So far this season, what are some significant changes you have witnessed on the court with our basketball team since Tubby Smith and staff have taken over?
Seth - This is probably a bit obtuse, but I think this team is actually playing basketball. It seemed that when Gillispie was the coach, these guys were robots on offense and under Walker looked a bit lost at times on both sides of the floor. At some point, I somewhat doubted whether or not these guys were really basketball players. Basketball, at it's heart, is about flow and movement and having an acute awareness of what they need to be doing, but not getting in the way of each other. Now, I don't see the team being as lost. Don't get me wrong, it's not at all perfect, but there are real time where you can see the team flow in the right direction and that has a lot to do with Smith and how he coaches.
LSRR - Dan, I think you described it best in your article on Thursday. To echo that, I would like to point out the level of intensity and attention to detail displayed by the coaches. Coach Smith doesn't just show up and hope to compete, he prepares to win. It's also obvious that he has emphasized the importance of fighting for rebounds on both ends of the court. During a pregame radio interview earlier this year, the players were discussing how Coach Smith looked back on last year's stats and saw what worked and gave us an advantage. More rebounds = more wins. Really proud of our guys on Wednesday night and I sure wish Turner's final shot would have fallen.
SARR - Unfortunately I've only been able to watch parts of games this season but I see a more disciplined team on the court and a team that doesn't lose it's composure when things aren't going well. Over the pad several seasons things seemed to really spiral out of control in games and we'd lose by 30 or 40 points quite regularly. I don't see that happening with this team. Sure, we'll lose big on occasion but not once a week.
I'm not a fan of Bobby Knight but appreciate how he got the most out of his players and kept things competitive. I see similarities in this Tubby Smith led squad.
MikeTTU - A significant change I've seen from last season is the fact that this team isn't on the wrong end of long runs. In the past, teams would pull out from the Red Raiders once or twice a game to keep us out. Recently however, those are slowly dieing down. In the LSU game, it was the first big game all season where LSU didn't get a change to go on any long runs. It also the game the Red Raiders were closest to finishing. Another significant change is the in game adjustments by Tubby Smith. That "fire" that people said they saw in Tubby last game, he's had it all season, the cameras and announcers just didn't talk about it as much as Wednesday. He gets the respect and attention from his players, and is willing to change game plans or formations mid game if it is necessary. Those two things, I believe, are the biggest changes Tubby and Co have made since he's accepted the job.
DanSwany - I wrote about Coach Smith’s passion that translates to the players on gamedays in my post yesterday. But, the really significant change I have witnessed is the teamwork and disciplined playmaking sets the guys have learned since Coach Smith and staff has taken over. The Texas Tech games are enjoyable to watch this season for anyone that likes basketball and strategy. You can see when Tech changes up their zone defense and you can figure out why they did it. You can follow the motion offense to see who is breaking to get open, and know what we are actually trying to do. It is wonderfully orchestrated and a neat thing to see happen. I have always known that Tubby Smith and staff would teach our squad to play, I am so grateful at the rapid pace it is happing at. Not since Bobby Knight have I witnessed our team play the game of basketball the way they are right now.
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