Texas Tech Hoops | 2-game Win Streak and Thoughts on the Marcus Smart Incident

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Spo

Thoughts on 5 things trending with the Red Raiders basketball team. This week... Marcus Smart shoves Jeff Orr, Sellout Crowd, Free Throws, Closing the Game, and Road Games.

The Red Raiders had a huge win against Oklahoma State on Saturday night! Texas Tech basketball is doing better than it has in years and people are noticing. An ugly incident occurred with one of our own fans and Marcus Smart, but it seems that it was blown out of proportion. We need to shift our focus to the Oklahoma game on Wednesday.

  1. Marcus Smart shoves Jeff Orr | This incident has been beaten to death by the media, and is becoming tiresome to hear about. I had a feeling something like this would happen, only I thought it’d be a Tech player and OSU player getting into it. With OSU and their recent struggles it was known they were extremely frustrated coming into the game. As soon as the writing was on the wall that they were going to lose to us, somebody on their team was bound to snap.

    I must admit that I am a huge sports trash talker. I have always loved the competitive nature of sports and loved being the one to get a reaction out of opponents. I might have been labeled as a "dirty player" back in my high school years, and have been ejected from games for multiple reasons I’m not proud of. I was even suspended by the Texas Tech Rec Sports director for an altercation during one of my organized flag football games, shameful but true. I know about my emotions getting caught up in the moment. But, I have never gone after a spectator that said hateful things to me.

    Now that I’m older I love to watch and cheer on my favorite sports teams, talking quite a bit of trash… mainly to friends. I have never tried to start a physical fight with another fan, and it is easy to tell when you are pissing people off. Just tone it down a notch and everyone is usually fine. I am not overly obnoxious in public at sporting events, just another rowdy fan.

    The Marcus Smart and Jeff Orr incident was investigated by all parties involved. Marcus Smart was suspended for 3 games for pushing a fan. He made an embarrassing mistake, apologized, and was punished. Jeff Orr will not be attending any remaining Tech basketball games this season. He made a stupid "piece of crap" comment that made him look like a fool, apologized, and was punished for it. Whatever else happens or is talked about is news that I don’t care to hear. I see both sides of the story, and for me the issue is over. It’s sports and sometimes things get heated.
  2. Sellout Crowd | The first sellout since 2007 at the United Spirit Arena. It was great to see how loud and rocking the USA could get, I had almost forgotten. That was from just watching it on TV. I bet the atmosphere was so electric and the environment was incredibility hostile. The way we like it! Next home game is against a top 10 ranked Kansas squad on February 18th. I hope to see another upset victory behind the cheers of over 15,000 fans. Do you think we can sellout the USA two home games in a row?
  3. Free Throws | Tech has been declining in the past 2 games with their free throw percentage. We are still sitting at #2 in the Big 12 at an overall percentage of 74.3%, but the last 2 games have been down slightly. Against TCU and Oklahoma State we were 11-16 from the charity stripe in both contests. Luckily we have been able to pull out the wins but had the contests been closer it could have been missed free throws that gave away the game. Time for our guys to start hitting the practice court and start working on their free shots.
  4. Closing the Game | A few weeks back everyone was worried about Texas Tech closing out games. We would get close but fall short of the finish line at the end. I don’t think that we are completely over this issue yet, but we have made significant progress in the last few games. It is fun to watch the team develop and learn to make the tough shots at the end of the game, know when to press the ball, and when to not force things. They have bought into the Tubby Smith style of basketball and it is working. We might still have a few more heartbreaking losses before the season is over, but I do believe we have a chance to beat whatever team comes out on the court against us. It will be a wild ride to end the season. I cannot say "Big 12 touney" without a smile on my face.
  5. Road Games | It is now time to take road trips this week to Oklahoma and Iowa State. Both games will be challenging and I cannot wait to see how the win over OSU helps our confidence as a team. The only problem with getting wins over better in conference opponents is that the other Big 12 schools are starting to notice Tech and will not be slacking off when we come to town. We might be back as a rowdy crowd in the USA, but how are the guys going to do on these next back-to-back away games? We split decisions for our WVU and TCU back-to-back road games 2 weeks ago. It will be another huge week for Tech to rise up and knock off another Big 12 foe. This time in their house. Wreck ‘em Tech!
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