There are similarities between the Texas Tech and Ohio State basketball teams, not the least
what experiences they had at this year’s Maui Invitational. Both teams lost their opening
Play by 11 points, Texas Tech to Creighton and Ohio State to San Diego State. Then, in her
In the second games, both the Red Raiders and the Buckeyes responded with overwhelming victories.
Texas Tech destroyed Louisville by 32 while Ohio State beat Cincinnati by 28.
In addition, these are two excellent defensive clubs. For several years, Texas Tech
was arguably college basketball’s first defensive program, and they’re succeeding
to defend that reputation this year, so to speak. Coming from a performance where they took place
Louisville to 38 points, the program’s lowest total since a loss to Xavier on January 7, 1948
Red Raiders now hold opponents to 54 points per game, 35 percent of which are shooting
ground and 28 percent shoot from beyond the arc.
The Buckeyes are defensively in the same class as Texas Tech. In addition to Cincinnati and San
Diego State, Ohio State has played and defeated Robert Morris, Charleston Southern and
Eastern Illinois. The Buckeyes let opponents score 59 points per game, shoot 36 percent
from the field and 26 percent from a distance.
As you can see, the two teams are very comparable defensively. The biggest difference is that
Ohio State is plus-13 in rebound margin while Texas Tech is plus-6. The Red Raiders need
hitting the defensive glass in this one to maximize their chances of winning.
Ohio State is led at 17 points per game by 6-foot-6 freshman forward Brice Sensabaugh. He’s also the team’s top 3-pointer with 44 percent. Experienced forward Zed Key is a powerful slugger who plays hard and pushes his skills to the best of his ability. He averages 13 points and 10 boards per outing.
Additionally, Ohio State has a couple of guards who might ring a bell at some Big XII country viewers. West Virginia transfer Sean McNeil is averaging nine points per contest and offers Ohio State another deep-shot threat at 38 percent distance. Former Oklahoma State cowboy Isaac Likekele also now hangs his hat in Columbus, Ohio. He’s a good rebound guard at seven boards a game and also has 18 assists with nine turnovers. Likekele was, is and never will be a goal threat.
Texas Tech has three players scoring double digits: Kevin Obanor (12 PPG), Daniel Batcho (11 PPG), and De’Vion Harmon (10 PPG). Batcho also leads the team in rebounds with eight per contest and has blocked a team’s best 11 shots in the season. Harmon leads the roster in assists and steals.
Two freshman guards also make a significant impression for Mark Adams’ Red Raiders. Pop Isaacs hits half of those Treys and improves as a distributor. Despite playing just 12 minutes a game, Lamar Washington is second on the team in assists, just four behind Harmon.