The Texas Tech Red Raiders (4-1, 0-0) beat South Dakota St. Jackrabbits (1-4, 0-0), 68-54 in what felt like a very workman like effort. Texas Tech didn't shoot lights out and Texas Tech wasn't dominating in any fashion. Texas Tech was actually out-rebounded by one by South Dakota State, but this game never really felt like it was close even though SDSU kept around the game for what seemed like three-fourths of the game.
Star of the Game | F Jordan Tolbert: Tolbert finished with 19 points on 8 of 13 from the floor, 9 rebounds, 1 assist and 3 turnovers. SDSU really didn't have an answer for Tolbert offensively or his athleticism. The best news of the game was that Tolbert made 6 of his 19 points off of two three-point shots that he made and he looked pretty comfortable doing that.
1. Tight Defense | I thought the defense was really terrific. SDSU seemed to have some issues hitting shots and you always wonder how much the defense has to do with it. Over the course of a game, SDSU shot 34% from the floor for the game and 20% from three-point line. The zone and man defenses were really good and SDSU just couldn't compete athletically with Texas Tech, much like the match-up with Tolbert. SDSU turned the bal lover 14 times and Texas Tech had 10 steals, led by Jaye Crockett with 3 and Robert Turner and Dusty Hannahs with 2 each.
2. Tough Nights for Turner and Hannahs | It was good to see a rough night from Hannahs, who shot only 1 of 6 from the floor, but here's the good news. The good news is that Texas Tech won despite Texas Tech not having their outside shooter make his shots and he still scored in double-figures, and finished with 12 points, making all 9 of his free throws. Robert Turner also had a rough night, finishing with just 1 of 7 from the floor and only 2 points from Texas Tech's leading scorer, but Turner continues to run the offense. Something that's really fun to watch is Turner get the ball up the court and try to run a fast break offense. If it's not there, and this is almost like clockwork, Turner will pull the ball back with 23 or 24 seconds left on the clock to re-boot. Turner is running this team really well, and he also had 3 assists and 0 turnovers for the game. Texas Tech has to win games when some of their guys aren't running on all cylinders and that was the case last night. This is a pretty balanced team, at least I think there are four pretty good scoring options that can really turn it on in any given night.
3. Kravic and Onwuasor Look More Comfortable | Dejan Kravic finally started to look comfortable and hit a couple of outside shots, going 4 of 7 from the floor, with 8 points. Kravic is still playing tentative, as he only gathered 2 rebounds in 16 minutes. He looks like he's still trying to find a home offensively. Randy Onwuasor is starting to look a lot mroe comfortable at the point and that's incredibly important. Onwuasor is going to be thsi team's back-up point guard and in the Big 12, that's going to be incredibly important. Onwuasor started to look a little more comfortable offensively, hitting a couple of shots, scoring 5 points, and he had 2 assists with 0 turnovers in 10 minutes.
Charts: Thanks to the good folks at StatSheet.