Texas Tech (17-11, 6-7) loses to Texas (20-7, 10-3), 80-51.
What a friggin beating. I'm not going to stay up and wait for a boxscore and I'm certainly not going to try and figure out what Tech did right tonight. As an aside, I was a little surprised that Barnes left in Durant as long as he did. I'm not complaining about Durant actually being in the game, but rather it seemed to me that I probably would have pulled Durant out of the game a little sooner. I realize that this is a very minor point in a humiliating defeat to Texas, but there's only so many ways I can describe how bad Tech was tonight.
Anyway, here we go:What Tech Did Wrong:
- The Utter Lack of Defense: There were times during this game that I was shocked by the complete lack of defense. It wasn't that the perimeter defense or the interior defense was bad in itself, but they combined their efforts and created atrocious defense. How many times was Abrams going to shoot an open jumpshot. It wasn't just Abrams, Augustin dominated and was able to penetrate at will. James and Durant (but mostly James) dominated in the interior. I guess that Plefka and Dora got the memo that James was an All-American and they acted accordingly. Actually, Durant brought the team's shooting percentage down quite a bit (he shot 37.5%). And before I forget, UT shot 50% from behind the arc, most of those uncontested.
- Jackson and Zeno Didn't Show Up: I thought that Jackson learned his lesson in the Nebraska game. If you don't work to get open then you probably won't. Jackson seemed to settle for some early jumpshots and Texas Tech scoring legend LucQuente White outscored Jackson 8 to 7. This time, it wasn't just Jackson, but for the first time all year. Zeno decided not to show up either. Zeno didn't do the things that he normally does either, like rebound or constantly drive baseline, which creates opportunities for his teammates.
- UT's Game Plan Worked: It was obvious to me that UT figured out that the best way to stop Tech is to play blanket man-to-man defense on Jackson and Zeno and allow, almost encourage, the other players to step-up and make plays. Texas coaxed Tech players into taking shots they shouldn't have, but then again, if Zeno and Jackson aren't going to get open, then I'm probably going to err on the side of the other players. Jackson and Zeno have a bigger responsibility.
- Not One Player Scored More Than 10 Points: How embarrassing. What's more embarrassing, Michael Prince led the team with 3 made field goals. As a team Tech shot 28% from the field. I'll give credit to UT's defense, as mentioned above, UT forced other players to step up and that's just not how this offense has to roll.
- Please Let De Bem Be An Athletic Big Man: After watching that excuse for a frontcourt, I will crawl under my covers tonight and pray that Ricardo De Bem is a fairly athletic big man who will help Tech compete in the Big 12. James and Durant had 20 boards between them, but when your opponent can't hit the broadside of a barn, it makes your life much easier.
As good as the A&M victory was, this was as bad. This now makes the OSU game on Saturday pretty damn important. The point being, if Tech had made this game close, then I wouldn't feel so bad about Tech's chances making the tournament. By having their heads handed to them, then it makes me nervous.