TRENDING FOR TEXAS TECH
Offense | Our team offense was not good by any means this season. I understand Billy Gillispie is a defensive minded coach, and our team game philosophy all begins on the defensive side of the ball, but to win games you need to put the ball in the hoop as well. We ended the season ranked #323 out of 344 D-1 college basketball schools in points per game at 59.5. We 100% need this number to go up next year if we are going to win some games, I don’t care how great our defense is if we can’t score. Another thing that was terrible is our three point attempts throughout the season. We finished at #338 only shooting the downtown shot a few times a game compared to all the other teams in the league, and with our offensive strategy of playing the high-low system this is not good. If we are going to run an offense that is as simple as the high-low, then we need 2 things to keep the defense from backing up and stacking the inside with warm bodies. One is the three point shot, if you can hit this it will stretch a defense out to have to cover our guards outside the perimeter, and get the cuts for the high-low post screens to get open. Also, you need a quick guard that can make some drives to the basket and get either fouled most of the time while getting an inside shot off, or makes the defensive posts have to swing out for help on defense allowing one of our posts to become open for the dish with open space to work with. Another thing was our inability to control the ball, and keep it for the opportunity to try and score points. We turned the ball over 17.1 times per game, making us a top 5 out of the 344 teams in this category, not something to be proud of. It all started with our passing. We never seemed to be playing with a whole lot of chemistry and able to anticipate what or where our teammates without the ball were doing, or if we did know so did the opponents who would step in and break up the passes. The turnovers should have gone down over the season; instead they stayed steadily consistent and never improved, showing our team experience was not improving much over the year. Bottom line for us is that if we are going to run a simple offense, we need to do the simple things right. It’s not a complex pattern to run our high-low offense, so the simple formula to get it right starts with adding some guards and allowing them to shoot the outside shots more each game. Run the offense with crisp passing, but throw the defense off every other time down the court with a drive to the basket and dish out to create space, and not allow the opponents to get lazy and do the same thing every time they defend us. The other teams didn’t even have to play full or half court press on us because they knew what we were going to do before we did.
Defense | The one thing that did progress over the season was our defense. Gillispie is a defensive coach, so of course we expected to improve fast in this part of our game. I can say that we consistently moved our feet and were in the other guys faces at all times they were on our side of the court. There aren’t a whole lot of stats I have to back this up, but for those of you who watched almost every game this season, you could just tell our defense kept improving each game. We seemed to play a really good inside defensive game, but when a team was hot from downtown it would screw up the defensive strategy for us. Also, we didn’t do any half or full court presses, which is a disappointment for a hardnosed defensive team like us. The positive though was that we seemed to start to understand the role of the game that we were using as our philosophy to win games. Even if it didn’t work to our liking that much we still played the defensive side of the game with intensity and passion. With our defense we just needed a better offense and we could have been such a more complete team. The category of blocks, and steals will just go up as we learn more and more how to play the Billy Gillispie way. I am not worried about next season on defense as a whole unit, but I do worry about having a few more big bodies down low to help out when we are playing those humongous Big 12 posts who are crashing the boards, and taking the rock up hard in the paint to the rim.
Posts | Jaye Crockett and Jordan Tolbert were our two bright spots of this last season. I really liked seeing them both be in at the 4 and 5 man position, and they always looked like they could compete against the competition. Crockett in my opinion should have been a starter, and Robert Lewandowski should have come off the bench for Tolbert at the center position. Crockett did a nice job with what he had, and Tolbert did a nice job with the defenses focused in on him the whole second half of the season. Our posts did a good job of moving down low, and making the open shot. On defense they were tough and had the strength most of the times to defense the opponents down low. When I talk about the overall posts, I’m sorry but I have to single out Lew and say he disappointed me this year with what I was expecting. He could hit the shot nicely away from the basket, but he couldn’t compete inside on defense or offense. Overall though with some time and more development Crockett and Tolbert will be solid players in the Big 12, and I can only hope everything works out the way I am hoping for and they stay with this squad next year before the roster controversy blows up all over the place.
Guards | We were just pathetic in our guard play this season. The one guy who did alright as the season went on was Javarez Willis. Our guards had a really hard time bringing the ball up the court and handling it when they made it across the half court line. We would swing the ball from 1 to 2 or 3, and then do a ball reversal to start the sequence on offense all over again. We didn’t spice it up or try and take our man against us one-on-one at all. We couldn’t hit a three point shot to save our lives so the opponent’s guards just stepped back and gave us space to dare us to shoot which we never took advantage of. Bad passes were always being made by trying to force something that wasn’t there. We couldn’t read the defense and just went through the motions of running our designed offense. On defense we tried to keep up with the other guys, but it always seemed they were more athletically gifted, and had the strength to create separation from our guard defending him. I could go on and on, but I think the point I am getting at is the one I just made, we were downright outmatched at the guard position for Big 12 play. We all know about the roster controversy that is about to take place, and that supposedly no guard besides Toddrick Gotcher is a safe bet on being on the team next season. I can’t say that I’m excited to hear this at all, but I do know one thing. We need something to happen quick with our guard play improving if we are going to compete at all in the Big 12 conference.
Hope | My hope for this team is always going to be positive, and in my mind we are going to complete for a spot in the Big Dance next year. I can say this was the most disappointed I’ve ever been with our Red Raiders basketball team, EVER. But, it doesn’t mean that I have a negative outlook for next season. It’s going to be extremely interesting to see what will happen this offseason with the roster. Who stays, who goes, and who comes to our program? One thing I do know is that there is going to be more pressure on the squad and coaching staff to produce some results. But the question is how good do those results need to be for our fans to be happy? Better than one win in the Big 12 conference is a little low for the expectations most of us want to see next year. I can tell you I would like to see a team on the floor that has a chance to go out and win in each and every game we play. If I had to pick a number I want a team that finishes with a record of at least over .500 next season. Does anybody think it is unreasonable to ask that our team wins over half our games we play in 2012-2013? The one neat thing is that I have all offseason to think, critique, watch the roster situation, and HOPE we will do better next season. What do you think will happen next season; I’d love to hear what our fans expect to happen and what would it take for them to be happy with the Texas Tech Basketball Program?