Tortilla Tossin’ Player of the Game: I’m going to go with Kyler Edwards here, although I could easily go with Mac McClung again. Edwards has been in a slump a bit, but he was really efficient, scoring 13 points on just 6 shots making 4, going 3 of 4 from the three-point line, had 8 rebounds, which led the team, 3 assists, just 1 turnover, a block and a steal.
- I thought that this game would maybe be closer than the spread, but I also didn’t know that Terrence Shannon would play 0 minutes in the first half due to a bum ankle and wanting to limit his minutes as a result (Shannon played 11 for the entire game). Maybe the biggest difference in this game was the idea that Texas Tech had a more efficient offense, scoring on 1.141 points per possession compared to .984 for Kansas State. The Wildcats turned the ball over 18 times compared to just 10 for Texas Tech. Texas Tech also shot slightly better, making 47% of their shots compared to 45%, and shot better from the line, making 15 of 22 compared to 13 of 22.
- Tyreek Smith. Give that man some more minutes. I love watching him play, he’s a Tigger, blocking 3 shots yesterday, 5 points, making a three-pointer(!) and just affecting the game in a lot of ways. I’m guessing that Beard maybe wants Smith to be a better rebounder (not sure) or maybe he’s just deferring to the older player in Marcus Santos-Silva, but in just 12 minutes, Smith was a +6 and Santos-Silva was a +5 in 27. Maybe it is as simple as Smith being just a ton of fun to watch.
- Texas Tech didn’t shoot poorly in the first half, 41%, but the second half is where the offense really opened up. the second half saw Texas Tech make 54% of their shots including 56% from the three-point line.
- Part of my reasoning of not naming Mac McClung as the player of the game wasn’t the 1 of 6 from the three-point line, it was the 5 turnovers and him knowing that he has to be a bit more careful with the ball. The 5 turnovers were half of the team total and he had done a really nice job limiting those turnovers previously, but I get the feeling that this is something he really has to give a ton of focus to as he progresses.
- Want to give some love to Kevin McCullar, scoring 15 points (3 of 4 from deep!), grabbing 6 boards, dishing out 4 assists, and just 1 turnover in 36 minutes (those 36 minutes led the team).
- Some stats. I’ve already mentioned the shooting stats. Pretty rare for Texas Tech to lose the rebounding battle, 32 to 28, and Teas Tech only managing 6 offensive boards to a team that previously gave up a ton of them. Kansas State also had 7 2nd chance points compared to 3 for Texas Tech. The Wildcats also had their way in the paint, making 22 compared to just 18 for Texas Tech, that’s almost always in Texas Tech’s favor. A nice sign is that Texas Tech had 18 of 24 buckets assisted, which means the ball movement was good.
- An 11 point win on the road with your most dynamic scorer being limited in terms of minutes and not being his regular self? Yeah, that’s probably a pretty good win and maybe Shannon will be a bit more healthy because Beard kept him out for the most part yesterday afternoon.
- Head coach Chris Beard:
“I’m disappointed in our execution and our ability to put good possessions back to back, but I was pleased with our poise,” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said. “In certain parts of this game we had several opportunities to get ahead and maybe open the game up a little bit and then K-State would go on a run. Some of the inexperienced teams that might kind of affect but I thought we did a good job responding when they made their runs. So positive today, I thought we had a poise to us. Negatives today we’ve just got to play a lot better.”
- Up next? Hosting the West Virginia Mountaineers on Tuesday, February 9th at 8:00 p.m. with the game being broadcast on ESPN.