Result :: Loss : 83-95 : SB Nation Box Score
Record :: 14-6, 2-4
Big 12 Standings :: 9th (tied) Up Next :: @ Texas A&M Aggies : 14-6, 3-3
The Result :: Not a Blowout. I know, I'm not supposed to take any solace from a loss. Doing that is for losers, but when the team is playing without two of the team's starters, best rebounders and it's best shot-blocker then I think it's not as bad as it could have been. I was expecting a complete arse-whipping and that didn't happen and to not give credit to the team for making things happen, especially offensively, wouldn't be fair. I thought the team played much better offensively and it was mainly a result of the players actually cutting and getting layups, something that hasn't happened very much this year. Texas Tech just lost to a better and deeper team last night and I think if I were a Longhorn fan, I'm be a bit concerned that they were not able to guard the perimteter or to dominate a basketball game when the Longhorns clearly had an inside advantage. Pittman should have had 20+ points last night. I'd also like to point out that when Balbay was writhing in pain on the floor after taking a spill (no foul) and then 30 seconds later, he's not showing any effects of the fall all I could think of is the Dallas Mavericks Josh Howard and European futbol players.
The Storylines ::
Why the Offense Clicked: The offense clicked because there was true movement on offense. This was a situation where the perimeter players knew going into the game that their success was dependent upon constant movement and finding each other under the basket. For the first time in a long time, I thought the motion offense looked like something that Bob Knight would have claimed. I'm sure that it has something to do with all five players actually being threats to score, which is something that you do not always get from this year's squad. And the more I consider this, the one factor that always remained somewhat consistent when Bob Knight was making decisions as to who plays and who does not, he always had post players who could score even if they weren't in the post. That's the one thing about PF Darko Cohadarevic and PF D`Walyn Roberts, despite what they do defensively, is that they are both offensive liabilities, whereas Bob Knight always ran out post players that could shoot and score from all over the floor. I never thought I'd miss the days of Darryl Dora and Jon Plefka.
To Much: By the end of the game, it was obvious, at least to me, that the Red Raiders just didn't have any more energy and UT's post players finally started to dominate inside. Texas Tech was out-rebounded by 19 last night (27-46) and UT had 17 offensive rebounds. Texas Tech seemed to limit those offensive rebounds in the first half, but it seemed that in the second half, those offensive rebounds became all too common. It's one thing to compete for 20 minutes on the boards, but it's an entirely different matter to keep guys like James, Pittman and Johnson off the boards for an entire night.
Lack of Bench . . . Sorta: The bench consisted of only two players, SG David Tairu and SF Theron Jenkins. Tairu was 0 for 8 last night, but he's shot 49% from the field for the rest of the year. Tairu was obviously trying to force his shot, and it just didn't work for him. Whether it was trying to force it up amongst the trees or forcing a jump-shot at the end of the first half when Texas Tech could have run the clock down to zeroes, Tairu thought it best to take the shot with time left for UT to score, which they did. Tairu is prone to forcing things, perhaps getting a bit anxious to get involved. I was pleasantly surprised with the play of Jenkins, who always seems to do something positive, and he finished with 12 points, but he needs to figure out that he can grab a rebound or two (he had zero last night). I'm not sure why PK has chosen that SF Brad Reese is getting so much time while Jenkins isn't. They're similar players, but Jenkins seems to not be in love with the three-point shot like Reese is. Reese also finished with 8 points, but it took him 14 shots. Most of Reese's shots were open shots and they just weren't falling, and I'd rather a player take those shots if they have them, but it just wasn't his night last night.
The MVP :: PG John Roberson: Roberson kept Texas Tech in the game up until about 6 minutes left in the game, almost single-handedly. Roberson finished the night with 27 points on 9 of 14 from the floor, which included 5 of 6 from beyond the three-point line. Roberson also didn't force the ball or turn the ball over when UT decided to press, and had only 2 turnovers to 5 assists last night.
Four Factors, Player Impact and Game Flow: I love these graphs from StatSheet and I hope you do too: