During the week before Christmas, the Red Raiders played their final two off-conference games against Florida Atlantic and Abilene Christian. Excluding the first half of the Owls’ game, Texas Tech easily handled two weaker teams and respectively won by 36 and 27 points.
Consequently, coach Beard had the possibility to deepen his rotations, with minutes on the field for everyone and interesting performances by players that normally don’t appear under the spotlights.
For example, six players scored ten or more points against Florida Atlantic and four had the same achievement against Abilene Christian, but only two made this in both games, guards Zhaire Smith and Keenan Evans.
Evans had 15 points and six assists in 24 minutes against the Owls, he added 11 off the bench against the Wildcats and led his teammates with his leadership and some spectacular plays.
At the moment, Keenan leads the Red Raiders in minutes per game (25.8), points (16.5), assists (3.8), steals (1.8), and, unfortunately, turnovers (1.8). This last number shouldn’t worry because it’s normal the player who gets more touches also has more possibilities to lose some balls.
In three days Texas Tech will start its Big 12 schedule, and we’ll see how the team will react against tougher opponents. Until now, the conference has been impressive, with an overall record of 102-14, six ranked teams and other two receiving votes for the AP Top 25, so every game will be a battle and Evans will have to be our field general.