I wanted to wait a bit to do this instant reaction, mostly so I didn’t overreact.
Well, in waiting, I have come to the conclusion that I’m not overreacting.
We need to start discussing the possibility of a bad season. Texas Tech isn’t lacking talent by any means. They’re just young, and trust me I HATE that excuse. But in this case to me, it isn’t an excuse, just fact.
This team IS young, and they play like it. The defense is not as strong in years past and they get frazzled pretty easily. Mistakes seem to compound at times. The example I’ll bring up is the 9-0 OU run about midway through the first part of the second half. Three OU 3 pointers in a row where it seemed as though there was no one within 10-15 feet of the shooter. Bad defense on the first shot that went down but then it was compounded by two more wide-open looks.
Now, the elephant in the room. Yes, we’re all aware of the two or three missing components in Isaacs, Batcho, and Allen. Those guys combine for roughly 24 points a game, closer to 30 since conference play started. Two of your older guys in Obanor and Harmon tried to fill the void, finishing with 15 and 23, respectively, but you got no more than 8 from anyone else. Jennings had a great game, don’t get me wrong, but the guys missing hurt big time.
Mark Adams says that the injured-trio of Pop Isaacs, KJ Allen, and Daniel Batcho are unlikely to play against Iowa State on Tuesday.— Justin Apodaca (@JustinApod) January 8, 2023
Like I mentioned earlier with this team, things seem to compound. Batcho has a dislocated finger on his shooting hand which occurred when he tried to chase down a KU player after Pop Isaacs tripped and hit his head on the floor causing a concussion. Brutal.
This isn’t me hitting the panic button. To me at least, there is no panic. We all knew whether we want to acknowledge it or not, that this team was due for a down year. I think I personally made a mistake thinking that the 2019-2020 season was that year.
The facts are not pretty: Tech is off to its worst conference start since 2015, and the next four games (@ Iowa State, @ Texas, Baylor, @ Kansas State) do not get any easier. I understand the sentiment of the folks that are going to live on the “we are a couple of plays away from being 3-0” train. But here’s the harsh truth: We aren’t 3-0. We are 0-3 and looking at the toughest conference schedule in the country.
We’ll truly find out what this team is made of on Tuesday in Ames. But if it was as lackluster as it was in Lubbock on Saturday, well, it might be a long season on the South Plains.