Grading the Red Raiders | Texas Tech 62, TCU 53

US PRESSWIRE

Texas Tech earned their first conference and road win of the season in a 62-53 game against TCU. Jaye Crockett had 13, while freshman Dusty Hannahs had 12 points, making 4 of 5 from the three-point line.

GRADING THE RED RAIDERS
Texas Tech 62, TCU 53 | Box Score | Quotes

Maybe last night was this team's most well played game of the year. A little sloppy, but I thought that the team played with purpose on offense and defensively, TCU couldn't catch a break or really take a good shot for a good part of the night. Plenty of credit goes to the defense for doing that, but it seemed that TCU's Anderson was just praying for a shot to go down that never happened.

Perhaps the most important development of the entire season may be the insertion of Dusty Hannahs at shooting guard. He's really chanaged the dynamic of the team by providing a scoring lift and creating opportunities inside. Not only that, but by having a guy like Hannahs who can knock down an outside shot, the offense seems more patient, or at least it was last night. For the first time that I can remember, the team took selective three-point shots and it was much more efficient offense. The big takeaway was that the team didn't shoot a lot of free throws, but it didn't seem that this happened because they were taking too many threes or too many outside shots. Just seemed to work out that way. Could maybe focus on getting to the line a bit more as this is part of Big 12 play.

QUOTES

Here's head coach Chris Walker:

I am very proud of the way the guys came together from the start of the trip. We came a day early because we had not had a road trip this year. There was maximum focus at dinner last night and shootaround today. It was much better than we have had all year. The reason that we wear black every day at practice is because practice is about being in the most difficult situations. When you are in the most difficult situation the habits you have from practice will carry into the game. We got a win against a very well-coached team.

Also interesting to see that Walker knows that he's backed off the press and it has been something that's been intentional with such a young team:

It has been a work in progress. Earlier in the schedule we could just run up and down on teams and score easily. It is the evolution of the team. To be honest with you, standing around is not that bad sometimes. It is a matter of what is going on, and how we want to score. Sometimes standing around is good for us because we turn the ball over too much. That is what we have to learn, to have a high volume when things go wrong. Those same guys made some big plays. Josh Gray made some big played and Dusty (Hannahs) made four 3-pointers. For two freshmen to come in and make key plays, how can I not be proud of that?

GRADE

POSITION

B+

BACKCOURT

I've already talked about Hannahs, but he eventually finished with 12 points, going 4 of 6 from the floor, and 4 of 5 from the three-point line. He did have 4 turnovers and there were times that he looked like a true freshman, but you'll take this type of production from a true freshman just about any night. Josh Gray and Daylen Robinson both looked like players who slowed down their games and the game slowed down for them. Gray had 6 turnovers, but I didn't notice them really at all this game. Robinson only had 2 turnovers to 5 assists. Gray finished with 8 points, 2 assists, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals. Robinson didn't take a shot, but he was productive, finished with 2 points (made two late and important free throws), 5 assists, 2 turnovers and 1 steal. Trency Jackson is playing some quiet, but important minutes. He only shot 2 of 7 for 7 points, but he also had 4 assists, 0 turnovers, 3 rebounds, and 1 steal. Jamal Williams Jr. returned and played minimal minutes. Ty Nurse is still getting a handful of minutes and he looks good in a limited role. By not starting, he looks a heck of a lot better.

B

FRONTCOURT

Really, my only gripe of the frontcourt was that they were out-rebounded by 5 and allowed TCU to get 17 offensive rebounds. That could eventually cost them in conference play. Other than that, Jaye Crockett was really good, making 5 of 8 from teh floor, with 13 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 1 block, and 2 steals. Very nice. Jordan Tolbert played in front of a large family contingent and he had some bounce in his step. Maybe he needed that psychologically, to play good in front of family (Tolbert's father died late in 2012). Tolbert finished with 11 points, 9 rebounds, 1 turnover, and 3 blocks. Dejan Kravic still looks like a guy that decides what he wants to do with the ball before he gets the ball. There were also too many times where Kravic didn't body up on a man to rebound and that resulted in those TCU offensive boards. He can be better than that.

B+

COACHING

It seems like Walker's biggest coaching move ocurred before the game even started. He slowed the game down a bit, intentionally, and it resulted in a team that looked a lot sharper than they have recently. My biggest concern heading into Big 12 play was just not being careful with the ball and that really improved last night. The team valued possessions. And defensively, they have to get some credit for forcing TCU to shoot 35% from the floor for the game, they took bad shots, but the defense was really good. Some of that is evidenced by the fact that TCU only had 7 assists, there just were not a lot of open players.

GAME DAY LINKS

Red Raiders Spoil Big 12 Debut for TCU - Texas Tech Red Raiders Official Athletic Site

Balanced effort paces Texas Tech to win against TCU in Big 12 opener | Red Raiders

Texas Tech notebook: Freshmen play big role in win against TCU | Red Raiders

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