What another punch to the stomach. Texas Tech loses to Nebraska, 61-59 on a last second shot by Charlie Richardson, Jr. There was no way Tech should have lost that game and there is no way that this game should have been close (no offense to Nebraska). That's 4 losses in a row for Texas Tech and brings their conference record to 4-5 and short of a miracle, I find it hard to think that Tech will make it to the dance.
The Box Score:
|M. Zeno||40||6||3||18||Another solid performance, still too many turnovers.|
|M. Prince||3||0||0||0||Minimal minutes.|
|D. Suljagic||9||0||0||0||Minimal minutes, missed a jumper and never saw the court again.|
|J. Jackson||40||4||0||5||Could not find a way contribute and should have.|
|C Burgess||24||5||1||2||Without outside shot or driving to the basket is not as useful.|
|J Mitchell||3||0||0||0||Minimal minutes, the announcers really had no clue on his impact.|
|D White||3||10||1||2||Played well while in the game.|
|A. Voskuil||37||6||3||14||Best game of the season, contributed in all aspects.|
|T. Ogden||16||4||4||3||Played with reckless abandon, liked his spark.|
|J. Plefka||25||0||3||15||Offense is good, defense is atrocious.|
What Tech Did Right:
- Jake Voskuil: Voskuil played about as well as he's played all year. I thought that he still could have been a little more agressive on the offensive end, but he ended up with 14 points, along with 6 boards and 3 assists. In fact, some of Voskuil's assists were downright impressive. Defensively, he did an excellent job (despite the announcers claims that he was out of defensive position) of keeping his man in front of him and I thought that without a doubt it was his best game. I still wouldn't mind seeing Voskuil assert himself a little more, but I think that's the least of our worries.
- Zeno Still Takes Ownership of This Team: Zeno played like he still cared, which is unfortunate that most of the team did not. Zeno had a well rounded game of 18 points, 6 boards and 3 assists. Martin had 5 turnovers, 4 of which I think came off of traveling, but at the very least, Zeno is making attempts to be productive.
- Ogden Sparked the Offense: Ogden came out shooting like he belonged on the court, there were some misses (more than makes), but Ogden wasn't hesitant about being assertive offensively and that's what this team lacks. When Ogden started playing, he seemed to open up the rest of the offense because he was at the very least a threat, not to mention, he had a couple of nice passes during the game (4 assists) and had 400% more rebounds that Plefka.
What Tech Did Wrong:
- Less Than Stellar Defense: Generally, I like to only blame either the perimeter defense or the post defense, but in this case I think that the entire team performed poorly. The play that burned me the most was when Nebraska ran the same play for Perry three times during the second half for a clean 3-point shot and not once could Tech adjust, two of those shots resulted in a made 3-pointer, which helped bring Nebraska back. There are still defensive lapses on the perimeter and the post, and that just shouldn't happen so late in the year.
- Still No Consistency: So we now have Zeno and Voskuil showing up, but Nebraska's defense was so great that Jackson could only muster 7 shots? Tech couldn't find a way to get Jackson the ball? I think that we all know that Jackson is a great scorer, but without his offense, this offense just can't cover for his lack of ability to create on his own.
- Plefka Still Can't Rebound: After being publically called out by Pat Knight earlier this week after the loss to Oklahoma, Plefka still can't find a way to find one rebound. This is of course our center, our forward, our frontcourt leader. That's just ridiculous that he can't grab one rebound the 25 minutes he's on the court.
- Tech Can't Run: Has anyone else noticed that Tech hasn't had 4 or 5 fasbreak buckets in a game since the pre-conference games? I'm beginning to think that the biggest reason why is rebounding. Our big men can't rebound so our guards compensate and stay back to rebound the ball, which is great. The problem is that Tech has to work so hard for every bucket, and it's wearing this team down. By the end of the game, the opposing team is playing incredibly tight defense and every possession is a struggle to score, it's almost painful to watch.
I could go on for a couple of more hours, but I'll stop here. This is a game that Tech had to win and despite Nebraska's ability as a team. Nebraska shouldn't have beaten Tech on their home court, Nebraska has proven themselves to be an improving team, but in no way should they be able to beat Tech on their homecourt. The last second shot doesn't bother so much as it is that Tech didn't put the Cornhuskers away early.
I'm officially depressed about the 2007 club and think that Tech is NIT bound after that loss. The only way Tech recovers is if they go on an incredible run with 7 games remaining. That's a tough task and I have my doubts. Up next for Tech: Oklahoma State (sigh).