Texas Tech Hoops | Getting Keenan Evans Healthy

Right now, we have been humbled back down off our basketball high. Our basketball fever has been reduced by an old fashion tail whipping. Back to back losses on the road to Baylor and Oklahoma State felt like a gut punch while trying to hold down a full stomach of food. Not good. Yet, all is not lost for our Red Raiders squad. We still have an opportunity to beat Kansas this weekend in Lubbock in front of the ESPN Gameday crew and college basketball world. We are still a top team in the Big 12. Depending on how the last few games go we have a chance to win, or at least share the conference regular season title. If you are feeling the hangover from these losses, start thinking about how we can finish strong with the remaining three games on the schedule. Texas Tech can go into the Big 12 tournament with some momentum built up.

Let’s look at the obvious, our offensive star player Keenan Evans is hurt. After his toe injury in the Baylor game, he sat and we fought to almost win that battle. We lacked his clutch finishing to end with a victory against the Bears. Then last evening against the Cowboys we did not have the offense to keep up with the Oklahoma State players hot hands. There at the start of the second half they could not miss a shot, and when they did start missing late in the game we lacked Evans offense as he was clearly not 100% healthy.

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This brings me to look at the offensive production that Evans brings in Big 12 play. Let’s first look at his scoring stats in our conference wins…

In the 10 Big 12 wins:

vs Baylor (18 points)
at Kansas (15 points)
vs K-State (27 points)
vs West Virginia (20 points)
vs Oklahoma State (26 points)
vs Texas (38 points)
at TCU (17 points)
vs Iowa State (15 points)
at K-State (19 points)
vs Oklahoma (26 points)

Average scoring in Big 12 wins – 22.1 ppg

In the 5 Big 12 losses:

at Oklahoma (19 points)
at Texas (11 points)
at Iowa State (7 points)
at Baylor (4 points)
at Oklahoma State (2 points)

Average scoring in Big 12 losses – 8.6 ppg

This is not advanced statistics or formulas that we are taking into account. This is just plain putting the ball in the bucket. While Evans is hurt and not getting his points, the Red Raiders are going to suffer. We do not have the offensive firepower to win if Evans cannot score. In all the Big 12 wins he has not scored under 15 points in a contest and averages 22.1 points per game. In all the conference losses he has only scored over 15 points once, and averages 8.6 ppg.

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After checking out these numbers, it is clear that we need to get Keenan Evans at 100%. He is that valuable on the offensive side of things to be the key to winning games. We have to strap down for Kansas, and be ready to defend our home court. If Evans is still not at 100% somebody is going to have to fill his shoes and get the ball through the net. No one has come into Lubbock this season and beat us. While we are still chasing that conference title, and still trying to claw our way to a top seed in March Madness and the Big 12 tourney!

Losing Zach Smith was a heartbreaker, and with Evans suffering it is a nervous time in LBK. The Red Raiders are not down and out at all, we are just going to have to figure out how to produce the points on offense while still shutting down opponents with our incredible defense. Also, with knowing how valuable Evans is to this team and the scoring we should hope that his toe injury heals and he gets back to his old self dropping in some much needed points. There are rumors that Zach Smith could be back for March Madness, and we know that Keenan toughed through the pain to play last night. There is still hope these injuries won’t hold us back from greatness. It’s going to be wild and rowdy on Saturday around campus and inside the USA. Let’s start to get back on track with getting a huge WIN against those Jayhawks. Wreck ’em Tech!!!

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