TRENDING FOR TEXAS TECH
Losing | We are back on a losing skid after getting our first conference win to OU back a couple weeks ago. The Texas A&M game looked like we had it in hand for the first half, but we came out flat in the second half and didn’t have the stamina to keep our intensity up as a team against a hardnosed Aggie defense. On the other hand, we had no chance from the beginning to end at all in the Kansas game. We have Iowa State and Texas this upcoming week, and while our defense is looking good it’s our offense that needs to get with it this week. Given our streak of no wins on the road in conference play I think we will have a tough time with ISU in Ames, and hope this game doesn’t get away from us in the first 5 minutes of play. But, I know UT had been the hot Big 12 team until they got back-to-back losses to Oklahoma state and Baylor. I have a feeling that in Lubbock anything is possible when we play UT, so Friday I have a flight out of Houston and into Lubbock and will attend the game Saturday to cheer on our guys and watch us get another "W" in conference play. I can’t wait to be at the United Spirit Arena and see Billy Gillispie and our guys in action. Wreck 'em Tech!
Points | I know our team defense is great right now, but the offense needs to get with it a little more. We scored only 38 points against Texas A&M, and 50 against Kansas. In the second half of the Aggie game we had just 11 total points. This will simply not cut it no matter how good you do defensively against another team. We are ranked at #322 in points per game and need to step it up. We average right under 60 points per game while teams like Missouri and Kansas average over 75 per contest. I always thought Jordan Tolbert was the go to guy for points but the last few games Jaye Crockett and Javarez Willis are the go to guys on offense. We need to start getting the ball more in their hands.
Personal Fouls | We did well against A&M and only had 14 personal fouls, but against Kansas we were back up to 21. We are still a top 10 team in fouls per game averaging 21.5 per game. Until we can consistently get below 15 per contest, or get physical and make some "smart" fouls we can’t expect to have close games and stay in them if we are sending the opponents to the line for free points. I have a feeling we will stay in the top 10 in fouls per game for the rest of the year. But, I’d like to see a few more games us get below that 15 mark.
Turnovers | There is not much to say here because I feel that most people are now just chalking the season up as a learning experience and our squad being young for why our turnover per game category is so high. I don’t buy that. For a team that holds the ball for a long time on the offensive side of the court and doesn’t get that many shots off in a game you know one thing, they play with the ball most of the time away from the basket. If you watch us we kick the ball high to the postman beyond the free throw line, or do a ball reversal from guard to guard. A team that runs-and-guns and is a little more "out-of-control" should be more prone to having turnovers. Our turnovers come from bad passing, or trying to force the ball somewhere that is almost impossible to get it to. We are #4 in the nation in turnovers per game at 17, and while the number has gone down a little over the year other teams have seemed to get better than us faster in this category. The 14 against A&M wasn’t good, but the 20 against KU was awful. This is a category that I want to see change now, not next year but now.
Starting Lineup |While the last 2 games seem to show how having the same players on the court basically the entire time with no rest at all can wear down on our team at the end of games I am glad we have found a starting lineup. Luke Adams, Javarez Willis, Ty Nurse, Robert Lewandowski, and Jordan Tolbert are the starters. This is a good way to know where you stand on a team and build on team chemistry throughout the rest of the season. I could go into the minutes played per guy and how maybe the starters need to get a rest at critical times throughout the game, but I won’t. I’m just happy to see us get a consistent starting lineup in the last week.
BIG 12 REPORT
Top Matchups in the Big 12 This Week
#3 Missouri vs. #5 Kansas | Saturday, February 25th. This is going to be one heck of a game. Missouri comes into this one right now as one of the hottest teams in the country (8 wins in a row if they beat K-State). Kansas is pretty hot themselves (5 wins in a row if they beat A&M), and will remember the loss to Missouri in Columbus a few weeks back. Allen Fieldhouse will be rockin’ for this one and KU will take Missouri and their win streak out of commission during this one.
Iowa State vs. Kansas State | Saturday, February 25th. K-State lost to Iowa state last time these two played. But it was only by 2 points and played in Ames. K-State now gets to take on ISU at home in Manhattan and I think will take this win from a really great Iowa State team.
Big 12 Player of the Week
Keiton Page | The Oklahoma State senior guard had one of the best performances of the Big 12 season last week. He had 40 points hitting 4 three pointers, and making amazingly 20 for 20 from the free throw line in one game while beating UT. The game before was good, 23 points with 5 three pointers against Missouri. But anytime somebody scores 40 points or more in a game that is really impressive, and hitting all 20 free throws you shoot in a game is awesome.