jalen Wilson leading the way with 15 points and just under 9 rebounds per game. Agbaji (46%) and Braun (44%) for KU both are shooting in the mid 40% range from 3 this year and have taken most of their teams 3 point attempts. Jalen Wilson is not far behind them at 39%. Tech only has 2 players who play significant minutes that shoot over 30% from 3: Edwards at 38% and McClung at 33%.
It will be Tech’s hard-nosed “no-middle” defense vs. the fast break flow and ball reversal offense of KU. Last year it was the Jayhawks who came away with 2 wins in their 2 match-ups. This should be another great BIG12 game and a great way to kick off their BIG12 conference seasons!