Kansas 69, Texas Tech 59
* 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.
- the biggest disappointment in the first half was the fact that Texas Tech didn’t hit their free throws, making only 7 of 14 free throws in the first half. That’s the difference in leading in the firt half and playing from behind. Texas Tech had opportunities at the charity stripe and shot 6 more free throws that Kansas, but capitalizing on those opportunity can be the difference between winning and losing.
- Texas Tech really played well in the first half, limiting Kansas to just 29% from the floor and 29% from the three point line. Kansas missed a ton of open shots, at least the starters did. Texas Tech is still having a bit of a tough time running out on shooters, but as mentioned before the game, there are just a lot of scoring options for Kansas and the Red Raiders really did a terrific job of constantly challenging the Kansas shooters in the first half.
- Offensively, it seemed like Texas Tech did a good job of getting shots and didn’t take too many three-point shots. That’s always important. Statistically, Texas Tech shot only 31% from the floor in the first half and they were more opportunistic than terrific offensively. I should say that Justin Gray was a difference maker in terms of scoring. He’s not reliant on a pass making it happen, he can create.
- Zach Smith is still trying to figure out what he is offensively. He had a three-point shot that missed in the first half, but he also had a nifty hook shot in the second half. I’d like to see more of that hook shot. Smith is ridiculously opportunistic. Tipping rebounds to teammates and blocking shots no one thinks he can block as well as finding a dunk or two that energize the crowd.
- The second half opened with Kansas on a bit of a run offensively. Seldon drove to the bucket and got out in transition to create some opportunities. Toddrick Gotcher hits a three-point shot with 15:30 left in the first half and that helped get Texas Tech back in the game, down only 42-35. Another jump shot from Gotcher and a jump shot by Odiase and Texas Tech was down just 44-39 with over 12 minutes to go. Aaron Ross hits a huge three-point shot and the Red Raiders are down by 2 with about 11 minutes to go. Odiase gets the ball in the paint from Justin Gray one-on-one and scores on another nifty hook and it’s a tie ball game.
- At this point, Texas Tech got caught on a couple of switches defensively, causing a mismatch on the post where I think Thomas was guarding a post player and then switching game an outside shooter to make a bucket and make a three-point shot.
- I think the rest of the Big 12 is really surprised how athletic Texas Tech actually is. It seems that most folks seemed to think that Texas Tech was just terrible last year and devoid of any athletes, but that’s just not the case. I think this surprises most people about watching Texas Tech. Athletically, Texas Tech isn’t far off.
- With about 5 minutes left in the game, Kansas starts to pull away. a back-door dunk and a three-point shot made and it looked like Kansas was going to run away with the game again. Devaugntah Williams is in the game and he looks lost offensively, just isn’t sure what he should do with the ball. It’s almost amazing that Texas Tech can be in this game despite the fact that Williams is really struggling to find a shot offensively. His last shot of the game, this half-hearted shot with time running down, less than a minute and it’s an airball.
- After getting burned on another backdoor play, Texas Tech flips into a zone defense and Seldon hits his first three-point shot of the night. That put Kansas up by 7 with about 2 minutes left in the game. It was a tough think to watch on the defensive side of things because Texas Tech had just fought all night on those shots, especially with Seldon.
- Matt Temple has the green light and can hit the three-point shot.
- The most frustrating thing is the free throws in the first half, or lack of hitting them, and then Texas Tech only shot 5 more free throws the rest of the second half. The Texas Tech guards didn’t take the ball to the basket and draw fouls.