Small ball is what helped this team get back in this game. A small lineup of Turner, Gotcher, Hannahs, Crockett and Tolbert. Texas Tech was down by 15 at halftime, but a furious comeback in the second half helped get this game pretty close. In the end, it was just too much for those five players, who played a majority of the second half. I’m wondering if HC Tubby Smith found something that he liked in terms of an effective lineup that needed to keep pace with an Iowa St. team that was pretty good on offense, especially in this first half.
Star of the Game | F Jaye Crockett: Crockett finished the game 9 of 14 from the floor, with 11 boards and just 1 turnover for the game. Crockett was consistent all game and had it not been for his good shooting, Texas Tech wouldn't have been in this game even a little.
1. Small Ball: Crockett, Tolbert, Turner, Gotcher and Hannahs all played over 23 minutes and they saw a majority of the time in the second half comeback. The offense did flow better and the defense didn't really suffer that much without a true center on the floor. Dejan Kravic wasn't all that effective today, scoring only 2 points and grabbing 1 board in 13 minutes and Kader Tapbsoba had a dislocated finger that kept him out the entire game. With limited players, Smith rolled with that small lineup, with additions from Randy Onwuasor and Aaron Ross to supplement. I could certainly envision a small lineup if Kravic isn't contributing.
2. Not Everyone on Track: This team just can't get everyone rolling at the same time. Robert Tunre was 0-6 from the floor and couldn't find a decent look all game and 0-3 from the three-point line. Toddrick Gotcher's only bucket came on the block with a nice offensive play, but didn't hit anything outside, including 0-3 from the three-point line. Then, we get Dusty Hannahs, who did finally get back on track, going just 6 of 14, but hitting 3 of 7 from the three-point line and scoring 16 points. This isn't a reprieve for Hannahs, but it's good to get someone going from the outside. This just has to happen this year for this team to win a handful of Big 12 games.
Free Throws and Questionable Calls: There were a couple of questionable calls towards the end of the game, including a scene where an ISU player held out his forearm on Hannahs' throat and Hannahs is trying to swipe at the ball, not really fouling because he can't read the ball, and is called for a foul. Just never seen that before. Also, the free throw disparity was pretty significant, 24 of 29 for ISU and just 6 of 8 for Texas Tech. As mentioned above, Texas Tech did a good job of keeping ISU off any offensive boards, only 7 on the day, and they both shot comparably, 42% for ISU and 44% for Texas Tech. The difference was the 18 extra free throw makes for Iowa St. Texas Tech has to play better defense and if the opponent is getting to the line, they need to get to teh basket and try to do the same.
Charts: Thanks to the good folks at StatSheet.