No. 8 Texas Tech faces road trip at Texas
A look at the upcoming week around the Big 12 Conference.
GAME OF THE WEEKEND: No. 8 Texas Tech at Texas. The Red Raiders will enter the weekend atop the league at 3-0 following a 66-59 home win over No. 23 Oklahoma on Tuesday. The Longhorns won their first two Big 12 games after an up and down non-conference slate, only to lose to a struggling Oklahoma State 61-58 on Tuesday. Texas Tech has arguably the best defense in the country, while the Longhorns have struggled at times to score. But perhaps the best way to beat a top-notch defense is to spread the ball around, and Texas has six players averaging at least 7.6 points a game.
LOOKING AHEAD: No. 7 Kansas, which suffered a major blow in losing Udoka Azubuike to a season-ending hand injury, travels to Baylor on Saturday. Though that might seem like an easy trip, the Bears upset No. 20 Iowa State 73-70 on Tuesday. …The Cyclones will host Kansas State in search of a 3-1 league start. …TCU will visit Oklahoma, while Oklahoma State plays at West Virginia.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech. Culver has been the catalyst for Tech’s strong start. The 6-foot-5 sophomore is on pace for an All-America type season, averaging 19 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists a game, and he’s shooting 56.4 percent from the floor. Culver was brilliant in the win over the Sooners, scoring 23 points — including seven in a row to help the Red Raiders pull away late — with 13 boards.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Iowa State freshman Tyrese Haliburton is shooting 48.2 percent on 3s, which led the league heading into Wednesday night’s games. Teammate Nick Weiler-Babb was second at 45 percent, and Marial Shayok was seventh at 40 percent. … Azubuike’s injury will put more pressure on Dedric Lawson in the paint. But Lawson has been up to the challenge so far, averaging a league-high 11.1 rebounds along with 18.6 points, third-best in the Big 12, entering Wednesday’s matchup with TCU.
ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE: Baylor jumped up four spots to No. 4 in this week’s Top 25 after beating Connecticut last week. Texas was 11th and Iowa State was 20th. …Cyclones star Bridget Carleton was named the league’s player of the week for the third time on Monday. Carleton, a senior, averaged 29.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6 assists in wins over K-State and Kansas. … Texas Tech guard Chrislyn Carr was the freshman of the week for the third time. Carr has scored at least 10 points in nine straight games.