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Minnesota Basketball-Previewing Texas Tech

Minnesota goes for 5th Place in the Puerto Rico Tip Off

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota plays Texas Tech in their final game of the Puerto Rico tip off this afternoon. After losing their opener against Temple, Minnesota defeated Missouri State in a game that was a bit too close for comfort. Texas Tech comes off a win against Mississippi State.

Provide me the Essentials to View this Game

Who are the Gophers playing? Texas Tech Red Raiders

Where are they playing? Puerto Rico

When are they playing? 1:30pm CST

Can I watch it on television? Yes. ESPNU and WatchESPN

What about the wonder of sound? This game is on the radio 1500ESPN.

Tell me more about the Opponent

Rarely is a consolation game a sportswriter's dream, but this one is a bit special. Tubby Smith faces off with his successor. This is Smith's third year at Texas Tech. Under Smith, the Red Raiders have not yet cracked .500 on a season. This year they are 2-1. The Red Raiders are led by Devaugntah Williams, who takes most of the shots for the Red Raiders.

Tubby Smith's teams have consistent statistical profiles, adjusted for talent. They give up a lot of open threes while protecting the paint on defense. On offense they take lots of 2s. Minnesota's greatest weakness, three point defense, will likely not be exploited because Texas Tech is dreadful from deep.

Keys to the Game

Texas Tech is not a great team. Consequently, there are only two keys.

  1. Win the game.
  2. No one get injured

It would be nice if the Gophers won this running away in case any Minnesota fans still have a case of "what might have beens" with Smith.

Predictions

  • Minnesota wins close 70-66. KenPom has this 72-69.
  • Joey King continues to make threes to the point he attempts a silly heat check.
  • The freshmen continue to see heavy minutes in Pitino's rotation.