Tortilla Tossin’ Player of the Game: Jarrett Culver is most likely going to win this award quite a bit this year, but a slow first half ended up being 16 points on 6 of 10 from the floor, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 block and 2 turnovers from the sophomore.
Defender of the Game: Tariq Owens is going to be a different player than from what we’ve seen. Owens didn’t get a ton of minutes, but when he’s in the game he affects things and finished the night with 6 blocks in 10 minutes of play.
Multi-Purpose Player of the Game: Matt Mooney is very good and he’s very patient and efficient offensively, almost to a fault. Mooney finished with 12 points on 5 of 8 from the floor, including 2 of 4 from the three-point line, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and 2 turnovers. Mooney probably sees the floor better than anyone on the team and he’s got a nice connection with Owns.
- In the first half, Texas Tech allowed IW to make 53% of their shots and they got to the line 11 times, compared to just 7 for Texas Tech. The second half, you could say that the clamps were tightened as IW then made 10% of their shots (3 for 30), 2 free throws and the Cardinals missed all 9 of their three-point shots. So yeah, the defense definitely stepped up their game. In addition to those shooting numbers, there were 9 blocks in the second half alone, 5 steals, and 8 fastbreak points, so they were just getting all over it.
- I thought that the difference between the first half and the second half was the offensive pressure, the offense was seemingly in a fog in the first half, no real direction and I think in the second half, the offense definitely picked up. Texas Tech had 11 first half turnovers, and I think it was first game jitters while the second half, playing with the end of your bench, you had 3, so it was a cleaner, more crisp game from an offensive standpoint and the offense made 63% of their shots. Sometimes that sort of offensive pressure leads opposing teams to force things on their end offensively and they start pressing. IW got out of their game and they never recovered.
- I mentioned in yesterday’s preview that I didn’t know if the spacing with Norense Odiase and Owens in the game together would work well and I should have been more specific in that it wasn’t the defense spacing, yes, Owens can make up for just about anything, but the offensive spacing. Neither Odiase or Owens stretch the floor and that’s two post players that don’t really do anything outside of 5 feet from the basket, which is fine, but to have them on the floor together a bunch probably means that you won’t have a good offensive team on the floor. We’ll see how things go, but that’s my general thought and I think that held true last night. Basketball is about spacing and I don’t know that this combination gives you enough spacing.
- My first look at Kyler Edwards, who finished with 10 points on 4 of 9, and I like the way he plays. He pesters opponents and isn’t afraid to go inside. He needs to work on his outside jumper, but I’m not real concerned about that. Deshawn Corprew finished with 7 points on 3 of 4 and he’s a very similar player to Brandone Francis in that he can do lots of different things for you and guard a lot of positions.
- Malik Ondigo received some nice minutes, he got in the game in the first half, had a turnover and was immediately pulled. Then in the second half, Ondigo took a charge and Ondigo and Beard are high-fiving each other. I get the feeling that Beard wants Ondigo to earn that playing time and he’ll do that with those hustle plays, which I think Ondigo is more than willing to do. He’s got really nice length and I think he’s progressing for sure.
- Davide Moretti started at the point and I thought he was okay. I think it will be interesting to see how this plays out with more athletic guards once Big 12 play starts. Moretti mentioned in yesterday’s press conference that he’s working on being more quick defensively and you can definitely see that he’s improved in that regard and I think his ball-handling was better. Moretti finished with 9 points on 3 of 7 from the floor with 3 boards, 3 assists and no turnovers. I think he forced the outside shot a bit, and he could be more patient in that regard.
- Brandone Francis was very opportunistic offensively, largely a result of being in the right place at the right time defensively. Francis had 3 steals, 13 points on 5 of 8, including 2 of 3 from deep, 5 rebounds, an assist and no turnovers.
- Norense Odiase exhibited some nice offensive mores and led the team with 6 boards, but he also had 3 turnovers in 20 minutes of action. I think at this point, Odiase is what he is, which is a very solid post player who will scoop up rebounds, play terrific post defense, and score around the bucket. He did get 2 blocks yesterday and that’s not something that Odiase usually does.
- Everyone scored at least one point, Josh Mballas, Ondigo, Andrew Sorrells, Avery Benson, and Parker Hicks all got on the ledger last night and Beard was able to put in his third team guys with 6 minutes left in the second half.