Grades | Jackson St. Tigers 75, Texas Tech Red Raiders 84

Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

Texas Tech defeats a pesky Jackson St. team.

Jackson St. 75, Texas Tech 84 | Boxscore | Quotes

Ugly, but a win? Yeesh. The team battled and that's a good thing. Jackson St. was incredibly pesky and didn't seem to want to just fold up their tents. The Tigers did an excellent job of exposing Texas Tech's biggest weakness, which are when the press is broken, anything under the basket is a sieve. Texas Tech can be good in stretches, but is still working on consistency.

I'd also add that Jackson St. lost their first game by 30 to Baylor, who recently lost games to Colorado and College of Charleston. This isn't about the transitive properties of basketball, but rather to illustrate how teams lose to less than stellar teams during non-conference play. The Longhorns lost to Chaminade. Teams lose games like Texas Tech played last night and I wouldn't be surprised if Texas Tech lost one of the other non-conference games, but they didn't lose this one, so I'm happy.

I did like the gray uniforms. My wife liked them too and actually made a comment without me prompting her or asking her about it. It was a good color of gray. I don't like alternate uniforms normally, but I thought this was well done and looked good. Plus, since this team is playing at home for almost two months, it makes sense to have a another home jersey to wear other than white.

Pass of the Night | Gray's behind-the-back pass on a fast break to Kravic.

Dunk of the Night | Multiple dunks. One from Tapsoba's off a Gray miss; Jackson on a fast break and a Tolbert alley-oop from Jackson. They are all in the embedded video below.

QUOTES

I think first of all, I want to give Jackson State credit. I think they played very well. We knew they had good guards, we knew they would make shots and we knew they would really give us their best shot. One thing I’m proud of, it’s the first time we’ve been down going into halftime. We had to fight through some adversity, we didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, and it gave us an opportunity to lock in and really get after people. You’re not going to win by thirty every night, you know that’s a teachable lesson for our guys. Our starting line-up has four guys that have never played at this level and everyday we’re teach lessons and teaching lessons. I’m proud of our guys.

GRADE

POSITION

C

BACKCOURT

Not at all the best shooting day from the guards, in particular PG Daylen Robinson and PG Josh Gray, who took it upon himself to shoot 17 times, making only 4 shots, and I felt that there were times that Gray was about to shoot Texas Tech out of this game. Robinson was 3 of 10 from the floor with 6 points, 3 assists, and 6 turnovers. Walker has said before that players have the green light to shoot if they are open. That's fine, but if the shots aren't falling, find an open teammate. That's what the point guard needs to do. Gray did finish with 12 points, 4 assists, 4 turnovers and 7 steals. That's right, 7 steals. He was darn active. SG Trency Jackson was quiet for most of the night, not contributing to the stat sheet all that much. TG Jamal Williams was the best guard of the night, making 4 of 7 with 12 points, 4 boards and 1 assist.

B

FRONTCOURT

I want to go ahead and get this out of the way, which is Walker and the coaching staff needs to figure out how to better protect the basket. I don't know if this is a situation where the last defender on the press is too far beneath the basket or that guy just isn't a good defender. I don't think the latter is the case, but there are way too many easy buckets given up when the initial press is broken. It would also be beneficial for the guards to really hustle back and help create some conflict. The other huge criticism was that Jackson St. had 23 offensive rebounds. That led to 47 total rebounds, which is unacceptable for a team that didn't have a player taller than 6'6" on the floor at any point of the game. With that being said, the best players last night were C Dejan Kravic who had 16 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 turnovers and 5 blocks. F Jaye Crockett led the team in scoring with 20 points, 8 boards, 1 turnover and 2 steals. F Jordan Tolbert was okay, but seemed a bit out of sorts and not very aggressive offensively. He finished with 6 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 turnovers, 1 block and 2 steals.

B

COACHING

I don't know that I have much to say about the coaching in this game. I didn't think too much about any coaching decisions as this thing is starting to somewhat roll on it's own. I do think that Walker needs to reign in his freshman point guard in Gray if he is shooting too much, but his backup, Robinson, was also off. So despite not shooting well in the first half, 36%, the team did come out and did shoot better in the second half, 57%. That's improvement. I also loved the steals from Gray. Didn't have it offensively, but made up for it on the defensive end of the court. Walker will need to not just get the frontcourt players to rebound as they all did reasonably well as Crockett, Tolbert and Kravic all had 8 rebounds each. They need get some of the other players hitting the boards as well.

LINKS

Tech overcomes poor outside shooting to down hard-charging Jackson State | Red Raiders
Red Raiders use 2nd-half rally to defeat Tigers - The Daily Toreador: Sports
Post-Gillispie, Texas Tech looks better than expected | CollegeBasketballTalk (How about that, some national attention! Don't let it go to your heads!)

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