- That’s a pretty fun opening night. The line was 23.5 and Texas Tech beat the spread, it was essentially a sell-out, so the crowd was maybe the best opening crowd that I can ever recall. Texas Tech shot well against a really terrible defensive team (I think EIU was 280th before the tip-off). The other good thing was that I thought there were some good things and some things to improve, but overall, I was really impressed with the athleticism of the team overall and this is the deepest team that I think I can recall. The last guys off the bench are really very good.
- Four players scored in double-figures, led by Jahmi’us Ramey who scored 19 points on 8 of 15 from the floor including 3 of 4 from the three-point line. I was especially impressed with his shot as I thought that this would be the thing that he needs to improve.
- I was very impressed with TJ Holyfield, I thought going into the game that he may struggle, but he looked good to go, going with 7 of 8 from the field, including a three-pointer, and grabbed 6 boards with 2 blocks and a steal. Very athletic, very patient offensively and I thought he was really good, better than advertised for me.
- Terrence Shannon, Jr. got the start over Chris Clarke and he was very aggressive, finishing with 11 points, including 7 of 8 from the line. Shannon was the one guy that did not have a problem going to the basket and was denied at the rim a couple of times, but he tried to dunk the basketball. Shannon had 3 turnovers, which was probably his biggest fault, and a few ball-handling turnovers.
- Davide Moretti really didn’t heat up until the second half, scoring 11 of his 13 points in the second half, going 4 of 6 from the floor with 3 boards, 2 assists and no turnovers.
- Kyler Edwards struggled a bit offensively, only scoring 6 points on 2 of 7 with 2 turnovers and he was a little out of sorts, but I tend to think that Edwards is a streaky shooter and some times he’ll be hot and other times he won’t. I will say that despite not shooting well, he contributed other ways significantly, with 7 boards, 3 assists, and 2 blocks.
- I love Chris Clarke and what he does. He was essentially the point-guard at times, bringing it up the court and I think the staff wants the ball in his hands. I thought he was really good defensively and his stats don’t jump off the page, only 2 points, 3 boards, 3 assists, but I like what he brings.
- The rest of the bench was okay, Russel Tchewa is huge, a giant and I don’t know that Texas Tech has had a player as athletic and as big as him. I like Clarence Nadolny (he was the second most aggressive player behind Shannon), he can play and had 6 points on 2 of 3, Kevin McCullar looked a little rusty with 4 points on 2 of 4, but had 4 turnovers. Of couse, I think it has been over a year since he’s played in a competitive basketball game so I’m good cutting him some slack.
- Walk-on Avery Benson got some burn and had a nice three-pointer.
- Some team stats, Texas Tech shot 55% including 57% from the three-point line which is cray, while holding Eastern Illinois to 40%. I think that Texas Tech could have been better defending the three-point line, allowing EIU to make 38%. Texas Tech had 13 turnovers, which is a bit high, but not bad for a first game. The defense forced 15 turnovers and scored 19 points off of those turnovers. Texas Tech dominated the boards, grabbing 40, compared to just 30 for EIU. Other surprising note, which is maybe an indication as to the athleticism to this team, 17 fast break points.
- Head coach Chris Beard:
“I just want to start by recognizing the crowd. I guess this is my 14th season at Texas Tech Basketball and that’s the best opening crowd I’ve seen. There won’t be a better crowd in all of college basketball tonight, no matter where the game is played, than we just had here in Lubbock, Texas. So just a sincere thank you. Just so happy for our guys to go out there and see Red Raider Nation show up in force. Special thank you to our students… looks like I’ll be going to a wedding here this summer, TJ, would you like to go to the wedding with me? A great crowd, I want to thank the students for coming out, I want to thank the season ticket holders for coming. There’s probably some season ticket holders tonight that couldn’t be here but it was obvious to me that our loyal season ticket holders gave their tickets to people tonight because all those seats were filled by my eyes. And just a special thank you, so internally with our marketing and promotions and everybody that put work in to this, just to everybody at Texas Tech, thank you for a great opening crowd. A lot of respect for our opponent tonight, I predict confidently they’re going to have a great season. Jay’s put together a good team, with returners and junior college players. I’m so proud of my junior college background that I always pull for teams that have junior college players and I predict Eastern Illinois will have a great season, so best wishes to those guys.”
- Beard on Ramsey and newcomers:
“I think one of the best things about Ramsey is how aggressive he is. Tonight, it points in a game when he was aggressive, he was really good. It will be great him learning film tomorrow. The great thing about Ramsey is that he wants to be good. We’ve got some young guys, him in that group, that study the game as much as any young players I’ve been around. I’m happy for all of those freshmen tonight. It’s so hard to win a game at this level, understand that Eastern Illinois has been preparing for this since the summer and a lot’s gone in to this. I’m happy for those guys to get the first win together.”