Texas Tech Red Raiders 82, Colorado Buffaloes 67
SB Nation Box Score
Record :: 17-14, 4-11
Up Next :: 03.11.2010 : Kansas Jayhawks (29-2, 5-10)
Time :: 11:30 a.m.
Television :: ESPN 360 : ESPN2
The Result :: A Little Bit of Fire: Watching that team yesterday was different in that I thought that yesterday, for whatever reason, the team played with more fire than I've seen in quite some time. Colorado is a good matchup for Texas Tech in that they aren't a big team and don't have a legitimate post player that can score (just like Texas Tech). For once, the Red Raiders out-rebounded a team by 10 boards, shot better from the field and shot 9 more free throws (30 to 21) than the Buff. That's a pretty easy recipie, but the problem is that the Red Raiders don't have the favorable matchups against what looks to be one of the four number one seeds in the Jayhawks.
Keeping Up Online :: I just discovered this so I hope to to catch too much flak, but on the official Big 12 site, you can apparently watch the games at your office and keep working on those TPS reports. Also make sure and check out the SB Nation Big 12 Tournament story stream.
The Storylines ::
A Balanced Team: The entire team contributed to the win, sans PF Darko Cohadarevic and C Robert Lewandowski who saw little to no time yesterday. Again, this team didn't need post players against Colorado, but it was nice to get some balanced scoring and good defense from all over the court. SG Nick Okorie continues his sharp-shooting streak (6 of 8 from the floor) and finished with 18 points. That's some damn fine efficiency. SF Brad Reese, who has struggled to find any sort of consistency scoring, had 16 points on 13 shots and the good thing about Reese is that he's not shooting three-point shots (only 2 yesterday) but instead shooting inside the arc, which is good. PG John Roberson was really good, scoring 19 point and finishing with 9 assists for the game.
Recaps: LAJ's Courtney Linehan and DT's Mike Graham recap yesterday's game. Linehan writes that it was the Texas Tech defense that forced 19 Colorado turnovers, but this bit was shocking about how the team prepares:
He said the difference Wednesday happened in those pre-game practices. For the first time all season players began asking questions when they didn’t understand something about the scouting report.
Knight said the questions helped him prepare the team.
"They’ve been practicing their butts off, but they finally started asking questions, telling us when they didn’t understand," Knight said. "I think the last couple days of practice were great because I could explain things and make sure they knew."
I'm not sure what to say here. Is it the players for not stepping up or the coaching staff for not explaining things better? None of this makes any sense.
Graham writes that Pat Knight is hoping for an NIT birth:
The good news for the Red Raiders is the win gives them a better chance of being considered by the NIT selection committee.
"I think we should be in," Knight said. "I know it’s been a tough three weeks, but we’re also in the best league in the country. Five out of those teams we played were ranked. We’ve played good basketball this year. For them to overlook us and overlook a team in the best conference would be a shame. But there’s always human error when it’s not a computer doing (the selections). So when you’ve got a group of guys there deciding people’s fate, you just don’t know what’s going to happen.
"But I honestly believe we deserve it."
Linehan also writes that because Darko and Lew didn't play yesterday, they should both be very fresh for today's game against the Jayhawks:
Lewandowski, a 6-10 sophomore, knows he will have to be nearly flawless on both ends of the court if Tech is to have any hope at winning.
"Cole Aldrich is one of the best players in the country," Lewandowski said. "You have to go out there and know you can play and hold your own."
If nothing else, Lewandowski and fellow forward Darko Cohadarevic should be fresh for the game. Lewandowski averages more than 10 minutes per game but did not play Wednesday. Cohadarevic remained in the starting lineup, but saw just nine minutes.
The forwards warmed the bench because Tech was trying to match up with a smaller, quicker Colorado team.
"They were great on the bench, didn’t sulk," coach Pat Knight said after Tuesday’s win. "I told them, ‘Boys, you’ve got no choice. You’re up tomorrow.’ They’re each going to play half the game."
The MVP :: PG John Roberson: 19 points, 9 assists, 4 TO's, 5 rebounds and 3 steals. Hell of a game, although Okorie's streak deserves a second mention.
Four Factors, Player Impact, Stat Comparison and Game Flow: Terrific graphs from StatSheet after the jump: