Basketball

Post-Game Thoughts: West Virginia 82, Texas Tech 71

Game Links: Ed. Note: I could not link to the official site this morning as the site was down for some reason.

Tortilla Tossin’ Player of the Game: I’m going to go with Mac McClung and Kyler Edwards. McClung’s scoring kept Texas Tech in the game, going 7 of 16 and 3 of 5 from the 3-point line with 4 boards and 2 assists as well as 3 turnovers. Edwards filled up the stat-sheet with 11 points, 7 boards, 6 assists, and no turnovers.

The Motion:

  • You probably won’t like what I’m going to write, but here we go. I get that head coach Chris Beard was pissed, but there are lots of things to discuss with how the game was played before the technical foul.
  • I think that Beard feels like he has two guys who are plus defenders, Kyler Edwards and Kevin McCullar. The rest of the guys have flaws, whether it be that they don’t close out perfectly, or they don’t switch seamlessly, or they’ll lose their man in some screens. What happened for the better part of the game is that West Virginia played with 5 smalls and 2 players who could make buckets and the defense was essentially scrambling and West Virginia drove and dished. Beard even mentioned after the game, that there were “fatigue errors” which to me translate to getting to a spot on the floor and the defense.
  • I thought that the last 5 minutes of the game was the worst execution offensively that I can remember, at least in terms of a stretch of time. Each possession was not being valued and West Virginia’s defensive plan was to rotate as much as humanly possible on everyone except for Terrence Shannon and West Virginia was fine with letting him shoot and he did. Shannon was just left open a handful of times and Shannon thought that the best thing to do was to just pull up and shoot or take a three-point shot. Shannon was 3 of 14 and 1 of 7 from the three-point line and 4 turnovers. That’s 15 possessions ending because Shannon missed a shot or turned the ball over. Shannon is at his best running to the basket and he chose not to do that last night. Shannon chose to take jumpshots. Heck, I think he had a possession where he just dribbled down the court and took a jumpshot at the corner of the key without passing or letting anyone else touch the ball (this was in the 1st half). He was pulled after that, but this lack of self-awareness is obviously not a good possession is what I’m talking about. But that’s the other part of this situation here, which is that Beard continued to play Shannon, and I get why (because he is talented), but he’s not a shooter and if the team needed a shooter, the Chibuzo Agbo should at least get a run and even Clarence Nadolny. Shannon is making less than 30% of his three-point shots and he’s making 31% of his shots outside of the lane, but making 76.4% of his shots from close range. Shannon knows his strengths, but is failing to recognize what he needs to do here.
  • Marcus Santos-Silva being in foul trouble was obviously an issue, as mentioned above, and Beard chose not to really play Tyreek Smith in his absence, opting instead of playing 5 smalls to battle the 5 smalls that West Virginia was running out there.
  • I get Beard’s frustration with the refs because it was evident that the game was going to be about them and not about the game. West Virginia shot 39 free throws, a statistic that’s pretty amazing in itself, and Texas Tech shot 20. Before the game, I wrote that West Virginia won the last game because they had an unbelievable shooting performance and then they turned around and did that again, but it was somewhat gifted to them at the line by the refs.
  • As you know, I hardly ever complain about the refs because I find it unproductive. That’s why I tried to open these post-game thoughts with my thoughts on what Texas Tech can improve upon. The 4th foul on McClung seemed to be a phantom call, I thought the WVU player pushed off first and McClung was fighting to stick with him. The 5th foul was a bump, but that was pretty weak overall. The calls on ghost screens for both teams were dumb and there was plenty that just had me scratching my head wondering if the refs were watching the same game. For those of you who didn’t stay up to watch the game, here’s the technical foul complete with a fist-bump to Coach Huggins because nobody respects Bob Huggins more than Chris Beard:

  • Here is Beard’s response to the technical fouls:

  • Head coach Chris Beard:

    “I thought it was a classic example of the team that made the more mistakes lost the game,” Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said. “That was us. Untimely, costly mistakes throughout the game.”

  • Up next? Well, after the game, Beard said that they’ve reached out to Gonzaga to play this weekend, but wasn’t sure where that sat. If that game doesn’t get played, then Texas Tech will play in Fort Worth on Monday, tip-off at 7:00 p.m. and the game broadcast on ESPN+.

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