TRENDING FOR TEXAS TECH
Winning | We did it, we got that much needed first conference win. After starting out 0-11 in conference play we came together on the court against Oklahoma and did what we needed to do to get a victory. After the loss to K-State I know how frustrated everyone was about the way things were going for us, and we desperately needed a victory. Against Oklahoma we did something that hasn’t happened all season, we put in a starting lineup and stuck with it throughout most of the game. This allowed us to get into a rhythm on the court with players starting to build chemistry with one another, and didn’t mess with our flow of the game. Jaye Crockett and Clark Lammert were the only players to come off the bench in the game, and Lammert only played 4 minutes in the game so realistically we played that entire game with just 6 main guys. I give credit to the conditioning of the team because it takes a lot to play over 35 minutes in a game like Ty Nurse, Javarez Willis, Luke Adams, and Robert Lewandowski did. They got comfortable with each other out there, and started to anticipate what one another were going to do on offense and defense. This leads to playing better defense, you know who’s man to help out on when a teammate need it because you have been talking to the same player the entire game about what your opponents are doing offensively. You don’t throw the ball away on bad passing because you get a feel for how each player is being guarded, and where to put the ball for only your guy to get it. The fouling goes down because you start to understand a strategy in the game, and aren’t overly anxious to start hacking away for the ball. Another thing that is so important in this game is momentum, and the same group of guys on the court that start building this is key to winning games. It’s the confidence and adrenaline when things start going right that is being built up within the group and makes them a unit, and it’s hard for another team to break this when it just keeps growing and growing throughout a game. Good job to our guys on their first victory, I hope we can take down A&M today and get a win streak going, we all would love to see Tech knock off the Aggies and start building something special with this squad because right now in the Big 12 there’s only one way for us to go and that’s up!
Turnovers | I hope it is appreciated now why I write ever week about our trending in turnovers. I feel college basketball has a formula for winning, and part of the equation involves turnovers in a game. You get below 10 turnovers in a game, and your chances of winning that game increases drastically. Last week against K-State we had 22 turnovers in a loss. The game against Oklahoma we had only 7. When you only give the ball up 7 times in a game the opponents only get the opportunity to put around 18 points up against you that you literally just handed to them (this number is calculated by 7 TO’s multiplied by 2.5 points and rounded up to 18). Oklahoma only made 4 points off our turnovers, which was great for us. K-State had the opportunity to score around 55 points off our turnovers, that’s a big difference, but they ended up scoring 21 points off our turnovers. If we are going to win games we need to cut down on our turnovers, and our goal should be to get less than 10 per game if we want to have a chance to win. And by the way we now rank as #5 in the country at 17 turnovers per game, but we can fix this.
Personal Fouls | This variable is another key to the formula for winning games. The number of personal fouls should be under 15 if you want a great chance to win the game. To help understand this I will use Missouri as an example. Missouri is ranked #3 in the country in the AP and Coaches polls, and Missouri ranks as #4 in the country at fewest fouls per game with it being 14 per contest. Against K-State we had a whopping 27 fouls in that game that they and they scored 30 points from the free throw line, that’s not going to get a win for us. The victory over Oklahoma we only committed 16 fouls, and OU only made 9 points from the charity stripe which makes a huge difference in the outcome of a game.
Three Point Shots | I know we don’t have a lethal three pointer guy on the team, and this is one of our huge disadvantages in games. With our offense playing the high-low game we really need one to establish a three point threat so opponents stretch out and have to start defending the three point shot. Until we get one we are just going to have to keep putting up the three ball and hope for somebody on the floor to get hot that game. Our team still ranks as #341 in the nation on 3 pointers attempted, but we did put up a few in the last week. Against K-State we had 13 and made 4 of them. Against Oklahoma we put up 18 and made 5. I would like the number to be at around 15 per game just to not let the defense fall back against us and plug up inside the arc making drives and passes to the paint hard to make. I think Luke Adams and "Bean" Willis need to keep cranking out the treys, as they are our best deep threats on the court.
Rebounds |The rebounding match was lost in both games last week. Against K-State we were outrebounded 36-34, and against Oklahoma we were outrebounded 38-34. While I am glad the numbers were close I don’t like losing the battle on the boards. I feel this is another big part of the formula to winning games, and if you give the opponent more second chances for points then you get you can fall behind quickly in a game. Second chance points we were beat by K-State 18-5, and we were beat by Oklahoma 8-4 and this is mostly related to rebounding. We have to do a better job and banging for the boards, and establishing position down low when a shot goes up. I would really like to see this happen today against A&M, and I would like to see Lew crash the boards with some emphasis.
BIG 12 REPORT
Top Matchups in the Big 12 This Week
Texas Tech vs. Texas A&M | Tuesday, February 14th. Texas A&M is on a four game losing streak and has only won three Big 12 conference games. Techs is coming off their first Big 12 conference win and have a chance to get two in a row while at home. Of course I pick Tech to cream the Aggies in this game!
#10 Baylor vs. Kansas State | Saturday, February 16th. Baylor has started to skid in Big 12 play, but still has the best talent in the country on their team. K-State is coming off a tough loss to Kansas, but is still a pretty good team. I have the feeling this is going to be a close game, but in the end Baylor should take this win even though it is going to be a good one to watch.
Big 12 Player of the Week
Jeff Withey | The Kansas junior center went off this last week. He had 25 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 blocks, and 3 steals in a win over #6 Baylor. Then he had 18 points, 20 rebounds, 1 assist, 7 blocks, and 1 steal in a win over OSU. And last night in a win against K-State he had 18 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 9 blocks, and 1 steal. That’s what a center is meant to do in games if you want to win.