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Beyond The Arc: Texas Tech Basketball still in the driver’s seat

How will Texas Tech respond to their first conference loss?

NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Tech Basketball falls to ISU

I’m not going to recap this game for you, because you can find that here. However, I will give you my takeaways from this game, and will analyze what Texas Tech Basketball needs to do to rebound against Baylor.

NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

1. Free Throws. Free Throws. Free Throws!!

It’s in the name. This is supposed to be a FREE bucket that happens after a foul is committed. Unfortunately, this was not the case for Texas Tech and bell-cow, Jarrett Culver. The team made only 6 out of their 15 free throw attempts (40%), and Culver was 5 for 10, missing very timely free throws. This is obviously not acceptable and missing free throws is a solid recipe for losing tight basketball games. Let’s flash back to the game against WVU, The Red Raiders made 70% of their free throws in route to a close win. Free throws are a clear indicator of why Texas Tech lost to Iowa State.

2. Jarrett Culver’s off night.

If you listen to The Air Raid Podcast, you’ve heard Albie and myself preach the fact that this team needs other consistent contributors. And while Davide Moretti has emerged as a legit scoring threat, this team still relies too heavily on Jarrett Culver. This team seemed to force the ball to Culver, and let him go to work in isolation. While this strategy may work when Culver is red hot, he was not last night, Culver finished the night with 20 points, but only made 7 of his 21 attempts. I’ll say it again, this team needs more consistency from it’s role players if they want to make a deep run in March.

3. Tempo

I cant believe I’m saying this, but Chris Beard may have been out-coached last night. If you’ve watched Iowa State recently, you’ve seen them lose to both Baylor and Kansas State, right after a win versus Kansas. Iowa State plays very well when they can play with tempo and are able to swing the ball around the court. ISU controlled the tempo against KU but not KSU. If Chris Beard could have slowed this game down, then perhaps Texas Tech would still be undefeated in conference play.

Khavon Moore

ICYMI: Khavon Moore played his first minutes as a Red Raider.

While he virtually did nothing in his season debut, this has HUGE implications going forward. Moore has officially recovered from his leg injury and will play a role for this team going forward. Let me remind you, Khavon Moore was the highest rated recruit in school history when he signed. Expect Moore to bring a ton of versatility to Texas Tech’s lineup. I anticipate Moore to be worked into the rotation slowly, playing minutes a multiple positions.

Is Big 12 Basketball Better or Worse This Season?

It is no secret that Kansas is having a down year. However, they are still very much favorites to win the Big 12 Championship. I go back and forth as to whether this is a good or bad thing for the conference as a whole. I think the argument to be made here, is that the conference as a whole is more competitive, but is not as loaded at the top.

Whose Got Next?

Next up for Chris Beard’s squad is the Baylor Bears. That game will tip-off in Waco on Saturday, September 19th.