Tennessee picked up their first true road win of the season last weekend at Colorado. Tonight they head back to the northeast for another neutral site game against Texas Tech.
Madison Square Garden will play host tonight as Tennessee takes part in the Jimmy V Classic. It will be Tennessee’s first appearance at the famed venue since winning the 2010 NIT Tip-Off Tournament. The Volunteers have only played the Red Raiders one time, happening all the way back in 1953.
Chris Beard is no longer at the helm of the Texas Tech program after leaving for Texas during the offseason. It was a massive move for Beard, one that left assistant Mark Adams in charge. Adams has Texas Tech 6-1 on the year so far, coming off of a loss to Providence last week. Outside of that matchup against Providence, the Red Raiders haven’t faced anyone worth noting.
Texas Tech really churned the roster through the coaching change this offseason, adding seven transfers to the team. Quite honestly, it’s tough to know what to make of the group just yet.
6-6 junior guard Terrance Shannon Jr. leads the way for the Red Raiders, shooting 44 percent from three-point range and averaging over 16 point per game. Fellow junior guard Kevin McCullar slightly trails him with 14 points per game, also checking in at 6-6. Senior forwards Bryson Williams and Kevin Obanor lead the way in the frontcourt.
Texas Tech goes deep into their bench, playing as many as ten guys per game. They still have a solid defense, as they did under Beard, ranking inside of KenPom’s top 20 in that category.
“They switch — Villanova switched,” Rick Barnes said of Tech’s defense on Monday. “These guys switch probably more off the ball than Villanova did. We have played against teams that have switched all five positions before this. They’ve got a lot of size. They are 6-6, 6-7, 6-8 guys. They are going to have long bodies on our guards. It is going to be a challenge for Santi, Kennedy and Zakai with having 6-4, 6-5, 6-6 guys guarding them.”
Texas Tech also ranks top 50 in three-point percentage, with a handful of players connecting on over 40 percent of their shots from deep. Again though, they have played just one competitive opponent to this point, so grain of salt with new personnel and systems in place.
We’ll learn plenty about both sides tonight in New York City.
How to watch
Location: New York City (MSG)
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Streaming: Watch ESPN
Radio: Vol Network
Odds: Tennessee -4.5 (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See DraftKings.com/sportsbook for details.