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Red Raiders to honor four seniors at finale

Tech hosts Texas and are expecting their fourth straight crowd of 10,000

Posted: March 7, 2014 - 11:35pm  |  Updated: March 8, 2014 - 1:27am
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Texas Tech's Dejan Kravic will be among the seniors playing their final home game today against Texas. (Stephen Spillman /AJ Media)  Stephen Spillman/AJ Media
Stephen Spillman/AJ Media
Texas Tech's Dejan Kravic will be among the seniors playing their final home game today against Texas. (Stephen Spillman /AJ Media)
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It’s been 10 years since Texas Tech men’s basketball won a regular season home finale.

This afternoon, the Red Raiders host Texas and are expecting their fourth straight crowd of 10,000 or more fans since 2008-09.

Four seniors who will be honored in their final game in United Spirit Arena — Jaye Crockett, Dejan Kravic, Kader Tapsoba and Jamal Williams, Jr.

Crockett, Kravic and Tapsoba have all graduated and are currently working toward their master’s degrees, while Williams is projected to graduate this spring.

Williams was the most recent senior to join the Red Raiders after playing two years at Lake Land College.

This year, Williams has been a go-to for head coach Tubby Smith when the Red Raiders need a stop defensively.

Kravic and Tapsoba came to Tech in the 2011-12 season and both were received redshirts.

Each has been key in Tech’s strength on the boards and integral to the inside-out offensive philosophy.

Crockett has been at Texas Tech since the 2009-10 season.

Dealing with four different coaches in four years, Crockett could have left Tech and received playing time elsewhere in the country but he didn’t.

Earlier this season, Crockett became the 36th member of the 1,000-Point Club and the 13th member of the 1,000-Point and 600-Rebound Club.

In his seven career games against the Longhorns, Crockett has averaged 10 points an outing.

In the prior matchup this year between these two teams, the Red Raiders missed two game-winning shots in the final 18 seconds and fell 67-64 in Austin.

Crockett and junior point guard Robert Turner finished with 19 points in the loss.

The Longhorns, like Texas Tech, like to play inside out through either the sophomore center Cameron Ridley or the junior forward Jonathan Holmes.

Ridley, at 6-foot-9, 285 pounds, works for good post position early and works best when he catches the ball in the paint.

He enters today’s game with a streak of three consecutive double-doubles.

In the last three games, Ridley is averaging 17.7 points and 11.3 boards.

Homes at 6-foot-8 240 pounds, can catch the ball a little further outside the lane but can work his way to the bucket.

The Longhorns and Red Raiders are two of the few teams that play two true post players in the Big 12.

Because of the size and strength inside, this game will be won on the boards.

Texas leads the conference with 42 rebounds per game while Tech grabs 32.8 off the glass.

Both Texas Tech and Texas make a living pulling down offensive boards and scoring second chance points.

On the offensive glass, Texas averages 14.9 rebounds and 11 second chance per contest while Tech averages 11.6 boards and 11.4 second chance points.

krista.pirtle@lubbockonline.com

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Side by side

Tech UT

69.0 Scoring 75.3

.457 Field Goal Pct. .433

.313 3-Point Pct. .325

.730 Free Throw Pct. .671

32.8 Rebounds 42.0

11.7 Assists 12.5

11.9 Turnovers 12.6

6.1 Steals 5.9

3.8 Blocks 6.1

College basketball

Who: Texas Tech vs. Texas

When: 3:05 p.m. today

Where: United Spirit Arena

Records: Tech 13-17 overall, 5-12 in Big 12; UT 22-8 overall, 11-6 in Big 12

Last Meeting: UT 67, Tech 64 on Jan. 11, 2014

TV: ESPNEWS

Radio: 104.3 FM, 93.7 FM and 950 AM

Twitter: @AJ_KristaPirtle

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