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DTN's Basketball Report: 12.23.08

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Double-T Nation takes a weekly look at a number of issues surrounding the basketball team and the progression of Pat Knight as Texas Tech's head coach. The issues to be discussed weekly include the following: a summary of the past week's games, the Pat Knight uptempo offense, continuing the defensive work of Bob Knight, the improvement of the sophomores and how the newcomers are adjusting to the college game.

I was only able to watch the New Mexico game, so I've only seen the good this week rather than the bad. Overall, I thought the team played with good consistency, but the high number of turnovers is really starting to bother me, especially when 6 of them come from your point guard.

The Games

Playing Uptempo

I don't think there's really any problem with this team scoring points. Right now, Texas Tech leads the conference in scoring, averaging 87.8 points per game, although I do worry a bit about the efficiency of the offense. It's one thing to score a lot of points, but it's another thing to be an inefficient team that scores a lot of points. Right now, Texas Tech is sitting at 61st in the nation in KenPom's Adjusted Offensive Efficiency and there's a couple of things that I find interesting. Texas Tech is 37th in the nation in 3-point percentage, but 101st in the nation in 2-point percentage. If anything, this tells me that the offense is great behind the 3-point line, which we knew, especially with Voskuil, but that the team struggles with their 2-point shots, which isn't a surprise as there are few players who can score effectively inside and as a result, most the shots being taken are probably jump shots.

Continuing the Defense

Slight improvement over last week. Again, the only game I saw was against New Mexico and the Texas Tech defense did a decent job of closing out on shooters, although the Lobos have capable shooters and shot 46% from the field, forced NM into 19 turnovers and was not out-rebounded. Compared to UTEP, where the Miners shot 51% from the field, Texas Tech only forced only 13 turnovers, was out-rebounded by 5 boards.

Better, but not perfect. Again, this is probably something that I saw rather than what I can see on paper, but I thought Texas Tech looked okay on defense. I'm very bothered by Trevor Cook being unable to stay on the floor because he fouls who ever he's guarding. I think this is about Cook being too aggressive, while he's on the floor, but the more he does this the more he loses time to freshmen.

The Sophomores

I'm a little torn here. D'Walyn Roberts continues his streak of solid performances with 8 points and 8 boards against NM and 7 points and 2 boards against UTEP. Again, you'd like to see those rebounds up a bit, but that wasn't the reason Texas Tech lost to the Miners. Singletary recorded a double-double against NM (12 pts, 11 rbs) and struggled a bit against UTEP, but he did shoot 9 free throws, which at the very least means to me, he's driving to the basket and trying to get to the line. Again, I can live with that. Perhaps John Roberson had the game of his career against UTEP, finishing with 33 points, 9 assists 4 rebounds and 4 turnovers. Against the Lobos I found myself frustrated with Roberson. He had 13 points and 9 assists, but he also had 9 turnovers. There was also a sequence during the 2nd half, where he had a clear 2 on 3 fast break and a guaranteed layup if he drove the lane and passed the ball to the right cutter. Roberson pulled up for a 3-pointer and missed. I'm fine with that from almost every player, and I know that Roberson is perfectly capable of making that shot, but I want my point guard to get the layup.

I want better decisions from my point guard and I want my point guard to take it to the basket if the opportunity is there.

Talking about better decisions leads me to turnovers. I'm starting to become a bit worried by the turnovers. Over the last 2 games, Roberson has had 12 turnovers and 18 assists. The high number of assists is great, but the double-digit turnovers is worrisome.

The Newcomers

Tyree Graham, Corbin Ray, Robert Lewandowski, and Darko Cohadarevic had a total of 39 minutes against UTEP between 4 players, with Graham receiving 14 of those minutes. Not a huge sample to judge how these guys are doing, although Graham did contribute with 4 points and 2 boards, but also had 3 turnovers. Lewandowski had 7 points and 5 boards, not bad.

Cohadarevic is struggling to find his place on this team. Darko went 0-2 and had no rebounds against the Miners. It seems to me that he's settling for jumpshots and as a result, he didn't play against New Mexico.

Against New Mexico, the freshmen may have been the palyers of the game. In the first half, both Lewandowski and Ray had huge contributions. Ray finished the game 4-6 from the field, incluidng 2-3 3-pointers, and 10 points. Ray's points came at a time when the Red Raiders were struggling to score and he did one heck of a job stepping up and scoring. Lewandowski showed some real post moves and finished with 4-6 from the field, including 4-5 from the charity stripe, 3 boards and 2 blocks.

Top Three

  1. John Roberson: Take care of the ball and he could be one of the top point guards in the conference.
  2. Robert Lewandowski: Freshman center is a legitimate low-post scoring threat.
  3. Mike Singletary: Trying to get to the line every game and registered a double-double on Saturday.

This Week

  • 12.23.08: Centenary - 7:00 p.m. CST (TTTN)
  • 12.28.08: @ Stanford - 9:00 p.m. CST (FSN)

Previous DTN Basketball Reports

12.16.08 :: 12.02.08