TRENDING FOR TEXAS TECH
Starting Lineup |This is the biggest mystery of Billy Gillispie and our team. Not only is the starting lineup a mystery, but the amount of minutes players get in any given game seem to be puzzling. If there was one question I was able to ask Billy, it would be his philosophy of how he gives some guys that are on a roll, like Jaye Crockett, 34 minutes against Missouri and 25 against K-State but not start him in either game. Deshon Minnis starts and plays some against K-State, and don’t even get in the game against Missouri. Terran Petteway plays 2 minutes off the bench against K-State, and then starts against Missouri. I know Seth and a lot of people have written here on DTN about how we think Billy rewards players that practice hard, and keeps players on the bench that don’t have a good couple of days on the practice court but I’m not seeing anything that as a team we are gaining out of this. I really have wished we would find our 5 starters that can lead this team, and put in backup players throughout the game when needed in certain situations and against certain individuals if one of the starters is not getting it done. I don’t see chemistry being built with a solid lineup, and I think this is why we have such a hard time with turning the ball over and getting "bad" fouls called because we always have different guys out on the court at different times and it’s hard to build team unity when you do that.
Turnovers | We have made it into the top 5 teams in the nation in turnovers per game at 17.6 after this week, and keep moving in the wrong direction in this category. Against K-State we had 25 TO’s, and against Missouri we had 21 turnovers. This is not going to win games, and gives up points that add to the opponents leads in the games that make it impossible to overcome. K-State had 27 points off of turnovers, and so did Missouri. That already makes it hard to try and climb back into games when you’re basically handing the ball to the other team and they make the most of their opportunity and score a basket. To help understand how bad we are in this category I’ll tell you what company we are in in this category of TO’s per game; Towson, Stetson, Howard, and Chicago State are the only teams with more TO’s per game than us. Those four teams combined have a record of 16 wins and 72 losses. Bottom line is until these TO’s go down in games we are not going to win a whole lot of games in a season.
Fouls | We have basically stayed the same in this category over the last week, and rank #12 in the nation at 21.8 fouls per game. Against K-State we had 21 fouls, and against Missouri we had 22. I had written last week about making fouls count if we are going to have so many, but in the 2 games this last week I didn’t see this happening. There is not much more to explain about on this stat except these are free points that we give up and with the way our team plays, we are not able to overcome giving up those free points in any of our games. I would love no more than to see these fouls be cut down in the next few games, or at least see some "smart" fouls that actually could be justified being made.
Rebounds | While we still only average 31.8 rebounds per game and that is only good enough for #292 in the nation we did do something amazing in the Missouri game, and that was to outrebound the other team 31 to 27. This doesn’t happen that often, but it is nice to know we were crashing the boards harder than the other team in the game. That does show toughness and determination in our team, and against Missouri we actually didn’t play too far off of them all game, which made me proud. Missouri is a great team, and we didn’t let up and went toe-to-toe with them for a lot of the game. I hope we play them even better when they come to Lubbock at the end of the season, and could pull off the amazing upset to end season play on a high note.
Losing Streak | Our team has not won a conference game and is now 0 for 8, giving us 8 straight losses in a row. We are going to break this at some point and it could be today against Oklahoma State at the United Spirit Arena. This is one of our best chances to win a game, and we are long overdue. Our last win was in non-conference play, and it was in 2011. We need this win to break the streak, and give us the confidence we need to finish our Big 12 play strong. I will be rooting so extremely hard for us in this game today, and I know everyone out there that is a true Texas Tech fan will be cheering on our team to get this victory. Everybody needs this, and I have a feeling today is our day. Wreck ‘em Tech!
BIG 12 REPORT
Top Matchups in the Big 12 This Week
#8 Kansas vs. #4 Missouri | Saturday, February 4th. Kansas was handed their first loss in conference play this last week by Iowa State. Missouri got a loss last week to Oklahoma State and had to come down off their #2 in the country ranking. I think this will be an excellent game, and I think because the game is in Columbia that Missouri takes this victory.
Kansas State vs. Iowa State | Saturday, February 4th. Iowa State just pulled off the upset I had seen coming against Kansas at their home. They are playing some great basketball right now. Kansas State is a great team but is coming off a close loss to Oklahoma. I think this will be another nail biter in Ames, but Iowa State should take this game in the end.
Big 12 Player of the Week
Steven Pledger | The Oklahoma junior guard averaged 23.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in two games against top 25 teams, Baylor and Kansas State last week. Although OU didn’t get the win against Baylor they did pull off the upset against K-State and that’s where Pledger dropped in 30 points, 5 rebounds, and 1 assist to help his team come away with it.