Result :: Win : 87-69 : SB Nation Box Score
Record :: 18-15, 4-12
Up Next :: 03.18-22.2010 : Jacksonville Dolphins (20-12, 14-6)
The Result :: Punched Below the Belt, But Keeping Composure: If you haven't seen the video, it's embedded below the jump. Long story short, PF Darko Cohadarevic was punched in the nads . . . twice . . . by PF Herb Pope, the leading rebounder of the Big East, who was ejected from the game. I'm not sure that Pope would have mattered as Texas Tech hit 50% of their shots and looked really in sync for most of the game. Seton Hall looked out of sorts for most of the game, especially offensively, their big player, Jeremy Hazell, had a cut on his shooting hand although this was my first time to watch Seton Hall, the Pirates just looked out of sync.
The Storylines ::
Taking One for the Team: There's no doubt that Cohadarevic can be a real instigator, which means that I'm usually on high alert when it comes to Cohadarevic. He has no problem getting under the skin of opposing players, but what Pope did to Cohadarevic is uncalled for, whether or not Darko was pushing Pope's button's or not. I thought I had a bad day at work yeterday, but if that happens to me . . . TWICE! . . . then I think Darko has me beat. I can't say that I know the personalities of any Seton Hall players, but you just can't lose your cool in a situation like that. And to be clear, in watching Darko the first 6 minutes of the game, there was nothing there that would cause me to think that Darko was doing anything that I thought was out of line, but Seton Hall senior John Garcia did:
"I wasn’t surprised," Seton Hall senior John Garcia said. "Because on previous plays, the big kid elbowed him in the back of the head. Then Herb kind of let it go and the kid did the same thing on the next play coming down the court and was talking at him about it. So I saw it coming. If you’re the refs and you let certain things go, it’s tough.
"But honestly, Herb’s got to keep his cool. At the end of the day, it ended up hurting our team, but I could never fault Herb. He’s been that one guy all season, when it comes to effort and heart on the court."
I went back and watched those first 6 minutes just to make sure that there was nothing there that made me think that Darko did anything other than playing in the post in the NCAA's. In any event, Darko still played 20 minutes, finished with 12 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 TO's. Texas Tech had good games from their centers tonight, and Darko led the way.
See the punch after the jump.
Roberts is a Different Player: I shouldn't be surprised. PF D`Walyn Roberts is the type of player that can and should make a difference, especially defensively, every night. Last night may have been the best game I've ever seen Roberts play as he absolutely dominated the boards and chipped in offensively as well. Roberts finished with 12 points, 11 boards (6 offensive), 1 assist, 2 steals and no TO's. Roberts has had a bum ankle for a good part of the season, but when he plays up to his potential, he's damn good, and Texas Tech is a completely different team when there's an athletic forward who can rebound on the front line.
Everyone Plays Well: It's amazing what can happen when this team plays like a team for a full game. From PG John Roberson to C Robert Lewandowski to Roberts, to Darko, it's a completely different team when this team plays team defense and team offense for the entire game. It makes me a little bit sad from the standpoint that I think this team could have won a few more conference games had they played like they did last night. Roberson looked sharp from the start of the game. Connecting on 6 of 11 shots, 4 of 5 from beyond the arc, made it difficult for Seton Hall to get close to the Red Raiders. Lewandowski looked to have one of his best games this season, making 4 of 5 shots for 10 points, 7 boards, 1 assist, 2 blocksd and only 1 turnover. SG Nick Okorie didn't have the stellar game he's had over the last 7 games, finishing with only 8 points on 3 of 9 shooting, but he also had 4 boards and 7 assists, which led the team. Guys playing together is good times.
Singletary Continues Struggles: We've talked about all of the good things Texas Tech did last night, I'd be remiss in not discussing the fact that it frustrates me to see this team only hit 68% of their free throws, especially SF Mike Singletary who only hit 6 of 10 free throws. I think he's better than that. I also need someone to get Singletary a memo. When he backs down a player in the post everyone has film on the fact that he likes to turn into the basket and try to muscle his way to an inside shot, it's going to get blocked. I've mentioned before that I think that Singletary needs to watch film of NBA Hall of Famer Adrian Dantley, but Singletary must develop a low post repertoire, which includes figuring out how to draw fouls, a fade-away jumper, and turning into the lane to find an open shot or an open player (he almost always draws a double-team). He's better than that.
The MVP :: PF Darko Cohadarevic: Just for getting hit in the nads and playing well.
Four Factors, Player Impact, Stat Comparison and Game Flow: Terrific graphs from StatSheet after the jump: