The Result :: A Good Rebound Win: The game was tight through much of the first half, with the Texas Tech Red Raiders taking a four point lead into halftime against the Stanford Cardinal. After halftime, the team truly responded and the game seemed in-hand for most of the second half. Part of the reason the game was in hand was that the Red Raiders shot an astounding eFG% of 60.9% (this is really off the charts) and held Stanford to 45.3% (again, pretty good defense). All in all, it's nice to see how the Red Raiders have been able to put away three Pac-10 teams in non-conference play and as this team continues to build a resume, next Tuesday is perhaps this team's biggest challenge to this very young season: New Mexico Lobos.
The Storylines ::
Well Played: There are so many statistics that you could point to which would lead you to the conclusion that the Red Raiders, despite giving up 87 points, played an excellent game on both ends of the floor. Here's the evidence: The Red Raiders made 58.3% of their three-point shots, out-rebounded the Cardinal by five (40 to 35), had only 10 turnovers with 18 assists, and shot 48 free throws for the game. Typically, if you have one of those things happen, the team ends up winning, but in this case, the Red Raiders were playing really well for a good part of the game.
More storylines after the jump.
Falling in Love With the Three: I really want SF Brad Reese to be a big part of this team, but I also want him to ease up a bit on the three-point shot. Last night Reese was 2 of 5 from beyond the arc and right now, Reese is only 10 of 31 for the year. Reese has a lot to offer this team, and it seems as if he wants to be a three-point shooter first and a mid-range guy second. Personally, I think Reese will have cleaner looks in and around the basket if he works on his mid-range game and then the defense will be a bit on their heels and the three-point shot should open up a bit.
Tairu is Incredibly Efficient: I keep talking about it thinking that I'm going to jinx Tairu, but I don't know that I've seen a more efficient scorer than G David Tairu. Last night, Tairu took only 7 shots, made 4, made 9 of 10 free throws and finished with 17 points. With G Nick Okorie injuring his shoulder last night, Tairu should get even more time and personally I think this is a good thing. It will be interesting to see whether or not Tairu starts next Tuesday and if he does, I think it could really work in Texas Tech's favor.
Four Factors, Player Impact and Game Flow: I love these graphs from StatSheet and I hope you do too:
The Offensive MVP :: SF Mike Singletary: Singletary returned to form with an excellent rebound game. Singletary shot incredibly well (9-12) and finished with 28 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and ZERO turnovers. There were a number of times when Singletary was bringing up the ball on a fast break and I was nervous about a potential turnover, but perhaps it's just a matter of Singletary focusing a bit more.
The Defensive MVP :: Perimeter Players: It would be really tough to just single out just one player, but I thought the perimeter players, which would include Roberson, Okorie (until he was injured), Tairu, Reese, and Jenkins all did an excellent job of switching on the outside. The Cardinal still shot 38.9 above their season average on three-point shots, but it just seemed that the length of the team was a problem for Stanford.