Tortilla Tossin’ Player of the Game: Davide! Moretti was absolutely huge, even up until the moment that he fouled out. Just an absolutely terrific game offensively, 19 points, on 7 of 11 from the field, including 3 of 7 from beyond the arc, 4 boards, 2 assists, 2 steals and 5 turnovers on the day. And really, Moretti’s drives and fips into the basket were the most impressive part of his game, but it also seemed like when this team needed a big shot, Moretti was there to make and three-point basket. Just a huge game from him.
Defender of the Game: Tariq Owens changed some things defensively, K-State was hesitant and I thought he had a really big influence on the game, especially in the second half.
Multi-Purpose Player of the Game: Owens gets this as well, 9 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 blocks, 1 steal and unfortunately 5 turnovers. Both Owens and Moretti led the team with 5 turnovers each.
- What a wonky game. Texas Tech gets out to a 17-3 lead and Kansas State doesn’t score their first actual basket until 9:12 left in the first half. So the Wildcats essentially go 10 minutes without a field goal. That in itself is amazing. Kansas State came back as a result of some bad turnovers for Texas Tech and the run that you knew that would eventually happen for K-State did happen offensively.
- Kansas State is as bad as advertised offensively. they were 23% from the field in the first half, make none of their 9 three-point attempts, and in the second half, they did play much better, making 42% of their shots and 4 of 23 three-point shots, a couple of those coming when the game was out of hand with a minute left in the game.
- Kansas State crashed the boards and were much more physical and dominant inside. The Wildcats scored 24 to Texas Tech’s 14 points in the paint and had 13 offensive rebounds. In fact, Kansas State only had 20 rebounds total and of those 20, 13 of them were offensive. That’s somewhat unacceptable and is a problem. If I had to guess, K-State probably thought that with a relatively small lineup, which is what Texas Tech rolled with, they could crash the boards and get easy buckets. That was a really smart move and that’s the benefit of playing someone like Odiase more than 9 minutes. It all worked out for Texas Tech in the end, but I’d imagine it will be different in Manhattan.
- Kansas State somewhat got back in the game, well, there’s no somewhat to that, they did get back in the game and I thought the 3/4 court press was a pretty important tactic in the second half. If you have a team that struggles offensively, well, the more time you take off the clock, the less time they have to really operate their offense. And this is probably the give-and-take aspect of running a 3/4 court zone and playing Odiase, not really suited to play that scrambling sort of defense that the 3/4 court zone can require.
- Jarrett Culver did not have a “Jarrett Culver” sort of game, but give credit to Kansas State, they play fantastic defense and they were pretty well determined not to let him do much of anything and some of this was his own undoing as well. Culver was 2 for 7 from the field and missed all 3 of his three-point attempts. Culver also missed 5 of 10 free throws, some of those coming late in the game that weren’t as vital, but they sure as heck could have been vital had K-State made some shots. Culver finished with 9 points, 7 boards, 3 assists, a block and 3 turnovers.
- And before you complain about needing to make free throws, really, everyone did make their free throws except for Culver. Mooney missed 1, but was 7 of 8, and Owens missed 2, but was 5 of 7. The team other than Culver made 85% of those free throws. That’s more than acceptable.
- The bench was weird. Brandone Francis missed all 5 of his shots, Corprew was only 1 of 2, but Kyler Edwards is looking really good, playing only 15 minutes, he scored 9 points and he’s really improving offensively. I think generally speaking, Texas Tech will need better production from their bench as they move through Big 12 play and it starts with Francis starting to hit some of those outside shots. He’s playing starter minutes (25 yesterday) so he needs to produce.
- Heck of a hard-fought win. Up next is Oklahoma on Tuesday at home.
- 15,098 strong. That’s flipping fantastic.
- Head coach Chris Beard on Davide’s hustle play at the end of the game for a steal:
“I watched it with my naked eye. I saw the loose ball and it looked like it was too far for him to dive and with the time and score I was thinking an intelligent play would be not to do it, but then he just did it. Then I thought about this poster I had in my bedroom growing up. It was a Converse poster of Denise Robin diving across the poster horizontally. There was a lot of symbolism in that play. Moretti has come here and has tried to get tougher and used to playing college basketball. This is a different game here than it is in Europe. I thought it was a big play that symbolized tonight we needed some grit to beat a tough Kansas State team. We needed a tough play at that moment and Moretti delivered.”