Well, that was pretty terrible. The Texas Tech Red Raiders lose the Kansas Jayhawks, 86-54. And it really wasn't even that close either, and yes, I understand that the score does not look like the game was close. Kansas is ridiculously talented team and eerything clicked. Heck, even Perry Ellis, who hadn't been hitting three-point shots all year was 3 for 3. It was one of those nights where KU shot 53% from the field and there wasn't a lot that Texas Tech could do about anything.
Star of the Game
PF Justin Jamison. Jamison is the only player that scored in double figures and he looked really fluid and his shot looked terrific. He was 4 of 7 from the field, including 2 of 3 from the three-point line, 5 rebounds, a turnover and a block.
1. Out-Muscled. The biggest difference between high profile recruits and three-star recruits, other than skill, is that most high profile recruits are physically ready to dominate and it was incredibly clear that was the case yesterday. Keenan Evans got a rude awakening yesterday as he was simply out-muscled on a couple of instances and literally just had the ball taken away from him twice. This isn't to pick on Evans, but it should remind the Texas Tech players that they will have to worker harder than most in order to compete with the elite level athletes. That means more time in the gym, and more time in the weight room and more time studying film. It can be done. Without a doubt, but the Texas Tech players are going to have to work harder for it.
2. Smith at the Three. With Justin Gray out for a period of time, we've all been scratching our heads trying to figure out who would play the three. I thought that Zach Smith would make a good candidate, but didn't want to take him away from the rim defensively and he doesn't really have a terrific offensive game to stretch defenders, but he's got the requisite size at the small forward spot when the opponent also starts a 6-7 forward. It didn't start out this way, but Smith did play a ton of the three in the second half, along with a center, either Isaiah Manderson or Norense Odiase, and Justin Jamison. I think it was completely intentional that Smith kept this group in there for such a long stretch in the second half. It wouldn't surprise me to see this be the combination as the match-ups dictate.
3. Nothing from the Guards. There wasn't a guard that was really remotely effective. Robert Turner was 3 for 8 with 6 points, Devaugntah Williams was 1 for 6. Toddrick Gotcher was 0 for 5. Randy Onwuasor was 1 of 6 and Keenan Evans was 0 for 4. The size and strength of KU's players showed up agains the guards more than anything else. The Jayhawks were physically dominant and simply bullied the Texas Tech guards on offense. That can't happen again if Texas Tech doesn't want teh score to reflect this sort of disparity.
4. Big Men Didn't Shrink. It was good to see that the big men, the aforementioned Manderson, Odiase, Jamison and Smith didn't shrink. They kept taking the ball to the rim when the opportunity rose and didn't let the situation dictate what they were going to do. Isaiah Manderson continued to do good things offensively as he finished 4 of 6 from the field and 8 points. Odiase finished with just 4 points, but he continued to battle inside. And once Zach Smith gets a better handle on his offensive game, a weakness that we knew was a problem from high school, he's going to be really terrific. So yeah, I'm able to find positives out of this game and I loved the way the frontcourt played.
5. Working Free Throws. If Texas Tech hits 75% of their free throws, then the final score looks a little more respectable, instead of a 32 point win, we'd be looking at a 26 point win. So free throws don't change the final result all that much, but it is still unacceptable to only shoot 52% from the free throw line for the game, including 17% in the second half, just 1 of 6. And I get that there are a ton of freshmen on the team, so it is natural that this is going to be a statistic that may not be great by the end of the year, but it has to be a focus of this team.