The turnovers were absolutely awful and disturbing in the first half, but the offense settled down in the second half, the defense was consistent all game long and the Red Raiders were able to pull out a win against the Colorado Buffaloes, 63-55 (boxscore).
I'll be honest, I've been in somewhat of a sports-slump or sports-malaise since the Cotton Bowl loss and it's continued to bleed over into basketball season. I'm a pretty patient guy, but this was getting a little tough for even a homer like me to continue to stay positive. Quite simply, I needed a win. And if lowly blogger "Seth C" needed a win, then I can only imagine how Junior Knight and the entire team felt.
I know these guys feel like they're better than their record indicates, but the unforced turnovers and errors really kill the team. If they can just be careful with the ball, I'm pretty sure this would have been a 20 point victory. Again, I'm talking about something that hasn't happened all year, so it's totally hypothetical, but taking care of the ball is key.
Mike Singletary: Son of a gun, if he could hit all of his free throws (6-12) and layups, he would have scored 30 points.
Michael Prince: He may hold this spot the rest of the season. He obviously has his limitations, but he plays the game as hard as anyone I've ever seen.
|Improvement. The turnovers were still pretty bad, but they weren't coming from Roberson, which makes my sports-pants go crazy. Roberson had 13 points, 6 assists and 3 TO's. That's not a bad game and if we could get something similar to that every game, I'd be a pretty happy camper. Voskuil was manned by Colorado the entire time he was in the game, was able to get off one shot, a three, and made it. Pretty quiet night for Voskuil, but his teammates need to run the picket-fence or something in order to get him some looks. You don't beat a box-and-one by completely ignoring your best offensive player. Okorie played well and it's amazing to watch him shoot a shot in rhythm and when he's a little pressed. It's night and day. Rogdrick Craig received 20 minutes and considering the lack of overall guards on this team, I've got no problem with Craig getting 15 to 20 minutes a game, but much like Singletary, if he could hit a layup, we would have been alright.|
|It was the Mike Singletary Show in the second half and it was really fun watching him play. Let me go ahead and get out the frustrating part, which is he also had 4 TO's for the game and in the first half, he seemed like he was a turnover machine. I never yell at the TV, but I did during this game. Thankfully, he slowed it down in the second half and the Mike Singletary that we know is capable of carrying this team showed up. Singletary finished up with 20 points and 9 boards. Go Mike. Michael Prince didn't show up much in the boxscore, but damn't he's all over the floor whenever he's in the game. I think he's been told at some point that if he doesn't leave the game with 4 fouls, then he's not playing very hard. I'm okay with that. D'Walyn Roberts had the dunk of the night as Roberson lobbed a beauty of a pass to him, started by a Lewandowski fast-break. Sounds crazy, but it happened and it was tremendous. I could have sworn that Roberts also had 1,000,000 turnovers in the first half, but the boxscore says that he didn't have a one. I guess I need a bigger TV. Robert Lewandowski struggled a bit from the floor, but the refs were so inconsistent, that I thought he should have gotten a few calls inside that weren't called at all. Still, I'll take 4 points and 5 boards a game from Lewandowski off the bench. Darko Cohadarevic was in the game for 4 minutes, made his only shot, but managed collect 3 turnovers and 1 personal foul. Should. Not. Play. Corbin Ray and Damir Suljagic received token minutes.|
|There was some good and bad for Junior Knight. First, I'm pretty sure that when the opposing team runs a box-and-one on your best player, the best strategy is not to completely take him out of the game. I know you ended up winning, but that seems really counterproductive. There should be some way to get Voskuil open if he's being covered like stink on $#!*, i.e. The Picket Fence. Against Colorado, we got caught watching the paint dry. That's the bad, the good was that I loved the fact that Knight tightened up his rotation a bit. My only suggestions is that Lew needs 20-25 minutes a night no matter what. Yeah, he may get lost defensively, or he may not make an easy bucket, but Lew needs to go through those learning curves now rather than next year. Let him figure it out. He hustles and plays hard and I can live with his mistakes. Other than when Trevor Cook returns, if he does, I've got no problem with PK playing Roberson, Voskuil, Okorie, Craig, Prince, Roberts, Singletary, and Lewandowski receiving the bulk of the minutes.|
January 24, 2009 - Texas Tech @ Missouri - 1:30 p.m.