Men's basketball versus Florida International

Head coach Mark Adams listens to the Matador Song after defeating North Florida on Nov. 9, 2021, at United Supermarkets Arena.

The No.25 Texas Tech men’s basketball team will host No. 6 Kansas for their second Big 12 game of the season at 3 p.m. in the United Supermarkets Arena, looking to rebound from a 51-47 loss at No. 11 Iowa State on Wednesday.

Only seven players were available for head basketball coach Mark Adams to use on the hardwood against the Cyclones, as Tech announced before the game that five student-athletes were unable to travel to Iowa due to health and safety protocols.

6-foot-11 redshirt-freshman forward Daniel Batcho, sophomore guard Chibuzo Agbo and senior guard Sardaar Calhoun were among the five players who didn't travel to Iowa, along with redshirt-sophomore Austin Timperman and the previously injured freshman Ethan Duncan.

Tech was also without three guards who have each started multiple games this season, including junior guard and Preseason All-Big 12 selection Terrence Shannon Jr, who hasn’t seen the court since halftime of Tech’s win over Arkansas State on Dec. 14 as he nurses back spasms. 

Junior guard Mylik Wilson has also missed multiple games this season after suffering a knee injury, and was unable to return for Tech’s Big 12 opener. 

Junior guard Kevin McCullar was the only new injury, missing the Big 12 opener against Iowa State with an ankle injury. Currently averaging 13.5 points and a team-high 6.1 rebounds, McCullar will be a game-time decision against Kansas, according to Tech Athletics. 

Information regarding the Red Raiders availability against Kansas Jayhawks will not be announced until Saturday, according to Tech Athletics. 

After the loss to Iowa State, Adams was asked to speak on what he learned heading into Big 12 play. 

“We feel like we played most of the game on the defensive end, and we’re trying to stress that to our guys,” Adams said. “That we’ve gotta move the ball a little bit more offensively so that's something we’ll work on, for sure.”

The 12-1 Jayhawks have won eight games in a row and will look to make it nine in Lubbock, where the Red Raiders have yet to lose this season. Kansas leads the Big 12 in points per game (84.3), while Tech ranks third in points per game (75.8), opponent points per game (57.6) and scoring margin (18.2), according to Big 12 Sports. 

Kansas’ senior guard Ochai Agbaji is a two-time All-Big 12 selection that currently ranks second in the Big 12 in scoring with 20.2 points per game and leads the conference in made three pointers (37), according to Big 12 Sports.

After scoring more than 16 points in the first ten games of the season, Agbaji has scored 16 twice and 11 once in the last three games, according to KU Athletics.

The Jayhawks are shooting 50.7 percent from the field and 37.2 percent from behind the arc this season, both leading the Big 12. Meanwhile, Tech opponents this season average 37.1 percent from the field, the lowest figure in the conference according to Big 12 Sports. 

As the Red Raiders look to move to 1-1 in Big 12 play and rebound from a tough-fought loss to Iowa State, fans will be eager to see Tech take on Kansas on their home court before taking on No.1 Baylor at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. 

According to Big 12 Sports, Tech averages 12,795 fans in attendance per every home game for the second-best in the conference. A large crowd shouldn't be expected to shake Kansas though, who leads the Big 12 with an average of 16,185 fans per home game. 

They likely won't have to suit up with just seven players available again, but the Red Raiders will be battling injuries as they host No.6 Kansas for the first inter-conference game held at the United Supermarkets Arena this season. 

The Big 12 contest starts at 3 p.m. on Saturday and will be televised on ESPN2.

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