Texas Tech 84, Baylor 66
* 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.
- This was a back-and-forth affair in the first half. No team really established any sort of continuity and both teams shot about the same percentage, Texas Tech 47% to Baylor’s 50%. Texas Tech had an edge in free throws, 8 to 4, and Texas Tech capitalized on all of those free throws, making all of them.
- One of the best things about the first half for Texas Tech is that they had contributions from everyone, no double-digit scorers, but contributions from Smith, Gray, Evans, Gotcher (who was terrific early making some huge shots) and Ross. Texas Tech got bits and pieces from a lot of players. At the end of the half, it felt like it was going to be close affair throughout the game.
- Well, that didn’t happen. Texas Tech dominated the second half, shooting 67% from the field, 57% from the three-point line and made 75% of their 20 free throws and just annihilated Baylor in the second half. Texas Tech had 51 points in the second half to Baylor’s 34 and it was absolutely terrific. I don’t know that I’ve seen a more efficient half of play from Texas Tech from the offensive side of things.
- The best thing about watching this offense is that they don’t get panicked. Baylor tried to trap late in the second half, hoping to force some turnovers, but this team has been coached so well that they just don’t get in a hurry and they don’t really let teams dictate the tempo. Of course, it helps a ton when you play your primary guys for a majority of the game. Smith and Evans each played 20 minutes while Gray played 19. that’s your big trio and they proved it.
- The intentional foul called on Wainwright was bogus (the Justin Gray drive to the basket). Wainwright was going for the ball and I didn’t think it was anything more than a hard foul. Scott Drew didn’t help the situation by earning his own technical foul. By that time, Baylor was falling apart and their coach reflected that.
- The Gathers intentional foul was emblematic of the state of the team as well. Gathers had just given up and so had the team. There was no play on the ball, just hacking Gray’s body and there appeared to be little, to no argument from Drew or Gathers.
- This is about Texas Tech though, and they did something that hasn’t happened in a long time, which is beat two ranked opponents in two consecutive games. Believe it or not, this shot Texas Tech up to 42nd in the KenPom team rankings and before the game, Texas Tech was at 59th overall. Pretty cool stuff happens when you win on the road.
- The star of the show, for the second straight game, was Keenan Evans, who scored 21 points on just 8 shots, making 5 of 8 from the field and making 8 of 9 free throws. Perhaps even more impressive was the idea that Evans had 5 assists to just 2 turnovers for the game and 4 steals. There were some late turnovers for Texas Tech (they were inconsequential), but I think generally speaking, Texas Tech had about 10 turnovers for most of the game.
- Texas Tech had additional big nights from Zach Smith, who continues to abuse rims across the Big 12. Smith had 16 points on 6 of 8 from the floor, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals. Dominant. Justin Gray had 17 points, making 7 of 9 from the floor, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks as well. Ross continues to score on just about everyone, finishing with 14 points on 3 of 8 from the floor, and 6 of 8 from the line to go along with 6 rebounds.
- Tubby Smith deserves a ton of credit. This team looked to be headed towards a bad place, having to play Iowa State, Baylor and Oklahoma in three consecutive games, but they just pulled off 2 upset wins. Texas Tech has Oklahoma on Wednesday and then has to take on Oklahoma State in Stillwater before hosting TCU. Texas Tech has 5 conference wins thus far and only had 3 conference wins last year.