Arkansas 75, Texas Tech 68
* 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.
- Texas Tech started out on fire, but Arkansas came roaring back. This all happened in the first half. Dusty Hannahs was on fire and was really the only scorer for the team that did much of anything for Arkansas. Texas Tech was able to score early off of turnovers and pushing the ball offensively. Keenan Evans looked good early, as did Zach Smith.
- Arkansas’ halfcourt defense was really terrific in the first half and Texas Tech struggled to get any good looks. I think it was essentially a 2-3 zone, a defense where the smaller athletes could jump out and challenge any Texas Tech shot with a single anchor in the middle. It’s what drew Arkanasas back into the game. That and the electrifying scoring of Hannahs. Arkansas closed double-digit lead and then ended up taking a one point lead at halftime.
- Arkansas would start the second half with a run of their own and it was essentially a 20 point swing for both teams. It looked like Texas Tech was going to be blown out.
- I’m burying the lede here because the game fell on Devaughntah Williams missing a layup to win the put the game away. Here’s head coach Tubby Smith:
Smith on Williams last shot to seal game: “He missed it. He missed a layup. Not much you can do about it. Had that problem most of year.”
— Andrew Doak (@AndrewDoak_KAMC) January 31, 2016
I wish I knew if Smith was talking about the team having that problem or Williams in particular. The truth is, Williams played much better in the second half, scoring 8 of his 10 points, but he missed the bunny.
- It seems as if Tubby Smith is at his wit’s end with how this team is finishing games:
“I want them to do what we tell them to do, like pick the ball up and don’t try to dribble it. Like box out and rebound. Like guard the three. Like they have been taught. That’s what I want them to do. We had to switch to a zone defense out of desperation because we couldn’t guard the one‐on‐one. We couldn’t guard Dusty (Hannahs) at all.”
In the video before the game, assistant coach Pooh Williamson spoke about how Tubby has stressed to the team that it’s not the actual end that is important here, but it is all of the little things that are being missed throughout the game. It’s becoming frustrating for everyone involved. Fans, coaches, etc. It is frustrating to see this team come so close so many times to only lose it. So it isn’t so much about Williams missing a bunny, but it is about all of the other little things that happened through the game. It’s one of the 12 offensive rebounds that were gathered by Arkansas, the one big offensive rebound with 10 seconds remaining. Or it was one of the 14 turnovers. Or it was going 1 of 13 from the three-point line. If you can’t buy a shot, don’t take a shot. A Keenans Evans turnover, up by 3, with 2 minutes left. Those are the small mistakes that lead to losses and they add up.
- The good in the game was Zach Smith, who finished with 19 points on 5 rebounds. He really was terrific. Justin Gray has a darn near negligible game, taking only 4 shots in 16 minutes. Aaron Ross came off the bench to score 14 points and grab 9 rebounds. Keenan Evans did score in double-figures for the first time in quite some time.