Tortilla Tossin’ Player of the Game
I’ll go with Davide Moretti for this game. As I was watching this game, I wasn’t sure who was actually scoring, but by the end of the night, Moretti ended up with 18 points, leading the team, making 5 of 12 shots and 4 of 10 from the three-point line with 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 3 turnovers. The key here though was that Moretti made 4 of 8 in the second half and scored 15 points in the first half.
- What a weird strange game. This was ugly. The turnovers were alarming. The Kansas State situation was just weird, it was just an odd game that was really ugly and kind of unsettling for me. I didn’t like that Texas Tech couldn’t pull away at home against a Kansas State team that simply is not very good. I just didn’t like it, and maybe I feel this way because of how Kansas State likes to muck things up on defense, which they certainly did. Beard said that he wanted his team to respond after the Oklahoma State loss, but I didn’t feel like the team made that statement that I thought they should be. And again, maybe my issue is that Kansas State just played ugly. Let’s get to that wild scene.
- Cartier Diarra, one of the better players for Kansas State had a wild game and a wild outburst. I’m embedding those tweets with the incident below, but the idea here is that Bruce Weber called a timeout and Cartier Diarra is jawing at his head coach. I think that Diarra is saying at the end, “Watch me bitch.” I think he says it twice. The odd thing is that Diarra continued to play. Well, he continued to play until Diarra had a breakaway dunk that he completely mised and then Moretti comes down and drains a three-point shot. Diarra’s dunk would have tied the game with less than 10 minutes left in the game. Weber said after the game that Diarra was just exhibiting a great deal of passion. I don’t recall seeing a player call a coach “bitch” twice and then continue to play. I shudder to think what would happen at Texas Tech and don’t even want to think about it.
- Back to Texas Tech, it was an ugly game, mainly because of the turnovers. Texas Tech had about 1 point per possession, but had 18 turnovers, 11 of them in the first half and 7 in the second. It made for ugly basketball. And Kansas State is terrific at forcing turnovers (I think they were top 10 in the nation), but you still have this expectation that Texas Tech would play better. The deal here is that Texas Tech shot really well, 50% from the field and 38% from the three-point line. Those are both fine figures. The first half was 50% shooting, but only 3 of 11 three-point shooting, while the second half Texas Tech shot 50%, but also made 50% of their three-point shots, 5 of 10.
- Maybe the biggest move here is that Kevin McCullar moved into the starting lineup, and promptly led the team with 6 rebounds in the game, scored 9 points, 1 assist, 2 turnovers, and 4 steals. This meant that Terrence Shannon only played 8 minutes. Beard confirmed that Shannon is fine, but that McCullar has earned those minutes. I think that Shannon’s biggest issue is that he’s really just got one move, drive to the left and has to develop that outside shot. That’s no shame on Shannon, he’s been great this year. A revelation, but his game needs improvement. And I’d also add that McCullar needs to shoot better as well as his outside shot needs some work, but McCullar does other small things that contribute to the game.
- Both Kyler Edwards and Jahmi’us Ramsey each had terrific games I thought . . . except for the turnovers, 4 each. Edwards scored 14 points on 5 of 9 from the floor, while Ramsey had 17 on 5 of 10 from the floor. They each had 4 assists, so maybe this all evens out (which is sort of did as there were 18 assists and 18 turnovers). I thought that Edwards didn’t force any shots
- Texas Tech had 2 points off the bench, Chris Clarke. We also need to talk about Clarke, who has seen his minutes drop significantly the past handful of games. I’ve written this before, but when Clarke demands the ball and tries to be the point forward in the set offense, the offense just dies. When he scored he scored with a nice pass underneath the basket. He can be a good guy, but he needs to stop demanding the ball at the top of the key.
- Chris Beard after the game:
“I just think tonight’s game is another indication how good our league is,” Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard. “Kansas State has had its share of adversity this year no doubt but the game was everything we thought it would be. That’s a team that could beat anybody in the country on any given night. So, you know, tough game for us tonight. I think we understood what was at stake got to protect your home court to accomplish the things that we want to accomplish here down the stretch. I thought when it mattered most we dug in and had some separation. That’s a team no one will want to face in Kansas City.”
- Up next is a game in Ames against Iowa State on Saturday evening at 5:00 p.m. (that’s a weird timefor a game) on ESPNU.
Diarra Incident, Part I
Here’s Bruce Weber and Cartier Diarra getting into it during the last media timeout. pic.twitter.com/em5YXrFUnw
— John Kurtz (@jlkurtz) February 20, 2020
Diarra Incident, Part II
Unfortunately, this pretty much sums up the season. pic.twitter.com/1Z98cXUOvh
— John Kurtz (@jlkurtz) February 20, 2020