Basketball

Post-Game Thoughts: Texas Tech 51, Abilene Christian 44

It was a slug-fest!

Game Links:

Tortilla Tossin’ Player of the Game: Kyler Edwards for the second game in a row, scoring 19 points on 4 of 12 from the floor. Edwards helped his team by going 9 of 10 from the free throw line, grabbing 7 boards, an assist, and 2 turnovers.

The Motion:

  • That was a helluva game. Ridiculously grinding and if you thought this game was going to be easy, then you were kidding yourself. I love games like this for a couple of reasons: 1) Texas Tech gets a win; and 2) Texas Tech learned a ton about themselves in this game. Abilene Christian held a mirror up to Texas Tech so that they could take a good hard look at themselves and figure some things out.
  • Abilene Christian scouted the hell out of Texas Tech, the kind of scouting job that Texas Tech and Beard usually do to opponents. ACU knew to trap Marcus Santos Silva and they knew to swing the ball for open shots and they knew to dribble-drive because Texas Tech had a difficult time rotating and they knew that Texas Tech’s spacing is not good right now. So, there’s a lot to work on and that’s a good thing because it’s about to get interesting in a week.
  • I know that it would be really easy to write about free throws, but it was the free throws that helped Texas Tech win this game. Yes, it wasn’t good in the first half, going 5 for 12, but in the second half, that’s what WON the game, going 20 for 25, and the fouls at the end of the game sealed Texas Tech’s victory.
  • The reason why Texas Tech struggled in this game is that they are struggling to figure out how to get a clean shot. Mac McClung cannot be the primary ball-handler to create for himself and others. That’s not who he is and he needs open looks himself. That’s not Edwards either. Spacing is everything in today’s basketball and it’s really a mess. I’d tell you that having a primary ball-handler to drive and dish to McClung and Edwards would be ideal, but that player doesn’t exist on this team. I’m not smart enough to figure it out, but I think it is a problem.
  • The defense is not a problem, holding ACU to 36% and 33% from the three-point line. ACU wasn’t necessarily good offensively, and that trend continued on the road. The worst thing for the Wildcats is that they didn’t get to the line at all and they were almost exclusively a jump-shooting team. As a team, the Wildcats only shot 9 free throws, compared to 37 for Texas Tech.
  • Not ideal, but Texas Tech averaged .822 points per possession and held Abilene Christian to .677, which is outstanding.
  • With a bench that is almost depleted, Texas Tech only had 10 bench points, compared to 15 for ACU. Both teams had 18 fast break points. Texas Tech capitalized on 22 ACU turnovers to the tune of 17 points, while ACU only scored 11 points on 16 Texas Tech turnovers.
  • Speaking of turnovers, that was a huge issue. Jamarius Burton had 6 by himself and if you take those away, that’s really pretty palatable. He’s got to be better.
  • Nimari Burnett is definitely making progress and Beard is starting to trust him a bit more, he went to the line 10 times, made 8, and was the only other player in double-figures. Add 3 steals and 4 rebounds with 3 turnovers, and there’s good things, but Burnett played 30 minutes.
  • There were only 12 made field goals and of those made field goals, there were only 7 assists, which isn’t a bad ratio, but only 7 assists compared to 16 turnovers isn’t going to do it.
  • Micah Peavy is in a bad way right now, he’s playing good defense and fully engaged, so the playing hard isn’t a problem, but he went 1 for 6 yesterday and missed both free throws. I think he’s getting banged around offensively and teams have maybe figured him out a bit as he isn’t a great ball-handler (he’s capable) and so I think he’s got to figure out his offensive game and how to get to the line when the other shots aren’t falling.
  • Head coach Chris Beard:

    “They gave us all we could handle tonight,” said Texas Tech coach Chris Beard who earned his 99th win as the Red Raider head coach. “We were fortunate to get to that free-throw line tonight and make some shots but I think our guys earned the right to get to that free throw line, we weren’t trying to get fouled if that makes sense. We knew what we were getting into. I told the guys all week, ‘These guys will play 40 minutes, if we get up, they are going to play 40 minutes. If they punch us up a little bit, they are going to play 40 minutes’ and that’s exactly what happened. We basically found a way to win tonight from the free throw line when other areas of the game weren’t working for us.”

  • Up next? Texas Tech travels to Frisco to take on Texas A&M – Corpus Christi on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. and right now, I don’t know that there’s any television for this game.

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