Matching Up: Texas Tech vs. K-State

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(Photo by Parker Robb | Collegian) Junior forward Thomas Gipson tries to grab an offensive rebound from ISU forward Melvin Ejim during the second half of K-State's 81-75 loss to the Cyclones January 25, 2014, in Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa. The Wildcats were down 52-63, but clawed back to tie the score a few minutes later.Photo credit: Parker Robb

Frontcourt: Texas Tech

Texas Tech has a couple of 6′ 7″ forwards in Jaye Crockett and Jordan Tolbert who are first and second on the team in scoring, respectively, combining for over 26 points and 12 rebounds per game. Joining them is seven footer Dejan Kravic, who has blocked 25 shots this season, averaging 1.3 per game. Together, the three provide a stout frontcourt that can score, rebound, and play solid defense.

Crockett is having a fantastic year, leading the Big 12 in shooting percentage at 56 percent, which is a huge reason that the senior is ninth in the conference with 14.3 points per game. He has put up double digit scoring in all but three games this season, and has been stellar in conference play, averaging 15.6 points per game.

Backcourt: K-State

Freshman guard Marcus Foster is coming off a 20 point game at Iowa State and has led K-State in scoring for most of the season. While an injured finger has caused a decrease in effectiveness, Foster still found a way to make a big impact last Saturday against the Cylones, an is averaging 14 points a game, which is 14th-best in the Big 12.

Foster is joined by senior Will Spradling and fellow freshman Jevon Thomas in a talented set of guards. Spradling had a great day in Ames as well, converting four of six three-point attempts, including three straight to get the Wildcats back in the game at one point.

Thomas has been a spark plug for K-State since his debut in December. His crisp passing and ability to drive to the hole forces defenses to give him plenty of attention with the ball in his hands. He leads the team with 3.8 assists per game and has a 4.25 assist-to-turnover ratio, which would lead the Big 12 by a long shot if he qualified.

Player to Watch for Texas Tech: Dusty Hannahs

Hannahs is one of the best three point shooters in the Big 12 this season, connecting on 42.1 percent of his shots behind the arc, good for fourth in the Big 12. Last season in Bramlage he led the Red Raiders with 14 points as a freshman, so look for him to have another good game on the perimeter for Texas Tech.

Hannahs was an absurd 7-7 from three last Wednesday against West Virginia and also added six assists, showing he is more than capable of wrecking a defense and silencing a crowd with big shots. In his last three games, he is 10-12 from deep, so he is coming into this game on a hot streak.

Player to Watch for K-State: Thomas Gipson

After a poor showing against Iowa State, K-State’s junior forward will be looking for a big comeback in front of a home crowd. Gipson struggled to assert himself in the face of frequent double teams and a roaring crowd in Ames against Iowa State, so a return home should help him some.

His 12.1 points per game are second on the team, and he leads the Wildcats with 6.2 boards per game. After missing time early this season, Gipson has been one of K-State’s most important players, and they will need him to show up against Texas Tech’s talented frontcourt if they want to climb out of a three-game losing streak.

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