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Texas Tech Basketball Trending & Big 12 Weekly Report

Feb 27, 2012; Waco, TX, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders head coach Billy Gillispie looks on during the second half against the Baylor Bears at the Ferrell Center.  Baylor won 77-48. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE
Feb 27, 2012; Waco, TX, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders head coach Billy Gillispie looks on during the second half against the Baylor Bears at the Ferrell Center. Baylor won 77-48. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE


Posts | Over the last three games in the week I have liked what I have seen out of Jaye Crockett and Jordan Tolbert. They both played at least half the game (20 minutes or more) in all three, and showed when one was struggling the other could step up. Also, when Crocket and Tolbert play together on the court the defense for the opponents can’t double team Tolbert and it allows Crockett to get open looks at the basket. We need a true 5 man on this team, and I know we have that coming next season. Lewandowski played just 13, 15 and 10 minutes in the last three contests. I respect Lew for leadership off the court but this season has proved to show he is outmatched when it comes to playing centers in the Big 12 conference. Against Iowa State Jaye had 17 points and 7 rebounds; he looked really good and looked great when he got the ball in his hands. Against Texas the duo did awesome, and it was really fun to see them work so well with each other out on the court, Tolbert had 15 points and 9 rebounds while Crockett had 16 points and 3 rebounds. Against Baylor Tolbert was the standout with some nice dunks and layups he had 19 points and 6 rebounds. These 2 are very promising in our future, we need 1 more guy down low that can dominate and we will be good in our down low game next year.

Guards | There just doesn’t seem to be a bright spot in guard play except for Javarez Willis. He has really stepped up as the only good guard we have on this team, and in the last week. He plays really good defense, usually matching up on the opponent’s best guard . And besides him, I don’t know who else we have on the team that has seemed to become consistent during Big 12 play as the season has progressed. He had 9 points and 3 assists against Iowa State while playing 32 minutes, and I liked the way he hustled all game while watching this one. In the UT game he had 15 points, 4 assists, and a steal getting 38 minutes in an overtime game while looking great against J’Covan Brown. Last night he only had 5 points, 2 assists, and a steal but I liked seeing him battle Pierre Jackson holding him to 8 points and 4 assists while making Jackson turn the ball over 6 times. The other guards on our team are hit or miss in games, but over the last week Willis has held it together for the backcourt.

Offense | I am not a fan of slowing the game down, and waiting until less than 8 seconds on the shot clock to try and get a panic shot off that has little chance of going in. We do not have the right guys on this squad to run an effective high-low offense but yet we try to do it all game long. Maybe when we get some different guys next year we will be able to do this, but for now it obviously just doesn’t work for us. In the last week we had final scoring numbers of 54, 67, and 48. While the UT game was nice in scoring we need to get at least 70 points in a game if we are going to win with our current roster. We rank #325 making only right under 60 points per game this season. Teams like Kentucky, Duke, and Missouri score 78-80 a game and have a great defense. We have to step it up on offense, and if we keep running the same setups, we have to get different people that it works with, because right now we have learned it won’t work with what we’ve got.

Defense | I do not have any real stats to make a case on this category, but after watching every single minute of the last three games last week I can 100% say that our team knows how to play defense. This is one thing that Billy Gillispie has really taught these guys this year. We shift great, move our feet with our hands up at all times, and get on the other teams nerves by being in their faces. Sometimes we are just physically outmatched and that is how teams seem to overcome our defense, they have more talent and stronger guys out on the floor. But against Iowa State and UT I liked what I saw out of the defense. In the game against Baylor we didn’t do as good as we could have, they seemed to dominate and do at will what they wanted with the ball, but I think it being their senior night and having the crowd extra emotional on their home court might had a little to do with it.

Team Spirit | For a team that has only won a single game in Big 12 play, you wouldn’t have known it in the UT game this last week. You could feel the adrenaline pumping throughout the arena, and this energized the team and fans. When the game went to OT and the "Jump Around" song by House of Pain came on everybody from the 5 year old kids to eighty year old grandmas where on their feet dancing and waving their arms up and down. That’s the thing with Texas Tech that you can never take away, our spirit and pride. Yes, the dancing red-headed kid was even there doing his thing in the student section, it was amazing getting to see that, he even still comes out to support this team. I know it’s different for the Iowa State and Baylor games this last week because they were on the road, but our team and our fans will always be there to support these guys no matter what. I still have faith that we are going to turn this program around, and let’s still have hope that next week we can have a great turnout for our senior night against #8 Missouri and pull off the upset.


Top Matchups in the Big 12 This Week

#10 Baylor vs. Iowa State | Saturday, March 3rd. Baylor is a great team talent wise, and a lot of their guys are thinking about at the end of this season they are going to make millions and head to the NBA. They just had their last home game in Waco and go on the road. Iowa State has been impressive this year and will be ready for Baylor on their home court. I call this as the upset of the week, and in Ames Iowa State will knock off Baylor to show the NCAA to get ready for them in March Madness.

> #8 Missouri vs. Iowa State | Wednesday, February 29th. Iowa State is a great team playing stellar basketball, and they get to take on Missouri on the road this Wednesday. Missouri will be playing angry after losing last week to Kansas and dropping out of the top 5 in the rankings. I think it will be one of the best games to watch in the Big 12 this week. We all know Missouri will take the win in the end.

Big 12 Player of the Week

Thomas Robinson | The Kansas junior forward keeps on doing it. He is my pick again for player of the week with 10 points and 13 rebounds in a 66-58 victory at Texas A&M. Then he had 28 points and 12 rebounds in a game against #3 Missouri that KU won in OT. This guy is the best in the Big 12, and is going to be something special next year if he stays in college without the jump to the NBA