Tortilla Tossin’ Player of the Game: Norense Odiase was dominant. Just flat out dominant. He was absolutely filthy with how he played. Odiase recorded a double-double, scoring 14 points, grabbing 15 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 turnover for the night. He was huge.
Defender of the Game: Believe it or not, we’re giving it to Jarrett Culver, who was so good on help defense last night and in addition to all of the other things, he also had 3 blocks and 2 steals, the only 3 blocks of the team.
Multi-Purpose Player of the Game: I’d like to give this to someone else, but I’m going to give this to Culver as well, who had 16 points, 10 rebounds (another double-double), 5 assists, 3 blocks, 2 steals, and 5 turnovers for the game. He wasn’t as good as he was on Friday offensively, but he really was so good on the defensive end.
- Strangely, not a real clean game offensively, and that lull at the end of the first half was normal from the aspect that Buffalo is a good team and basketball is a game of runs, but Texas Tech made this look ridiculously easy in the second half. And that was with the uneven offense. It was the absolutely stifling defense, holding Buffalo to 36% in the first half and 37% in the second half. Buffalo was completely out of sorts, making only 50% of their free throws and was completely out of their element.
- Led by Odiase and Culver, Texas Tech absolutely dominated the boards, grabbing 45 rebounds to Buffalo’s 32 was huge. In addition to the rebounds, Texas Tech did not allow Buffalo to run, which was supposed to be their hallmark. The Bulls only had 4 fast break points for the entire game and only 9 points off of turnovers. They were absolutely stalled and stuck in the mud for the entire game.
- Conversely, Texas Tech did take advantage of those 16 Buffalo turnovers, scoring 18 points, and they also absolutely dominated the second chance points, 15 to 5. Buffalo grabbed 13 offensive boards, so they had opportunities but just couldn’t capitalize.
- A couple of strange games for Davide Moretti and Matt Mooney. Mooney was all out of sorts on the offensive side of the game, just turning the ball over way too much and struggling to do too much offensively, He ended up being 4 of 15 from the floor, including 2 of 9 in the first half with 3 turnovers. He didn’t exactly light the second half on fire, but he was better and I thought that in the second half this was a collective effort between the team. Just everyone sort of shined to an extent in the second half. Moretti was pretty quiet overall, a second straight game where he doesn’t make a three-point shot, but he was more effective from the offensive end of things, scoring 11 points on 3 of 7. Only 2 assists to 1 turnover.
- The bench production was huge, Kyler Edwards, Brandone Francis, and Deshawn Corprew were a combined 6 of 9 from the floor including 3 of 5 from the three-point line. Those 2 three-point shots by Edwards in the second half were absolute daggers, and he only played 8 minutes. While I thought that the play of Francis and Corprew was downright nasty in terms of the defense they played. Francis had a couple of steals and Corprew had 1, but they’re just so versatile defensively, being able to guard just about anyone, that they made their presence known.
- I thought that Tariq Owens was a bit hesitant defensively, he’s usually a bit more aggressive on the defensive end of things, but I think that maybe his reputation was as important as anything else. No blocked shots and I don’t really remember him mixing things up on that end of the court, but he was crazy effective, going 4 of 4 from the floor, scoring 10 points, grabbing 7 rebounds and having a very solid game.
- It’s funny how we can talk about a quiet offensive game from Jarrett Culver where he scores 16, just 2 or 3 points off of his average. And the Red Raiders win by 20. That’s domination.
- Head coach Chris Beard:
We’re not supposed to be here. They picked up bottom of the Big 12 and haven’t gotten much respect this year, but these guys have continued to keep a chip on their shoulder and just realize that we can do a lot of things if we play as a team. I thought that’s what we did tonight, we guarded at a high level. Had different guys step up offensively until the game got all sloppily late but one of our cleaner games this year. Texas Tech basketball the story this year is team. Play for the guy next to us. I’ve never been more proud of a team I coached.
- Do you want to know the sign of a great coach? This was little and it was said during the post-game press conference, but Beard, Culver, and Odiase were asked about the loss to Villanova and Beard said this:
We take a lot from those guys. Just a culture of rebounding. So, yeah, that game was big. I think we played some clips of it during the summer in preseason in the weight room. That’s where your trying to get back. Ultimately, it’s just a sign of respect to Villanova. They have the kind program we would like to have. This is just our third year. It’s our second Sweet 16 in three years. We’re building something. We’ve got a long ways to go, but we’re going to get there.
For those non-basketball nerds out there, this is one of Villanova’s big offensive concepts, that when they get to the point, they need to come to a jump stop, survey the court, and then patiently make a decision. So, from one of the more painful losses that Texas Tech suffered last year, Beard picked up one of Villanova’s best traits and taught his team to do the same thing.
- Michigan. Thursday night at 6:39 p.m. Anaheim, California. CBS.
Play for the man next to you.
— Texas Tech Basketball (@TexasTechMBB) March 25, 2019