Game Analysis | Oklahoma St. Cowboys 61, Texas Tech Red Raiders 65

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Tech Red Raiders upset the Oklahoma St. Cowboys. We talk about the Marcus Smart situation and how Tubby Smith is a basketball genius.

I won’t get into what was said or not because we don’t know. Obviously, if someone said something that’s awful, then the fan should be removed from Texas Tech forever. If he didn’t say something awful, then we’ll let the Big 12 figure out what to do. Taking this stance probably is burying the lede, but speculation of someone or something can be an awful thing that makes things worse. Even then, as a guy that is subject to racial things a time or two, there isnt a "best" way to handle things. Still, this fan is supposedly a fan that travels to every game and if he were really racist, then why would he have so much passion for a game where a super-majority of Texas Tech’s team is African-American (and we actually have one guy from Africa) and the head coach is African-American. I would think that Tubby and the players wouldn’t put up with poor behavior from any fan if this was how he talked to players.

And if you’re an Oklahoma St. fan, don’t be the person that assumes anything about an entire fanbase based off of rumor and speculation and just one fan.

And if you want to make sweeping generalizations about Texas Tech fans, then how about the fact that thousands of fans rushed the court and not one of them taunted Marcus Smart as he left the court. Not one.

And just as I’m not going to condemn a fan, I’m not going to condemn Marcus Smart either. I don’t know anything about Marcus Smart personally. I know that he’s supremely talented at basketball and everyone handles things differently. I can promise you that there are certain things that would cause me to do things that I have never done in 40 years of living (I have never been in a fight) and I am sure there are things that if said to your face, you might have a similar reaction. Still, you never want to put your hands on another person in a threatening manner in any situation, even if something awful is said.

Whatever happens with that fan and Marcus Smart, it doesn’t or shouldn’t take away from the fact that Texas Tech beat Oklahoma St. and Tubby Smith is a damn basketball genius.

Important Links
Official Site: Box Score | Quotes
Media: LAJ | FWST

Star of the Game | F Jaye Crockett: Jaye Crockett. What a fitting day to post that video or Jaye Crockett being honored by his hometown. Crockett finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds and was the only player in double-figures for Texas Tech. Two huge three-point shots in the second half and he just battled all night long. Not only that, but he hit the go-ahead shot to seal this win.

Three Takeaways:

1. Basketball Genius: There are many facets to Smith's basketball genius and the one that stood out to me was the fact that Texas Tech's strengths is on offense and Smith decided that it would be best to move away from being the free flowing offensive team that we normally see and slow the game down to the point that Texas Tech didn't let Oklahoma St. just run away from the game. Oklahoma St. is an even better offensive team generally speaking and Texas Tech never let Oklahoma St. just run. Texas Teh didn't play anywhere close to a fantastic offensive game. In fact, Texas Tech shot 48% from the field, which is okay, but Texas Tech had 12 offensive rebounds. Texas Tech didn't get the dominating inside presence from a scoring presence, but grabbing 12 offensive boards means 12 additional offensive opportunities and that was probably the biggest difference in the game. Texas Tech dominated the glass on a smaller opponent and slowed the pace to the point where Oklahoma St. could never make a run. Basketball. Genius.

2. The Sum of Its Parts: Other than Crockett's performance, there wasn't one guy that was dominating, but Texas Tech had performances from players that I never saw coming. Randy Onwuasor is growing up right before our eyes. He hit a huge three in the second half and he had a driving layup that was a thing of beauty. Tack on 2 assists and 0 turnovers, and his part was integral. It seemed like Kader Tapsoba had not played meaningful minutes in a handful of games, but when he was called upon to be a physical presence in the lane, he stepped up. Tapsoba scored 7 points, grabbed 2 rebounds, and had 3 steals. Jamal Williams shot at the end of the half was the only shot he made all game, but it was a difference maker in terms of momentum. Dusty Hannahs is supposed to just hit three-point shots, but he also had a driving layup and a beautiful pass to Jordan Tolbert for an alley-oop. Tolbert wasn’t quite his normal self, but he was much better. It was a bunch of small things that really added up for Texas Tech and it paved the way for Texas Tech get this win.

3. Protect the Ball: There is maybe no other reason why Texas Tech won than the Red Raiders only had 7 turnovers for the entire game, 4 in the first half and 3 in the second half. For as long as Texas Tech held onto the ball during those possessions, the Red Raiders held onto the ball and didn’t give Oklahoma St. a chance. The idea as mentioned in item 1 is all Tubby Smith, but the execution is on the players and they did execute the game plan about as well as they could. The players did this. They made it happen

Charts: Thanks to the good folks at StatSheet.


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