Coming off an 11 point win over Kansas State, the 18th ranked Red Raiders are looking for back-to-back conference wins for the first time this season. They will have to earn their win on the road.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Iowa State does not have their normal home court advantage this season. Hilton Coliseum is reduced to 10 percent capacity or about 1,373 fans this season, according to ISU Athletics.
“I feel kinda bad they don’t get to play in the normal . . . Hilton Coliseum,” Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard said about his players. “[It’s] still a great opportunity to play in . . . one of the most historic places in all of college basketball.”
Tech has won two straight games in Ames.
Iowa State is currently looking for their first conference win of the season. They are 0-4 in Big 12 play so far this season.
“Iowa State’s getting better each game,” Beard said as he previewed the Cyclones in a media availability. “They’ve played a lot of really good basketball; I think they’ve got several All-Conference players on their team.”
The Cyclones are led by junior guard Rasir Bolton. A complete player on both ends of the floor, Bolton is averaging 14.8 points, 5.3 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game, according to ISU Athletics.
Senior forward Solomon Young provides a strong paint presence for the Cyclones. Young is averaging 11.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game, according to ISU Athletics.
“Seems like this is his ninth year in the Big 12,” Beard said about Young in a media availability. “He’s one of our favorite players . . . Solomon’s had some great games against us.”
As for Tech, lineup fluidity will continue to be utilized in hopes of finding some offensive rhythm.
Against Kansas State, sophomore guard Terrence Shannon Jr. came off the bench for the first time this season. Beard said in a media availability after the game that this was Shannon’s idea.
“I thought TJ did great,” Beard said on Shannon’s role coming off the bench. “One of the most selfless, unselfish acts I’ve ever seen by a young player . . . to come to me as the head coach and say . . . ‘I wanna do what this team needs.’”
Inserted back into the starting lineup against the Wildcats for the first time in three games was junior guard Kyler Edwards. Edwards is averaging 9.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game this season, according to Tech Athletics.
The Red Raiders will be looking for senior forward Marcus Santos-Silva to not only slow down Young on the block, but also score on the other end. Santos-Silva has continued to be a strong paint presence for Tech, averaging 8.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game this season, according to Tech Athletics.
Tip-off on Saturday is scheduled for 3 p.m. and the game will be nationally televised on ESPN2. The game will also be broadcasted on Double T 97.3 FM.