Early returns on Texas Tech's newcomers are very positive, and among those newcomers, Alex Foster…
Texas Tech-Northern Arizona Preview
When: 7 p.m. Monday
Where: United Spirit Arena
TV: FOX Sports Southwest: Suddenlink (220), AT&T U-Verse (753), Direct TV (676), Dish Network (416)
Radio: Texas Tech Sports Network from Learfield Sports
The matchup: Both Texas Tech and Northern Arizona are coming off fairly impressive season-opening wins. The Red Raiders led Houston Baptist almost from start to finish en route to a 76-61 victory in Lubbock, while the Lumberjacks snagged a 74-63 road victory over UT-San Antonio. The Red Raiders used their size and frontcourt depth to command the glass against HBU and to get many great looks at the hoop down low. Tech's defense was also salty, holding the visitors to only 37 percent shooting. Tech's outside shooting, however, was a bit of a sore spot as the Red Raiders managed to knock down only three of 17 three-pointers. Northern Arizona used defense to catalyze their win as well. The Lumberjacks harassed UTSA into 20 turnovers and limited the Roadrunners to only 14 percent shooting from three-point country. NAU also shot a blistering 86 percent from the free throw line.
Tech player to watch: Jordan Tolbert was expected to be Tech's premiere player for 2013-14 and he certainly started the season in prime fashion, scoring 16 points and yanking down 12 boards.
NAU player to watch: Quinton Upshur didn't lead Northern Arizona in scoring, but he put together one whale of a complete game against UTSA, scoring 15 points, snatching 3 rebounds, handing out two assists, nabbing two steals and blocking two shots. The six-foot-five shooting guard will be a tough matchup for the Red Raiders.
Notable: NAU head coach Jack Murphy is in his second season as the Lumberjacks' head coach. NAU went 11-21 in Murphy's first season, and 8-12 in the Big Sky conference. Murphy has coached under Lute Olson at Arizona, Josh Pastner at Memphis, and Jerry Karl with the Denver Nuggets.
Quotable: "The birthday boy was outstanding, I was happy for him. If we can get that type of effort out of him and keep him out of foul trouble, he's going to be a special player for us. He set the tone. Right away we got a nice lob to him that kind of got his motor going. He's always active: 12 rebounds, 16 points, I could take that every game" —Tubby Smith on Jordan Tolbert.
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