Exactly one week ago, the Texas Tech basketball team was 4-0 in conference play and looking to take on a Iowa State team who had just come off of two straight losses of its own. How seven days can change the entire outlook of the season baffles me but nevertheless, we are here at 4-3 and on the verge of collapsing in on ourselves. Surely, we as Tech fans could not have endure such an awful stretch of basketball from this team except that we did last season. Four straight losses to be exact was the season high losing streak for this team last season. They managed to stop the bleeding and make their way to a Elite Eight appearance, so who’s to say that this team can’t as well.
Texas Tech celebrates making its first Elite Eight in school history pic.twitter.com/8GqoIQ2Esi— Steve Hewitt (@steve_hewitt) March 24, 2018
Now, I’m not saying that last year’s team had the same exact problem as this year’s one, but what I will say is that this team is very well coached by a man who has been in this situation before and is great at tweaking his lineup to get the best out of all of his players. Some tweaks will need to be made to this lineup to get the most out of this team, but in my mind, that doesn’t involve kicking anyone out of the rotation, that means just adding to it.
What do I mean by that? Well, I think that Khavon Moore needs to see the floor more. Not a whole ton like some people might want, but Moore fits in this rotation solidly. He’s long, lanky, and can guard multiple positions with his athleticism. Now, there is no doubt that Moore needs to knock off some game rust, but even giving this guy 10-15 minutes a game will help this team with his defense and facilitation and scoring on the offensive end of the floor.
I know giving Khavon Moore that many minutes would have to take away from someone and I have a solution for that too. Moore fits in a forward role but has some great guard features, especially on the defensive end. If you were to take 3 minutes each from Matt Mooney, Davide Moretti, Brandone Francis, and Tariq Owens, that gives Moore roughly 12 minutes a game and would give your guards and veteran players some extra rest time but still gives them all well over 20 minutes a game. Khavon Moore playing more minutes is not my only solution on how to stop this awful offensive drought.
Texas Tech guard Matt Mooney warming up. pic.twitter.com/Ro24O4KM7f— Carlos Silva Jr. (@cmsilvajr) November 1, 2018
Matt Mooney has been a good player for the Red Raiders. He is a bit turnover prone, and I don’t think he needs to be the ball dominant playmaking guard that he tries to be at some points in games. I don’t even think he needs to be in the starting lineup right now. Now I don’t want his minutes to drop a whole bunch either. I think the team needs to re-define his role. Like I said before, Mooney hasn’t been great as a playmaking guard. What I think he needs to be for this team is a 3 and D guy coming off the bench and sparking this team when it needs an offensive push.
Brandone Francis drills a three @TexasTechMBB pic.twitter.com/qyyFs3X6tK— Aaron (@Epix316) December 1, 2018
I also think that Brandone Francis is the guy that should take his place in the starting lineup. Francis has heated up as Big 12 play has gone along and not just in a sense of shooting the ball. Francis has proven to be a far better playmaker on both ends of the floor than Mooney. Yes, Francis does take some careless shots at times, but what he provides with his passing, and his ability to guard almost anyone on the floor is one of the main reasons I think he was inserted into the starting lineup against Kansas State. Francis is also way less turnover prone, and that’s something this team needs to take into account after this past week.
These are just some of the tweaks that I think could help capitalize on the talent we have here in Lubbock. The one thing I do know is that Coach Beard has a handle on this team. No one in this program has checked out either, everyone here wants to win and this year’s team can do so. The Big 12 title is still very much in reach for this team as it looks like 12 wins might win the conference this season. Some adjustments will be needed to help this team get back on track but when you have a mind like Chris Beard’s, nothing is impossible.