Following Texas Tech's convincing win over a ranked Baylor Bears team on the road, the game has left us with a couple of revelations about the Red Raiders. The first being that this basketball team will not let their season slip away. Following the Arkansas loss, I was convinced that this team had settled for a sub-par season and would be hopeful for an invitation to the NIT. This team has now won two consecutive games against ranked opponents and the team seems to be getting into a rhythm which they will need with the tail-end of the season quickly approaching.
The second revelation being that this young Texas Tech team isn't afraid to express their emotions on and off the court. It's to no surprise that the Monmouth bench has inspired college athletes all over the nation to add something extra to their celebrations. Sure, bench celebrations have been around for years, but Monmouth has it brought to every household with a TV. The Red Raiders have had their shares of ups and downs this season, with this momentum, hopefully it's only up from here on out. With seeing how dominating this team can be, I say, "Why don't we let them celebrate on the bench?" We can act like we've been here before, but for these young men, it's only the start of something special. The team is young from top to bottom, so it's not surprising that they want to celebrate like they did at the Baylor game.
It is fair to say that although this team is young, Tubby Smith's style of basketball is a stark contrast to all the theatrics that are now involved in basketball these days. I can see Tubby shaking his in disapproval over the way the team conducted itself in a blowout game against a ranked opponent, but at the same time it's hard to tell these kids that they have to suppress their feelings of competition, passion, and the adrenaline that is running during a high stakes contest. Look at the NBA, it's full of theatrics. I remember watching the All-Star game and thinking, "Wow, they're really going all out for these introductions. When does the game actually tip-off?" The association puts together an entire weekend to celebrate how fast, physical, and high flying basketball has become with having these world class athletes performing dunks, shots, and dribbles that wouldn't be efficient in a actual contest.
If the NBA is allowed to have so much going on during their games, why can't Tubby and other conservative coaches have their players have a little fun too? I completely agree with any argument that involves "professionalism" and "sportsmanship", but these are still kids just playing a game they love so much. I say we let them celebrate once in a while, only when it feels right. The Monmouth bench has become a one-trick-pony because they do it so much. In contrast, people are fired up because it's so uncharacteristic of Texas Tech. The fan base is fired up to see these men winning important games. Let's see these boys have fun on the court with their crowd cheering them on, it's only a fair trade for the discipline and hard work they put into preparing for one game.