UT-Permian Basin vs. Texas Tech | Preview

Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE

Texas Tech takes on the UT-Permian Basin Falcons in a scrimmage.

GAME INFORMATION
vs
UT-Permian Basin Falcons (0-0, 0-0)

Texas Tech Red Raiders (0-0, 0-0)
November 1, 2012, 7:00 pm
United Spirit Arena | Lubbock, TX
TV: None | Radio: Affiliates | GameCast: None
Probable Starters
Madison Turner (6-1/170) PG Daylen Robinson (6-0/175)
Anthony Dees (6-3/185) SG Josh Gray (6-1/175)
Tyler Reynolds (6-4/185) TG Jamal Williams, Jr. (6-4/190)
Rob Heyer (6-5/200) PF Jordan Tolbert (6-7/225)
Jonathan Uribe (6-6/200) C Dejan Kravic (6-11/240)

SCOUTING THE FALCONS

LET'S JUST REPLACE EVERYONE | As I tried to run down the UT-Permian Basin roster I quickly realized that the Falcons pretty much replaced everyone on their team. The only guy that seemed to be returning is Turner. Also, and this is admittedly completely cheap, but I picked the UTPB starters by who smiled the best in their team photos. For this fact alone, this might make this a completely worthless preview, but I don't know if there was a better way to pick the starters for them. My picks for starters for Texas Tech are really also guesses, but they are just a tad bit more educated or perhaps this is my personal thoughts as to how things might appear. Texas Tech is starting over too, for the most part, I'm ready to see what's here.

THIS BETTER NOT BE CLOSE | UTPB is losing almost everyone from last year and are picked near the bottom of their conference, so I'm thinking that this better not be close. If it is, then it will be a harbinger of things to come, but I'm not expecting it to be close. It's a scrimmage, so we may not really even get a box score or statistics.

KEY TO SUCCESS

BRING ON THE PRESS | Dan provided some terrific insight earlier this week on Walker's trips to Louisville and New Mexico. My assumption about Walker's trip to Louisville is that he means what he says and he really does plan to play an up-tempo type of game, which includes implementing Louisville's 2-2-1 match-up press. Considering how deep this team is at the guard spot, I'm perfectly fine with this type of pressure and also considering how much this team struggled on offense last year, I'm all for easy buckets. The key is that this team has to continue to be a defensive oriented team. A lot of times, pressing teams will not play tough half-court defense. Texas Tech has to continue it's focus on half-court defense, but if the thought is that this team can do both, then I'm infinitely happy.

A NEW DAY | It feels like it has been ages since last season. I'm not sure where to go with all of this other than to say that I think that this is a better team, but I'm not sure that I can quantify how much better it actually is going to be. There is more talent on the team. There should not be a situation where Luke Adams starts a game, as much as I like Adams' hustle and dedication to this team, he should be a bit player at best and if the talent with the guards is as good as I think it is, Adams should be on the bench for the most part rather than playing an integral role. There are more good guards on this team than I think Walker will know what to do with and and it was smart of him to think about how best to make this team better. Pressing is one way to do it.

GAME DAY LINKS, QUOTES AND THOUGHTS

Depending upon my ability to have morning links, I'll try to have any links for other previews or stories about a game in the preview portion. Hopefully that's good for everyone.

I've been looking for Big 12 previews and I've found a couple over the course of the last week or so. All of them pretty much say the same thing if you are a Texas Tech fan, which is that Kansas is the best team and if Texas Tech is mentioned, it's usually as the last or second to last team to finish in the Big 12. So here we go, from Yahoo! Sports and the Sporting News.

CBS Sports has a preview of Texas Tech and it's decent enough and I do think they peg Texas Tech's best hopes fairly accurately:

Best-case scenario: Texas Tech's new guards are better than anyone anticipated and thrive in Walker's up-tempo system. The Red Raiders are still one of the Big 12's worst teams, but they sweep TCU and upset a couple Big 12 teams in Lubbock. The administration sees that Walker has made real progress with the program and removes the interim tag from his title midseason.

DT's Megan Ketterer has a good article on PG Josh Gray and him "making it" and also from the DT is DT's Michael DuPont II about how the team needs to play as a team. Coach Walker has apparently tried to implement a lot of stuff and is preaching that the most important part is to play as a team:

“I think this is our 11th practice,” he said. “We probably have 40 plays, you know — six presses, maybe eight to 10 out of bounds plays. I mean that’s so much stuff that they have to absorb, right now they’re just being sponges and I tell them all the time, I say, ‘Guys, it’s not about being perfect. It’s about being together. So the bottom line is if you play hard and stay together, we’ll figure things out.’”

Also, there was a quote from PG Daylen Robinson who said that Walker's practices aren't hard and that right now it is about playing as a team:

“His practices are not very hard,” said junior guard Daylen Robinson. “It’s more of, like, bringing us together as a team and throwing our individual statistics away and being together as a team — as a family.”

There is part of me that just can't imagine how Walker goes about tackling the team unity issue. Obviously, when Gillispie resigned, players came out in favor of Gillispie and some came out vowing to transfer if he stayed at Texas Tech. Again Walker seemingly has a lose-lose situation. I'd also add that when you're implementing plays or presses and things of that nature, you probably can't practice too hard as Walker is probably doing more teaching than anything else at this point.

LAJ's Nick Kosmider writes about SG Toddrick and how he hopes that this year will be a comeback year for the shooting guard and generally about tonight's scrimmage. I had noticed that Gotcher received a medical redshirt last year, so he's technically still a freshman. DT's Megan Ketterer writes about tonight's scrimmage as well.

The official site is apparently going to let you meet the team and thus far, the videos on C Dejan Kravic (link), C Kader Tapsoba (link), PG Josh Gray (link) and SG Jamal Williams (link) have been released. I have only been able to watch the Kravic video, but I'm hoping to watch the others tonight.

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