Grades | Arizona Wildcats 85, Texas Tech Red Raiders 57

Christian Petersen

Texas Tech was blown out by the #9 Arizona Wildcats and hopefully they can learn some lessons.

GRADING THE RED RAIDERS
Arizona 85, Texas Tech 57 | Boxscore | Quotes

So that's the difference between top ten talent and a team that doesn't have top ten talent. Arizona is so much deeper, especially on the front line, than Texas Tech and it's sorta crazy to consider how much deeper they are. That's not a knock against Texas Tech, this is really about Arizona, and I'd love to have a team with that sort of talent each game.

With Texas Tech, the Red Raiders are going to have to find a way to play with only four frontcourt players and Arizona really was the worst type of team to play Texas Tech because they could highlight every flaw. Arizona had guards that knew how to run a team and Texas Tech still has guards that are figuring it out. Texas Tech has to figure out how to guard the post without fouling and Arizona has big men that know how to score in the post.

But this team can't get down. That's one of the best teams in the country and to upset Arizona would have been a very big deal and right now, Texas Tech doesn't have the horses to play at that level. I guess I didn't or dont' have that expectation just yet. Maybe when Walker has some more time to get more talent on the court, but he's got to have more time. I think this team will compete better against Alabama and Arizona St., or at least that's my initial thought. I'm very interested to see how this team responds on Tuesday night.

QUOTES

Head coach Chris Walker continues to say the right things:

So the thing I'm impressed with our guys with their fortitude, they did not give up. They held their head high. We do the fight song, and everybody's there with their guns up. That's what we're all about. We're all about pride. You're not going to win every game, and these guys aren't going to get down. We're just going to look forward to the next game. I told these guys that the most important thing is when I stop talking tonight and they're with each other, what they say and how they relate to each other and what they say when they leave the locker room. Other than that, we're good to go, and we'll get ready for practice tomorrow.

So that's the good thing, I think, which is that Walker keeps preaching good habits and forcing good habits and that the next game is the next game. Focus. Don't get down. I hope the crowd supports this group. I think the players hear his message too and here's Jaye Crockett:

Move to the next game. We have Northern Kentucky coming up Tuesday, so you can't dwell on that. You win some, you lose some, so you have to bounce back the next game.

In a normal situation, I'm probably handing out F's for getting blown out by 30 points, but as long as the team continues to fight, and they didn't give up, I think the Arizona was just a better team, then it's D's all the way around.

GRADE

POSITION

D

BACKCOURT

Walker is going to have a ton of video to show his guards of what not to do and what they should do. In one of the interviews from this week, Walker said that PG Josh Gray is still figuring out how to be a point guard without dominating the ball. When he played, he dominated the ball too much and Walker can show him Nick Johnson's film where he just dominated without dominating the ball. I know that Walker knows that it's a process with Gray and we should too. He'll eventually figure it out and if Gray wants to play at the next level, he'll figure it out. I'd also add that Daylen Robinson needs to watch the same video. There were times he seemed like he was taking shots to just take shots and that's not going to work either. He took way too many three's and they weren't clean looks. To add insult to injury, the usually reliable Trency Jackson didn't make a shot despite taking eight shots and Jamal Williams, Jr. only made 1 of 6 from the floor. There's really only one guy on this team that can run off screens and take deep threes and it's Dusty Hannahs. Everyone else needs to figure out that they can't settle for the three point shots. Texas Tech took 21 three's and Arizona took 22. Texas Tech doesn't need to be taking that many three's and what they should have done was figure out how to get to the line.

D

FRONTCOURT

Early foul trouble will doom this team every time. This was the first example of this lesson, but it's going to hold true for this team all year. They have to know this. Only four frontcourt players that see regular rotation minutes puts Texas Tech at a significant disadvantage. Walker's job is to try to scheme Texas Tech into wins as a result of very little depth, but it is on the players to watch themselves. No easy fouls. Pretty significant rebounding advantage for Airzona, 41 to 26 and that's going to be a recurring theme as well. It's going to take a collective effort from all players and that didn't happen. Jaye Crockett had the best game of anyone on the team and was the only player to score in double-digits, with 12. He also led the team in rebounding. I did like the minutes that Kader Tapsoba provided, but he still has a ways to go with footwork on playing defense. He's got the blocks down and he had three last night, but he's got to work on defensive footwork. Dejan Kravic was just sorta there and he should watch the film to see how a true freshman out-rebounded him by 10 boards. He has the athleticism to be better than that, but he's got to figure it out sooner rather than later. I guess I didn't realize that Jordan Tolbert took off two weeks to deal with his father's death. That puts things into perspective a bit. He'll figure it out I think, but he obviously gets a longer leash.

C

COACHING

Texas Tech couldn't press because they couldn't score. Before the season started, Walker had to figure out a way to make this a better scoring team and the press is one way to do it. When the shots aren't falling then there is no press and then this snowballs into not being able to score because this team relies on getting easy buckets. I think I would have liked to have seen more Toddrick Gotcher. He was actually going to the line, as was Jackson, and if the other players are settling on threes, then I think it may be important to force the other players to see that they can't do that. Gotcher will mix things up underneath.

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