Player of the Game: has to be Keenan Evans who finished with 19 points and was the only player in double-figures (this is a problem). Evans was 7 of 17 from the floor, so not the best shooting night, had 5 rebounds, an assist and no turnovers.
High Flyer of the Game: Eh, not really anyone took off this game, but if I had to give it to anyone, it would be Zhaire Smith.
Defender of the Game: I’ll give it to the two big men, both Norense Odiase and Tommy Hamilton had 9 rebounds each and without them, I think the score is much worse.
Multi-Purpose Player of the Game: Normally, I’d give it to Zhaire, but I’ll go with Odiase, who had 5 points, 9 rebounds, 3 blocks and NO turnovers (this is important).
- Ehh, this never was a game that I never felt comfortable with, it didn’t flow right for Texas Tech really the entire game.
- The offense was the biggest culprit, the team shot only 37% for the game and that’s a problem. An even bigger problem is that the Red Raiders shot 24% from the three-point line. This is the thing with the Chris Beard offense, which is that if the guys are not moving well and moving with intention, then it just doesn’t look good no matter what you do. So yeah, the offense had a bad game and that’s okay. The offense has proven to be very good for the better part of the year, but playing on the road against a very good team will do that. The other problem for the offense was the fact that they turned the ball over 15 times and had only 6 assists. That’s a problem, but it is one that hasn’t been a problem all year. This is what happens sometimes playing on the road in the Big 12.
- Other than Evans, I didn’t think that anyone stepped up and tried to assert themselves and it was just one of those games. This was probably Davide Moretti’s worst game, going 1 of 7, including 1 of 5 from the three-point line, but he also had no assists and 4 turnovers. Moretti just wasn’t feeling it and I hope he circles the game when OU returns to Lubbock. Jarrett Culver made a few buckets (didn’t make either of his free throws) and had 3 rebounds, but has had this problem where he’s just fouling too much, 4 fouls on the night. Justin Gray played 15 minutes, but they were an empty 15 minutes. He grabbed 3 boards, had a block and a steal, but also had 3 turnovers.
- You realize how important Zach Smith is as a rim protector and a defender until he doesn’t play. I think if Smith plays, Texas Tech wins, not because of what he would do offensively, but what he would do defensively, a healthy Smith causes even more fits for Trae Young, who I thought got the benefit of a lot of calls. Smith doesn’t even have to be a body on Young to cause Young to adjust his shot even more.
- Defensively, Texas Tech was still really good. The out-rebounded OU by 7 and they only allowed OU to shoot 41% from the field for the game, including 32% from the three-point line. That’s normally good enough to win some games.
- OU’s transition defense was great and that was a problem for Texas Tech. The Red Raiders only had 2 fast break points and never really had an opportunity to get on track from there.
- Texas Tech pounded the offensive glass and that problem kept them in the game, 11 offensive boards to only 5 for the Sooners. I can live with that.
- Coach Beard after the game:
“Congratulations to Oklahoma. I’ve said it all week, I feel like I could be Coach Kruger’s agent one day if coaching doesn’t work out for me. He’s just one of the best coaches in college basketball, so again, tonight, just all sorts of adjustments out there, things that were challenging to us. I’d like to take responsibility for this game in terms of coaching. We’ve got to coach better and put our guys in a better position, but I think Oklahoma is a big reason. Congratulations to the players, obviously Trae (Young) gets a lot of attention these days which he deserves, but his supporting cast is really good. I’m not so sure there’s not a couple NBA players in that group as well. Tonight was more about what Oklahoma did well than what we didn’t do well. Consistent with how we run our program, we’re going to show respect to the opponent. Congratulations, Oklahoma.