I was away last night, having dinner with my family, and didn’t get a chance to watch the game until this morning, starting the game at 5:30 am. I knew what happened because I’m completely obsessive and need to know. I knew that Texas Tech had won and it was close.
I’m sitting there watching the game and get to the point where Crockett hits that three at the end of the game and I tear up. It is ridiculous to be emotional about a team that’s won just their 6th conference game of the year and only their 14th game all year. This doesn’t mean that Texas Tech gets to go to any sort of post-season play or tournament or anything fun like that, but it still meant so much to me.
Someone on Twitter from Nebraska thanked me for Terran Petteway, a kid that was essentially run off by Billy Gillispie because he is an ogre that thinks it is okay to treat people poorly in order to have them perform. This program is no longer reeling from the nightmares that were Pat Knight and Billy Gillispie.
I cannot tell you how thankful I am for this group of seniors. I am so happy that Crockett got to experience a win against a team he has never beat. I am proud of the way that this group carried themselves through the worst and darkest period of basketball that this university has ever seen. Thank you for seeing this thing through.
I am probably over-stating this, but what Crockett, Kravic, Tapsoba and Williams have done will be looked at me as special as the Elite Eight team with Darvin Ham and Corey Carr. This group has brought us back.
Official Site: Recap | Box Score | Quotes
Star of the Game | F Jaye Crockett: Crockett came through in the biggest game of his career, scoring 22 points on 9 of 13 from the floor, with 10 rebounds, 4 offensive, 4 turnovers and a steal. He hit the dagger three-pointer to win the game. Just a huge performance from this team's best player.
1. Twenty Minutes Left in This Gym: There wasn’t a play that this team didn’t scrap. Dejan Kravic finished with only 6 points, but he was diving and jumping for every loose ball. Jamal Williams, Jr. scored a huge three-point play. His only points of the game. Kader Tapsoba only scored 1 point and didn’t record a rebound, but he helped protect the paint. College basketball is one of those games where every team but one team will suffer a loss to end their season. That will inevitably happen with Texas Tech, but this team and this group didn’t get down, despite a poor first half where Texas Tech turned the ball over 7 times with bad plays, but they stayed in this game. Texas Tech had players make the biggest plays, the Crockett three-pointer, followed by a Tolbert three-pointer and four three throws to seal the win by Dusty Hannahs, who hadn’t hit a shot all afternoon until he did his part. This is the type of leader that Crockett is:
I was just telling the team, especially the second half, that we only have 20 minutes. Especially the seniors, we only have 20 minutes left in this gym. You just have to give it your all and have confidence with the shots.
2. Tolbert Steps Up: I wish I knew what made Tolbert click, but he was a man yesterday afternoon, he was a man on the boards, he was intimidating with his put-back dunks and his huge three-point shot at the end of the game. He didn’t shrink from the moment, he stepped up and it was fantastic to see. Tolbert stepping up and being a leader of this group is going to be important and vital to the success of this team next year. I hope this is a stepping stone for Tolbert in the future and I hope we can see more consistent play from Tolbert.
3. Oklahoma St. Is Up Next: Texas Tech has Oklahoma St. in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament. I suppose it is some sort of irony that this is happening. Texas Tech won’t be an easy out, I don’t think that’s going to happen. Texas Tech will be ready for this game as will Oklahoma St. I think Oklahoma St. is in the tournament, but it probably isn’t a foregone conclusion. A win would certainly help them and Texas Tech could certainly make things really uncomfortable for Oklahoma St.
Charts: Thanks to the good folks at StatSheet.