TRENDING FOR TEXAS TECH
The Lone Senior | Robert Lewandowski has been a disappointment statistically this season thus far. He just looks to be out of position in most games, when shots go up he doesn't block out the way a senior center should. He tries hard, and I know his off the court leadership to the team is priceless in helping out all the younger guys. He looked better this week against Grambling State, but that is not the caliber team he will be facing in Big 12 play. I have hoped his aggression would intensify as the season went on, but it's hard to teach a player how to change their mentality during game play. I still have my hope that at some point it will all start to click for him. The one great thing Lew has accomplished all season is being 100% from the free throw line, although he has only been there 13 times. Maybe I am just to hard on the guy, but I don't know if I would want Lew playing 26.9 minutes per game when conference play begins as of right now. I want him to build off this last week and keep getting better, then I might change my mind.
Star Watch | Jordan Tolbert just keeps on rolling, and impresses me more and more each game. He is by far having the best play of any player this season. He is big, plays hard, make shots, and moves very well to get in good position to rebound or put the ball up in the hoop when it finds his hands. I think he will keep on being the best player on the team, and has potential to be one of the better players in the Big 12 for years to come. He is only averaging about half a game in minutes per game at 20.9, and I would like to see his minutes increase. He scores 14 ppg on hitting 61.3% from the field, 6.2 rpg, and shoots 77.8% from the free throw line. He has the aggressive nature to take the ball hard to the basket, just look at that dunk he made at the start of the 2nd half of the Grambling State game getting the pass off the wing after running straight down a full court. I have high expectations for him, as do many other Red Raider fans.
Lineup | We all know BCG is going to give the players that are working the hardest in practice and making the right decisions on the floor a chance to get more playing time during the games. I am all for this, and have to keep in mind that we are not going to win the entire NCAA, or even Big 12 tournament this year so why not shuffle the lineup and see what our chemistry is with different guys on the court. But, I am for giving the guys that have the most potential to win the game the most playing time during conference play. I will keep giving my opinion of which lineup I just think works, but I do know you have to look at each individual matchup and can't always depend on one lineup that you should stick with all game long. I'm really watching to see how serious these injuries are with Petteway and Gotcher. But, I still believe we have the best chance against any team we play with the following guys on the court; Ty Nurse, Toddrick Gotcher, Terran Petteway, Jaye Crockett, and Jordan Tolbert. Right now though after seeing how much of a spark Luke Adams brings to the team, and understanding of the game he has, along with those 3 point shots he hit like at the beginning of the Grambling State game, he might be changing my mind on Ty Nurse running the point.
Fouls | This is something that not many people are worried about, but I have been following for a while against our guys. We rank as #10 in the country in fouls per game, that's very bad. This is a problem that needs to be fixed. We have the average of 22.6 fouls per game, needless to say we hack and get beat off the dribble and start grabbing more than any other Big 12 team. After watching the games I'd like to know what you guys feel is the reason for all our fouls. I see it as not moving our feet fast enough in the backcourt and having to pull and grab to try and regain the advantage. I know we are young and will learn to not make some stupid fouls as we gain experience, but to me this shows that we are a little out of control of the game if we are committing this many hacks, charges, and reach-ins. Our fouls will increase in Big 12 play if we don't start working on team defense, others helping out our individual players when they are getting beat by their man would reduce this number.
Turnovers | Yes, we did get down to only 15 turnovers against Grambling State which is a improvement, which is not that great of an accomplishment. They had 24 turnovers, and are the one team we have played that actually average more turnovers per game then us. This is a big reason why Grambling hasn't won a game all season, and why I am so scared for Big 12 play to start with us having such a high turnover per game average. I have already talked about how bad it is for us in previous weeks, and how our young guys will get better with their ball control. So, I'll be positive about it this week and am happy we actually reduced the mark to only 15 TO's this last week, but we need it to go down even more.
BIG 12 REPORT
Top Matchups in the Big 12 This Week
#8 Missouri VS. #24 Illinois | Thursday, December 22th. Missouri is just awesome so far this season, they are #2 in the nation in points per game. The take good shots and are really fun to watch. Illinois has only lost one game this year, but I think Missouri should take this one to keep their streak rolling.
Texas VS. #6 North Carolina | Wednesday, December 21rd. North Carolina is just about as complete a team as you will watch play this season. I think they have a good shot to win it all this year in the NCAA tournament. Let's see if Texas has what it takes to stay in the game against these guys, although it might turn into a blowout late in the game.
Big 12 Player of the Week
Michael Dixon | The Missouri Tiger junior guard is my pick this last week. The Big 12 didn't recognize him with the honor but I will. Anytime a player comes off the bench and has great performances that translates into wins, I love it. He came off the bench in a game against Kennesaw State to have 18 points, 4 assists, 3 steals, and a block. Then after not getting the start the very next game, against William & Mary he hit 30 points, 2 assists, and had 3 steals.