Down to the NIT's Elite Eight: Thanks to wrench_raider for the FanPost for some post game thoughts. The game day thread seemed a little bit down, but a win is a win and it's a heck of a lot better than a loss. Sure, it could have been prettier, but the fact is that the more wins this team has, the better off they are. From all accounts, it was an ugly game, as Texas Tech shot 37% for the game, but got to the line 29 times to the Dolphins 14 free throw attempts. The hero yesterday was SF Brad Reese, who notched his first double-double, scoring 19 points and 10 boards yesterday, including 12 of the team's 28 points in the first half. By the time the second half rolled around, PG John Roberson and SF Mike Singletary woke up as Roberson scored 10 and Singletary scored 11 in the second half.
Perhaps the best and most telling statistic was that Jacksonville shot 43% from the field in the first half, but the Texas Tech defense limited the Dolphins to 35% in the second half. One of two things happened, Jacksonville shot themselves out of the game or the Texas Tech defense showed up. Truthfully, it was probably a combination of both events.
Perhaps what saved Texas Tech, in addition to the free throw disparity, is that the team shot 50% from the 3-point line and out-rebounded Jacksonville by 9 rebounds. PF D`Walyn Roberts showed up again, almost netting a double-double, scoring 10 and grabbing 9 boards. One other note, where as Jacksonville's best player, Ben Smith, possibly shot the Dolphins out of yesterday's game, scoring 17, but needing 17 shots to get there, at the very least Texas Tech, almost to a man, distributed the ball around and didn't take a huge volume of shots. I feel bad for SG Nick Okorie, who was on fire for a few weeks, seems to have lost his rhythm, but he can catch fire quickly and I'm hoping that happens sooner rather than later. This team is more difficult to guard when he's playing well.
Roberts finished with 10 points, nine rebounds and his coaches’ praise for not only the defensive rebound that kept Tech in control, but for his ability to recover after battling a bone bruise in his right foot for most of the season.
"I’m happy for D’walyn, to end like he has these last two, three weeks," Knight said. "The poor kid had a great preseason then he hurts his foot and didn’t practice the first four, six weeks."
And PG John Roberson talked about defending JU's Smith:
"I was trying to be a little physical with him, try to make him uncomfortable," Tech point guard John Roberson said. "They set a lot of ball screens for him. He’s quick with the ball and he can shoot.
"We were just trying to take the ball out of his hands as much as possible and make other people beat us."
PK also credits the crowd for making a difference:
"I don’t think we would have won without them," Knight said. "The atmosphere was great. They were into the game the whole time."
The MVP :: SF Brad Reese: As mentioned above, Reese's double-double was huge, as was his 12 first-half points. Don't fall in love with the 3-point shot next week, crash the boards, and I'll be happy.
StatSheet graphs and video after the jump.
Four Factors, Player Impact, Stat Comparison and Game Flow: Terrific graphs from StatSheet after the jump: