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Texas Tech 70, Baylor 73

Texas Tech lost to the Baylor Bears, 70-73. What an ugly loss. A loss that could have been avoided and just should not have happened. How many times was Bruce and Jerrells going to be allowed to shoot an uncontested 3? Just ridiculous. Let's get to the box score:

Player Min. Reb. Ast. Pts. Comment
M. Prince 14 0 1 2 Decreasing minutes leads to lack of effectiveness
D. Suljagic 24 4 2 6 Average game for Suljagic; good offense and decent D
M. Zeno 38 4 5 14 Horrible defensively he needed to have great all around game
J. Jackson 38 4 0 16 Off offensively should try and contribute other ways
C. Burgess 36 8 4 6 Still rushing shots and no easy buckets
B. Valentine 7 1 0 2 Minimal minutes
D. White 3 2 0 5 No minutes in the 2nd half could have used his defense
A. Voskuil 4 0 1 0 Minimal minutes
J. Plefka 26 6 1 19 Great game offensively and rebounded
D. Dora 10 1 0 0 Negligible minutes didn't even notice him

What Tech Did Right:

  • Plefka was pretty good. Or course, being the pessimist, I'm worried that this gives Plefka some false-confidence, or the kind of confidence where he thinks that he's better than what he actually is. If he would just concentrate on the boards, the rest will come to him.
  • Tech was able to force Baylor into quite a few turnovers which is a testament to Tech's ability to play pressure defense.
  • Zeno and Jackson were okay today, at least offensively. It would have been nice to see Jackson hit a few more jumpers in the first half, but it just wasn't happening. It would be nice if Zeno were able to create his own jump shot in situations where Jackson is struggling, or at the very least allow Tech to get him in the low post and create on his own.

What Tech Did Wrong:

  • Absolutely atrocious perimeter defense. I never would have thought that Zeno would have been so lazy on defense to not fight to cover Bruce. There were countless times where he got caught up in a Baylor screen, instead of fighting through to at the very least contest Bruce's shot. Jackson and Burgess weren't much better, Jerrells was able to shoot an efficient 9-13 from the field while hitting on 4-6 from beyond the arc.
  • Rebounding, again. I know that Coach Knight drives this point home much more than I do, but it was such an awful display of blocking out in the 2nd half. It's really a simple concept. Nevertheless, Tech was outrebounded by 12. That is unacceptable.
  • Prince and White have to get consistent minutes. They are invaluable defensively, for rebounding purposes, and are sneaky offensively. What I think happened is that Knight was seeing Tech get absolutely murdered on the boards and decided that it was their fault as they didn't see hardly any minutes. I blame Knight for this one. I know that Plefka was good offensively, but having that athlete on the floor, I think, would have done wonders for rebounding with some of the athletic Baylor players.
  • Tech has got to figure out how to get easier buckets when Jackson and Zeno are struggling. My vote, is White or Burgess, somehow get them into the offensive flow in the game.

LAJ's Jeff Walker has his game recap here. Knight had this to say about the perimeter players:

"We said all along that it was going to be a game of perimeter players, and their perimeter players really beat ours," Tech head coach Bob Knight said. "They beat ours badly. Those two kids (Curtis Jerrells and Aaron Bruce) made a lot of big buckets ... and they made better plays than we did."

And

"There was a real disparity (in the guard play), and I think that was the difference," Knight said. "Those two kids did a much better job offensively than our guys did and by the same token played better defense than we did."

And this on Plefka:

"I think Plefka really helped us (Saturday)," Knight said. "He played well against Oklahoma and came back in and played well (against Baylor). If Plefka played that well with our three perimeter players playing well that would have been a very good combination for us. Unfortunately for us, we just didn't get out of our perimeter players what we have to get."

DMN's Tim MacMahon has his game report here.

FWST's John Miller has his game report here.

An ugly game and a bad way to start off what looks to be an absolutely brutal stretch of five games: Kansas, Texas A&M, @ Missouri, Texas, and @ Oklahoma. It would have been really nice to get that 3rd conference victory yesterday.