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The Fastbreak | Did Bruce Pearl Walk Away from the Handshake Line?

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Weekly update for the Red Raiders basketball team… hot topics, quotes, stats, and more.

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Hot Topic

The latest news that is being blown out of proportion by the highly respectable media is that Bruce Pearl walked away from the handshake line after losing to Texas Tech on Wednesday night. Daniel Paulling of the Associated Press wrote...

Auburn (3-3) couldn't get a shot off before time expired following Williams' shot. Tigers coach Bruce Pearl then walked onto the court, away from the handshake line, but declined to comment on why he did so.

"I don't remember," Pearl said. "There are certain things I can comment on and certain things I cannot comment on. It's better if I try to forget."

When I read that, I thought that it was an impolite gesture from a disappointed coach who just lost a sloppy game. No matter how bad the outcome of a game, or how poor the officiating you need to take the time to shake the other coaches hand. But, then more of the story came out.

Auburn did not want it's image ruined by something like this, because we all know how sensitive everyone can get. It's like adding fuel to a fire. So, they had their basketball sports information director Dan Froehlich get involved...

However, its basketball sports information director, Dan Froehlich, said Pearl didn't walk away from the handshake line as the Associated Press reported the first-year Auburn coach did.

According to an AP story, Pearl walked onto the court and away from the handshake line after the game. Froehlich said Pearl participated in the handshake line and shook hands with Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith.

Auburn has contacted the AP writer who wrote the story, but wasn't assured the story would be changed. Froehlich said AP disagrees with how Auburn is interpreting the story.

So, now it's a battle of interpretation. Just like the charge calls in the game, this one can be viewed from each side as different. Go watch the video in the above link, and you will see Bruce Pearl clearly shakes Tubby Smith and others hands. Of course, this whole incident is much ado about nothing.

Quotes

After the comeback win over Air Force...

"We're very fortunate to get the win today... We had to make some big plays down the stretch, and we did it." - Coach Tubby Smith

That is the truth, there were a lot of factors that had to swing in the Red Raiders favor to pull off the 19 point comeback in the 2nd half. Coach Smith changed up the lineup and went with a smaller group to get quick buckets. The turnovers and fouls fell our way and we capitalized on the opportunity. We did what we needed to do.

"Two minutes is a lot of time... That nine-point deficit in 2 minutes is a piece of cake if you keep giving effort and keep playing hard." - Robert Turner

I don't think any Texas Tech player thought the game was out of reach at any point in the game. That's what it takes to pull off a rallying come from behind victory. Our team is filled with determination to fight until the end. No quit!

After beating Auburn...

"Coach told me to drive it, fake and get them in the air... But I saw it was a big man guarding me, so I just figured I could just drive as fast as I can and spin to the rim." - Devaugntah Williams

Williams has been clutch in the past 2 games to get the game-tying and game-winning shots. I guess we know who's hands to put the ball in the final seconds when the game is on the line.

"I thought our guys are committed to playing defense... They know that's going to be our strength. We're certainly not an offensive juggernaut. One of our goals was to hold a team to under 40 percent (shooting) and they did." - Coach Tubby Smith

Everyone knows that our team struggles on the offensive side of the ball. So, Coach has us play to our strength which is defense. We have goals to achieve each game that Tubby Smith has established and it is translating into wins for our team.

Stats

G MP FG FGA FG% 2P 2PA 2P% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS PTS/G
Team 6 1225 128 310 .413 98 219 .447 30 91 .330 113 173 .653 79 151 230 63 42 37 87 107 399 66.5
Rank 308th 289th 255th 276th 250th 269th 295th 318th 206th 85th 66th 246th 138th 229th 203rd 304th 192nd 36th 155th 269th 270th 212th
Opponent 6 1225 128 321 .399 88 210 .419 40 111 .360 70 104 .673 58 133 191 65 45 19 88 136 366 61.0
Rank 60th 79th 105th 43rd 83rd 62nd 150th 98th 262nd 65th 64th 156th 61st 73rd 58th 69th 209th 102nd 203rd 213th 62nd 83rd
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CBB: View Original Table
Generated 12/5/2014.

