clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Takeaways from Texas Tech’s strong win over Texas in Austin

The Red Raiders earned a huge win over the Longhorns

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Tech had to scratch and claw their way back into the game against Texas in Austin, but eventually they were able to win with some clutch plays late in the game. The game was crucial for both teams, with Tech looking for an elusive quadrant one road win, while Texas was searching for a win to help build their tournament resume.

Texas was by far the superior team early on. After a sluggish start for both teams offensively, the Longhorns were able to clamp down on the Red Raiders, forcing 10 turnovers in only 11 minutes of game time. Tech really struggled to get shots up, and when they did, it was typically either a contested three or a blocked layup. The Red Raiders were down 27-11, Twitter was going crazy and it looked like Tech was going to get run out of Austin by Shaka Smart’s squad.

Then something changed.

That something would be the aggression of Tech’s offense. The tangible results took a while to show (the offense didn’t hit a three until the second half, while they failing to effectively get to the line), but it was easy to see the aggression. Terrence Shannon was the major source of offense, scoring seven points in a five minute period, while the rest of the offense did not turn the ball over the rest of the half. Tech did trail 31-19 at the break, but things were starting to change.

The second half started with back to back scores by Kyler Edwards and Jahmi’us Ramsey, who hit the first three of the day for the Red Raiders. That would start an extended 22-10 run to tie the game at 41. Texas began to shift their offense to generate results, but all they could do was stick with the Red Raiders. Edwards hit a go-ahead shot with 1:38 left in the game, and after that point, neither team would hit a free throw. Tech got three straight stops on Matt Coleman drives, and Davide Moretti hit his clutch free throws to escape Austin with a 62-57 win. Ramsey led the Red Raiders in points with 18 on the day, while Andrew Jones and Coleman added 18 and 17 points respectively for the Longhorns. The win moved Tech to 6-4 in conference, while UT’s once promising season has begun to unravel with a 4-6 record.

Game stats and storylines:

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Jahmi’us Ramsey takes over

Ramsey had arguably his most complete game in Big 12 play against the Longhorns. He continued his hot shooting on off-ball looks, but the most impressive aspect of his game was his off dribble game. He was 6-7 from the floor in this game (2-2 from deep), and of those six makes at least three were off unassisted looks. He also drew six foul shots off drives, all of which came in the second half. Ramsey has been assisted on over half of his buckets this year (including 73% of his threes), so developing into something beyond a catch and shoot threat will not only improve his draft stock (which is a mixed bag among reputable draft analysts), but also should improve the offense.

Terrence Shannon’s huge game

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Terrence Shannon is quickly becoming the most valuable player on this team, and I do not say that loosely. There are a lot of good candidates for that title: Ramsey has an ability to score that is rare, Moretti attracts so much attention that it allows for much easier driving lanes, and Chris Clarke is a high level facilitator with an absurd assist rate (36%), but none of them have the two way impact of Shannon. On defense Shannon can guard 1-4, and is absolutely vital for covering pick and roll offense. His off ball instincts are up there with the likes of Aaron Henry, Herb Jones and Devin Vassell in the sense that he almost always makes proactive rotations that prevent lanes from forming. His ability to anticipate passes and make off-ball havoc plays is incredible.

Offensively, his ability to drive as a wing is crucial against bigger teams such as West Virginia and Texas. He put Jericho Sims in foul trouble by being extremely aggressive against him when Kai Jones was in as the five, and then attacked Hepa down the stretch, which indirectly cleared the lane for Edwards and Ramsey to do work. Against West Virginia he played Tshiebwe off the court by constantly driving past him, and against Iowa State he put Jacobson in a bind when matched with him. He also has a 64.2 TS% in conference play, showing that he’s been extremely efficient despite mainly playing within 16 feet (he’s only attempted 23 jump shots all year.) If Shannon comes back next year, he will arguably be the anchor of this team. A two way player that can force opposing offenses to avoid him. The significance of that cannot be overstated.

Chris Beard’s adjustments shine late

This is probably the most technical point I’ve made all year in this section, but I absolutely love what Chris Beard did to contain Matt Coleman late in the ballgame. For context- Coleman had been driving at will in the second half, and had been largely attacking Moretti and Edwards off the dribble or forcing a switch onto Holyfield or Clarke.

As you can see, Holyfield gets switched onto Coleman, which simply does not work. Prior to this possession Coleman had already scored on two straight drives to the paint, and had generally attacked any PnR look. Chris Beard recognized this as an issue, and decided to make some changes. He switched the screen on two of the drives, while also playing ICE coverage on multiple occasions.

The bigger adjustment was personnel based, though. Beard opted to primarily put 6’6 Kevin McCullar on Coleman, and also put 6’6 Terrence Shannon on Hepa. This meant Coleman faced length regardless of the switch, and also forced the junior guard into situations where Tech funneled him into the lane, where TJ Holyfield was waiting.

Beard’s usage of personnel likely saved this game, and using McCullar in a primary role defensively will be very important against the star guards that populate the conference.