I, and I would guess most Red Raider fans, expected Oklahoma State to be a war. I believed victory was likely, but with Oklahoma State healthy the margin of victory I had in mind was maybe 10 points at best. Tech cruising through this first test made a statement, and our player of the week TJ Holyfield was a huge part of the victory.
Texas Tech is as shallow in the post as it ever has been, with Holyfield being the only real option. That means this team will largely live and die with his play. He was brilliant against Oklahoma State, and the team controlled the game after half-time as a result.
17 points is the first time since Iowa Holyfield hit double digits, but most startling is the 2 threes. That stretch five ability will space defenses out allowing the plethora of explosive guards to find lanes for drives and cuts. Defensively, Holyfield did Tariq Owens proud by blocking three shots. The impact of these blocks from him and Ramsey was apparent. Oklahoma State’s guard adjusted by throwing contested layups and floaters up too high, resulting in miss after miss at the rim.
Holyfield is going to be the biggest indicator of this team’s success. If he gets into foul trouble, and is inefficient from the field Tech will struggle. But if he plays like this, I don’t think anyone can beat this team. Holyfield giving you this kind of production eliminates Tech’s only weakness besides youth.
Great game big man, now help wreck them bears tomorrow!