Rk Player G MP FG FGA FG% 2P 2PA 2P% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1 Devaugntah Williams 6 21.0 3.8 7.0 .548 1.5 3.3 .450 2.3 3.7 .636 1.8 2.2 .846 2.5 1.5 0.3 0.0 1.3 1.7 11.8
2 Robert Turner 6 27.7 3.7 10.2 .361 3.2 6.8 .463 0.5 3.3 .150 3.5 5.2 .677 3.7 2.0 1.7 0.0 1.3 1.5 11.3
3 Norense Odiase 6 24.8 3.8 6.0 .639 3.8 6.0 .639 0.0 0.0 2.8 4.5 .630 6.2 0.5 0.0 1.2 2.2 2.2 10.5
4 Toddrick Gotcher 6 19.5 2.0 4.8 .414 1.0 2.2 .462 1.0 2.7 .375 2.0 3.2 .632 2.7 1.7 0.3 0.5 1.5 1.5 7.0
5 Randy Onwuasor 6 24.8 1.7 6.5 .256 1.2 3.8 .304 0.5 2.7 .188 2.0 3.2 .632 4.2 1.7 1.5 0.3 2.7 2.3 5.8
6 Zach Smith 6 26.3 2.2 5.8 .371 2.2 5.3 .406 0.0 0.5 .000 1.5 2.3 .643 6.5 1.3 0.7 2.2 0.8 2.7 5.8
7 Keenan Evans 6 12.7 1.3 2.3 .571 0.7 1.3 .500 0.7 1.0 .667 1.8 2.5 .733 1.5 0.7 0.8 0.2 1.5 1.3 5.2
8 Justin Gray 6 19.8 1.5 5.0 .300 1.5 4.0 .375 0.0 1.0 .000 1.7 2.5 .667 3.2 0.3 1.0 0.7 1.3 1.5 4.7
9 Isaiah Manderson 6 10.8 0.5 2.0 .250 0.5 2.0 .250 0.0 0.0 1.7 3.0 .556 2.7 0.0 0.5 0.5 0.7 1.3 2.7
10 Alex Foster 5 8.2 0.6 1.2 .500 0.6 1.2 .500 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.4 .000 1.4 0.4 0.0 0.6 0.4 1.4 1.2
11 Clark Lammert 6 8.2 0.3 0.5 .667 0.3 0.5 .667 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.3 0.5 0.2 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.7
12 Luke Adams 2 1.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.0 0.0
13 Justin Jamison 1 6.0 0.0 2.0 .000 0.0 1.0 .000 0.0 1.0 .000 0.0 0.0 2.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 0.0
14 Stan Mays 1 1.0 0.0 1.0 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CBB: View Original Table
Generated 12/5/2014.

The thing that stood out to me this week in the stats was that Norense Odiase came up big against Auburn after having 2 subpar games. Against Northwestern State he was slowed down with early foul trouble. In the Air Force game Tubby Smith had to go with a smaller lineup to beat the zone defense, this left Odiase with little opportunities to score in limited minutes.

He got back on track in the Auburn game and it attracted the attention of many Tigers players. He finished with 15 points, 7 rebounds, and a block. He is a freshman that will have struggles at times. But, he is going to figure out those troubles and fix them as he matures into a prime target in our frontcourt for years to come.

Looking at the other number it is disheartening to notice our statistical ranking in most all the categories. As stated by Tubby Smith in the above quotes, our team is not going to be a powerhouse on the offensive end of the court. So, we have to keep winning these games with our defense. We move our feet and put pressure on the opponents very well. It may be less entertaining to watch, but if we can keep getting victories with our defense then let's keep it up. Wreck 'em Tech!

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