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Pulse of the Team - Texas Tech Basketball :: Week of 12.21.09

The "Pulse of the Team" is a weekly or whenever-I-get-to-it post about the state of the team, what's going well and what isn't. The Pulse of the Team looks at the week that was, the week ahead, what's trending up, what's trending down and the current player impact, courtesy of StatSheet.

Last Week:

Saturday, December 19, 2009
Wichita St. Shockers: L : 83-85 : Box Score

This Week:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Stanford Cardinal : W : 100-87 : Box Score

Shaking Off a Loss: There's always the fear that a loss can and will affect how a team will play in the subsequent game and I honestly had that fear going into the Stanford game. We haven't necessarily seen this team be tested this year, and I think the team responded nicely. Sure, the game against Stanford got a bit sloppy, especially on the defensive end towards the end of the game, but the team put forth good effort and the defensive effort to start the second half seemed to spur the team on both ends of the court. I think it's also nice to think that this team has already had a fairly significant break from basketball to take their finals and I'm hoping that this second break plays in Texas Tech's favor as they may be more able to adjust to the break and be ready to come back against New Mexico.

Losing Some Defense: Over the past two games, the Red Raiders have given up 85 and 87 points. According to KenPom, the Red Raiders are currently 69th in adjusted defensive efficiency, while it wasn't so long ago that Texas Tech was holding steady in the 40's. With better competition comes the challenge of playing each and every possession defensively and I'd still like for this to be the mark of this team, defense first and offense second. I think there will be a tendency for this team to creep back to relying on the offense, especially because the offense has been very good of late. With that being said, it's the defense that's allowed for this team to only have one loss thus far this year and I'd love it if PK really forced this team to get back to playing each and every possession defensively, especially against New Mexico.

Turnovers . . . Trying Not to Beat a Dead Horse: I'll do my best not to make a bigger deal of of this than I need to, but the turnovers against Wichita St., particularly Mike Singletary's nine turnovers for the game, were incredibly discerning. Singletary has always been a bit careless with the ball, evidenced by the fact that he's always on the negative side of assist to turnover ratio and he's always had a fairly high turnover ratio, but this year, it's the worse it's been sitting at 23.7% for the year (he also leads the team with 37 turnovers for the year). And as soon as Singletary has one of the worst turnover games of his career, he goes out against Stanford and dishes out three assists and zero turnovers, which probably frustrates me even more. What this team, at least to me, is that Singletary is more than capable of having a positive impact for the team in terms of turnovers to assists, but I tend to think that this may be a concentration issue with Singletary. Obviously, Singletary deserves a ton of praise for his effort against Stanford, but this should be the norm, rather than the exception.

Courtesy of StatSheet: