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Grading the Red Raiders | Northern Kentucky 69, Texas Tech 75

Texas Tech has a game much closer than it should be.

Hannah Johnston

N. Kentucky 69, Texas Tech 75 | Boxscore | Quotes

Kinda sloppy. Not really the best played game. Seems like this team coasted on talent alone and truthfully, Northern Kentucky out-played Texas Tech last night. They played more like a team, so that's a little disappointing. Still, it's nice to get a win based soley on athletic ability. I do think that head coach Chris Walker tightened some things up, but I think the screws need to be tightened up even more, especially on the offensive end of the floor and not turning the ball over. That and free throws really bothered me and had Texas Tech held onto the ball or made their free throws then this is a 20 point win.


This is what I wanted to hear from Walker

They came out and surprise us, I think they came out and have shot I thing 30 percent for the year from the three and they made 10 three’s. That was the best game they played all year and if we’d have made our free throws, we were 13-for-27 which is unacceptable and if we’d have made our free throws it’s a different game, and we just got a little casual when we were up by 20, and that’s just a young team that doesn’t understand how to play with a lead, and there are just certain things that we’ve got to continue to work on to get ready for Big 12.

This pretty much sums it up:

Everything we do right now is preparing for Big 12 play, we are going to win many different ways, and you’re going to many different styles, and I give the guys kudos for trying to punch the ball inside and take their time and make a lot of passes and our shot selection was much better, we just have to cut down our turnovers and again that’s just a young team not realizing how fast to go and when to pump the breaks. For the most part I’m happy with our with our guys’ effort and after six games if someone would have told me we’d be 5 and 1 I’d be glowing.





The worst part about the performance of the guard were the turnovers. Trency Jackson had 4, Josh Gray had 5 and Daylen Robinson had 4. That's probably your best ball-handlers and they really struggled to hold onto the ball last night. The assist to turnover ratio last night was 12:19 and that's not acceptable either. What helped was the fac that the guards largely got back into the swing of things and shot the ball much better from the floor, although not entirely. After going 0-8 against Arizona, Jackson was 3 of 9, all of his made shots being three-point shots and going 3 of 8 from the line. So in some respect, Jackson took the ball to the basket, but he couldn't hit a free throw to save his life. Gray was better from the floor, going 5 of 8, but he also only made 2 of 6 from the free throw line and finished with 14 points. Robinson was 4 of 5 from the floor and finished with 9 points. Dusty Hannahs, I think, made his first two-point bucket. Everything else has been three's. Defensively, I thought that the guards played okay, but NKU shot 7 of 14 from the three-point line in the first half. Some of those shots were contested, but too many were not contested.



Hmmm. After seeing Kader Tapsoba receive a handful of minutes against Arizona, he didn't receive a minute last night. I find that odd. Dejan Kravic was very efficient from the floor, going 5 of 6 from the floor, but he was also 0-2 from the free throw line. He finished with 10 points and 6 boards. In watching Kravic, he seems to be a guy that once he gets into his head what he's going to do on the offense, he does it, no matter what the defender does. He seems like he's still learning and with learning comes adjusting to the the defense. Kravic does have unlimited athleticism, but he's still figuring it out. The other starter Jordan Tolbert was quiet again and Texas Tech cannot afford to go into a shell offensively, only attempted 3 shots, but he did pull down 5 rebounds in just 17 minutes. He's better than this and he needs to start playing that way here pretty soon. Jaye Crockett continues to be the star of the team, going 6 of 9 from the floor with 16 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. He is incredibly energetic and the team really feeds off of his play. Not only that, he's a really changed player and is so much more versatile offensively in comparison to last year.



I think Walker really wanted Gray to work out his issues in this game and really stuck with him, even if it ended up making the game closer than it needed to be. I think this game was supposed to be a real teaching moment for Gray. I do think that Gray did a much better job of letter the game come to him, but he's still trying to force the issue with ill-timed passes to big-men that really aren't equipped to handle some of his passes. He's got to learn about timing, but I think Walker wanted him to do that. With just under two minutes left in the game, Gray went 1 for two from the line, played some defense and grabbed a rebound and then turned the ball over that led to a NKU layup. Then Gray missed two more free throws. Gray would get back into the game, but that's a teaching moment. No team can have their point guard go 1 of 4 from the line and also turn the ball over in the last two minutes. If Walker can get his team to settle down just a bit and work on not being careless, this team will be much better. I'd also really like to see this team work a little more conventional low-post play and not just the pick and roll for the offense. The more I watch, the more I get a handle on what Walker is about. We haven't really had any game management situations to think through as fans, so I'm really interested in Walker's progression as a coach.