Due to Christmas and to other holidays, Texas Tech only played once in the last ten days, so there’s no escaping the fact the best player against Baylor is also the best player of the week.
Many Red Raiders performed well in the victory over the Bears, as there were four double-digit scorers (Niem Stevenson, Keenan Evans, Jarrett Culver, and Zhaire Smith) and our player of the week isn’t among them.
I chose Tommy Hamilton IV for this column because he was coach Beard’s Swiss Army knife. He scored eight points, one of his best performances as a Red Raiders, but, most important, he was useful in many aspects of the game that we don’t find in a box score.
Hamilton had seven rebounds, four defensive and three offensive, and that was the highest number of the team, went 2/4 from the 3-point line, had an assist, and a block. In addition, he was a continuous and productive presence under the basket and, more in general, he constantly helped his teammates with many double teamings that forced many Baylor turnovers.
Despite being a senior, Tommy is playing his first season with the Red Raiders, as he, a native of Chicago, played three years for DePaul, and transferred before 2016/17 season, sitting out for a year following NCAA rules.
He’s not having as much playing time as he had in Chicago, approximately 25 minutes against 15, but his production is nearly the same, as Tommy is averaging 6.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 0.7 assists.
He surely isn’t the first violin of the team, but he immediately put his physicality, his abnegation, and his experience at disposal. That’s a very positive attitude because coach Beard needs his dirty workers too.