Shannon and Matthews are two small forwards that can take over a game
Maybe it is because of his 28-point outburst against Texas Tech in the 2019 Big 12 Conference Tournament but I’m always afraid WVU forward Emmit Matthews is going to go off against the Red Raiders. But in reality, the other four times he’s faced Tech, he’s scored just a total of 12 points. Still, he’s a player who can have a huge impact on a game and his dual with Terrence Shannon Jr. will be of critical importance tonight.
Matthews is a 6-foot-7 small forward who can be deadly with the mid-range jumper. He shoots 45.3% from 2-point range but only 27.6% from beyond the 3-point arc. Thus, Tech has to figure out how to keep him from driving to the middle of the court where he can create for others or score off the dribble.
Matthew’s stats won’t jump off the page at anyone. He’s putting up just 7.7 points per game. But this year, he’s had three games in double-digits proving that he can be a factor if he gets hot.
What’s concerning is that he might be due for another explosion as he has scored just 6.3 points per game in his last three outings after back-to-back double-digit games. Tonight, Tech needs to keep him near that mark to prevent him from tipping the scales in what is expected to be a tight contest.
As for Shannon, he needs a rebound performance after scoring just two points against Baylor in his last game. Hopefully, he can recreate what he did in his only game thus far against the Mountaineers.
Last year in Lubbock, Shannon went off for 23 points thanks to 12 of 14 shooting at the free-throw line as Tech held off the Mountaineers in a wild shootout. If he can come close to matching that performance today and Tech can keep Matthews from doing what he did against them in the 2019 conference tournament, this game could go the way of the road team.