Red Raider Preview: Kennesaw State

Red Raider Preview: Kennesaw State

Justin Gray Justin Gray

LUBBOCK, Texas – The No. 24 Texas Tech men’s basketball team returns to action following its eight-day break for final exams and takes on Kennesaw State on Wednesday at the United Supermarkets Arena. 

Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. CT, and the game will be televised by FOX Sports Southwest Plus along with the FOX Sports Go app. Robert Giovannetti, Chris Level and Adam Doyle will serve as the announcing team. 

The Texas Tech Sports Network will carry the game live on its flagship stations Double T 97.3 FM, 100.7 FM The Score and 950 AM in Lubbock. Geoff Haxton and Clark Lammert will have the radio call. The radio broadcast also will be available on the Texas Tech Sports Network radio affiliates, online at www.TexasTech.com and the Tune-In Radio app. Fans can interact live with Wednesday’s broadcast by following @GunsUpRadio on Twitter. 

The Red Raiders (7-1) returned to the Associated Press Top 25 rankings after an 82-76 comeback victory over then No. 22 Nevada last Tuesday. Texas Tech has collected a Big 12-leading two wins over Top 25 opponents. This year’s squad joins the 1996-97 team as the only teams in program history to win multiple games over Top 25 opponents. 

It marked Chris Beard’s 25th victory in his 40th game at Texas Tech. He’s tied with Victor Payne during the 1929-30 season and only behind Bob Knight in 2002-03 as the fastest coaches to reach the 25-win mark in program history. 

Kennesaw State (1-7) is coming off a two-week break of its own for final exams. The Owls have played Florida State from the ACC to a 19-point decision and Washington from the Pac-12 to a 14-point game during their nonconference schedule.  

“It starts with their coach, Al Skinner,” Beard said. “A lot of folks probably remember when Bubba Jennings and I were on staff he was the head coach of Boston College when we lost in the (2007) NCAA Tournament. He’s well-respected and in the early stages of building the program at Kennesaw State. They’ve got really good players, have played a competitive schedule and have our full attention.”  

Tickets to Wednesday’s game can be purchased for as low as $10 at the United Supermarkets Arena Box Office which opens on gameday starting at 3:30 p.m. CT. Fans can receive two free tickets to Wednesday’s game by bringing a new, unwrapped toy to donate for Toys for Tots.

Fans are reminded that the S1 Parking Lot at the John Walker Soccer Complex which is located at 3901 10th Street is the lone free parking lot for all fans which includes ADA parking for all men’s basketball games. A free shuttle service begins 75 minutes prior to tipoff and runs up to 60 minutes following the game to transport fans to and from the United Supermarkets Arena. Buses also are ADA accessible. There is no longer free parking available in the West Lot across from the United Supermarkets Arena. 

Traffic patterns around the United Supermarkets Arena have changed for the 2017-18 season. All patrons with North Lot passes must enter their lot from the Main and Flint intersection. All fans with South Lot passes must enter their lot from the 18th and Flint intersection. All West Lot pass holders must enter their lot at the Texas Tech Parkway and Knoxville Avenue intersection. All vehicles will be blocked from Indiana Avenue off of the Texas Tech Parkway.

Fans are reminded to go clear at all Texas Tech basketball games. The clear bag policy provides a safer atmosphere and speeds up the entry process into the United Supermarkets Arena.

ABOUT TEXAS TECH 

The Red Raiders are among the NCAA’s Top 40 in five categories and are ranked eighth nationally in scoring margin winning game by an average of 20.5 points per game.

Keenan Evans is the reigning Big 12 Player of the Week and is the first Texas Tech player to win the award since Jaye Crockett on Dec. 31, 2012. The Richardson native poured in a career-best 32 points and grabbed a career-high eight rebounds against then No. 22 Nevada. He amassed 23 of the 32 points as the Red Raiders erased a 10-point deficit over the last 11 minutes of the second half and into overtime. 

Zhaire Smith has tucked away a balanced 9.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game. He has pieced together three consecutive games in double figures and improved his scoring mark to 12.7 points per game on 13-of-18 shooting during that stretch. 

Jarrett Culver has been Texas Tech’s top bench performer with 10.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.0 steals per game. He has already amassed 10-plus points five times ignited by a 15.0 points per game mark over his last four outings.  

Niem Stevenson has provided 9.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. He has garnered double figures in three straight and four of his last five outings. Stevenson came away with 11 points on 5-of-8 from the floor versus then No. 22 Nevada last time out.  

Zach Smith has chipped in 6.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 1.6 assists per game. He heads into Wednesday’s action 56 points away from becoming the 41st player in program history to reach 1,000 career points. Smith also is 15 blocks shy of Tony Battie’s program record.  

Tommy Hamilton IV and Davide Moretti have garnered 5.6 points per game apiece. Moretti tallied all nine of his points in the second half whereas Hamilton IV contributed all seven of his points during the first half of the Nevada game. 

Norense Odiase has added 5.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. He returned to the starting lineup for the first time since the TCU road game on Jan. 18, 2016 during his sophomore season. Brandone Francis and Justin Gray has come away with 5.3 and 5.0 points per game, respectively. 

ABOUT KENNESAW STATE 

The Owls are fueled by James Scott who has registered 16.1 points and 2.0 steals per game. He has reached double figures in seven of eight games and has led the team in scoring on five occasions. Scott has produced two games of 20-plus points highlighted by a 26-point outburst versus Butler on Nov. 10. 

Nick Masterson has done his damage from three-point territory with 18 of his 33 field goals coming from beyond the arc en route to 11.6 points and 3.3 assists per game. 

Tyler Hooker has been inserted into the starting lineup in KSU’s last three games and upped his average to 10.3 points per game. He has pumped in 10-plus points in five of his last six games which includes 16 points at Florida State on Nov. 22.  

Kennesaw State’s top option off the bench has been Tristan Jarrett who has chipped in 6.8 points and 3.0 rebounds per game. The freshmen was an ESPN three-star recruit and has reached double figures three times sparked by a 15-point effort at Butler on Nov. 10. 

UP NEXT 

Texas Tech will honor its tradition and play host to a Throwback Game against former Southwest Conference rival Rice on Saturday. Tip time is set for 7 p.m. CT from the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum. An Alumni game featuring former players will take place at 5 p.m. CT.  

Fans are encouraged to take advantage of $5 flash sale tickets which runs through Wednesday evening and exclusively on-sale online at www.TexasTech.com.  

Visit www.TexasTech.com for the latest news and information on the men's basketball program. Fans also can follow the program on its social media outlets by liking TexasTechMBB on Facebook along with following @TexasTechMBB on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.  

—TECH—

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