Result :: Loss : Texas Tech 87- Mississippi 90 2 OT : SB Nation Box Score
Record :: 19-16, 4-12
Up Next :: None
The Result :: Fitting: I didn't have any faith that this team would beat Seton Hall, Jacksonville and this game against Ole Miss. I'm really not a pessimistic fan by nature, but I became one this year with this basketball team To give them credit, towards the end of the year, this team won games that I didn't think they would, and as a result, that give me some hope. Hope is a good thing especially when I think the entire fanbase was ready to give up on this coach and this team. At the very least, they played hard for 3 games to end the season, and of course you would have rather have seen this team play hard during the conference and win more conference games, but at least they're still fighting, which makes me think that Pat Knight hasn't lost this team. In fact, after the game, Knight had this to say about both teams:
"You saw two teams tonight that were proud to be in the NIT, and it was a hell of a game," Knight said. "Our kids have been unbelievable with the way they've hung in there and finished the season the way we did."
The Storylines ::
A Healthy Roberts Makes a Huge Difference: I've really dismissed the PF D`Walyn Roberts injury, not giving it enough thought or crediting this team's sometimes poor play, but it's somewhat amazing what this team is capable of doing with a healthy Roberts. When he is healthy, I feel like this team can compete athletically with quite a few teams. Without his athleticism, this team looks below average, athletically. Roberts finished the game with 12 points, 17 boards, 5 blocks, 3 assists, 2 steals and 0 TO's. Of course, Roberts also missed some gimmie shots, one that would have won the game, so he's got room to improve, but this is a completely different team when he plays.
More storylines after the jump.
Roberson Struggles: Perhaps PG John Roberson's worst game of the season. I hesitate to write that if he even his 1/3 of his shots, Texas Tech wins this game, but without Roberson's scoring, Texas Tech shouldn't have even had a chance. Roberson made 1 of 11 from the floor, including 1 of 8 from 3-point range. Roberson was by far the team's best ball-handler last night, but he could have been better, notching 5 assists and 5 TO's for the game. And PK hopes that this motivates Roberson heading into the offseason:
"It better motivate him," Knight said. "If you're a competitor and want to win, a game like that better motivate you."
Coaching: There was talk during the game-day thread about some of the coaching decisions, namely the decision to full-court press in the second overtime, which eventually allowed Ole Miss to take the win. I think that what PK was trying to do was force Ole Miss to take time off the clock, of course, all of us know that this team never defends full-court, which is a huge issue. In hindsight, I think I would have had one guy in and around the in-bounds pass (probably Tairu), would have forced the clock to start and then had the rest of the team set up to play some defense, namely Roberts under the basket to defend it. I was upset last night too, but as much as PK wants last night's game to motivate him, I hope it also motivates PK to take a look at himself and what he can do better.
Stepping Up: A number of players had good games to end their season. SF Mike Singletary had 28 points on 11 of 16 field goals, 8 boards, 4 assists, and 4 TO's. SF Brad Reese carried this team in the 2nd half, going 5 for 10 for 14 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks and 3 turnovers. I've already mentioned Roberts dominating game and as a result, I hope that each one of these players work hard during the offseason and improve their game. There's plenty of players that will need to step-up, and we'll talk about this during a long offseason, but there's lots of room for improvement.
The MVP :: PF D`Walyn Roberts and SF Mike Singletary: Roberts was absolutely a monster on the glass and defensively. He wasn't perfect, but 17 rebounds is amazing. Singletary's efficient day scoring is encouraging and I hope he takes it into the offseason.
Four Factors, Player Impact, Stat Comparison and Game Flow: Terrific graphs from StatSheet: