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Texas Tech Red Raiders Basketball Trending

5 items that are trending with the men's basketball team this week.

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Spo


Points-in-Paint | In the win against Iowa State last week we took it to the hole for shots and we dumped the ball down low for some of our points. We didn’t let ISU get the ball inside on us as much and made them settle for lower percentage shots away from the basket. This was a great effort from our guys against the Cyclones. We won the battle down low on rebounds and points. Tech scored 24 while the Cyclones only had 20 points in the paint and we won the game. Last game against Texas we couldn’t keep them away from the basket. They seemed to drive at will to get inside. The Longhorns also dumped the ball off to their big guys many times for quick easy uncontested layups. As we got spanked by UT they outscored us 38-22 in the paint. It goes to show how important it is for our guys to keep the ball away from the basket on defense if we are going to have a chance to win the game. Tolbert, Crockett, and Kravic have to defend well against our opponents big men and our guards need to stay in front of their guys on D.

Floor Percentage | To those of you unfamiliar with what floor percentage is here is a definition from “The entire purpose of an offense is to score as often as possible while making as few mistakes as possible. When a team scores, whether just one point on a free throw, two points on a field goal, or three points any way it can, and the other team takes possession of the ball, then the first team has just had a scoring possession. Any time there is a change of possession, then one total possession is accrued. Floor percentage (floor%) is the ratio of scoring possessions to total possessions.” It is extremely important if you are playing a slow-tempo game that each possession counts and you make the most of your opportunity to score each time your team gets the rock. We actually are trending up in this stat from last week and it is a positive thing to be happy about. Right now Tech is #159 in the nation at 51% floor percentage. If the guys are going to win more game then they need to keep on improving this stat. I would like to see us getting the ball and taking high percentage shots along with grabbing the offensive rebounds for second chance points when we get the ball in our hands. Scoring possessions are critical in our current offensive philosophy.

Jordan Tolbert | Tolbert has stepped up his play over the last three games. The sophomore had 10 points and 3 rebounds against Oklahoma State. Then against Iowa State he had 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 1 steal. Last game he was the Tech MVP against UT when he finished with a double-double with 18 points, 13 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 block. He is definitely trending up and this is such a wonderful thing. We all know Tolbert lost his father and missed a lot of the preseason practices with the team early this season. He had been struggling to get back to where he left off last season and he has now looked to have made it back. I applaud his efforts and think it is so fantastic that he is doing well after all he has gone through. Tech needs all they can get from Tolbert as he is relied on heavily down low on the court from our squad. He will be on the All Big 12 First Team by the time he leaves our school. Our chances of getting a win increase when Tolbert is at the top of his game.

Turnovers | This is getting ridiculous how bad we are doing in this category. The team needs to find a way to cut back on turnovers so badly, but yet we keep on getting worse. Last week against Iowa State we gave away 15 turnovers, and against UT we had a whopping 19! We have now moved to #290 in the country on ball possession and average 15.4 tpg. We have young inexperienced players on our team, but they should have hit the learning curve by now in the Big 12. I think it will get better by the end of league play and I will be happy each game we get below 15 TO’s to bring our average down.

Introduction to the Big 12 | In football we introduced West Virginia and TCU to the Big 12 by handing them losses. This season in basketball we have already properly introduced TCU basketball in Ft. Worth to our Red Raider basketball program. I would like to keep up this season long tradition and beat the Mountaineers when they come to Lubbock on Saturday. We can win this game as WVU is only 9-11 (2-5 in Big 12) with wins over UT and TCU. I’m not going to lie and say that they aren’t the better team, but I will say I expect that if our guys play a controlled pace and take away the easy shots from WVU we can come away with a victory. I hope they come into the United Spirit Arena and leave with a bitter taste in their mouths from getting smacked around. I’ll be watching and cheering wildly for this one. I want victory bad! Wreck ‘em Tech!