The scoreboard will show that Texas Tech won comfortably 59-40, however this game could be classified as one of the worst games in the Chris Beard era. Facing a banged up Southeastern Louisiana squad, Tech was unable to get anything going on offense, and continued a worrying trend of stalling on that end of the floor for minutes at a time.
the Red Raiders were able to jump out to an 18-3 lead early on, however it was apparent early on that Tech was struggling with the zone defense SELA was imposing on them. A decent end to the first half for the Lions made the score a respectable 32-19 at half, with Tech shooting nearly 50% to that point. The second half was extremely ugly, A lack of ball movement led to multiple missed three pointers with time draining on the shot clock. Eventually the Red Raiders were able to go on a 14-4 run to put the game out of reach at 56-33, however by that point it was clear Southeastern was gassed, as they were concluding a four game stretch in four different arenas.
On offense, Jarrett Culver led the way with 21 points on 8-12 shooting, with 14 of his points coming in the first half. No other player scored in double figures, and the only two players besides Culver to shoot above 50% were Deshawn Corprew and Norense Odiase, who made all of their combined five shots. Odiase had a strong game, having a career high 13 boards/ Matt Mooney, Davide Moretti, and Tariq Owens combined for just 18 points on 6-22 shooting. Moretti looked lost at times offensively, committing multiple unforced errors, while Mooney had an extremely poor showing from the free throw line, going one for four. The team as a whole shot 42% from the field and only 26% from three on 5-19 shooting.
Southeastern Louisiana was led by Moses Greenwood, who put in 13 points on 4-7 shooting. Tech managed to hold the Lions to 26% from the field, and only 5-29 from deep. Southeastern is the reigning Southland conference regular season champion, however they lost two starters and are being hampered by injuries, as preseason all conference player Marlain Veal is dealing with a torn meniscus. They got soundly beaten to start the season vs. LSU, and most recently got destroyed by Nebraska (a potential opponent next week for Texas Tech) 87-35. The Lions are ranked 283rd in the current Kenpom rankings, and are 228th defensively. Being held to 59 points by them is clearly not a good sign, regardless of how well the defense played.
It is clear that Chris Beard may need to make some changes offensively in order to maximize this team’s full potential. Getting Khavon Moore should help improve the facilitation of the offense, however the team will need stronger guard play in order to have any success. When your supposedly offensive oriented starting backcourt combines for 15 points on 5-18 shooting with five assists and four turnovers there is clearly a problem. There are many potential lineups that Beard has been tinkering with throughout the first three games, which makes a potential change in the starting five pretty likely should the offensive struggles continue.
Next up for the team is the Hall of Fame Classic, which should give coach Beard a good indication of where his team stacks up against stronger opponents. The first game against USC will be next Monday at 8:30 on ESPN2.