No. 22 Texas Tech meets Seton Hall in Garden
NEW YORK — After making its first appearance in the Top 25 in eight years, No. 22 Texas Tech faces Seton Hall in the first game of the Under Armour Reunion on Thursday at Madison Square Garden.
The Red Raiders (6-0) were last ranked Dec. 28, 2009, when coach Chris Beard served as an associate head coach under Pat Knight.
This is only the second meeting between Texas Tech and Seton Hall (5-1). The Red Raiders defeated the Pirates 87-69 in the first round of the NIT in 2010.
“I’ll say this real clearly: I’d rather be in the conversation of the rankings than not be,” Beard told the Lubbock Avalanche Journal. “So I think it’s a good thing for our program, it’s a good thing for our fans. But, really, it means absolutely nothing.
“You can go back one year ago today and look at the rankings. And I guarantee there were people that were ranked that didn’t even make the NCAA Tournament. Or you’ll see teams that were ranked 20 that will end up going to the Final Four.
“That’s my friend Frank (Martin, South Carolina head coach). I think expectations are everything.”
Texas Tech is in the top spot in the Big 12 in scoring defense and ranks inside the nation’s top five in scoring defense and defensive field goal percentage.
The Red Raiders have held three of their first six opponents to 50 points or fewer. The 49 points against then-No. 20 Northwestern were the fewest that Texas Tech allowed to a ranked team since a 67- 47 victory over No. 11 Oklahoma on Jan. 19, 2004.
Texas Tech has started their five seniors during the six-game winning streak. Texas Tech and Mercer are the only two schools to start five seniors in a game this season.
Jarrett Culver is the reigning Big 12 Newcomer of the Week after he collected 19.5 points, 4.0 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game during Texas Tech wins over Wofford and Savannah State. He has reached double figures in four of his last five outings, and his 11 points per game are third among Big 12 freshmen.
Angel Delgado is averaging 9.3 rebounds and 14 points per game. Delgado is one of four players averaging double-digit scoring for the Pirates.
Desi Rodriguez leads the charge with 17.8 points per game followed by Myles Powell (14 points) and Khadeen Carrington (10.2).
Carrington’s transition to point guard from shooting guard this season has been a success. He led the team with 26 assists, had only nine turnovers and committed only 10 fouls while playing a team-high 174 minutes.
“He (Carrington) plays like a pure point guard because he sets the tone defensively,” Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said. “He just has to get used to having the amount of (defensive) attention he’s getting.
“He’s going through the same things Isaiah (Whitehead) went through his sophomore year — same progressions, same struggles. The only difference is he’s playing a much tougher schedule.”
In the season opener against Fairleigh Dickinson, Seton Hall had assists on 22 of their 33 made field goals, which is the most in a game since Jan. 28, 2015, when the Pirates registered 23 at Marquette.
Seton Hall has finished with an even or positive assist-to-turnover ratio in five of six games.
Between Delgado, Desi Rodriguez, Carrington and Ish Sanogo, the Pirates entered 2017-18 with the most senior points (3,816) returning in the country: