Basketball

Post-Game Thoughts: Texas Tech 71, Southern Miss 65

Eh.

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  • That was a rough one. Texas Tech was down to an abysmal Southern Miss team, legitimately abysmal, for half of the game. The Red Raiders settled and shot 23% from the floor and 13% from the three-point line. The only saving grace was that Texas Tech shot 9 of 10 from the free throw line. This was probably one of the worst performances I’ve seen in recent years. The defense was generally terrible as well, as Texas Tech allowed Southern miss to make 50% of their shots, 38% of their three-pointers, and generally dominate the game.
  • Giving credit, Southern Miss did an awesome job of recognizing when Texas Tech would force a defender to one side of the court and if another defender came to help, the Golden Eagles immediately sent an offensive player darting through the lane to flash for so many dunks and so many layups. It was a masterclass and I’m guessing that head coach Chris Beard is both angry as hell as it happened and also impressed how they did it. The good thing is that this happened now and it gives Beard and Mark Adams time to fix this problem before the games get a bit tougher.
  • The color analyst was 100% right, Texas Tech simply settled for shots and did not try to penetrate the late the entire first half. Southern Miss was perfectly content to allow Texas Tech to jack up so many jump shots. And shooting jump-shots is fine, but the intention of the offense is incredibly important.
  • Texas Tech would come back and shoot much better in the first half, but Texas Tech shot 54% from the floor, and 43% from the three-point line. Those numbers are important, but the more important figures are the totals. Texas Tech took 7 three-point shots in the second half, compared to 15 in the first. Amazingly, Texas Tech shot better, because they were taking fewer long-distance shots. Kind of amazing when that happens. Oh, and the free throws? 9 of 10 in the first half and 15 of 17 in the second half. Driving to the basket and making things happen.
  • I love Chris Clarke and don’t care who knows it. He was remarkable yesterday and he was bound and determined to be THE driving force in the second half. That version of Clarke was the player I thought Texas Tech was getting from Virginia Tech. Clarke finished with 14 points, going 5 of 10 from the floor, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, and ZERO turnovers. Unbelievable game.
  • Another less than stellar night from Moretti, who is struggling with his shots. They’re all short, or a lot of them are. Beard was asked after the game if this was a situation where Moretti’s legs are tired and the simple answer is “no”. Moretti just has to be better and get his legs under him. He didn’t look set for a handful of those shots and wasn’t getting clean looks. That’s part of forcing shots. Moretti finished with 17 points, 4 of 17 from the floor and 3 of 11 from the three-point line, 1 assist, 4 turnovers, and 1 steal. He needs to be significantly better than that.
  • Just a terrible shooting night and this is the last time I’ll reiterate this, which is that the worst thing about all of this was the defensive awareness. The diving Southern Miss offensive player on any quasi-double was really troubling and the fact that it didn’t get fixed for the entire game is another issue. Tough shooting nights are going to happen, but the defense, for the entire game, allowed Southern Miss to make 47% of their shots and 31% of their three-pointers. That’s the bigger problem for me.
  • Beard didn’t play hardly any bench, Southern Miss scored 6 and Texas Tech scored 4.
  • I’m pretty sure that your Red Raiders are going to have their rear-ends handed to them today. Texas Tech will host UTRGV on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Am guessing the result will be significantly different.
  • Beard quotes on the game overall:

    “They are a team and have a coach I respect. We played his team last year and it was a very similar game for about 30 minutes. Coach knows what he’s doing. I want to tell the players how much I respect and enjoyed watching them play tonight. They were a man down with one of their best post players not playing tonight, one of their best shooters. It was evident to me from the tip they came in here to win. I think a lot of time we sit around and feel sorry for ourselves we are disrespecting the opponent. Southern Miss. played great tonight, had a game plan and had they played harder than us in a lot of stretches of the game, we really don’t say that about our teams much, but that’s exactly what happen.”

  • Beard on the second half:

    “We wanted to get back to the original game plan which was to try to play pressure defense to create some offense and try to play each possession like it has a life its self. We also wanted to pay attention to the important shooters and I thought we did that for the most part in the second half. Late, number 11 got away from us a little bit, he’s a great shooter. We reminded the guys on offense that we would like to get to the free throw line. This isn’t a three point shooting contest out there. On a night that we struggled, I see a lot of things we need to clean up. I do think the free throw line won the game for us tonight, I think we were 24 for 27 and that’s exactly what we had to do on a night when the jump shot wasn’t going down.”

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