It's all about players and talent. There's really no other way to put it and right now, the talent level is just not at a Big 12 level in terms of athletes.
The difference between this year's team and last year's team is that this year's squad does not have a guy that can create off the dribble. The previous seasons under RMK, he's had at least one player that can create his own shot and as we all watched the Red Raiders dribble around the perimeter, it was painfully obvious that this is the case. Last year it was Martin Zeno and the two years before that, it was Andre Emmett.
There's a lot more on this in tomorrow's basketball post, but I want to point out that this group of five seniors posted 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 1 assist in 77 minutes yesterday.
Who's to blame for that?
Is it Robert Knight, that stopped recruiting a couple of years ago, only to leave Pat with a group of players that for the most part are role players on a bad team?
Look at who left last year, Zeno, major contributor and Charlie Burgess, averaged 5.6 points a game, Decensae White didn't want to play for RMK any more and left after two games and Ricardo DeBem, who barely saw the court.
I think RMK is one of the best coaches to ever coach the game, but he was an awful recruiter in his last three to four years at Texas Tech and you could probably get John Wooden on the sideline in Lubbock and he wouldn't be able to do much with the current group of players.
You can say that the team stinks, and it pains me to write that, there's not doubt that they're not playing well and you can certainly blame Pat Knight for some of that, but do not blame him for the overall lack of talent on this squad. I don't think it's not fair to Pat Knight.
Offensive MVP: Alan Voskuil It's frustrating to watch Voskuil struggle to get open, but right now, he's Texas Tech's best offensive option and PK has got to figure out how to get him the ball. Let him shoot until his arm falls off.
Defensive MVP: Michael Prince He hustles every second that he's on the floor.
|This group doesn't get an F, but don't because there was actually some production from this group, albeit they didn't shoot well. Voskuil, Roberson and Okorie are all in a shooting funk and almost any collegiate team where the guards are struggling means that the team is going to struggle as well. The problem is that these guys are going to have to shoot themselves out of this slump because there's no one else to carry the load. Voskuil is struggling to get open in the offense, Roberson is still turning the ball over more than making plays (6 TO's to 5 assists) and Okorie is struggling to find any sort of rhythm. My only possible solution is that this group has got to get to the line and score some points. Roberson, Okorie and Voskuil did not even attempt a free throw. At the very least, this group scored 25 of the team's 49 points.|
|I have a lot more questions than answers here. Personally, I love seeing Michael Prince in the lineup. He may be the lone bright-spot in the past two games. Now to the questions, the biggest of which is why isn't D'Walyn Roberts and Robert Lewandowski getting all of the minutes at their respective positions? The only thing that I can think of regarding Roberts is that Pat Knight wants Roberts to be a difference maker on offense and in 12 minutes yesterday, he had zero shots. There are few players as athletically gifted as Roberts on this team and he's got to become a go-to player on offense. He's got the skill set, now it's just a matter of putting it to use. Lewandowski also got 11 minutes and there's no doubt that he should be getting at the very least 30 minutes a game, so long as he's not hurting the team defensively or offensively. Much of the future success of this team is dependent on Lewandowski developing as a post player. Mike Singletary was okay, but he takes so many shots that just don't fall and immediately looks to the ref for a foul. If Singletary could at all develop a consistent outside shot and I don't know why he hasn't in two years in Lubbock, then he's going to be limited offensively. You could offer me $1 million dollars with the premise that I would have to come up with a reason why Darko Cohadarevic received 12 minutes yesterday and I'm not sure that I'd be able to deliver. Cohadarevic is awful rotating defensively and he's not afraid to let an offensive player go straight to the bucket.|
|As mentioned above, Junior Knight was left with a bare cupboard in terms of talent and as mentioned above, of his five seniors, only one is a contributor. I just can't blame him for the overall lack of athletic talent on this team. It's just not his fault. Texas Tech could only sign players that wanted to play for RMK and in today's world, that's not an easy sell. If anything, I'll blame Knight for not developing his younger players like Roberson, Roberts, Singletary and Lewandowski, but PK wants to win, just like anyone else does, but he may have to sacrifice wins this year for the overall development of the team next year.|