Nevada vs Texas Tech Preview and Prediction
Nevada vs Texas Tech Preview
Nevada and Texas Tech both will be looking to prove they belong in the Top 25 when they meet in Lubbock, Texas, on Tuesday night. The visiting Wolf Pack (8-0) debuted in the rankings at No. 22 on Monday, riding the wave of momentum created by four road wins already this season.
Meanwhile, Texas Tech dropped out of the Top 25 after popping in at No. 22 last week. The Red Raiders lost their only game last week, falling 89-79 to a talented Seton Hall at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Nevada has had an underrated start to the season–but they have beaten a couple solid teams on their non-conference slate. Wins over potential NCAA Tournament teams like Rhode Island (88-81) and Illinois State (98-68) have helped show why the Wolfpack deserve their Top 25 ranking. Head coach Eric Musselman has gradually built this program into one of the most underrated in the country.
“We’ve handled business thus far,” Musselman said. “Our players have said (a national ranking) would be something that they would like. Having said that, we just have to worry about the next game in front of us and I think our guys will do that. They’ve had a businesslike approach every game, and Texas Tech is really, really good.”
The Wolfpack have an average winning margin of 20 points per game in their first eight games, one of the best winning margins in the country.
Nevada’s hot start has Texas Tech on notice and Red Raiders head coach Chris Beard knows it will be difficult to stop this team…
“I think Nevada is a team that could play in the Big 12,” Texas Tech coach Beard said. “I think Nevada is a team that could beat anybody in the country.”
During his pre-Nevada press conference, Beard singled out a couple of Wolf Pack players who will be a handful.
“(Guard Jordan Caroline is) a mismatch nightmare,” Beard said. “He’s quicker than most big guys and he’s stronger and more physical than most smaller guys. We don’t have one guy on our roster that can guard him one-on-one, so we’ll have to play team defense on him.”
Beard had a similar compliment for Nevada forward Caleb Martin.
“I don’t know how we’re going to stop him, but we’ll try to figure it out by Tuesday,” Beard said.
Nevada kept its road winning streak going by defeating UC Irvine 76-65 on Saturday. Caroline had 24 points, 13 rebounds and four assists in the victory. However, by the end of the postgame press conference, the Wolf Pack guard had turned his attention to a possible ranking and defending it against the Red Raiders.
“That’s what I came here for, to be on a ranked team and change this program around,” Caroline said. “To actually get there, it’s like a childhood dream in a sense. My hope is once we get it, we won’t let it go. Everybody is motivated on the team to stay there, not just to get there and be out the next week.”
Texas Tech thrives on balanced scoring as 10 players are averaging double-digit minutes and 4.9 points or more. They have one of the most experienced teams in the country, starting five seniors, but it is their talented freshman that makes this team go.
Freshman guard Jarrett Culver is averaging 11.9 points per game off the bench and is the spark plug to the Red Raiders offense.
Nevada has had a great start to the season, earning their first Top 25 ranking under head coach Eric Musselman. They haven’t played a team quite up to Texas Tech’s talent and experience and this will be a great game to gauge where each team is.
LINE -5.5 Texas Tech
Texas Tech 84 Nevada 78