THE RESULT | ENJOYING THE MOMENT | This may be the last time that we'll be able to enjoy the moment, but I don't care, it's good to get a win, and it's even better to get a win on a night when the seniors are honored and they are able to get a curtain call at the end of the game. So before going much further, I thank PG John Roberson, SG David Tairu, SG Wally Dunn, SF Mike Singletary, SF Brad Reese and PF D`walyn Roberts. I wish you well in your future endeavors.
So last night, there was the unexpected contribution of Wally Dunn, who had scored all of 15 points all of the year, scored 15 points in his final game of his basketball career. I thought the offense and defense was really efficient, but things got a little sloppy in the second half, but not so much in that Oklahoma was closer than 20 points.
Head Coach Pat Knight
"I told them the other day that we have two weeks left. Let's try and show everybody the team we should've been."
This is just about right and it's a bit depressing. It's depressing because it was supposed to be better. This team was supposed to at the very least, be competing for a spot in the NCAA Tournament, but now Texas Tech is merely hoping to make a decent run in the Big 12 Tournament.
DUNN WAS FANTASTIC | How about that. Dunn was 5-7 with 15 points, and those 2 missed shots and a made 3-pointer were all in one single possession where Dunn wasn't going to be denied. Although it's sappy, I loved how Tairu told Pat Knight that Dunn deserved to start and gave up his spot in the starting lineup for Dunn. That's a class act. And to be honest, Dunn's effort invigorated the crowd and it was fun.
TAIRU WAS REWARDED | So the good mojo that Tairu earned by giving up his starting spot was evident here as Tairu was 4-7 from the field, finished with 17 points, 8-8 from the free throw line and 4 rebounds. That's a heck of a line to have in just 26 minutes. The good mojo:
"Well, most importantly I just love Wally Dunn. He's like my brother. We've played junior college ball together and then we both came here and played on the same team. Most importantly, I just wanted to show the image of selfishness. I just wanted to show everybody that God comes first."
I think Tairu gets it.
LEW'S PIVITOL DEFENSE | Lewandowski played only 12 minutes, but if felt like a lot more. Lew probably didn't see but 3 or 4 minutes in the first half, but when he was inserted in the second half I thought Lewandowski's ability to rebound and contest shots seemed really important when OU's Cade Davis seemed to be driving, at will, and trying to pull the Sooners back into the game. Lew only finished with 6 rebounds and 1 block, but it felt like more.
More after the jump, including thoughts on Roberson, Singletary and Roberts.
ROBERSON, SINGLETARY AND ROBERTS | To say that I feel bittersweet about what Roberson, Singletary and Roberts have done in their careers at Texas Tech is an understatement. I remember watching all 3 of these players as high school seniors in the future game at SMU before entering Texas Tech. I remember thinking that this group could change the face of Texas Tech basketball, having 3 skilled basketball players that could do so much for a program.
That never happened.
I don't know if this is a situation where they never really matured or improved their games like they should have, or maybe they just weren't put in the right positions to win. I'm not sure. At the end of their careers, I can say that Roberson and Singletary had the potential to be terrific scorers and lead a team, but I can also say that there were more times than not where some of these guys were just inconsistent and didn't show up on multiple occasions. This group, at times, frustrated the heck out of me, but collectively, they stepped up last night. Roberson had the toughest night last night, shooting 2-9 for 5 points, 7 assists and 5 turnovers. Singletary led the team with 17 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 turnovers. He had one of his best games of the year, the problem, as mentioned above, is about consistency, not necessarily talent. Roberts has an incredibly tough time guarding anyone on the permiter and there were times that the Sooners made sure that Roberts was switching on defense and taking Cad Davis outside. Roberts just couldn't keep up, but Roberts still filled up the stat sheet: 8 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 turnover and 2 blocks.
I'LL LET PAT KNIGHT HAVE THE LAST WORD |
"Our seniors will remember this game forever. They may forget about a lot of the other games. I don't remember a lot of the games I played during my senior year, but I remember "senior night." I can tell you who we played and the last play I had. Years from now, they'll forget overall that it was a tough season but they will remember this game. It was big for them and the way they all played. They will always have this as a good memory."