Texas Tech kept it close with TCU for the better part of the game, but as the backend of the second half wore on, Texas Tech couldn’t keep pace and lost to TCU, 71-54. Texas Tech was down by 7 at the half and seemed to hover around that deficit for most of the game, but TCU eventually got hot and opened up the lead.
Star of the Game
F Zach Smith. Smith, again, doesn’t impress with the scoring, but does lead the team in scoring with 10 points, but also grabbed 7 rebounds, an assist and 2 blocks.
1. Band-Aid Officially Ripped. Dan mentioned this yesterday, but it appears that Tubby Smith has officially ripped off the band-aid and he’s going with the freshmen for the rest of the year. That means a starting five of Norense Odiase, Isaiah Manderson, Zach Smith, and Keenan Evans. I’d wager that if Justin Gray was healthy, he’d be starting at the two-guard, but I’m totally good with starting Gotcher. I’m guessing that for the rest of the year, these freshmen will play heavy minutes, so you might not like the final score, but at this point of the season it is more important that these guys get their minutes and experience. I should mention that Devaugntah Williams and Robert Turner did not start, but they did both play about 20 minutes.
2. 1 of 12. Three-point shots again was a killer for Texas Tech, not to mention the overall shooting, but we’ll get to that in a second. The only person that hit a three-point shot was Gotcher, and he was 1 of 5, which meant that the rest of the team was 0 for 7 for the game. Without any outside shooting help, Texas Tech is eventually going to struggle to win and score.
3. 17 of 50. That’s the overall shooting for the game for Texas Tech, making only 6 of 22 for the first half and did shoot better in the second half, 11 of 28, but that didn’t matter all that much in the end. That didn’t matter because TCU shot 35% in the first half, but poured it on in the second half, making 54% of their shots and that’s really what pulled it away for TCU. Texas Tech has to get better at scoring the ball and I think that Tubby Smith is recruiting to do that, but putting the ball in the bucket is a huge priority. Oh, and TCU had 8 blocked shots. Some of those were off of put-backs, but Manderson and Odiase have got to figure out some post moves in the offseason.
4. No Bench. Even with Turner and Williams coming off the bench, one of the biggest differences in the game was the fact that TCU had some scoring punch off the bench, 23-12, largely thanks to Williams who did score 8 points, 6 of those points coming off of free throws.
5. Miscellaneous. Evans didn’t necessarily shine, but he did score 10 points and had 3 assists with only 1, yes 1, turnover for the game. Evans only made of 2 of 7, but he kept taking the ball to the bucket despite getting blocked a few times. Odiase and Manderson continue to take baby steps. Odiase, as mentioned above, needs to figure out some moves, but he still scored 9 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. Manderson, despite being the biggest player, only managed 2 rebounds and I think that this is his biggest area that he needs to improve.