The "Pulse of the Team" is a weekly or whenever-I-get-to-it post about the state of the team, what's going well and what isn't. The Pulse of the Team looks at the week that was, the week ahead, what's trending up, what's trending down and the current player impact, courtesy of StatSheet.
Thursday, December 3, 2009 : Washington Huskies: W : 99-92 : Box Score
Tuesday, December 8, 2009 : TCU Horned Frogs : W : 80-70 : Box Score
Simply Winning: It's been a pretty exciting two weeks, despite only two games. There won't be another game until December 19th, against the Wichita St. Schockers, but for now, I would imagine that most Red Raider fans are pleased with the start. Sure, there have been bumps in the road, including a very close win against SFA, but this team has been resiliant and shown a little bit of fire. I think it's always interesting to watch how certain teams react in different situations, and we have two good examples in these two games. Against Washington, the Red Raiders had a good lead, let up on the gas, apparently won the game, but was overturned, and then turned on the gas in overtime. Against TCU, the team was down by 14, but persevered. I didn't get to watch the game, but the idea that the defense wasn't good in the first half, but picked up dramatically in the second half perhaps has at least two implications. First, perhaps Pat Knight adjusted his defense and second, perhaps the team picked up their intensity. Those are good qualities to have, and I couldn't be happier with how this team has played.
Roberts Steps Up: For those of you who have followed DTN for quite some time, I've always thought that PF D`Walyn Roberts was a Kevin Durant type of athlete. Let me explain, obviously, he doesn't have the scoring prowess, but I've always envisioned Roberts as a long athlete that can play the perimeter defensively, get steals, be a rebounding machine and generally be a true pest on the defensive side of the ball. Well, he's slowly turning into something a little different. I have no idea if Roberts' frame will be able to hold up to a big 12 season, but the game has changed and his toughest matchups this year will be against ISU Craig Brakens, UT's Damion James and KU in general (they've got more guys). Other than those teams, I think and hope that this recent trend is Roberts finally rounding into a solid, if not really good contributor for this team (again, not much time this morning, but the improvement and current tremendous streak of John Roberson deserves mention).
Still Room for Improvement: KenPom has Texas Tech ranked as the 40th best defensive team (adjusted defensive efficiency) and as far as I'm concerned, there's still room for improvement and I hope like hell the team feels the same way. Against Washington, the defense allowed the Huskies to shoot an eFG% of 53.1% (anything north of 50% isn't good) and Texas Tech probably won that game based on the tremendous offensive rebounding. The team was better against TCU, 46.6%, and I hope and think that this is partly because TCU is a feast or famine team (i.e., lots of three pointers), that the team played better defense, and Washington is a really good offensive team. The Red Raiders will face tough competition after the Christmas break with @ Wichita St., Stanford and @ New Mexico. I want this team to continue to be hungry and improve on their already impressive start.
Not much time to comment this morning, but lots of good stats, courtesy of StatSheet: