Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
5 things trending with the Red Raider basketball team this week.
TRENDING FOR TEXAS TECH
Winning | Damn it feels good to be a Red Raider! That was a much needed upset that we pulled out last night for the Texas Tech basketball team and our fans. Iowa State is a great team and rank high in just about every statistical category in college basketball. Iowa State is going to make the NCAA tournament this season. But, our squad fought hard to pull out the win and dictated the pace of the game. Watching it reminded me so much of the 1st half in the Kansas game, but in this one Tech played it out the entire game. I am so proud of this win for the basketball team and hope it gives them the confidence to win against anybody in the conference. Another thing this does is get Coach Walker a step up in getting the interim tag vanished from his position title. I expect if we can pull a few more wins (TCU, Texas, West Virginia), and one more upset like this there will definitely be no coaching search at the end of the season. Our fans are really buying into what Coach Walker can do after this game. Now it’s time to bring on UT this Saturday and keep the win streak alive! Wreck ‘em Tech!
Game Pace | Early this season we were a run and gun team with a controlled chaos mentality that was being implemented. As we started to face tougher competition and realized this style of play didn’t work Coach Walker wisely changed the offensive philosophy to a slow down game. Nowadays with a shot clock in place you cannot run a true four corners style offense, but you can pass the ball outside along the top of the perimeter with a motion offense that takes away lots of ticks on the shot clock. Tech is learning how to make the opponents scramble for a length of time on defense, and this allows Tech to control the pace of the game. It frustrates teams that have to play a different style game then what they want. This slow down pace has worked and we are working on learning it better and it shows. Against Oklahoma State the slow down game did not work, but against Kansas and Iowa State it worked just fine. It’s going to be fun to watch how our team will play against different opponents for the rest this season, and if they are going to try and keep the slow down game for every game from here on out.
Rebounding | In the Kansas game that we keep relatively close for a lot of the game, we outrebounded them 28-26. In the OSU game that we got blown out the water we were outrebounded by them 26-43. In the Iowa State win last night we outrebounded them 38-29. The point of emphasizing the rebounding is being with a slow down style offense, rebounding becomes one of the most important stats to follow. I still think turnovers are the most important. But, second chance possessions are huge and grabbing a quick rebound after a shoot is big too. You want to get the opponents tired on defense, then have them turn around and quickly jack up a bad shot on their end to have them go play defense for another extended set after that. Or you can grab the rebound on offense after shooting it with 3 seconds left on the shot clock, and eat up another chunk of time making the opponents defense work twice as hard, for twice as long. Rebounding is key if we are going to make the slow down game work! We are only #167 in the nation at rebounding at 35.4 rpg, we need to bring this number up, and focus on getting more then the other guys each time we step out on the floor.
Turnovers | Aginst Kansas we had 16, against OSU we had 13, and against ISU we had 15. We are still #273 in the nation at turning the ball over at 15.2 tpg. Quite simpley we need to do better at handling the ball. If we get this slow down game going, can grab the boards, and don’t give the ball away then we have a really good shot against every team in the Big 12. This is assuming the other team isn’t red-hot from the field. Our team is still inexperienced and throwing some passes into traffic that they shouldn't, or throwing it out of reach from their teammates. We really need to get better at these things and show progress as we play more games. It’s still not showing right now with having this many turnovers in our games.
Trency Jackson | Losing Jackson was a pretty big blow to our team. He was declared academically ineligible by the NCAA and is not allowed to play for the rest of the season. According to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal he has told a news station in Jackson, Mississippi (his hometown) that he plans to transfer. Jackson was regarded to be one of the best defenders on the team. He was super quick, and could shadow just about everyone he guarded by moving his feet to keep in front of them and blanketing them when they had the ball. He did have some trouble defending against Pierre Jackson of Baylor, but who doesn’t. On offense he could slash to the bucket relatively easily with the quickness he possessed, but he had trouble finishing at the rim. One of the main reasons the loss of Jackson is so hard is because he averaged over 22 minutes a game and was a starter. Jamal Williams has replaced Jackson in the starting lineup with his playing time increased since the loss of Jackson. Williams will bring more to the offense side of the ball as a scorer, but he is not as talented on the defensive end as Jackson was. Williams is going to have to step up his game big on the defensive side.