Red Raiders Move Up a Spot in Rankings
Texas Tech moved up one spot to No. 23 in the Associated Press Top 25 and is now at No. 30 in the NCAA NET Rankings following a three-game winning streak that started by knocking off the top-ranked team in the nation.
The Red Raiders (8-3) are coming off a 68-58 win over UT Rio Grande Valley last Saturday to extend a three-game winning streak and a 53-game non-conference home winning streak. The team began at No. 13 in the AP Top 25 Preseason Poll, was at No. 11 in the first poll of the season and was then knocked out after losses to Iowa and Creighton in Las Vegas. A 70-57 win over No. 1-ranked Louisville at Madison Square Garden brought the team back into the rankings last week at No. 24.
Gonzaga moved up to No. 1 in the nation in this week's poll followed by Ohio State, Louisville, Duke and Kansas to round out the top-5. Baylor, which will travel to Lubbock on Jan. 7, 2020 to play the Red Raiders are now No. 7 in the rankings. Tech is 1-1 this season against current top-25 teams with its win over Louisville which was No. 1 at the time on Dec. 10 in New York and a loss to No. 25 Iowa which enters the rankings this week.
Texas Tech is now 6-0 at home this season, has won 13 in a row in the USA overall dating back to seven straight to end last season and is 56-5 in home games under head coach Chris Beard. With a 73.8 winning percentage (180-64) as a NCAA coach, Beard has the eighth best winning percentage among active coaches and is 84-34 at Texas Tech.
Statistically, Tech is currently 12th national and leads the Big 12 with 17.5 assists per game and also lead the conference with 192 made free throws and 192 total assists. The Red Raiders are second in the Big 12 with a 77.4 percentage from the free-throw line, 28.91 defensive rebounds per game and 39.45 rebounds per game. The team is currently 23rd nationally with its free-throw percentage and 46th with 16.73 turnovers forced. Individually, Davide Moretti continues to be the NCAA active career leader from the free-throw line and is second this season at 97.7 percent. For his career, Moretti, who has made 18 straight free throws, is 163 of 176 (92.6 percent) which leads all of NCAA Division I and is 42 of 43 this season after going 4-for-4 against the Vaqueros in the team's last game. Chris Clarke is third in the Big 12 with 9.0 rebounds per game and is third with 5.5 assists per game. Kyler Edwards is ninth in the conference with 3.5 assists per game and Clarke is fourth with a 2.54 assist-to-turnover ratio. Along with his free-throw percentage, Moretti is currently fourth in the Big 12 with 24 made 3-pointers this season. A grad transfer from Virginia Tech, Clarke has 99 rebounds this season and 616 in his career after having 11 in the win over Southern Miss last Monday and nine against UTRGV. He has had seven or more rebounds in 10 of 11 games and five or more assists in six games.
The Red Raiders return to action at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 29 against Cal State Bakersfield at the USA before opening Big 12 play against Oklahoma State on Jan. 4 and Baylor on Tuesday, Jan. 7 to complete a five-game home stand.