Post-Game Thoughts: Texas Tech 65, Utah State 53

Game Links:

Tortilla Tossin’ Player of the Game: Am I dumb to give the award to Clarence Nadolny? Maybe, but I am anyway. Clarence Nadolny was inserted in the second half, played a total of 10 minutes, and holy heck, he was a sparkplug of hustle, of passing, of sharing, of a dunk, of diving on the floor. First time that I think I’ve awarded this to a guy that scored 2 points, had 3 assists, and 2 rebounds.

The Motion:

  • Well, this was definitely a game of two halves, Texas Tech couldn’t buy a bucket in the first half, making only 28% of their shots, but in the second half, it was a waterfall of buckets, making 57% of their shots and absolutely just drilling everything. And Texas Tech did hold Utah State to 41% in the second half, but the turnovers, oh, the glorious turnovers.
  • Speaking of turnovers, Utah State’s 22 turnovers to 8 for Texas Tech were the difference in the game. Utah State had no idea what to do with Texas Tech’s pressure and were not used to it. Utah State was completely foreign to the type of pressure that Texas Tech presented. The 28 points off of turnovers for Texas Tech is pretty well ridiculous and Utah State only had 9.
  • One other key stat, and I’d love a 1st half and 2nd half breakdown, but Utah State had 0 fast break points, while Texas Tech didn’t have a ton, but I’d guess that all 11 happened in the second half.
  • Individually, I don’t know that any player stood out in the first half, but in the second, the offense just flowed better, largely because the shots were falling. I thought, as the announcer said, that Texas Tech had good shots in the first half, but they simply weren’t going in.
  • I typically have first and second half splits, but I’d guess that for the players it is Kyler Edwards, Kevn McCullar, Terrence Shannon, and Mac McClung scored very little in the first half (I remember a few buckets for McClung and a 3 for McCullar in the first half) and then they all scored buckets, McClung had 16, Edwards scored 12 with 4 assists, McCullar scoring 10 with 3 assists, and then Shannonscored 10 as well.
  • What Texas Tech didn’t do is go to the free throw line, making 6 of 8, but yeah, just 8 free throws and Utah State had just 10. This wasn’t a game where the two teams were banging down low and Texas Tech had an excuse in that Queta blocked 7 shots, but Utah State doesn’t really have an excuse other than they couldn’t get the ball deep without a swarm of Texas Tech defenders. Regardless, the 8 free throws not normal. I’d also add that Utah State out-rebounded Texas Tech by 10. That’s a lot.
  • Want a fascinating statistic? Utah State had 5 players with a turnover percentage of 35% or higher. That means that when said player (it was Queta, Anthony, Miller, Worster, and Ashworth) had the ball they turned it over at least 35% of the time and in some cases, was as high as 58%.
  • Head coach Chris Beard:

    “Great NCAA Tournament games are a game of runs,” Beard said. “You’ve got to have a lot of poise, ups and downs, got to stay the course. We didn’t want to get into a one-possession game with Utah State because we know how disciplined they are and they’ve got some really good players they can play through late. They did great this year through last-minute games. I thought specific to our successful run at the start of the second half, our defense remained consistent. The first half we guarded — really what helped us on that run is our offense opened up.”

  • Up next? Arkansas on Sunday at 5:10 CST, game broadcast on TNT and played at Hinkle Fieldhouse.


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