Basketball

Texas Tech Hoops – Aaron Ross & Company are on Fire

HUGE win over #14 Iowa State last night! It has taken some time, but Aaron Ross and the team are starting to find ways to finish close games.

Last year during the regular season Texas Tech won three Big 12 games. This regular season Tech now has four regular season conference wins, with seven remaining games to go. As a team this progression has come through the growing pains of getting experience on the court and learning to find their chemistry together. We have a young squad that has the talent to be great if Tubby Smith and staff can keep developing their potential. You know they will. Those younger guys also look to the seniors Toddrick Gotcher and Devaugntah Williams to help lead the way when times get tough in the games. Although Aaron Ross is only classified as a junior, he is also a seasoned leader on this squad that the younger guys lean on.

Ross was recruited to the Red Raiders back in the Billy Gillispie era. Then he suffered an injury and redshirted his freshman season in Lubbock under interim coach Chris Walker. He has been hurt a few times during his stretch at Tech, with major knee season-ending injuries. It has taken him a lot time to fully recover and get up to speed, but at this moment it seems that Ross has finally found his groove. Here is Coach Smith on his development…

“You can’t be happier for a kid who went through two knee surgeries on the same knee and what he has gone through. He stuck it out through three coaches, I may be the fourth coach he has been a part of. All that tells you is that he has always been a very good shooter, a good scorer. That’s what he does. But now that he is healthy and he is rebounding the ball, with six rebounds. He is moving laterally a lot better, and he has a great touch on his shot, the best on the team. I’m a fortunate coach. He’s feeling more comfortable, obviously getting more playing time, 40 minutes a night. We didn’t get Matthew (Temple) in with his bad eye, he’s a little rusty. This is one of those games where we had to shorten our bench and try to wear them down as well. The guys that did play did an excellent job. I’m really pleased with Aaron’s play and how he has grown up.”

Over the past nine games Ross has scored double-figures in eight of them. In the two overtime wins against Oklahoma State and Iowa State over the last week Ross has averaged 21 points with 6.5 rebounds. In those games he has a field goal percentage of 48%, has gone 7-16 (44%) from downtown, and 9-9 (100%!!!) from the charity stripe. When he is on fire from beyond the arc and the free throw line the Red Raiders win. Texas Tech is undefeated in every game this season that Ross hits the 20+ point mark.

It is fabulous that Aaron Ross is finding a way to step up to the next level. He has had to fill in extra minutes in the frontcourt with the Norense Odiase injury, and has handled it so well. Also, our entire team is finally turning the page and finishing tight games. Three out of the last four games have gone into overtime, but we have walked away with two victories! Last night was special. It was a huge quality win for Tech. It kept us holding our chance in the national conversation for the NCAA tournament bubble watch. It is such an awesome time to be a Red Raiders basketball fan!

We have to keep fighting and not lose focus, but for right now let’s enjoy that upset over #14 Iowa State. Wreck ’em Tech!!!

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