Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE
What's trending with the Red Raider basketball team?
TRENDING FOR TEXAS TECH
Controlled Chaos | The term for the teams mass substitutions, run-and-gun offense, and press defense is being referred to as controlled chaos. This strategy by Coach Walker is working so far in the first four games into the season. Tech is ranked #2 in scoring with a run-and-gun offense that is a fast-paced up-tempo style that allows you to put up lots of points on the scoreboard. We score 88.8 points per game. The 1-2-1-1 press defense is helping Tech get lots of steals ranking us #4 at 13.3 per game while moving our feet, getting our hands up, and picking the pockets of guards when they lift their heads to look for the open man. The mass substitutions is working, putting fresh legs out on the court every couple of minutes. The other thing it does is frustrate opponents while making them have to adjust constantly to new personnel out on the court. Opposing defenses that are running man-to-man are continuously having to switch who they are guarding, not being able to get comfortable with one guy they are on for most of the game. I am impressed with the controlled chaos theory that we are implementing, and I am interested to see how rattled Arizona, a team that is very settled, will do against it.
Downtown Shots | One of the main points of the run-and-gun that Coach Walker lets our team do is to have the green light on shots from the outside. I am completely fine with this because it throws the defense off balance and doesn’t allow them to back down inside thinking we won’t bomb the deep ball. The problem is we rank #302 in three-point field goal percentage averaging only 27.7% makes every downtown shot we put up. If we don’t start draining treys more often we are going to come up against a team that does stack their players inside the arc and will dare us to shoot the deep ball. If I were the opponents against Tech I wouldn’t spread the defense much past the three line and tell the guys to put a hand in our face but don’t worry about getting pressure on the shooter. A game will come along and we will live or die by the three point shot. On the positive side, when you are shooting a lot of threes and making a lot of them you can beat just about any team in the country. Again it’s a thing that Tech does that makes the game entertaining to watch, but it's risky.
Turnovers | This stat is starting to trend back up, and it is a red flag to keep an eye on. We had been doing better with the turnovers the past few games since the season opener but last game we had a sluggish start in the first half of the Jackson State game and gave up 12 turnovers. At halftime we were down by 3 points. We cannot turn the ball over if we are going to win games. The second half we calmed down and regained our composure to only allow 6 turnovers instead of 12 and ended the game winning by 9 points. I believe we will lose most game if we end up with more turnovers than the other team, and I’m also afraid when I see our team on the rise in the turnover category. This stat should be going down each and every week or at least stabilizing out. It shows progress and experience when a team can limit their turnovers. I would like to see this number start to go back down again.
Rebounding | We had been doing really great on our rebounding until last game. Jackson State out-rebounded us 47-40, and this is unacceptable if we think we are going to be competitive in the Big 12. We have a run-and-gun offense that has players breaking down the court, but that shouldn’t impact what happens on the glass. Jordan Tolbert, Dejan Kravic, and Jaye Crockett need to get more aggressive and block guys out when shots are thrown up. I like what is happening when we do get opportunities at the basket, so it would be nice to get even more opportunities by grabbing more boards. I think it is something that our coaches need to work some more on with our post players, showing our guys the way to properly block out and not let streaking wing players from the other team come flying in and grab the ball. Sometimes I feel we are watching the ball in the air instead of playing the battle game down low to establish position on the opposing player. This is another category of our game we need improvement on before conference play.
Whiteout | The talk has already started about the Arizona game. The buzz is getting louder about the game on Saturday that will be aired on ESPNU. The #9 team in the country is coming to Lubbock to take on our undefeated Red Raiders. The athletic department has already started to spread the word about having the fans wear white to the game for a "whiteout" in the United Spirit Arena. I had thought from the very beginning of the season we would take on an Arizona team that was in the top 10 coming into our home court. I am extremely hyped to see what our young guys can do in the center stage with a game like this. To most of the guys on the team this is the biggest game they have ever played in the media spotlight. I am really hoping for the best, and for our guys to go out and play a wonderful game. In the end I hope that they have fun, and learn a lot about themselves and about the team. I know a lot of fans will say this is a test of how good they will do for the rest of the season, but I don’t believe that to be entirely true. Arizona is a team that has a high chance to go to the Final Four this year. I believe they will be at least a Sweet Sixteen team in the NCAA tournament. If Arizona were going up against Kansas right now, I’d pick Arizona to be the better team. Bottom line, I don’t think Tech will face a better team than Arizona all year long, and it’s in their 5th game of the season. The chances that Tech wins this game are not that good, and if we get blown out all the fans that don’t realize what type of team Arizona is will think Tech is not a good team and that Tech will have a crappy season. I do not think that at all. I am excited about this game, and I do want to see what we can do. I think no matter what the outcome of the game it will teach our team how to grow, and all I want to see is our team get better and better as the season goes on. I think if this Arizona game was played at the end of the season instead of the beginning I could use it as a test to see how far along this program has progressed for the entire season. But I do not think because this game is being played at the beginning of the season it should be a test to show how we will fare for all the rest of our games to come in December, January, February, and March. Let’s go out and try our hardest, do the best we can, and keep getting better. Wreck ‘em Tech!