Player of the Game: Kinda easy this game, I’m giving this to Zach Smith, who I wrote before this game that he was about to break out and he goes and scores 16 points, grabs 7 boards and plays some pretty terrific defense. Biggest need of improvement is freethrows as he was only 2 of 7.
High Flyer of the Game: Um it was Zhaire Smith again. He had a monster dunk to finish out the first half and he’s pretty much fearless when it comes to driving to the basket. Zhaire finished with 14 points on 5 of 9, grabbed 5 boards, had 2 blocks and a steal, oh and he also needs to work on his free throws, making only 3 of 7.
Defender of the Game: I really though Zach’s game was the most complete game of the year, he was dialed in offensively, looking for opportunities and he always plays terrific defense. In the interior, he was causing problems for ACU (the Wildcats only 17% of their first half shots!).
Multi-Purpose Player of the Game: Justin Gray had 11 points with 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 0 turnovers and made all 4 of his free throws. Nice to see Gray in double-figures.
- I’ll just put these quotes right here when asked about why certain players were not starting, the prior game it was Zach Smith and this game it was Niem Stevenson and Keena Evans:
Changes to the starting line up should be a question to the players at some point. There are some things we believe in and discipline is at the top of that list. Guys have to continue to grow as men. Part of our job as coaches is to win games, but the other part about the job is turning these guys into men. Great people that make a simple mistake, they pay the consequences and move on.
This is really kinda odd given that we’re so close to conference play and maybe this is a situation where it is three seniors acting like the are seniors and a bit entitled? Too much free time with the holiday?
- Anyone else notice how there was point in the first half where Jarrett Culver intentionally took the ball up the court with Keenan Evans in the lineup. I think this is a direction that Texas Tech and Chris Beard would love to have, as an option, which is to have some options and give Culver, who is a gifted passer, the opportunity to run the point as a point forward.
- The first half was some pretty ugly basketball at times because the Texas Tech defense was dialed in for most of the first part of the first half. As mentioned above, ACU only shot 17% in the first half and the Texas Tech defense was dialed in for the most part. The Texas Tech offense got stagnant a bit towards the later half of the first half, but Abilene Christian was really playing aggressive and well-played defense (to give them some well-deserved credit).
- The free throws were pretty bad again, making only 17 of 34 for 50% and that certainly needs to be better. Both of the Smith’s need to be better and so does Nieme, who was only 1 of 3.
- The Second half, the offense flowed much better in my opinion and Beard was right in that the pick-and-roll aspect of the offense was really good. ACtU fouled a lot on the permieter of the defense, they played really tough defense, sorta like Kansas State back when Frank Martin was the coach there. They were bullies and if the refs don’t call it then that’s teh way taht you play and you have to deail with ith. I thought the offense dealt with it much better in the second half.
- Texas Tech has Baylor on December 29th at the USA. It’s time to get started.