I've got to hand it to PK today. It takes a big man not to hold a grudge and he didn't do that today. If anything, today showed that he's got this team's attention and he's the coach. The thing that made me the most happy was that Singletary got playing time and he got it early. It would be real easy for PK to punish Singletary more for his actions on Wednesday, but he didn't. PK made the statement early that Singletary made a mistake, but he is a part of this team, through thick or thin.
After Wednesday's game, I wrote this on Thursday morning:
I think PK and this team are doing just fine. And I don't think there's any doubt that this team is with him.
Here's the official boxscore.
|Damir Suljagic||Pretty quiet game for Suljagic. Only logged 12 minutes and had 4 points and 2 boards.|
|Margin Zeno||Another Zeno-riffic game. 15 points on only 9 shots, 8 boards, 6 assists and 3 TO's. That is a full stat-sheet.|
|Alan Voskuil||Another outstanding effort from Voskuil who demanded the ball when the game was on the line. Finished with 18 points on only 7 shots.|
|John Roberson||I thought Roberson had an uneven day. Looked good at times and looked bad at others. 8 3-pointers is too many. 11 points, 3 assists and 6 TO's for the day.|
|Charlie Burgess||One of Burgess' best games of the year. Contributed with 7 boards and had two big 3-point buckets. Burgess really stepped up here.|
|Trevor Cook||Hit his shots for the most part and hit his free throws. If Cook can be more consistent then he's going to be a key player for the Red Raiders. 14 points and 3 boards.|
|Mike Singletary||I was glad to see Singletary in the game no matter the result. PK isn't holding grudges and it's good that the players see that. Singletary had 6 points in 19 minutes.|
|Esmir Rizvic||Minimal minutes, but did find time to split a pair of free throws.|
What Texas Tech Did Right:
- The Defense Held: Texas is a prolific offensive team, especially with Augustin at the helm and I was shocked to see that Augustin and Roberson had the same number of assists (3) and TO's (6). I still thought that Augustin was incredible to watch, but the key was that he didn't get his teammates involved in the offense. Augustin shot 13-24 (54%) while the remainder of his team shot 18-52 (34%). Augustin was virtually the only offensive bright spot for Texas, although Mason was 5-8, and credit should go to Burgess, Roberson and PK for limiting Augustin to some extent.
- Excellent Shooting, One Way Or Another: It was the incredible shooting in the first half (52%) that kept Texas Tech ahead of Texas. The team attempted 14 free throws in that first half, but the Red Raiders were incredible efficient. In the second half it was a completely different story. As a team, Texas Tech shot 24-29 from the line (see only criticism below). One way or another, this team was putting points on the board and, again, credit needs to go to PK, as he probably recognized that the shooting wasn't going to last forever. Granted, a big part of the free throws was that UT was intentionally fouling at the end of the game. But you've got to hit those if you want to win and there's not any doubt in my mind that with Voskuil asking for the ball that he's supremely confident on what he can do for this team.
- Collectively Efficient: Only one player had more than 10 shots (Roberson had 10) for the game and this was a balanced team where a number of players scored and contributed. After Wednesday's defeat I never thought that such a collective effort would have been what we would get today. Passing the ball, getting open shots and getting everyone involved was a perfect remedy.
What Texas Tech Did Wrong:
- Inopportune Free Throws: I need for someone to tell me that I'm wrong, but it drives me insane that this team can hit 82% of it's free throws, but is also able to miss 5 free throws inside 2:13. Singletary, Zeno, Roberson and Burgess all contributed to those misses, but they almost made me want to throw something at my TV. I had horrible flash-backs from the OU game running through my head and all I could think about was Augustin jacking up a three to tie or win and I knew that I was going to have to write about missing those critical free throws in that span of less than 1 minute. I'm glad I didn't, but you've got to stop that.
- Ughh. Rebounding: The Red Raiders were out-rebounded by 11 today, but it was the 18, yes, that's right, 18 offensive rebounds that were an absolute killer. That's 18 second chance points that UT had (UT out shot Texas Tech 76 to 49) and 27 more shots for the game. I'm as excited as the next guy, but don't think that for a minute that what happened on Wednesday can't happen again against Kansas. The Jayhawks are just as big and probably more skilled than the Aggies. It's imperative that this team focus on blocking out and limiting your opponent to one shot per attempt.
Up Next: Texas Tech @ Kansas, Wednesday, March 3, 2008 at 8:00 p.m. (Television - ESPN).