Scrap, scrap, scrap. That’s all of this team does. It’s going to happen with this team. Late in the game, Texas Tech didn’t prioritize each possession and made poor decisions. Texas Tech was down by 14 but this son of a gun, in Bramlage, was down to a possession or two late in the game. The wins aren’t happening now, but this group can hold their head high. It would have been so easy to let K-State go on a run, but this team continues to show that they know how to persevere and play and do what they do.
It’s going to happen, when HC Tubby Smith can get a few more of his players and impress on his players the need to value each possession and how to run his sets when things get tight. Smith has done a ton of stuff in his first year, and getting this team to play competitive basketball each and every game is a start and a great start. It’s frustrating at the end of the day, but there were times last year and the year before last, there was embarrassment after a bad loss, but not any more.
Star of the Game | G Dusty Hannahs and F Jaye Crockett: I'm choosing both because both players had terrific games. Crockett finished with 15 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 turnovers and 2 steals. Hannahs had 14 points, 1 assist and 1 turnover. They both scored 12 points each in the second half and they were a huge reason why Texas Tech outscored K-State in the second half.
1. Missed Opportunities: The game started with a missed opportunity, a missed layup by Toddrick Gotcher, and it seemed that the game was bookended with missed opportunities as well. Missed free throws by true freshman Randy Onwuasor and a terrific steal by Onwuasor in one second with Texas Tech down by 6, only to turn the ball over one second later while trying to lead a fast break. One of the toughest things to do in sports is to catch your breath and figure out what you want to do next and make it happen. And Onwuasor didn’t play all that poorly, as he played the last 4 minutes for the most part, during a crucial stretch of the game. I’m not sure what to think about that as Robert Turner didn’t have an awful game,
2. Offensive Boards: I never would have thought that Texas Tech would have had more offensive rebounds than Kansas St. and I don’t have the stats about what each team did with those second chances, but it sure felt like K-State did more with those second chances as they scored on put-backs and Texas Tech just couldn’t capitalize on things of those nature. There was one sequence, and this isn’t the fault of Clark Lammert, but he got a few minutes of time in the first half and was actually doing a fantastic job of blocking out the K-State player, but the K-State player out-muscled Clark for the rebound and scored an and-one. It seemed as if there was more of those capitalized opportunities for Kansas St. than for Texas Tech.
3. Need the Big Guys for a Street Fight: When basketball teams get into a street fight, much like Kansas St. likes to play (and I do love watching both types of basketball, a free flowing and a tough defensive game) you need your big guys to step up and battle on the boards and score tough baskets around the hoop, but last night, Jordan Tolbert didn’t score a single point in 22 minutes and grabbed just 3 rebounds and had 3 turnovers. That’s now showing up and he just has to be better than that for Texas Tech to win these sorts of games. And even if a guy doesn’t play, you like to see guys battle like Dejan Kravic, who wasn’t great by any means, but he contributed 8 boards and a couple of blocks and a steal. Kravic was abysmal offensively, which is sometimes going to happen, but the difference is that Kravic battled on the boards and didn’t disappear. Tolbert has to start showing up in these sorts of games.
Charts: Thanks to the good folks at StatSheet.