Utah 73, Texas Tech 63
* The Flex is a shout-out to Tubby Smith’s flex offense and a place for us to set some screens, make some cuts and discuss the game.
- Oh, man, the guards really settled this game, they settled for the easy stuff all night long. The easy stuff being that Utah was giving Texas Tech the outside shot and Texas Tech was more than willing to take it. Devaughntah Williams was atrocious from all over the court, making only 5 of 16 field goals and only 2 of 7 from the three-point line. Devon Thomas was 0-4 from the field and Toddrick Gotcher did make 4 of 9 from the field, but he was 2 of 7 from the three-point line. I understand that shooters have to shoot, but this was not the way to win this game, especially when the post players were so effective. Devaugntah Williams should really never be 5 of 16 from the field. That’s way too many shots for Williams, and those shots weren’t necessarily good looks. There were a handful of times that Williams didn’t really even have his feet set.
- The frontcourt was terrific yesterday and it was led by Norense Odiase, who had 9 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks, Zach Smith had 9 points and 8 rebounds and Isaiah Manderson had 6 points and 3 rebounds. Aside from the stats, the best thing that happened in last night’s game is that the frontcourt didn’t shrink at all when facing a huge Utah frontline. They actually played well and they were effective against a guy that is supposed to be an NBA lottery pick. The frontcourt really is the strength of the team and it is vital that the guards supplement those big men rather than try to be the star of the show.
- Loved seeing Aaron Ross be so effective off of the bench and he’s proving to be one of the better players on the team, making 4 of 5 from the floor, with 10 points, and 5 rebounds. Ross’ mid-range game is excellent and he is proving to be a terrific spark off of the bench.
- Speaking of the bench, aside from Ross, the bench was 0-9 from the floor, not scoring a single point. That’s something that has to change. Justin Gray came off the bench again and only managed 2 shots (obviously missing both) and he’s still feeling his way to being fully healthy. I think that one of the best things about this team, or at least what I hope is one of the best things about this team, is the depth. The bench is going to have to step up and be more consistent.
- Texas Tech only had 9 turnovers, but also only 9 assists on the day. That’s not terrible and to be under 10 turnovers on a game against the #16 team in the nation is really terrific, but I’m still waiting for Keenan Evans to really take control of the offense and that hasn’t happened. I wonder if he’s going to be the alpha dog of the team and be the leader. Evans only had 4 points, 2 assists and a turnover.
- Maybe the biggest discrepancy was the fact that Texas Tech only had 10 made free throws (making 10 of 18) while Utah had 21 of 27 made free throws. Zach Smith was 3 of 8 from the charity stripe and he has to be better. In fact, Texas Tech was perfect from the line, 4-4, but in the second half the Red Raiders were only 6 of 14. Have to be better than that.
- Generally speaking, Texas Tech played really well despite going 3 of 19 from the three-point line. The defense really did do a good job of holding Utah, shooting 38% and 39% from the field in each half.