It seems that Texas Tech wasn’t in this game from the start of this game. The Texas Tech Red Raiders lost to the Pittsburgh Panthers, 76-53, and if this game demonstrates anything, it is that Texas Tech is still pretty far behind a lot of teams in the talent department. It was actually pretty stunning to see. But statistically, Pitt is a top 10 team, just as good as Arizona, just not getting the publicity that the Wildcats are getting, and other than conference opponents, Pitt is one of the best teams Texas Tech will play in non-conference play.
Star of the Game | F Jaye Crockett: Crockett was the ONLY guy that could do much of anything, scoring 19 points on 9 of 11 from the floor and 3 rebounds. Really though, Crockett is the only guy that scored in double-figures, so options here are limited.
1. Talent Disparity: From a size and talent standpoint, it was pretty clear that Pitt is a team that has better shooters, better rebounders and better overall players. The speed of the game that Pitt was playing was significantly faster than Texas Tech and the ability of Pitt to close out on players defensively was the one thing that was always going to keep Texas Tech at bay.
2. Costly Turnovers: The turnovers that plagued this team so much last year was incredibly prevalent against Pitt as Texas Tech had 17 turnovers, and Pitt outscored Texas Tech 20-9 on turnovers. The two point guards, Robert Turner and Randy Onwuasor, led the team with 3 and 4 turnovers each, and that’s always problematic. This was the toughest game for the two point guards as Turner missed a bunch of layups and close range shots that he typically hits. Onwuasor is still getting comfortable and it’s going to be a process with him.
3. Much Better 2nd Half: There’s really no way to get around this, but the first half was abysmal, but the Red Raiders did shoot for over 50% in the second half and did keep pace with Pitt, as both teams scored 35 points in the second half. Maybe the biggest thing that Texas Tech is going to have to figure out, is how to beat teams and run the offense with a talent disparity. I think that this was good for Smith to emphasize that teams that can run their offense and get clean shots can keep pace. Maybe this is the idea of what F Jordan Tolbert is, in that he’s a guy that can dominate against smaller competition, but has problem with other teams have a size advantage. Tolbert has a tough time adjusting, or it takes the better part of the season to adjust. Drawing out Tolbert’s game will help him do that, but Tolbert simply reverted and didn’t seem to get a clean shot for pretty much the entire first half.
Charts: Thanks to the good folks at StatSheet.