Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE
5 items trending with the Red Raiders basketball team this week.
TRENDING FOR TEXAS TECH
Defense | In the beginning of the year we were full-court pressing and creating turnovers. Now, we have fallen off of that as the competition has increased. We seem to play a lot of zone defense with man-on-man thrown in there some the past few games. Tech has gotten away from the pressure defense and is letting their opponents come down the floor and set up their offense. This is probably because we are now facing squads that can run with us and break our press by passing behind our defenders. When we played TCU and we wanted to shut down one guy without running the press it can be easy. But, when we have to defend guys like Jackson, Austin, and Jefferson of Baylor it probably isn’t going to be easy to win those games without the press. We need to get back to doing the full court-press and putting a lot of pressure defense on teams with multiple stars. We had at the beginning of the Baylor game Trency Jackson on Pierre Jackson, and then Robinson, then before half switched to Gray. Against Jackson, Gray was the only one to sort of slow him down. Dejan picked up Austin, and then after getting burned we had Crockett try Austin who kept scoring buckets. Some Baylor guys burned us, but nobody on TCU was going to burn us. My point is when we are outmatched talent-wise we should probably implement our full court press and hope to trip people up into playing our up-tempo game. I’d like to see the press come back against Kansas.
Assists | Tech is averaging 11.9 apg, which is only good enough to be ranked #239 in the nation in that stat. We really need to start distributing the ball a lot better. In the TCU game I saw some nice passing and good looks down low off some drives to rack up 14 assists. It was really hard to dish the ball to players in the Baylor game because they had the answer for us, which is shut off the inside pass to our best weapons in Crockett and Tolbert and not let us drive. If we did try to drive they blocked us from getting inside to dump the ball. All we could seem to do was pass the ball around the perimeter and set pick-and-pop screens with Crockett and Dejan. We ended the Baylor game with only 6 assists, Josh Gray had 3 of them. Our guys really need to learn how to create space and pass the ball, or teams will follow the same game plan as Baylor and stack the inside with big bodies to beat up on us.
Three Point Shooting | In the TCU game we shot only 10 downtown shots. We made 6 of those shots and won the game. We were able to penetrate the ball inside and didn’t have to jack up outside shots to gamble with scoring. In the Baylor game we shot 24 behind the arc, and made only 5 of them! This was because we couldn’t get inside with the ball, and also because as we started sinking deeper on the scoreboard and tried to play catch-up with long bombs. It’s not going to work for us. We have the poorest three point shooting percentage in the Big 12 at 27.1%, and it is almost the worst in the country #335 of 347. Out of the 60% three point percentage we hit in the TCU game, Dusty Hannahs hit 4 of 6. In my opinion only Hannahs should have a open green light for downtown shots on the floor, unless a guy has a hot hand like Jaye did against Baylor.
Turnovers | We actually stayed at 15.4 TOPG, and are down to #273 in the nation in turnovers. Against TCU we had 16, and against Baylor we had 15. I have nothing to say about this stat at this time except I hope we can get better. Until we do better in this stat I am just going to track it week by week.
Big 12 Games| Hey, we looked good against TCU and know we are not the worst team in the Big 12. These young guys needed to know they could win on the road and in a Big 12 matchup. But, against a team like Baylor we got literally run out of our own Arena. We were frustrated and Gray picked up a technical for talking mess to Jackson so Walker benched him the rest of the game. Crockett got a T for taunting Austin when we were down by 20+ and made a layup. If you had a chance to watch the game and saw these technicals then you already know, it was embarrassing. Let’s learn from our mistakes. We need to pick up the pieces fast and get ready to take on the best team in the Big 12. Let’s see if we can pull off a miracle against Kansas. Wreck ‘em Tech!