Tortilla Tossin’ Player of the Game
Pretty easy for me that the player of the game was Jahmi’us Ramsey, Texas Tech isn’t even in the conversation without his presence, scoring 20 points, going 7 of 17 from the floor and 5 of 10 from the 3-point line with 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, 2 steals, and 2 turnovers. 14 of the 20 points came in the second half where he was absolutely electric.
- This was a helluva game. I know we’re all supposed to hate Baylor, but I was highly impressed with the Bears. They had grown men in the frontcourt and they rebounded the hell out of the ball. They had two players grab 13 and 12 rebounds each and they simply dominated the boards. Baylor ha a 44 to 25 rebounding advantage, including a 17 to 10 offensive glass advantage. Normally Texas Tech also wins the points in the paint despite not having a low-post presence, and Baylor won that battle too, 30-24. I was highly impressed with Baylor’s ability to defend, that’s going to go pretty far as the season wears on and those guards are all really terrific.
- Texas Tech was in this game despite some less than stellar performances. No player shot 50% or above other that Clarke who went 2 for 3. Everyone else struggled, but no one struggled more than Moretti who went 3 of 11 from the field including 0-6 from the three-point line. In fact, I think that Moretti kind of shot Texas Tech out of the game as he hoisted up 7 of his shots in the second half, a lot of them sort of came early n the second half and Texas Tech really couldn’t afford to keep coming away empty from the offensive end of the floor.
- But I don’t even need to listen to the press conference, because Beard will say that no one works harder that Moretti (I believe that) that no one puts up more shots than Moretti (I believe that) and that he will continue to have a green light to shoot. Those are all true things and I expect them to continue. Moretti just has to be better otherwise Texas Tech isn’t going to win many games.
- The reason why is that Beard severely tightened up his rotations last night. Kevin McCullar, Andrei Savrasov, and Avery Benson had a combined 6 minutes and Clarence Nadolny didn’t even check into the game. The 5 starters and Clarke received most of the minutes. I’d expect more of that. Beard gets stingy with his minutes as the season gets tighter and his circle of trust gets smaller and smaller.
- Part of the problem with such a small lineup is that of those 6 players (Ramsey, Edwards, Moretti, Holyfield, Shannon, and Clarke), it is Holyfield that plays the fewest number of minutes, only 24 on the evening, which means that Texas Tech is playing with Chris Clarke at center for a good portion of the time. If you want to know why the rebounding was so lopsided, that’s a pretty good spot to look at. Texas Tech is just smaller on the court and as Fran Fraschilla noted a couple of times, that one Baylor player had a 7’4″ wingspan. Texas Tech didn’t play anyone that is like that.
- Rebounding was a critical error, and I’d also add in second chance points, which up until the last few minutes, it was 14-5 (I think Clarke scored late on a 3-point and-one) and Texas Tech was 5 of 12 on free throws. Just knock in a couple of those and this is a different outcome. Texas Tech isn’t supposed to have bad free throw shooters on the team, but Edwards went 0-2 and Clarke went 1-3.
- I also thought the few fastbreak opportunities that Texas Tech that resulted in turnovers were so cringy because Texas Tech normally doesn’t do that. Edwards is trying to do more than he should and I can’t remember the other turnover. Beard values possessions so much and in a game that was so close, if it’s not there, then regroup and try something else.
- The defense was fine by just about any standards I think. Texas Tech very much limited Baylor and their ability to score. The Bears only shot 43% from the field and 31% from the three-point line.
- This is disappointing because of the outcome, but I feel pretty comfortable that Texas Tech can win this game in Waco. Texas Tech has to play better, but I don’t think that Baylor is head-and-shoulders better than Texas Tech, they’re pretty comparable teams. Texas Tech has to figure out a way to mitigate the big frontcourt.
- Chris Beard on the game:
“We prepare for close games,” Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard said. “We have a plan, it starts way back in the summer, fall and preseason. So tonight, Texas Tech versus Baylor, we find ourselves in another one of these games. We certainly have some catching up to do. They start the final four minutes up five or six. So, we are going to have to play almost perfect to get it done unless they derail. We played pretty well to get it to two there, but we had a bad turnover late. You have to make a shot late in order to win one of those games coming from behind. I liked our poise tonight, playing two or three freshmen at the same time in some cases. We are going to be back in this situation a lot if we are going to have the type of season that we want to have.”
- Up next is No. 17 West Virginia in Morgantown at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday on ESPN2. That’s going to be a doozy because Huggy-bear was just fined $10,000 by the Big 12 after the Mountaineers’ loss to Kansas. The crowd won’t be buzzing at all.