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Texas Tech Red Raider Basketball Trending

What is trending with the Tech basketball team?

Michael C. Johnson-US PRESSWIRE


Free Throws | Tech has been horrible from the free throw line over the last two games against Arizona and Northern Kentucky. On Saturday night they hit only 58.3% from the line against Arizona, and against Northern Kentucky hit only 48.1%. That is simply not going to cut it if we expect to stay in the games against Alabama, Arizona State, and our Big 12 games. Free points at the line with the game clock stopped must be made to keep this team in the game against good teams. For the year we are shooting 68.4% and ranked #176 from the charity stripe which needs to go up quickly. I would aim for an average of over 75% if we want to stay competitive against opponents in close games for the season.

Three Point Shooting | I’ve talked about it before, and I’m okay with shooting the three ball to keep the other team from backing down and stacking the inside game while we are on offense. But, we are making the downtown shot only 29.9% we throw it up and ranked #269 in the nation. Teams will pick up on this and expose us to live or die by the three, testing us is not good for us with making under 30% for the year. Against Arizona we only made 28.6% of our 21 downtown shots, against Northern Kentucky we did a nice job and made 42.1% of our 19 bombs. I am afraid to think what would happen if we made below 30% against a Northern Kentucky that hasn’t won a game all year. A fantastic three point team shoots the downtown shot and makes over 40% for the season. Just a reference; Arizona is #11 in the nation and makes 41.7%, that’s a deadly number for your deep outside ball. We need to keep shooting the amount of times we do from outside each game, but we need to start making more of them to be a threat to opponents.

Turnovers | Our turnovers have not been going down over the last week and this is a concern. Against Arizona we had 16, and against Northern Kentucky we had 19. In the games we have looked sloppy on our passes, and sloppy on the way we handle the ball when we drive to the basket. While I think Josh Gray is a terrific freshman point guard and is doing well in most aspects of his game, he had 5 turnovers in both games this week. Watching him, and most others on the team they sometimes drive to the basket and don’t know what they are going to do with the ball so they get "stuck" being forced to throw the ball away or mishandle it. Another thing that drives me crazy on the bad passes is when a guard throws the ball to an open spot and anticipates one of his players to be going there, but nobody breaks the direction that our guard thought they would. These are things that take time to learn from playing together building chemistry and experience, which we lack right now. It will come, but we need to learn fast if we are going to have a chance to be a competitive team in conference play. Our turnovers per game average is 15.2 and #102 highest in the nation, we need to work on getting it below 12 a game.

Scoring | Tech had a hard time getting points against an excellent Arizona team and only put 57 on the scoreboard, but did get 75 against Northern Kentucky. While they went down in their overall average, scoring is still ranked #16 at 81.2 points per game. We are going to be slowed down in some games against good teams, but when we only shoot 34.9% from the field, hit only 58.3% of our free throws, and have 16 turnovers then we can expect to only put 57 points on the scoreboard. We have an offense that is going to keep getting lots of points, there are just a few factors that come into play to get lots of points in the game besides just the run-and-gun game. I think we will keep the number average at scoring 80 per game if we can fix just a couple things.

Hard Play | We might have been blown out by Arizona, but we kept playing until the end and didn’t feel sorry for ourselves. The same thing in the Northern Kentucky game, when they were up in the first half and coming back in the second at the end it would have been easy to give up. This team is winning games because it doesn’t roll over and give up but keeps fighting until the end. The Arizona game had to sting and the young guys on the team probably needed to experience that to help them get better. I can honestly say I am proud of the team over the past week. Even if they didn’t play the best games I had seen all season, they did play them hard until the end.