Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Guest Blogger: Double T Nation

I haven't seen much Texas Tech this year, so I thought I would go to a better source. I've asked Seth from Double T Nation to answer some questions about the Red Raiders. For more on BC's first round opponent, check out Double T Nation.

1. Texas Tech is undersized on the front court and is struggling on the boards. Not common for a Knight team. What is the problem?

DT Nation: Boston College fans will be witness to one of the most unathletic frontcourts in the NCAA tournament. Jon Plefka, bless his heart, does a decent job of guarding the opposing team's biggest frontcourt player, but he can only do so much. Neither he nor the rest of the club is adept at rebounding (Martin Zeno leads the team in rebounding at 5.3 per game). The other problem is that there's not much depth in the frontcourt, the Red Raiders rely on Plefka and senior forward, Darryl Dora. Forwards Decensae White and Michael Prince occasionally help in in the paint, but they are really small forwards and shooting guards.

2. Everyone has heard of Jackson and Zeno. Who else should BC fans focus on?

DT Nation: That's been a much bigger for problem for Tech, there's no consistent third scorer. Sometimes it's Alan Voskuil, sometimes, it's Plefka or Dora or White. That's the problem, there's no consistency and Knight has to figure it out as the game plays out who is making a contribution. Personally, I really like Decensae White who's emerged as a decent player for Tech. He's a 6-6 SG/SF who's not afraid to take a shot, is capable of hitting the three and can mix it up inside as well. In two of the three victories over top 10 opponents, the Raiders got scoring from either Plefka or Dora (v. Kansas - Dora: 19; v. Texas A&M - Plefka: 17.

3. Recently teams have had success doubling Jared Dudley or working to deny him the ball. How do you think the Red Raiders will address him. Will they vary from the famous Knight man-to-man?

DT Nation: That's going to be an interesting matchup. If I had to guess, Knight just might gamble with Zeno guarding Dudley, relying on Martin's quickness to tackle Dudley's size. It's not a conventional tactic, but Knight did employ this in the second game against Oklahoma State's Mario Boggan and was successful. Knight doesn't tend to double-team opposing players (see Kevin Durant), but you'll see plenty of help on defense. Tech's best low post defender is Damir Suljagic. He is big and has a knack for making life somewhat miserable for his opponent.

4. Texas Tech has been very streaky this year. Winning some big games yet losing to the likes of Baylor. How do you see this game playing out?

DT Nation: It depends on which Texas Tech team shows up. If it's the team that beat Kansas and Texas A&M twice, then there's a helluva good chance. If it's the team that showed up against Kansas State, then you'll hear Tech fans give a collective, "meh." I think Knight knows he has a limited team and the Red Raiders will only go so far as Jackson and Zeno can carry them. Jackson is a special player, and has the ability to create shots whether it be in the lane or on the perimeter and Zeno can be an absolute terror on the baseline, but has broken out a three-point shot over the last two or three games. I think the game will be close, and because I'd be lambasted if I didn't pick Tech, I'll take the Red Raiders, 77-75

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