Once again, I'm looking for moral victories this season, which isn't the best attitude to have, but I've vowed to go easy on this group as they young, but talented. The Red Raiders lose a close game to the #25 Stanford Cardinal, 62-61.
I don't want to sound like I'm taking away some of the credit due to Stanford, but without Brook and Robin Lopez the Cardinal just aren't very talented. I left the AAC thinking that those two guys were immensely talented, but I also thought that the perimeter players for the Cardinal were average at best. Thought about differently, with those two 7-footers on the inside the Stanford offense should have just been a wide-open scoring fest, but they struggled to score against a small Texas Tech team. It will be interesting to see how well Stanford stacks up against some of the bigger teams in the Pac-10.
Let's get to the review.
|Charlie Burgess||Got the start, but played only 17 minutes, had 3 turnovers and only 2 assists.|
|Mike Singletary||Rough day guarding 7 footers, but hung in there.|
|Trevor Cook||I couldn't figure out why he didn't get more minutes, I thought his athleticism would have been good against the Lopez's.|
|Martin Zeno||I thought Zeno played like his usual self, had a tough time getting off his shot - 5 TO's were a killer.|
|Alan Voskuil||Much better performance from Alan, was aggressive offensively and that has to continue, 50% from the floor.|
|John Roberson||Best part about this game - no turnovers and he looked good out on the floor running the team.|
|D'Walyn Roberts||Thought his 1st half play was great and I liked the 3 boards and 5 points in limited minutes.|
|Damir Suljagic||Perhaps his most impressive game of the year: 6 points, 6 boards and good interior defense.|
|Michael Prince||Minimal minutes.|
|Esmir Rizvic||Minimal minutes.|
What Texas Tech Did Right:
- No Quit: Here's what I love about this group, despite being severely outmatched inside, there just wasn't any quit with this group. There were times that Singletary and Cook were trying to guard one of the Lopez twins and it just wasn't fair. Give them credit for continuing to battle
- Voskuil Shoots: It's been a long time coming, but it was so important to have Voskuil start being more assertive offensively. I thought it was a funny moment as the team warned up for a few minutes, but before the 2nd half was to begin, the whole team huddled together and fed Voskuil the ball until he made a 3-point bucket. He wanted to quit after missing 4 in a row, but they made him stay out there until he sunk one. Luckily for Voskuil, it was that 5th shot that went in. I don't think it's any secret that Voskuil's success and the team's success are greatly intertwined and the team knows it.
- Freshman Continue to Impress: Although Singletary didn't quite score as much as we would like, he did come down with 4 boards and some tough interior defense. I think it's interesting how Singletary is able to get his shot off inside against much bigger opponents. Roberts continues to play well and there isn't a player on the roster that can give what he does in terms of his length on defense, his ability to score without needing the ball and overall energy. Roberson is starting to really come into his own. The best part about Saturday's game, as mentioned above, is the 1 turnover. I'd like to see a few more assists, but yesterday just wasn't the day to run as quickly as the Lopez twins were able to get down the field.
What Texas Tech Did Wrong:
- Figure 0ut a Way to Score: It was heart-breaking to watch at times during the 2nd half as there were stretches where the team really struggled to even so much as get off a shot. Lots of credit goes to the Lopez twins who were athletic enough to guard the perimeter and effectively cut off any inside scoring, but this team and staff need to figure out a way to score when the clock is running down, whether it's isolate Zeno, run a pick and roll with Voskuil or Roberson.
- Focus on the Frontcourt: I really hate harping on this, and perhaps yesterday isn't the best example of a game where it's possible to score inside, but at some point during the season, we're going to need some consistent production from these guys. I'd love to see Roberts get some more playing time at a forward position, but other than that I'm at a loss as to who is going to give this team any sort of consistent inside play thoughout the season.
- Assists to Turnovers: I don't know how else to cure this huge issue other than to perhaps run a little more. I've always thought that one of the best ways to score a little more and create easy opportunities for your teammates is to run more often. I'm not saying that this group needs to run all of the time, but it's becoming obvious that this team can struggle to score and if Roberson and Burgess can create some offense, even if it's forced a little bit, then I think the assist numbers go up and the turnover numbers go down. I trust Roberson and Burgess on the break and if they can get out and run a little more often I think the offense will improve.
Up Next: Northwestern State @ Texas Tech, December 29, 2007 at 1:00 p.m.