I don’t think I’m giving enough credit to the injury to Jaye Crockett and this team just isn’t going to beat many other teams without Texas Tech’s leading scorer get more than 1 point and 1 rebound. I know that Coach Smith has talked about Crockett’s knees for the last couple of weeks, but maybe I just don’t realize the severity of how bad they are. Crockett has been struggling the last few games and without his presence on the floor to lead this team, it could be rough the rest of the way unless someone steps up like Ross did today.
If Crockett’s knees are as bad as we think, maybe giving him a few games off before the Big 12 Tournament would be beneficial. Crockett would, assuredly, never allow that, but it’s tough watching him struggle.
Official Site: Box Score
Star of the Game | F Aaron Ross: Ross helped lead a second half comeback that ended up falling short, but he was still impressive in his limited action, only 19 minutes. Ross was 5 of 6 from the floor, finishing with 10 points, 4 rebounds 3 assists and no turnovers for the day.
1. Battle of the Boards: Texas Tech was whipped on the boards, 40-24 and Baylor had 21 offensive rebound. Baylor only shot 30% from the floor, which means that the Texas Tech man defense was spectacular, but if you can't keep a team off the glass and you give Baylor that many second opportunities, it's going to come back to haunt you. Texas Tech just can't allow any team to do that.
2. Dominating Points in the Paint: Texas Tech dominated the points in the paint, 34-14, but who is doing the damage. Dejan Kravic had 8 points, Tolbert had 6, Crockett had 1. That's your starting frontcourt and it is accounting only for 15 points in the paint, which means that the points are coming from other places. I find myself continually frustrated with Tolbert's play because he has the athletic ability to be that much better, but he only managed 3 shots yesterday and he seems to have a tough time figuring out how to get his shot off without getting blocked or without getting a clean look. After three years of playing in the Big 12, he still hasn't figured out that he's athletically more gifted than most of the players that he plays against and hasn't identified how he can be an offensive threat for this team. When Crockett does go down, it should be Tolbert that steps up and makes a significant difference, but it's not.
3. Bright Future: Later this week, I should have a post going up about what this team is going to look like with all of the players graduating, much like what I've done with the football team, combining the depth chart and the remaining eligibility of each player. I am still a bit worried about the frontcourt depth, but I feel much better knowing that Ross and Foster are here to help with this team. At one point in the second half, it was a 16 point lead for Texas Tech, but with Foster and Ross in the game, they helped fuel a comeback and get this team within 5 points. From the high post, Ross is a guy that can find open players and creates match-up problems, while Foster is relentless on the glass.
Charts: Thanks to the good folks at StatSheet.