TRENDING FOR TEXAS TECH
Spirit | We lost another two Big 12 games this week, and the negativity throughout the Texas Tech community is noticeable. The alumni I keep in touch with on a regular basis are not even following the team anymore except to ask me if we finally got a conference win yet. I understand most of the Tech fans and my friends are football followers, but our game last Saturday against Iowa State was on ESPN2 at 4pm and just about everyone I know should have had a chance to catch at least a portion of the game. I can speculate all I want about what we are doing right and what we are doing wrong but what really matters is the spirit of our team. If we cannot get fans and students to come out to the games and cheer our team on the excitement of the whole basketball program can fall into a bleakness that I’ve experienced over the past couple of seasons before, and it’s not fun. I know it can be extremely discouraging to lose six straight conference games in a row and start out Big 12 play 0-6, but we can’t let that bring us down and have these excuses about how we will be better next year. We still have 12 games remaining on the season, and the Big 12 conference tournament to play in. We still have KSU, OSU, OU, A&M, UT, and Missouri coming to the United Spirit Arena. We still have hope yet, and can pull off some major upsets because most teams have just counted us out. I know the team still has spirit left in them, and so should our fans. I KNOW I DO!
Turnovers | We had 21 turnovers against OU, and 15 against Iowa State. We now officially rank as a top 10 team in the nation in turnovers per game at 17. This number should be going down but it doesn’t because we are playing better competition, and that better competition is more experienced than us and they are getting better every game too. The one thing I see when I watch our team try to set up the offense is force our passes to players that aren’t open. It’s sometimes like we are just going through the motions of setting up the high-low offense and swinging the ball where it should go instead of where it can go. I don’t know if the coaching staff doesn’t allow us to be creative and make our own lanes with a few cuts to the baskets if we see a lane open up, or if it’s a strict policy of running the offense correctly with no deviation whatsoever. We need to do something, but it should start with our bad passing.
Fouls | We had 25 against OU, and then just 14 against Iowa State. We rank #11 in the nation for fouls per game at 21.8. This is something else that should be improving with experience, but it is not because of the level of competition we have been playing. We are playing quicker stronger teams and using our arms to pull at the perimeter, and hacking down low to try for the ball because our feet aren’t staying in front of the opponents on offense. For a team that fouls so much we should have other teams afraid to play us because we play so aggressively and physical. That is not the case, so maybe we turn it around and start playing a little tougher. If we are going to foul, foul hard. I’m not saying hurt the other guy, but you can make them think twice when trying a move on you. We don’t want to be dirty, but other teams can know they better show up to play against us because we are no joke on the court. A foul is a foul, and we might as well make the fouls count but not flagrantly. Tell me if I’m wrong here, but I don’t mind a foul that is going for the ball because you want it more than the other guy rather than just getting caught slapping at it and getting the whistle?
3 Point Attempts | I was happy to see that over the past week we were actually trying to knock down the 3 point shot. We all have talked about throughout the season how we need a deep threat for our high low offense to work, and it looks as if we know this and have been given the green light to take the downtown shot. Teams will not be able to stay down low once this shot starts falling for us, and those double teams on Jordan Tolbert will not matter at all to mess up our offense. We still rank #343 in the nation in three point attempts, but our numbers were up against OU we tried 14, and against Iowa State we had 18. It will start to drop for someone in some of these remaining games.
Free Throw % | We might not get to the line all that often in some of our games, but we still shoot above 70% as a team on free throws. We are at 71.8% on the season and this gets us a national ranking of #80. While we haven’t had a Big 12 game that lets us be up by a few points and make the other team foul trying to get the advantage by shaving the lead, this is something that is not a concern for us. We will win the games that are close if we have a tight lead, and that is something that is really nice knowing. The worst loses are loses that you felt you are the better team, and the other team steals it away in the last minute because you cannot hit a shot from the charity stripe.
BIG 12 REPORT
Top Matchups in the Big 12 This Week
#5 Kansas vs. Iowa State | Saturday, January 28th. Kansas is looking unstoppable right now; they have won 10 in a row and are undefeated in conference play. They have in my opinion the best player in the Big 12, Thomas Robinson who is also unstoppable. Iowa State is really good, as we saw last Saturday against us, they have a complete team. This game is my upset alert game as I think this one will be close because they will be playing in Ames, and I would not be surprised at all if Iowa State pulls off this monster upset.
#24 Kansas State vs. Oklahoma | Saturday, January 28th. Oklahoma has already pulled the upset in this matchup this year. Kansas State is a good team and they will not be soon forgetting about that. Now that they are bringing the game back to Manhattan the Kansas State team will be showing revenge on OU at home. But, OU has already figured out K-State once and they might think they can do it again even though I don’t think so.
Big 12 Player of the Week
Pierre Jackson| The Baylor junior guard didn’t get the honors by the Big 12 because over the last week Baylor lost their two games, but to me this guy was just dominant. Against the #7 Jayhawks he had 11 points, 11 assists, 3 steals, and 2 rebound off the bench. Against Missouri he had 20 points, 15 assists, 4 rebounds, and a steal. Now if anyone ever averages a double-double for the week that’s impressive, but it is usually done with points and rebounds not points and assists. If you can dish the ball and score the ball you have a complete game as a guard, and hit 5 of 10 three point shots as well in a week.