Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
5 items trending with the Red Raider basketball team. Some things are starting to trend up!
TRENDING FOR TEXAS TECH
Foul Trouble | This is the biggest thing that has stuck out to everyone while watching the last two games against West Virginia and Oklahoma. We are not a very deep team on the bench, and we are especially shallow at depth in our frontcourt. Coach Walker knows this and was smart at trying telling the team to shot a 3 at the buzzer to go for the win against WVU when Jordan Tolbert, Jaye Crockett, and Dejan Kravic all were fouled out in the game. If that game would’ve gone to overtime we would have been slaughtered down low in the paint. Against OU we had Dusty Hannahs, Josh Gray, Jordan Tolbert, and Jaye Crockett all in foul trouble in the 1st half, luckily no one fouled out of the game in the 2nd. This is unacceptable if we are going to expect to compete the way we want to in the games. Anyone that watched the games will complain that the referees were calling the game to tight, but poor officiating is no excuse. You have to play with what’s put in front of you. Getting into foul trouble makes an individual player go about the rest of the game with a different mentality, and usually means that the player is more hesitant on defense; and apprehensive to drive the ball with force to the basket with fear of getting a charging call against them. If the refs are calling a close game with the whistle then we need to understand that and start moving our feet more to get in front of the opponents with our hands straight up.
Backcourt | Seth has been touching at this in his game previews and post-game thoughts, but Coach Walker over the last few games has found his trusted backcourt and is showing them loyalty. Hannahs got to start and had 33 minutes against WVU & 37 minutes against OU. Josh Gray got to start and had 39 minutes against WVU & 36 minutes against OU. Jamal Williams got to start and had 37 minutes against WVU & 28 minutes against OU. At the beginning of the season, and even throughout most of Big 12 play Walker was substituting out and getting a lot of fresh legs into the game regularly. These 3 guys have now broken away from the pack and earned a heavy load of playing time with the weight falling on their shoulders to be the core backcourt for Texas Tech this season. I actually like all 3 of these guys abilities, and think they deserve it. I don’t know anyone else on the bench that I would be having start in the backcourt and play the majority of the minutes. Together they are not at all going to be rated the best backcourt in the big 12, but they are the best combination we have on this Tech squad to be our best.
Clark Lammert | He didn’t travel with the team to play WVU because of a concussion. To be honest, I get very nervous when our team has Lammert on the floor. He tries really hard and usually comes up a step too slow, and a shot too short every time he gets some playing time. There’s a reason he is a non-scholarship player and that’s because he loves playing the game enough to pay his own way to school to be on the team. The guy came in last night against OU and I watched him drain his only 2 shots, and they were both behind the arc. In his 10 minutes of contribution to the game he also had 3 rebounds. I’m not endorsing that Lammert should get more minutes, but I wanted to point out that he actually did a nice job in the Oklahoma game. It’s got to be tough to ride the bench and only get scrap-time minutes in the games. It’s also got to be tough to be the older brother that rides the bench for a team that struggles, while his younger brother is a freshman on the UT roster who averages 20 minutes per game playing time for the Longhorns. He did good last game and he should be commended for it. I’m sure he has a bright future ahead of him in something other than basketball, and I’m sure he is having the time of his life attending Tech and being a part of the basketball team.
Turnovers | Nice job this week! Really nice job. We only had 13 turnovers in the WVU game, and last night committed only 10. This is in large part due to the fact that we are playing a steady backcourt, and the guys are starting to become comfortable with one another. When you constantly are substituting guards in and out it is hard to get a steady pace flowing amongst the backcourt. Chemistry is a very important thing in the game of basketball, and over the past week I have been impressed with how our team has played against WVU, and a really talented powerful OU crew. We have moved a bit in the rankings and are still only #276 in the country with 14.9 TOPG. But, I rejoice that we have actually brought the TOPG average down over the past week. Keep it up guys!
Road Trip | The team gets to go on the road against two very tough teams. We head this next week out to Ames, Iowa and Manhattan, Kansas. Iowa State is not going to cut us any slack, as they remember the embarrassing loss they suffered back in Lubbock this season. K-State has something to prove to the nation as they are a great team that gets overshadowed in the media to Kansas and Oklahoma State (can you say Ben McLemore or Marcus Smart). These teams are going to be out to get us. I say bring it on! What do we have to lose… nothing. This road trip is going to teach this young inexperienced Tech team a lot, and I hope they grow from it. It might not be fun the fans to watch, but if you do I promise you will see the kids mature in front of your eyes. And I’m going to go on and guarantee that they will come back after this road trip next week ready to destroy TCU in Lubbock. Wreck ‘em Tech!