Red Raiders Fall to Sooners in Norman, 84-75

The Red Raiders drop a game they really can’t afford to lose.

Oklahoma 84, Texas Tech 75

  • That’s the kind of game that will haunt you. Texas Tech can afford to lose road games, that’s going to happen because the Big 12 is so good, but Texas Tech can’t afford lose games on the road where the record says that they should win. Against a winless in the Big 12 Sooner team, the Red Raiders dropped a game that they just can’t afford to drop.
  • I was not a fan of the officiating. The foul disparity seemed extreme in the first half, and by the end of the game, it was just 17 OU fouls to 24 for Texas Tech. Not only that, but the Sooners shot a ton of free throws, 37 free throws to just 14 for Texas Tech. OU made 81% of them and that’s your ball game right there. Aside from the officiating seeming inconsistent, the Sooners took the ball to the basket and the officials seemingly called everything. But that’s the key there, they took the ball to the basket.
  • Texas Tech has been in the funk the last few games where if the jump shots aren’t falling, then they’re simply a stagnant team. And they are more than happy to settle for jump shots and that’s incredibly problematic. There needs to be some variation to the offense where there’s a drive for a foul, I know there is, and if not the drive then a kick to an open three-point shot. I can live with that.
  • The two most aggressive offensive players? Devon Thomas, who finished with 12 points on 6 of 10 from the field with 4 assists and a turnover and Shaddell Millinghaus, who only finished with 3 points and only played 9 minutes, but at the very least, he was aggressive to the basket at a time when the offense needed a spark.
  • In fact, I think Aaron Ross is kinda lost offensively when he isn’t able to come off a screen and get a clear shot. He struggles offensively to have the ball in his hand and works best when he can simply spot up and take a shot. This is where there needs to be a drive or a drive and kick aspect to the offense. I’d be fine with a Memphis style of dribble drive as I think either Keenan or Thomas could handle that role of being the guy that drives, but I think there needs to be some mechanism where this team can get to the basket easier because it’s a chore right now.
  • Another big issue was three-point shooting, where Texas Tech was just 6 of 25 for 24% and darn nearly shot themselves out of the first half by going 2 of 13. The problem was that these were contested shots, but the only shots because of an expiring clock.
  • A huge problem? Texas Tech allowed 13 offensive rebounds to the Sooners, which means two things: 1) they weren’t blocking out (some of these were long rebounds, but whatever); and 2) teams that are as athletic as the Sooners can be problematic.
  • You aren’t going to win many games when Justin Gray and Zach Smith are in foul trouble. Your most athletic players and best defenders were seemingly in foul trouble most of the game. Gray only played 17 minutes and it feels like he’s disappearing at a high rate. Again, word is that he’s injured his Achilles, but he’s just there. Only took 4 shots and had 3 rebounds.
  • Zach Smith did this.

  • When Smith played, he was very good, but he was in foul trouble seemingly the entire game and he didn’t manage his fouls when he was in fould trouble very good. Gotta know when to hold’em. Sill, Smith finished with 16 points and 8 rebounds in just 26 minutes.
  • Keenan Evans also had 16 points on just 8 shots and actually went to the line 8 times and could have used more of his driving and finishing than three-point shots (although he did make his lone second half attempt.
  • Much like Ross, Anthony Livingston works better when he is presented with open shots from a drive and he’s sorta struggling to find his way right now. Going 4 of 13 from the floor and 3 of 9 from the three-point line.
  • Head coach Chris Beard:

    “I thought we were on our heels,” Beard said. “I have to go back and watch the film. What was most concerning to me was that it seemed like from where I was sitting that every loose ball Oklahoma got. I thought that they went and got fouled. I thought the officiating was fine. I just felt that the more aggressive team won. Victory favors the more aggressive team. Again, hats off to Oklahoma. We got outrebounded. We got beat on the 50/50 balls. We’ll just have to get back to practice and try to fix some of these things.”

  • Texas Tech hosts TCU on Wednesday night in a game that they really needs to win.


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