Projected Starters


• G Mark Lyons (6-1, senior)

• G Nick Johnson (6-3, sophomore)

• F Solomon Hill (6-7, junior)

• F Brandon Ashley (6-8, freshman)

• C Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, freshman)

Texas Tech

• G Trency Jackson (6-2, sophomore)

• G Josh Gray (6-1, freshman)

• F Jamal Williams (6-4, junior)

• F Jordan Tolbert (6-7, sophomore)

• C Dejan Kravic (6-11, junior)


Coaches faced off as players

Tonight's game will reunite rival point guards from the Big East in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Texas Tech's Chris Walker and Arizona's Sean Miller. Walker, who became Villanova's No. 7 assist leader while playing under Rollie Massimino, spoke highly of Miller, who left Pitt with the Big East's third-most assists. "Sean was a great player, very heady, very smart, and he was a great shooter and a great ball-handler," Walker said. "I loved competing against him, and it's just awesome to have a chance to coach against him."

But when asked about Walker from his playing days, Miller said only, "I just know him from that, that's all."

The fact that both are now head coaches may not be a surprise, but the circumstances may be.

"You just never knew that he would have ended up at Arizona, being from the East, and you never knew I'd be at Texas Tech," said Walker, a native of Houston. "It works out in wild ways."

Cats happy for charter planes

Arizona is in Big 12 country tonight, but in reality, the journey was far easier for the Wildcats than some Pac-12 road swings. That's because the Wildcats are again taking charter aircraft to most games this season, making the trip to Lubbock less than two hours each way.

Miller said last season that chartering back to Tucson immediately after games helps in preparation for the next game while he said this week it also helps academically.

"This is the last week of school, and a lot of times there's those final papers and important parts of each class coming up," Miller said. "Next week, it's a short week, and a lot of guys will have finals at the end of the week. This is a crucial time academically to be able to travel with people who can help our guys and us being able to focus on the game and at the same time be able to work."

Red Raiders have own 'white out'

Texas Tech is hoping to transform Lubbock's United Spirit Arena tonight with a "white out" promotion. Fans are asked wear white, as UA has done at McKale Center during showdowns with Washington over the past two seasons. The Wildcats split the "white out" games with the Huskies, winning in 2011.

Family ties

Roxy Bernstein, Cal's play-by-play broadcaster and the brother-in-law of UA assistant coach Joe Pasternack, will be calling tonight's game for ESPNU along with analyst Stephen Bardo.


• The series: The former Border Conference rivals have played 50 times but only once in the past quarter-century: an 88-82 UA win in 1994-95 at McKale Center. Texas Tech leads the all-time series 28-22.

• Texas Tech overview: All but left for dead after the controversial exit of coach Billy Gillespie in September, the Red Raiders have shown signs of life in their first four games against weak competition. In fact, Texas Tech is turbocharged, with an uptempo offense that averages 88.8 points a game and a pressing defense that has averaged 13 steals a game to help power that offense. Point guard Josh Gray is the most aggressive defensively, averaging four steals per game. Inside, the Red Raiders have size in Kravic, and versatile talent in Jordan Tolbert, who was the team's leading scorer last season. Jaye Crockett comes off the bench, but he's the leading scorer and rebounder. Texas Tech has not been a strong three-point shooting team overall, though Jamal Williams and Dusty Hannahs are shooting over 40 percent from beyond the arc.


Jaye Crockett

Texas Tech

The veteran forward is an overqualified sixth man, but it works. He was the team's top reserve last season and is probably the team's most efficient player this season, shooting 65 percent from the field and 82 percent from the free-throw line. Crockett is also a steadying influence who was named the team's captain.

Mark Lyons


The Wildcats senior transfer point guard has nearly double the turnovers (11) as assists (six) in the past three games and he will be facing by far the most defensive pressure yet this season at Texas Tech. But his significant experience suggests he won't be rattled easily.

Numbers game


Texas Tech's strength of schedule so far, weakest in Division I, according to (Arizona's is 313th)


UA wins in six nonconference road games under Sean Miller: at Rice and N.C. State (2010-11) and at N.M. State (2011-12)


Assists averaged by the Wildcats this season, easily the highest in Miller's tenure at Arizona

He said it

"(The Red Raiders) have a frenetic pace, and they play hard. They try to use the advantage of Tolbert, Crockett and Kravic to dominate the glass, and they're trying to use their athleticism to turn you over. It'll be a good test for our four interior guys because they are older, strong and athletic. If they impose their stuff on us and make us play out of control, it will be a long night."

UA assistant coach Book Richardson, who scouted Texas Tech

No. 9 Arizona (4-0) at Texas Tech (4-0) at • United Spirit Arena, Lubbock, Texas • 6 p.m. today • ESPNU • 1290-AM, 107.5-FM