WATCH: Mark Adams talks UT-Texas Tech matchup

Texas Tech men's basketball head coach Mark Adams talks TTU-UT matchup
Texas Tech men's basketball head coach Mark Adams talks TTU-UT matchup
Published: Jan. 31, 2022 at 2:04 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 31, 2022 at 2:24 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Texas Tech men’s basketball head coach Mark Adams held a news conference Monday afternoon, one day before the Texas Longhorns travel to Lubbock in the season’s most highly-anticipated matchup.

“This has always been a big game,” Coach Adams said. “The rivalry between Texas Tech and Texas is just something special, and Texas Tech fans are emotionally involved in this game. We all know it’s a big game... It’s a game that both teams take a lot of pride in.”

Tuesday’s game between the Red Raiders and the Longhorns will be a true Top-25 matchup. This week’s AP Top 25 poll put Texas Tech at No. 14 and UT at No. 23.

Tuesday will also see the return of former Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard, who left the Red Raiders last spring to coach at his alma mater. The move sparked backlash and bad blood from many fans and members of the Texas Tech community.

“Oh, you know, it’s kind of a love-hate deal. There’s a lot of emotion there,” Adams said about the fan reaction to Beard’s return. “It’s to be expected. Fans like to get excited about something. So no, I’m not at all surprised by it. And I just want to again remind the fans that as much as how they feel about Coach Beard, this is a Big 12 game, it’s a big game for us, and we’re confident our fans will stay focused in on helping us win the game and be supportive in that way and make good decisions.”

Adams emphasized that while he encourages fans to provide the unmatched home court advantage they have come to expect, they need to be cautious and refrain from crossing a line.

“We encourage our fans to be loud, rowdy, have fun, but at the same time make good decisions and don’t do anything that could hurt our team,” Adams said. “Don’t throw anything, toss anything on the floor that might give us a technical and change the momentum of the game.”

The Top-25 matchup at home against Texas Tech’s arguably biggest rival has led to massive excitement ahead of Tuesday’s game. Hundreds of Tech students have been camping out in front of the United Supermarkets Arena since the final minutes of Saturday’s game against Mississippi State. The makeshift tent city, affectionately dubbed “Raiderville,” has raised over $10,000 from Tech staff, alumni and fans for supplies, including food, blankets and heaters. The basketball team and new head football coach Joey McGuire have made appearances and provided meals for the dedicated students.

Notably absent from Saturday’s lineup against Mississippi State was Terrence Shannon, Jr. Shannon has missed several games this season with back spasms.

Adams said while Shannon will suit up tomorrow, it will be a game-time decision for him.

Tuesday’s game is expected to be a defensive “slugfest,” Adams said. Both teams emphasize defense and run similar offensive plays. And since Adams served as an assistant under Beard for several years, following him to Tech from Little Rock, they know each other very well.

“They’ll know everything about us, as we will about them,” Adams said. So there won’t be any surprises, and I think it’s going to come down to just both teams playing hard and teams that can make shots. We know it’ll be a battle. They’re playing very, very well right now.”

“Right now, our game plan is just to be us.”

Tip-off for the Texas Tech-UT game is Tuesday at 8 p.m. The game will air on ESPN2.

Copyright 2022 KCBD. All rights reserved.