Tortilla Tossin’ Player of the Game: We’re going with Brandone Francis, who I don’t think received this meaningless award all year. Francis scored 12 points on his last game, on 4 of 9 from the field, including 2 of 6, 4 rebounds and no turnovers. Francis has not seen his mom in 3 years and this happened before the game:
A special surprise on senior night. pic.twitter.com/UE9Ul4rGay
— Texas Tech Basketball (@TexasTechMBB) March 5, 2019
Defender of the Game: Tariq Owens and Norense Odiase each had 3 blocks for this game, huge nights defensively for both young men, they both only had 3 points and although they didn’t have a ton of rebounds, they helped control the boards all night long. Owens finished with 3 points on 1 of 1, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 2 steals. Odiase had 3 points on 1 of 2, 3 rebounds, and 3 blocks.
Multi-Purpose Player of the Game: Jarrett Culver, who probably played his last game as a Red Raider, Matt Mooney, and Davide Moretti get this award. Culver had 16 points on 5 of 15, 7 boards, 3 assists, 2 blocks, 2 steals, and 1 turnover. Mooney had 16 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, and 2 turnovers. Moretti had 11 points (didn’t miss a shot), 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, and 1 turnover.
- I never felt uncomfortable with this game. Texas Tech is a superior basketball program to Texas. There are no two ways about this. Texas Tech is more organized, they have a plan, they execute it, they control the game whether the opponent likes it or not, and that’s what happened last night.
- Texas Tech did what Texas Tech does, they held the hot-shooting Longhorns to 30% from the field, including 22% from the three-point line. No one had a good shooting night other than Osetowski and Hayes, who went 2-4 and 1-2 for the night, and thank goodness that the guards didn’t get the ball down low and let these guys get shots or operate. Of course, credit should be given to the Red Raider defense for denying looks and making that more difficult than it is for me to type it, but Texas had no interest in getting the ball down low.
- So many guys had big nights, 4 players in double-figures, and as a team, Texas Tech shot 50% from the field including 50% from the three-point line. Only 7 turnovers on the night, while shooting 50% makes for an incredibly efficient offense. The only thing that the Texas Tech offense didn’t do a terrific job of doing is offensive rebounding, but that’s really hard to do when you’re making shots.
- I don’t have a ton to write about with this game. I’m not going to chirp or be snarky or whatever towards Texas. There’s been lots of talk about how Chris Beard is a UT alum and I don’t know what’s in Beard’s head, as Dan and I had this conversation back in August, I don’t know where or how things will go in the offseason, but I can guarantee you that Kirby Hocutt will not let this be about money and/or opportunity. Beard can have it all here in Lubbock. He can have the court named after him and even a statue if he wants it. It’s all here for him.
- Head coach Chris Beard:
“That’s one of the most rewarding things as a coach. It’s obviously about trying to win games and championships but there’s another more important side. Let’s talk about these five guys, each one of them has their degree, three of them are working towards their graduate degrees, just all unselfish guys. I told the team after the game, we have things we believe in, our process and our culture. When we shoot, if you miss two shots in a row you hold yourself accountable, it’s a pushup or jumping jack. I was watching practice today and Andrew misses two good shots in a row and then goes over and does a push up when nobody is looking, that’s culture, that’s discipline. The world is going to talk about Keenan Evans, but people like Andrew are just as important.”
- Norense Odiase:
On having his family’s support at tonight’s game:
“It was amazing. Obviously I am leaning on my family and my family here at Tech to bring me up. Also, I just want to thank you guys for the so many letters that people have written. All I can do is show my gratitude and how thankful I am for everybody. I try to return all the letters that I receive, but I am just telling you that I really appreciate it in more ways than I can really express. It has been hard but I am leaning on these guys and these fans and community to get me by.”
- Brandone Francis:
On the win over Texas in the home finale:
“I just very fortunate and grateful. As you can tell I don’t even want to take my jersey off right now. I’ll probably go to sleep with it on. It has been a dream of mine to play for coach Beard and for my teammates. Norense is the older guy that we respect and he is one of my all-time favorite players. Lubbock is a great place. If I had a chance to do it again, I would think twice about it.”
On having his mom in the crowd tonight:
“It was very special. I was trying to not think about it as much, but it is my mom and I haven’t seen her in a long time. I cannot that coach (Beard) and the whole Texas Tech staff for making it happen. I was very special and I am happy that we got the win tonight. It has been three years. You know I have just been thankful for the people around me. I am just trying to get my own because that is how I am going to pay them back.”
Forever Red Raiders.
Thank you. pic.twitter.com/60NQHcxWeN
— Texas Tech Basketball (@TexasTechMBB) March 5, 2019
- The final game is Saturday at 1:00 p.m. against Iowa State in Ames. My favorite statistical site, T-Rank has predicted all year that Texas Tech would lose on the road to the Cyclones, and as of this past weekend, with the win in Ft. Worth, Texas Tech is predicted to win by 1 point to go to 14-4 in the Big 12, while Kansas State is predicted to get an easy win at home against Oklahoma.