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Recap: Texas Tech defeats SE Oklahoma State 79-67

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Texas Tech barley gets by SE Oklahoma State in it's season opener, showing strengths and struggles along the way. Here is your recap of the game

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Spo

Usually you'll get a post game review from Seth C or DanSwany, but since the game wasn't on television, they couldn't get a chance to watch it. Therefore, I'll be reviewing this game and next game.

The first exhibition game was tonight, and we got a first look at what this team and season is going to look like. They faced an SE Oklahoma State squad that was 8th in their conference last year. Here were the starting line-ups for Tech:

Forward Forward Guard Guard Guard Did Not Dress
Norense Odiase Clark Lambert Randy Onwuasor Toddrick Gotcher Robert Turner Justin Jamison, Justin Gray, Aaron Ross

The game started off slow and remained close the whole time. The Savage Storm starting firing 3's from beginning and used the long range shot to score their points. Tech used various methods when trying to score the basketball, including isolation around the rim, long range shots, mid range shots and fastberak opportunities. The Red Raiders started off on top, but the Storm quickly found their way back into the mix by the middle of the 2nd half. Texas Tech couldn't generate any offense and had poor execution with the ball and on the glass. Texas Tech lead at half, but SE OKST took the lead early in the 2nd quarter thanks to good defense and the three ball. However, Tech started pressuring more on defense and thanks to the guards, started forcing turnovers. Tech started scoring more around the basket late and held on for a 79-67 victory.

Here are 4 positives and 4 negatives from the game:

  • Robert Turner is the Man - When Crockett graduated last year, Red Raiders were wondering who would take over as the main man, It was expected to be Turner and it's clear to see that it is so. He took control of the ball when the score was close and drove towards the basket multiple times for lay-up and shot attempts. He had a good shooting day and was a hassle on the defensive end, starting multiple fastbreak opportunities. Turner looks to be the go to guy.
  • Lost: Three Ball - Tech was only 1-8 on downtown (Turner made the lone three), not showing a 3-point threat thus far. Turner and Gotcher aren't great shooters from downtown and I still haven't seen Williams make shots from the 3-point line. It's going to be hard for Tech to stretch the floor if they can't be dangerous from downtown.
  • Defensive Pressure - During the 2nd half, the guard did a tremendous job at half court pressing and forcing turnovers. That's a big reason why they took a 10-point lead in the 2nd half. Robert Turner, Randy Onwuasor, Keenan Evans and DeVaugntah Williams forced SE OKST into many poor decisions and capitalized along the way.
  • Rebounding an Issue - Although it shows the Red Raiders won the rebounding battle on the stat sheet, it was not pretty. They didn't box out well and ill-timed their jump at times. Manderson shows a lot of potential, but still looks to be a bit a ways from making a huge impact on the court. Odiase had some good plays backing down players in the post, but didn't do great rebounding. Both players also missed some shots underneath, but made some as well. There's still two months before Big XII play, and hopefully the Red Raiders can rebound better by then
  • Driving into the Paint - In the 2nd half, Texas Tech started to drive in the paint more and draw the foul. They were passing around the perimeter and didn't do much besides post plays and long range shots in the 1st half. However, players like Turner, Onwuasor and Evans started driving more in the 2nd half, getting to the free throw line. It also got them in foul trouble and took some key players out of the game.
  • Free Throws an Issue - Although Tech went to the free throw line a lot, they struggled to capitalize. I don't remember what everyone did specifically but some players struggled from the free throw line. Odiase was roughly 0-5, Turner went 1-2. Zach Smith went 1-3 and Randy Onwuasor went 0-2. Again, those may not be accurate. However, the free throw percentage was atrocious, and the Red Raiders can't do that once  Big XII play starts
  • Athletic Ability - This Red Raider squad is definitely more athletic than last year. The bigs move quickly, the freshman are fast and this team should be able to push the ball down the court. The 1st half didn't have a lot of fast break opportunities, but they had plenty of opportunities in the 2nd half. They didn't capitalize well on these attempts, but they usually had someone else there to get the ball and put it back up.
  • Still a Young Squad - If Texas Tech played like they did tonight, they won't do very well this season. It'll be like the football team on hardwood. Maybe the return of Jamison, Ross and Gray will give Texas Tech better depth and play, or maybe they fix their mistakes and become ready by Big XII play. But right now, they don't look great. However, this team is extremely young, with only two returning starters and four players that saw significant time last season. That's a lot to recover from. Plus these freshmen just got here a couple months ago. They may not look outstanding right now, but they show a lot of heart and potential and could definitely lead Texas Tech back to the Big Dance in a couple years. It'll take time, but the players are there.

Texas Tech has their 2nd exhibition game this weekend at 7 pm against Texas A&M-Commerce. The event is free again.