Texas Tech vs Oral Roberts
Tip off: 8 PM EST
Spread: OR -14
M/L: TT +850, OR -1300
Last year, the Red Raiders finished with a 13-19 record, losing to Missouri by 4 in a high scoring first round Big 12 tournament game. They did not qualify for any other postseason play.
They were a good three point shooting team, if nothing else. They had three high volume shooters over 37+% (John Robertson, David Rairu, Brad Reese), but the problem was that they didn’t free up any good bigs or slashers for finishes at the rim. It was just three point jacking.
The one thing that stands out most from their 2010-2011 campaign though is the fact that they went 5-11 in the Big 12. They seem outmatched by most conference opponents, and gave up 1.10 points per possession in conference play, while barely managing a full point per possession themselves.
This year, that offense still is struggling, to some degree, averaging only 69.1 points per game (160th in the nation). It has been paced by the 14.0 Ppg of Jordan Tolbert, a 6’7″ freshman forward. Tolbert also leads the team in rebounding with 6.2 boards per contest. He leads in both categories while playing only 20.9 minutes a game, the second least of any starter (Luke Adams, 20.5).
Ty Nurse, a 6’1″ junior guard, is averaging 11 points per game, but hasn’t scored in double figures in the last four games, not to mention the fact that he played 17 scoreless minutes in a loss to Wake on Nov 27th. He just hasn’t been shooting the ball. He hasn’t taken more than 8 shots in a game since the last game he reached double figures, the loss to DePaul on the 25th.
Oral Roberts was pretty good in the Summit League last year. They won 13 of their 18 conference games, but finished just 6-11 in non-conference play, illustrating the weakness of the Summit, which is comparable to many other mid-major programs.
This season, the Eagles reeled off 6 consecutive victories before dropping a game to Oklahoma. Then, the improbable happened: They played #9 Xavier in the wake of a mass suspension, enabling them to get a victory against a squad they never would have had a chance against in any other way. Dominique Morrison put up 19 points, while hitting 7 of his 10 field goal attempts, and Warren Niles (15 pts) and Steven Roundtree (12 pts) also reached double figures, while hitting a combined 10 of 20.
The Golden Eagles play a pretty tight 7 man rotation, with Jake Lliteras seeing fringe minutes. Their top five players account for basically all of the offense, with the aforementioned Morrison leading the way at 16.2 points per game. The 6’6″ senior has scored in double figures in all games except a 6 point victory over Southern Utah. He had a 30 point game against Southern Methodist on the 21st of November and is shooting 43.3% from the floor.
Michael Craion, a 6’5″ senior forward, is putting up 11.3 points per game and pulling down 6.8 boards per contest. He missed all of last season with a foot injury, but has come back to put up numbers comparable to his freshman season, and he averaged 7.3 rebounds per game that year, so perhaps his numbers are still due for a spike.
If you feel inclined to back up a bet on either of these teams, we suggest Bookmaker, from where these odds were taken. Also, take a look at our paid pick plans for the 2011-2012 seasons as our staff of handicappers murders the books again!