Texas Tech 76, TCU 69
* The Flex is a shout-out to Tubby Smith’s flex offense and a place for us to set some screens, make some cuts and discuss the game.
- What a costly win. Texas Tech wins their first road conference game of the year and lose Norense Odiase, who has a broken foot. There’s no timetable for Odiase’s return. There are going to have to be some guys who have to step up their play in a big way, most likely that would be Matt Temple, who should get the starting nod and allow Aaron Ross to come off the bench. Here’s head coach Tubby Smith on Odiase:
“He broke his fourth metatarsal. We’ll have to see when we get back how long and what they’ll have to do, whether or not he’ll have to have surgery. He’s that rock and that inside force that we need. He gives it to us consistently. He’s one of the toughest kids we have. He’s the guy that’ll take the charges, and he’s a real blue collar worker on the court. What he does, it will be missed.”
- the other option that I think might come into play would be Justin Gray getting some time at power forward if Tubby Smith decides to go with aa small lineup, but that would seem extreme. Could maybe even mix in C.J. Williamson if there needed to be some more size on the floor.
- Back to the game. This is not an original thought, but that floor is incredibly bright and almost too bright for the floor itself.
- Thank goodness for Justin Gray, who was terrific off the bench again. He was almost completely quiet against Baylor, but Gray was a solid and smooth scoring machine, hitting 2 of 3 from the three-point line, scoring 14 points, dishing out 3 assists, a steal, a block and no turnovers. He really is a difference maker on both sides of the court as he’s got the size to do some things defensively and offensively, with his growing jump-shot, he’s becoming a really tough cover.
- Gray was one of two players in double-figures, the other being Aaron Ross, who led the team with 16 points and Ross also continues his recent scoring-streak as he was 3-3 from the three-point line, was 4-4 overall, 5 of 6 from the line, 2 boards and just 1 turnover. Ross continuing to hit things from the outside stretches the defense because of his size. He’s not the best defensive player, but he adds a dimension offensively that no one else can add. Ross hits a huge three-pont shot with about two and a half minutes left in the game.
- I may be in the minority, but I like listening to Fran Fascilla. He’s knowledgable and there probably isn’t a better person for international hoops.
- None of the starters scored in double-figures. Odiase, before injuring his foot, finished with 8 points, but the starters are really struggling to make things happen. Toddrick Gotcher seems to have gone into a shell offensively and doesn’t seem to be looking for his shot except for that one three-point shot late in the second half, with about 5 minutes left. Keenan Evans is going to the bucket, which is great for Evans and Texas Tech.
- Texas Tech had 21 assists on 26 made field goals to just 12 turnovers.
- Zach Smith had 5 blocks on the day. Odiase had 3 blocks as well in his limited minutes. Smith really was good defensively, but offensively, he’s really struggling to find a place to score. Smith also finished with 9 rebounds and 5 assists to just 1 turnover. That’s really incredible.
- Also loved seeing Devon Thomas witha pretty nice game. He was 2-2 from the floor and had just 5 points, but he also had 4 assists on the night. He hit a huge three-point shot with the clock winding down and overall, he controlled the offense.
- Matt Temple is about to get a lot more playing time and he’s starting to earn it. He had 8 points with 4 rebounds, 1 block and 2 turnovers, while going 3 of 8 from the floor. With Odiase’s injury, this is going to be big and Temple is going to have to be better about laying off the fouls.
- The team shot 55% from the floor, which is just terrific and a bit surprising considering how good TCU was playing defensively and being at home. Not only just shooting well from the floor, Texas Tech was 9 of 15 from the three-point line, which is probably the difference in Texas Tech winning this game and not. Those were huge buckets, especially Ross down the stretch.
- Texas Tech had problems with allowing way too many offensive boards, maybe a result of Odiase being out, but TCU had 17 offensive rebounds and 23 second chance points. That’s way too many.
- Texas Tech’s bench out-scored the TCU bench 46-27. Hello Ross and Gray.
- C.J. Williams saw some action yesterday and in 11 short minutes, he was terrific, probably his best game of the year as he hit a three-point shot, had 2 rebounds, and 3 assists to just 1 turnover. He’s such an asset to this team as a distributor and he does have some nice handles.