November 14, 2007

Raiders take on the Bearkats

Sam Houston State brings the nation's third longest home court non-conference winning streak into the 2007-08 season. The Bearkats have won 29 consecutive non-conference games since losing 73-70 to Texas A&M in 1998-99. Only Duke and Utah State have longer streaks.

Sam Houston State
Last year the Bearkats took a two point halftime lead at Texas Tech, only to get roasted in the second half and fall by 15 to the Raiders. Gone from that Bearkat team are 2nd, 3rd, and 4th leading scorers and their combined 12.2 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 2.8 steals per game. These players combined for 36 of the Bearkat 64 points in Lubbock and 18 rebounds.

Ryan Bright, a 6-foot-6, 208 pound forward is the leading returning scorer. In the opener against Dallas Baptist, he scored 13 points in 28 minutes and pulled down 11 rebounds. Last year, Bright scored 14 against Tech on 7-of-11 shooting. On the season he averaged 14.8 points and 8.1 rebounds and shot .514 from the field on a team-leading 333 shots. From the arc he was 36-of-94 for 38.3%. He led the team in free throw attempts, rebounds, points, steals, blocks and minutes.

Defense: Bright is a versatile player who likes to drive the ball to the basket but will shoot it when he's open. The Raiders need to keep the ball out of his hands, denying the initial pass to him and force other players to take the offensive initiative. If he gets the ball outside, Tech must close on him in a hurry or he'll shoot it. If he's defended and sees an opening to the basket he will drive. The post defenders must be aware of his drives from the arc. He's a good passer but under pressure will make poor decisions. He's very good at drawing contact but not a particularly effective free throw shooter, hitting only 53.6% of his 153 attempts last year.


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