Tortilla Tossin’ Player of the Game: I’ll go with Micah Peavy, the true freshman, who scored 12 points on 6 of 8 from the field, 4 rebounds, an assist, and 2 turnovers. Peavy looked like the one guy that could score effectively on his own. That’s going to be important as the season progresses.
- We’re all happy to come off of cloud 9, right? Yesterday wasn’t the best game for sure, and before the game I wrote that Houston was a team of street dogs and I thought they took the fight to Texas Tech more than Texas Tech taking the fight to the Cougars. There wasn’t that chip that we’ve seen from Texas tech and it’s important to get that back. This sort of game will do that.
- I thought Houston’s plan of swinging the ball to the open shooter was really good offense and neutralized the Texas Tech defense that was generally really good on the ball. On the offensive end, Texas Tech couldn’t get a clean shot, Houston defended the perimeter really well, switched a ton, maybe played a match-up zone of sorts, and Texas Tech wasn’t good at the motion offense that creates those shots. A lot of times, the motion offense takes time to figure out, especially with so many new faces. The thing is that it always gets figured out, always, and I’m not all that concerned about it. I am a bit concerned about Marcus Santos-Silva passing out of a double-team, 6 turnovers on the day, which is a ton, and Beard really didn’t play any backup significant minutes. I am concerned about the defensive rotations, Houston really identified and executed a weakness and I know that Mark Adams will get it figured out, I just usually expect the defense to be in front of the offense at this point.
- I thought that Terrence Shannon, Kyler Edwards, and Jamarius Burton would all need to show up in a big way and they didn’t. Collectively, they were 6 of 18 and Texas Tech really needed one or two or three of them to be efficient and effective. Shannon and Edwards particularly as they’ve been here and done this. Shannon was 2 of 8 with just 5 points and no free throw attempts, while Edwards was 2 of 7, but missed all 3 of his free throw attempts. I’m not sure what is worse, not getting to the line or not making any opportunities that you have. Burton was fine, but didn’t assert himself really very much.
- Neither teams shot really well, Texas Tech made 39% of their shots, and Houston made 35%, but the Cougars made 8 of 24 from the three-point line, and Texas Tech was just 4 of 18. The kicker was at the free throw line, where Texas Tech made 54% of their free throws, 13 of 24, while Houston made 16 of 21. Factor in the free throws and the three-pointers and that’s pretty much the game.
- Another big issue was the transition defense, Houston ran up and down the court, scoring 18 fast break points, compared to 6 for Texas Tech. There’s no way that a team should score 18 fast break points on Texas Tech, particularly this team. That’s some easy buckets.
- A big item that we’ll follow through the course of the year, Houston scored on .97 points per possession and Texas Tech was .841. Getting at or over the 1.000 mark is an important offensive efficiency metric.
- Beard definitely tightened up the bench, he played 6 guys mostly, the starters and Burton. Nimari Burnett received 9 minutes, but everyone else was 5 or less. I’m going to think that with Covid-19 still being an issue, having a deep team is going to be incredibly important and I know that Beard is worried about winning games, but I think that’s important in this weird season.
- I did like Mac McClung, he didn’t shoot well, but he went to the line a ton, going 10 of 14, 7 of 10 in the second half.
- Up next is St. John’s on Thursday in Lubbock as part of the Big East-Big 12 Battle. That’s a big game.