- Well, this game was not inspiring and I really want this to be inspiring basketball heading into conference play. Maybe this is one of those things where I can wish in one hand and then something else happens. The things that are perhaps the most frustrating is that there are large segments of games where I think that this is not the Texas Tech basketball that I have enjoyed over the past few years. The high turnover rate and the somewhat sloppy play from the players who have been here is frustrating to say the least and were it not for the opponent being a not-very-good team, yesterday would have been a loss, without question.
- The other frustrating part is that UTRGV broke out this double-team, which is something that Southern Miss did and Texas Tech was certainly affected by it. By the end of the game, it wasn’t a big deal and Texas Tech was able to break it, but I somewhat expect veteran players, like Moretti and Edwards, to recognize that, slow things down, and get the ball to the open player. That’s maybe too much expectation from their perspective, but they’ve been here and done this.
- I was very happy to see Jahmi’us Ramsey, he was very good and he comes in and immediately leads the team in scoring with 15 with the other freshman, Terrence Shannon, scoring 14, and fellow redshirt freshman Kevin McCullar being the other player that scored in double-figures. Love to see the youth taking over a bit, but conversely, that means that Edwards, Holyfield, and Moretti, really didn’t have outstanding games.
- Edwards, Holyfield, and Moretti were a combined 5 of 15 for the game with 10 turnovers between them (they also had 10 assists to give them some credit). That’s really kind of unacceptable and this team won’t win many games with those players in those sorts of funks. I know it’s not my place and I’m do think that they’ll work things out, but they do have to shoot better.
- Kevin McCullar looked really good, scoring 10 points on 3 of 4 from the field, continually diving to the basket, which I think is key for this team, and getting to the line 5 times, while making 4 of those free throws. Also add in 2 boards, 1 turnover, a block, and 2 steals.
- This is one of those advanced stats from the game that may not mean very much, but there were only three players with positive “net points” which is a bit like plus/minus, but I think slightly more advanced. The only 3 players with positive net points was T.J. Holyfield, Kevin McCullar, and Chris Clarke. I think that’s pretty telling, but also indicative as to what my eyes saw.
- Chris Clarke really is an amazing player and it’s one of those deals where it’s tough to appreciate how versatile he actually is. He’s constantly flirting with a double-double, 8 points yesterday on 3 of 7, with 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 turnovers, and a steal. Clarke usually has those assists numbers much higher, but I’ll take the more offensive-minded Clarke rather than one that was constantly looking to pass the ball.
- One good thing about Holyfield was that he didn’t necessarily make a ton of shots, only 2 of 6, but he was in and around the basket and that was a good thing, as well as grabbing 9 rebounds. He and Clarke led the team.
- I would really love for Ramsey and Shannon to wrecklessly attack the rim because I think they can both do that. I personally don’t think that Shannon should be shooting three-pointers, he’s only making 22% for the year (and hey, Edwards is only making 24%) but driving to the basket unrelentingly, yeah, I’ll take lots of that. Ramsey is so athletic, it’s a helluva ride, but I still don’t trust his outside shot.
- The second half was significantly better than the first. The second half Texas Tech saw Texas Tech made 54% of their shots, including 4 of 8 from the three-point line, 10 assists and 4 turnovers. And the team shot 17 free throws, making 12. Compared to the first half? 36% of shots made, 0 of 8 from the three-point line, 8 of 10 from the charity stripe, 7 assists and 12 turnovers. That’s just a better play and they need to string two of those together.
- Head coach Chris Beard said that Clarke came to Beard and said that he’d like to come off the bench:
“Chris reached out to me personally and said ‘look I just want to win I really prefer to come off the bench’,” Beard said. “For Chris to make that decision is unselfishness, that’s team basketball. That’s how you win.”
- Beard on Ramsey coming back:
“He was being aggressive, a lot of times people come off an injury and it takes a while for them to come back,” Beard said. “He practiced full time Wednesday and Thursday and we felt confident he was ready mentally and physically. We’re not big into load management. I won’t play a player unless they are 100 percent cleared by doctors and trainers.”
- The next game is not until December 29th, at home agains tthe CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners and then conference play starts January 4th against Oklahoma State. Here we go.