Texas Tech has forced itself onto the national radar with its active win streak. 100% of the credit has been given to Tubby Smith and the coaching staff for fueling this improbable run, however Keenan Evans deserves some praise as well. Don't get me wrong, the coaching staff has been phenomenal of late but Evans' hot streak has gone largely unappreciated.
For the early part of the season Evan's impact was less pronounced, as he only played 30+ minutes twice before the Arkansas game. That game sprung Evans onto my radar. Starting that game, Evans has scored double digits in five of the last seven games. During that stretch Evans has also averaged 30.4 minutes per game. Part of that is the frequency of overtime games for Tech, but most of it has been his exceptional play.
Evans lately has attacked the basket more frequently and is getting to the charity stripe more often. In that seven game span Evans has averaged 5.6 free throw attempts per game hitting at 77%. As the point guard, his job is to stabilize the team's offense. Gotcher has filled that role for a few years now but once he graduates the role falls to Keenan. His emergence bodes well for this team's future. This year Evans is leading the team in assists at 2.7 per game to Gotcher's 2.4.
In two of the biggest wins of the year it shouldn't be a surprise that Evans played his best. This shot may was Evans' biggest contribution and likely the biggest shot of the year for Tech.
Those were three of Evans' 17 points that game; a game in which he missed only two of his eleven shots from the field and free throw line combined. He also dropped in two assists that game while turning the ball over only once.
Keenan followed up his best performance of the year by topping it the next game out against Baylor. Evans dropped in a career-high 21 points with 5 assists and 4 steals to round out a dominating road win. His performance in the OU game was less pronounced but still highly effective. This hesitation move was pretty sick, Evans' dribble moves have always been noticeable since he arrived in Lubbock.
This offense at times becomes embarrassingly stagnant. Evans' penetration and facilitation turns the offense from five immobile observers into an actual working offense. That assortment of dribble moves helps Evans penetrate defenses more effectively than any of his teammates other than Devaugntah Williams.
Leading this slew of sophomores will fall to the point guard once this senior class is gone. With Evans as their steadying presence this team's future gleams brightly. If you didn't know before you definitely know now.
Keenan Evans: Major Key.