I don’t think this was necessarily a bad loss. Before the game, I thought to myself that Iowa had a ton of size and that’s something that Texas Tech just really isn’t able to combat with the current roster. There’s just not a lot of size on Texas Tech’s side of the ledger and I think that Luka Garza was more than Texas Tech could really handle inside. And when I think about it, the Big 12 really isn’t built of teams like Iowa, they’re more like Texas Tech except for Kansas, that usually has their pick of the litter when it comes to big men and maybe Texas. But for the most part, the Big 12 is sort of this positionless basketball that Texas Tech plays, so a one-off against a team like Iowa isn’t the worst thing ever. Iowa was elite offensively coming into the game and Texas Tech held them to 42% from the field, but they did allow the Hawkeyes to make 41% of their three-point shots. That was probably the biggest kicker for the Texas Tech defense, is just closing out on the three-point line, which has been a problem for the team in the easy non-conference part of the schedule.
I also mentioned before the game that Iowa’s biggest weakness was that they were pretty terrible defensively, but Texas Tech isn’t an elite offensive team, so this really was a mis-match not only from a roster perspective, but also a style perspective.
The things that Texas Tech did do well was rebound the ball, but Iowa was conceding crashing their own offensive boards for the most part. Regardless, Texas Tech out-rebounded Iowa by 4 and really it was 10 with about a minute or so left in the game when it was out of hand. Texas Tech crashed the offensive boards, doubling up Iowa, 10-5.
It felt like Texas Tech missed a bunch of free throws, but in retrospect, they made 77%, which is more than acceptable.
The biggest problem was that Texas Tech shot the ball terribly and I think it’s natural to wonder how good of an offensive team Texas Tech really is. And that’s pretty natural, it was always a question in losing someone like Jarrett Culver, Matt Mooney, and Tariq Owens to an extent, that there would be some sort of drop-off and I think this is probably it. We’ve talked about this a bit last year, but Texas Tech made only 11 of 22 layups, which is something that’s usually pretty rare. I’d also add that the three-point shooting was pretty atrocious, only 4 of 24, and I think that right now, the team is really settling for three-point shots that I’d prefer them not to take. There probably are better shots, but that’s also the downside of the motion offense is that it takes some work to get open and I think the team is still figuring that out.
I think I may be the only one, but I loved what Chris Clarke did last night, I liked that he’s taking some shots, made 5 of 9 and had 10 points, had 10 rebounds, with 5 assists, 2 steals and 3 turnovers. I really enjoy watching him play and if Texas Tech gets a double-double from him, then he might replace Terrence Shannon at some point.
Only Clarke shot better than 50% for the team. Kyler Edwards is shooting 30% for the year and he made 3 of 10 and 1 of 6 from the three-point line. Until he makes more, that’s too many for me. Shannon was 1 of 6 including 0-2 from the three-point line. Ramsey was 3 of 11 with 1 of 5 from beyond the yard, Holyfield was 4 of 13 with 0 of 2, and Moretti was 2 of 8, going 2 of 7 from deep. So yeah, no one really shot well at all.
Jahmi’us Ramsey was injured in the second half, something with his leg where he walked out of the gym funny, and he didn’t return playing only 9 minutes in the second half. He wasn’t shooting well, but I think not having him made an impact obviously, but he was sort of settling for outside shots as well. When he’s hot, he’s tough to stop, but when he’s not, it’s a lot easier.
The good part here is that despite all of that, Texas Tech was right there to take this game. I’m not terribly worried about this result, but if there’s a good offensive team with size, this is probably going to be Texas Tech’s kryptonite for the year (or until proven otherwise).