McCullar vs. McGuirl
The only name on the KSU roster that might be familiar to most Texas Tech basketball fans is that of Mike McGuirl. This year, he’s KSU’s leading scorer at 12.5 points per game and we can expect him to see quite a bit of Kevin McCullar tonight. How that showdown goes will be critical.
McGuirl is only 6-foot-2, 195 pounds so perhaps McCullar’s length and size advantage will pay dividends for Tech. But make no mistake, the KSU senior is a crafty scorer.
This year, he’s shooting just a tick under 40% from 3-point range despite the fact that his long-range attempts have doubled from three last season to six this season. And as we know, teams that can shoot the 3-ball are often difficult for Tech to contain given that the Red Raider’s defensive scheme is susceptible to giving up open looks from the outside.
The Red Raiders sell out to stop dribble penetration and to cut off one side of the court. Thus, almost every defender is drawn to the mid-point of the floor and when the ball is swung over the defense or when a guard is able to penetrate and find an open shooter on the opposite side of the court, the Red Raiders are often vulnerable.
But McCullar is Tech’s most intelligent defensive player. He has a terrific sense of timing and court awareness that helps him challenge open 3-point looks. So expect him to be in close proximity to McGuirl for much of this game.
Offensively, McCullar needs to bounce back from a poor showing on Saturday when he made just two of eleven shot attempts. If he can be more of an efficient scorer while making life more than a little difficult on McGuirl, this game will likely end up in the win column for the Red Raiders.