- Well, this sort of stinks. That’s two straight losses in overtime to decent teams, most likely one tournament team in DePaul. Of course, there’s no excuses, but Texas Tech has been without their best player, or at least their leading scorer in Jahmi’us Ramsey, and it’s certainly affected minutes, the bench, and who is filling in for those minutes.
- The other significant problem for me is that one of your grad transfers is just giving you nothing for games. TJ Holyfield played over 20 minutes, fouled out, and that was his most significant statistic. He had 0 points, 2 boards, and not much else in terms of what he gave you offensively. Yes, Holyfield did provide some defense presence as he’s really only one of two significant post players, but he has to give you more than that. It seems that Holyfield struggles against athletic bigs and he needs to figure out how to get his shot off against bigs like that, or at least touch the ball in the block, which I don’t really recall him doing at all. I don’t know that I really ever recall him posting up to an extent, not that this is a huge part of the offense, but he’s got to make himself a presence. I think that if Texas Tech gets anything out of Holyfield, Texas Tech wins that game, but now they’re essentially having to win that game with a starter who is giving them empty statistics.
- Of course, we may not have been in this situation if Davide Moretti makes his second free throw to put up Texas Tech by 4. Making that free throw is something Moretti does on a near automatic basis, I’ve got no issue with the miss, it just came at a horrible time. He’s making 96% of his free throws so again, I’e got gripes, but this ain’t one of them. What is a problem is the 1 of 10 from the floor, yes, he was probably jostled on a couple of those shot, but your best shooter has to give you more than 1 of 10.
- With Ramsey out, Beard doesn’t trust any of his freshmen, some of that is with good reason, but right now his bench consists of Avery Benson and Benson is a good story, he’s consistently on his heels defensively and that’s sort of a problem. Yes, he’s a good spark at time, without a doubt, but him giving you 23 minutes shows you that Beard simply does not trust Nadolny, Savrasov, McCullar, and Tchewa to get things done. Tchewa looks a little lost defensively, he was faked out on that one play and he saw the bench the rest of the way.
- This is probably a bit harsh, but Beard should probably trust McCullar and Nadolny more than he does. They’re competent defensively and yes, they’ll have a bone-headed turnover, but just looking at the turnovers from last night, Between those two, McCullar had one (he was yanked right after it happened) and that was it.
- Meanwhile, the team had 21 other turnovers that were much more problematic. Between your starting 5, there were 18 turnovers, so the problem wasn’t them, it was the starters being unable to hang onto the ball.
- DePaul’s length definitely bothered Texas Tech, Reed and Butz were big problems, Reed was a Tariq Owens type of player, it stinks to seem a player like Owens on the other side of the court, and Texas Tech could never get going offensively as a result of his presence, and Butz just cleaned up as a rim-runner and Texas Tech doesn’t have one of those either.
- Part of this was that the offense was going to grind down every possession, and when you do that without a guy that can create and/or dish, then that leaves guys who aren’t used to creating shots to creating bad shots. As a team, Texas Tech shot 39% overall and wasn’t horrible behind the three-point line, 33%, but I didn’t feel like DePaul gave Texas Tech a clean look all night and it showed. Every shot was contested, but alternatively, I didn’t feel like anyone on Texas Tech’s side created clean looks for their mates.
- Terrence Shannon had a day. After I’m thinking that he might need to be replaced in the starting lineup, not because he’s been bad, but more because I think Texas Tech needs another real post presence, Shannon goes for 24 points on 9 of 18 with 8 rebounds, 2 assists, a block, a steal and 4 turnovers. He was terrific off the dribble and maybe Shannon’s only misstep was the last shot of overtime, that wasn’t a good shot. I’m thinking that the idea was to get the shot up and hope for a rebound or something, but that didn’t materialize.
- I would also like to mention that Kyler Edwards was good, better than he’s been in quite some time, 12 points on 5 of 11, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 3 turnovers. Edwards was also 2 of 4 from the three-point line, so again, that’s a positive.
- Chris Clarke played 43 minutes yesterday and I don’t know that Texas Tech stays in this game without his rebounding. Yes, he had 5 turnovers along with Moretti, but there are no post players and at a point down the stretch, Clarke was Texas Tech’s 5 or center and that’s a pretty significant problem moving forward. There is no debt at forward, just none. Or maybe, there’s none that Beard is ready to play.
- I’m legitimately not upset at how things have played out. It’s frustrating for sure, but this is a flawed team, especially in the frontcourt and Beard needs to head to the laboratory to figure out how to solve this issue. I thought that grinding out possessions offensively was a good move, but that works a lot better with a player like Ramsey playing, who can create. That would give you two guys who can do that, Shannon and Ramsey, but they do need to learn to kick things out, they both have pretty low assist rates, but they can both get up good shots.
- Chris Beard:
“There were times in the second half where I thought we were in control of the game but it was a back-and-forth battle,” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said. “Give DePaul credit. When it mattered most, they made the big plays. I thought we played with a lot of grit and fight. It was our first road game and in a great environment. I was proud of our effort, but we just have to play better. We came to win, but just came up short.”
- Louisville is up next, December 10th at Madison Square Garden.