Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE
5 things that are trending with the Red Raiders basketball team.
TRENDING FOR TEXAS TECH
Dusty Hannahs (Freshman Shooting Guard) | Over nine games Hannahs has done a quietly good job averaging 4.2 ppg hitting 38.5% from three-point range in only 12.7 mpg. Tech fans know he has an outside shot, and want to see him be a deep threat each time he gets into the game. Coach Walker switched up the starting lineup last contest against Arizona State and put Hannahs in over Trency Jackson. Hannahs hit two downtown shots early in the game then went invisible until late in the game when he hit another trey. In the ASU game he ended up playing 27 minutes and was 3-7 from behind the arc, with one running floater from along the baseline that was a miss. While Hannahs has an excellent three ball when on the floor, I didn’t see anything else out of him defensively or offensively that really helped the team. The close game between Alabama Hannahs only played 5 minutes and missed two 3 balls in that game. I would like to see him develop his all-around game more to be a solid contributor on the court. He is getting excellent experience and only needs to add a few more talents to be a better player. If Hannahs could learn how to drive and dish the ball with his ability to drain the trey it would be really hard for defenders stop him.
Turnovers | Over the last three games our turnovers have steadily gotten worse. In the McNeese State game we had 12, Alabama 14, and Arizona State 16. We are up to an average of 14.8 turnovers per game. That puts us as a team at #114 in TOPG, which is much better than last year but still not good enough. I know our competition went up over last week with Alabama and ASU coming to town, but we need to contain our turnovers now before Big 12 games start. I feel that if we can have less than 12 turnovers in the next two non-conference games against North Carolina A&T and Florida A&M we will be back on the right track for the Big 12 play. Turnovers will be a very interesting trend to watch over the course of conference play.
Field Goal Percentage | Tech is #77 in the nation in field goal percentage. That is not something to be ashamed of but we were a lot higher than 77th before last week. As a team Tech is making 45.6% of every shot they put up. Our number went down in the Alabama game as we ended up with a 37.9% and Arizona State was 43.1%. When I watch our team inside the three point arc we usually take good shots. Even when our shots are contested we have very good close and mid-range shooters on this team. The problem is when our opponents are better defensively they take away the more easy inside and mid-range shots causing us to take lower percentage long-range shots. We need to find a way to get the ball inside and create space to keep taking high percentage shots.
Pick and Pop | Over the last week I have been carefully studying the offense each game. Our team doesn’t seem to run many offensive sets, but instead runs a lot of pick and pop plays to try and get the deep shot or drive all the way to the basket. For those that are not familiar with a pick and pop, it is just a pick and roll with the player setting the screen popping out away from the basket instead of rolling towards the hoop. It doesn’t seem to be working as great as it did earlier in the season for us. Also, a pick and pop team is usually a great three point shooting team which is not our strength right now. Our strength is our inside guys of Tolbert and Crockett (who I was ecstatic about finally being in the starting line-up against ASU) and I think we need to find a way to get the ball in their hands more by running a few more sets with post screens.
Losing Streak | Our losing streak is at 3 in a row right now, and the loss to McNeese State was a big stinger to start our skid. We have North Carolina A&T and Florida A&M who we NEED to beat before Big 12 games start up. The team looks like they still are learning one another and haven’t been able to be comfortable enough to play together for one whole game. We need these next two games to come out and play well together and gain back some of the confidence we had at the beginning of the season. For anyone that was able to watch the Alabama game you could see the team having fun playing and doing very well in the 2nd half of that game. The other two games against McNeese State and Arizona State, and the 1st half of the Alabama game it didn’t look like the guys were having any fun at all. I’d like to come out these next two games and cream our opponents and have a good time while doing it. Wreck ‘em Tech!