3 things Texas Tech basketball fans need to know about UCF

Texas Tech basketball fans may not know much about UCF so let's preview the next Red Raider opponent.
UCF v Kansas State
UCF v Kansas State / Peter G. Aiken/GettyImages
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Saturday, for the first time, the Texas Tech basketball program will face UCF on the hardwood in what is the latest in the round of new beginnings against the most recent members to join the Big 12 conference. Hopefully, this game goes more like the BYU game than the Cincinnati or Houston contests did.

Central Florida comes into this game at 13-9 overall and 4-5 in league play. However, their mediocre record should not lull Red Raider fans to sleep. That's because the Knights already have some nice wins on their ledger this season.

In fact, they are coming off of a 74-63 home win over No. 23 Oklahoma. Of course, earlier this year, they also took down then-No. 3 Kansas in Orlando, 65-60.

Their success hasn't been just confined to their home arena, though. They also secured a 77-71 win at Texas. Now, it must be pointed out that the win in Austin is their only Big 12 win away from home.

This weekend, they embark on a run of three road games in their next four contests with the next two being at Texas Tech and BYU. When that four-game run ends, they will be at home to host the Red Raiders on February 24, and by that time, they might be decidedly out of contention for an NCAA Tournament birth.

Currently, they sit at No. 66 in the NCAA NET Rankings. Thus, they have work to do if they want to be considered a tournament team.

The Knights haven't had the most impressive of seasons. The average NET Ranking of their opponents has been 134 and the average NET of the teams they have beaten is 181.

In Quad-1 games, the are only 3-5 this year. What's more, they are just 1-2 in Quad-2 games. Thus, they will be eager to pick up another Quad-1 win on Saturday in Lubbock.

Being as this is the first meeting between these programs, let's take a closer look at UCF and see where they might create some issues for the Red Raiders and where they might be vulnerable. And we'll start by looking at one of the best scorers in the Big 12.

Texas Tech will have to deal with UCF star Jaylin Sellers

Any team with a star player is dangerous. That's because it only takes one player to take over a game and steal a win.

UCF guard Jaylin Sellers is that type of player. This year, he is fifth in the Big 12 in scoring at 17.1 points per game. That puts him just 0.5 points per game behind Pop Isaacs.

However, it is interesting that in Big 12 play, he's scoring only 15.3 points per game to rank 7th in the conference. That's likely because, twice in Big 12 play, at Kansas State and Houston, he was held under 10 points. In the rest of the league games, though, he's scored at least 13 points.

One area where Sellers does work is at the free-throw line. There he is fourth in the Big 12 at 86%. What's important to know, though, is that of the top 15 free-throw shooters in the Big 12 in terms of percentage, he has made the second-most free throws (98) and he averages 5.4 free-throw attempts per game.

Sellers will be a tough cover for the Red Raider guards. At 6-foot-4, he will have a height advantage over both Pop Isaacs and Joe Toussaint.

As for his outside shot, it is merely average at best. He shoots only 29.4% from deep this year but that doesn't stop him from attempting 5.7 shots from beyond the arc per game. There might be a good shooter in him, though, because in each of the past two seasons, while at Ball State, he shot 44.4% and 45% from deep.

In the win over Kanas, Sellers put up 18 points and in the win at Texas, he scored 24. That's proof that he is capable of taking over a game and leading his team to an upset win so the Red Raiders had better find a way to keep him in check in this game because he is a dangerous player who can win a game by himself on any given day.