Texas Tech (17-10, 6-6) cruises to a 95-74 victory over the Colorado Buffaloes (6-16, 2-10) . The Red Raiders now have a realistic shot of making it into the NCAA tournament so long as they take care of business the rest of the way (taking care of business meaning winning 2 of the last 4 games). Let's get to the box score:
|M. Zeno||38||3||2||24||Consistently great, has made himself the leader on the court.|
|D. White||8||0||0||0||Started but with no outside shot was not effective against zone.|
|J. Plefka||20||7||3||6||Two block shots? Who cares about anything else.|
|C. Burgess||36||6||6||16||Great statistically tonight, was in control most of the night.|
|J. Jackson||38||1||2||28||Incredibly efficient, must keep driving to the basket.|
|B. Valentine||2||0||0||4||Minimal minutes.|
|T. Hoffmeister||1||0||1||0||Minimal minutes - plays in first Big 12 game. Congrats.|
|J. Mitchell||1||0||0||0||Minimal minutes.|
|A. Voskuil||31||2||1||10||Outside shot helped to loosen the zone early.|
|M. Prince||3||0||0||0||Minimal minutes.|
|T. Ogden||2||0||0||0||Minimal minutes.|
|L. White||2||0||0||0||Minimal minutes.|
|D. Dora||16||5||2||7||Produced while he was in the game.|
|D. Suljagic||2||1||0||0||Minimal minutes.|
What Tech Did Right:
- Tech Was Efficient Offensively: Tech shot 55% from the field and despite a surprising slow start from Jackson, the entire team was incredibly efficient from the field. Zeno was 7-11, Burgess was 6-8, Voskuil and Dora were each 3-5. The only player to shoot under 50% from the field with at least two shots was Plefka and he was 2-5. Tech was also 11-25 from the three point line and despite their good fortunes tonight, I'd like to see Tech take a more conservative approach against Texas. Not so many 3's work the offense for some easy buckets, make the Longhorns work on the defensive side of the ball.
- The Big Men Rebounded: I'll take a combined 12 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocked shots every game from Dora and Plefka. I know that I've somewhat lowered my standards here, but that's not bad for a center combination, not to mention they offer additional match-up problems because they shoot so well from the outside. This two-headed monster is starting to play a little better which means that's one less thing I have to worry about.
- Tech Took Care of a Lesser Opponent: It was never really a close game, it was closer that I would have liked, but the game was never really in question. It seems like the biggest reason that this was a 21 point victory was Colorado, but I hate take credit away from Tech or place too much blame on Colorado. I'm sure that it was a combination of the two and Tech really turned up the defense, late in the 1st half and early in the 2nd half creating Tech's largest lead.
- The Part-Time Players Understand: I think that the part-time players understand that their minutes are not going to be consistent for the remainder of the season. Knight's going to play whatever matchup is appropriate at the time. Tonight, it was Voskuil who played because of his outside shot. I don't think it was anything against White, but rather, it was a product of what Colorado presented.
What Tech Did Wrong:
- Colorado Was Too Efficient: Almost 60% from the field is unacceptable and I imagine that Knight will have something to say about that the next practice. Tech cannot afford to allow a team to be as efficient and as the very pro-Tech announcers pointed out, part of the reason Colorado shot so well is because there were 20 possessions that did not create a shot because they turned the ball over.
- Tech Cannot Let the Opponent Dictate the Pace: There was a point in the 2nd half where Colorado made a run and Tech started to run with the Buffaloes. The lead at the time was fairly safe, but I'd still like the leaders of this team to have the wherewithal to slow it down and run the offense that had worked so well for them for 2/3's of the game. There's got to be some awareness by Jackson, Burgess, Voskuil or Zeno that if the tempo starts swinging the way of the opponent, then it's you've got to make sure that Tech imposes on the opponent what they do well, which is constantly work the ball for the best shot.
It's really hard to nit-pick for faults in a game that's not even close. Up next, Texas, as they squeaked by Baylor in Waco, 68-67. I don't like it that Durant has struggled for the past two or three games, make me think he's saving up for Tech.