USA TODAY Sports
Weekly trending items for our Red Raiders basketball team.
TRENDING FOR TEXAS TECH
Shooting | Our shooting has become worse as the season has gone forward. Against weaker competition we would get high percentage shots and could get the ball to the rim fairly easily. In Big 12 games we have settled for contested shots with jumpers, runners, and hooks when we get the ball inside the arc. Against K-State we did a decent job of getting some nice shots off and were alright from the field hitting 44%, which is a huge reason we stayed in that game and only lost by 9 points. However, in the Baylor game that we were creamed by 27 points our team only made 28.8% of our field goals. For Tech to have a chance to keep these next games close they have to make their shots, and create high percentage shots. Teams that beat us by a wide margin keep us outside the paint and make us have our back to the basket when the ball is in our hand. Coach Walker needs to set some offensive plays that allow our guys to square up to the basket with open space. In the nation we are #227 at 42.1% for our field goal percentage and this needs to go up for the last part of this season.
Rebounds | I’ve talked about this before, and I do think it’s a huge stat that could help keep us close in most of the games we play. We struggle with rebounding as a team. Tech ranks at #208 in rebounds per game at 34.1, but I care more about the battle in each individual game more than the overall number of rebounds we get in each contest. I know that we have been outrebounded most of the times we have played Big 12 teams. Our last three have been WVU (outrebounded 22-24), K-State (outrebounded 38-20), and Baylor (outrebounded 37-45). I know that we don’t have the biggest frontcourt in the conference, but we need to play tougher inside if we are going to be smaller than the other guys. I watch as shots go up, and don’t see much blocking out that should be going on down low. Rebounding is easier when you have height and weight on your opponent, and technique plays a huge part as well. I still think that we need to practice our boxing out along with being more physical in the paint. Strength and technique go a long way in the battle for the boards.
Jaye Crockett | Against K-State he had 4 points and 3 rebounds in 20 minutes. Against Baylor he had 7 points and 3 rebounds in 22 minutes. Crockett was at one time at the top in the Big 12 for points and rebounds, he has now dropped to #14 in ppg and #6 in rpg in the conference. Crockett is also seeing less time in the last few games than he normally gets. Since the start of the Big 12 the struggle for Crockett has begun. It’s eerily similar to what happened to Jordan Tolbert last year. It seems that other teams have picked up on who is the must watch player on the court, and tend to shadow Crockett more alertly. The only way he is going to break out of his slump is to pass the ball off and create opportunities for others with the defense paying so much attention to him. Tolbert has been stepping up his game, and it is going to take the defense to forget about Crockett and worry about others before he gets some easier looks at the basket. Also, he seems to be moving around less with the slow-tempo offense then he did in the up-tempo style game which is limiting his touches on the ball as well. I think Crockett is a great player, he just needs to help himself out more while on the court to get some points.
Turnovers | I was so proud to only have 4 turnovers in the K-State game, and then came back to reality in the Baylor game when I watched 17 happen. The K-State game was well managed by our squad, KSU was just the better team. In the Baylor game I think we got rattled by all those dunks we were getting shoved down our throats and started making some really poor passes. A rule I remember learning back on my junior high team was do not leave your feet if you don’t know where you are going to throw the ball. I get aggravated when I see our guys jump in the air without knowing what they are going to do with the ball and just throw it to the other team. We are now #291 in the entire country at 15.2 tpg.
Remaining Big 12 Games | We still have eight Big 12 games left before the conference tournament. Call me crazy, but I think this team has another win or two in them. My games I think we will get victories in are the TCU and UT matches in the United Spirit Arena. We all know we are better than TCU, and I still think that UT is not very good. When we get both these games in Lubbock we should pull it out and give ourselves a little momentum going into Kansas City for the tournament. I know some fans are down on our team right now, but I just remind myself that we have already doubled our Big 12 win total from last year so we have nothing to lose. Let’s try to triple or quadruple it! Wreck ‘em Tech!