February 20, 2007

Tech faces Texas Tonight

Freshman phenom Kevin Durant and his supporting cast lay waiting in Austin tonight for the Red Raiders. Texas Tech comes into the game in fifth place in conference play, sitting at 6-6 and a full game in the loss column behind Kansas State. A win tonight ensures Tech remains in fifth place and keeps them on the heels of the Wildcats.

The Texas Longhorns
What more can be said about Durant and the Longhorns? He has single-handedly carried them to third place in the Big 12, and if Texas wins out they will share first place honors in the Big 12. Durant is clearly the best freshman in the nation - and the best player. In 33 minutes a game, he averages 23.8 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks. He has hit 147-of-306, .480, on the season and shoots .354 from the arc where one third of his shots originate. He's also an excellent free throw shooter.

Three Longhorns - A.J. Abrams, a 5-foot-10 sophomore, D.J. Augustin, a 5-foor-11 freshman, and Justin Mason, a 6-foot-2 freshman - shoot better than 40% from the arc, and that success is directly attributable to the attention Durant gets on the offensive end. Coincidently, these three guards are the next three leading scorers for Texas and only Mason does not crack double-digits on average - but he does get 9.9 a game.

Augustin is a particularly good shooter. He hits 50.3% overall from the floor and 51% from the arc. He doesn't force a lot of shots and is adept at driving the ball to the basket when given an opportunity. 49 of his 163 shot attempts have come from long range. He also leads the team in assists at 6.5 per game.

Abrams is a gunner and is a good enough shot to make it worth his while to send them up from downtown. 159 of his 240 shot attempts, 66%, have come from the arc. He shoots 41.7% overall and 44% from three point land. He has more three point shots than any other two Longhorns combined, and with the exception of Durant has more attempts from there than the whole team combined. Because he'd rather catch and shoot, he's only taken 33 free throw attempts this season.

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