After losing to the Kansas Jayhawks, the Texas Tech men’s basketball team will look to get back on a winning track when it plays the Oklahoma Sooners at 7 p.m. today in Norman, Okla.
“They’ve had the experience of going on the road,” Tech coach Chris Walker said. “They can draw from that and have some experience, and it can be a good thing on Wednesday.”
When the two teams met last year, they split the series, winning one game each on their respective home courts.
Thus far, the Red Raiders have played two of the four undefeated teams in Big 12 Conference play and are set to play a third when they travel to Norman.
“(Oklahoma is) 2-0, they’re feeling good about themselves,” Walker said. “Coach (Lon) Kruger is a great coach. He has a great system.”
Despite going on the road to play against an undefeated team in conference play, the Red Raiders are not short of confidence.
“We’re ready to get on the road,” Tech junior forward Jaye Crockett said.
The Sooners are led by senior forward Romero Osby, who is averaging 13.5 points per game and 6.3 rebounds per game this season.
During Saturday’s game, Kansas scored 12 points on fast break possessions, leading Walker to focus on transition defense leading up to today’s game at Oklahoma.
“We slacked on transition defense,” Tech junior guard Jamal Williams said. “That’s what (we have to) work on.”
Although Walker is focusing his game plan on defense, he still believes in his team.
“When we want to, we can play a pretty good defensive game,” Walker said.
Having a relatively young roster, Tech’s players are still getting used to the difference in play between high school and college.
Walker points out that transition defense is something that is not taught too often in high school, but is critical at the collegiate level.
“In transition, people could be anywhere, and that’s the chance where you can beat people up the floor,” Walker said.
Unlike many of their Big 12 counterparts, the Red Raiders are not a team with ample size, so they have to find a way to negate their opponents’ advantages.
“You can’t afford to not come out and play with energy every day,” Walker said. “You have to come out and be a dirty work, lunch pail guy every single day. (That has to) be your habit in practice and (it has to) carry over to the games.”
The Tech men’s basketball team will look to get its second win in conference play when it plays Oklahoma in Norman.
“I want more,” Walker said. “All they showed me is they can play good, but I want them to play great.”