Tortilla Tossin’ Player of the Game: I’ll go with Adonis Arms, who filled in about as nicely as you could expect for Terrence Shannon, Jr. Arms scored 14 points, tied with McCullar for the team lead, on 5 of 10 and 3 of 7 from deep, 4 boards, an assist and 3 turnovers.
Multi-Purpose Player of the Game: It would seem as if Kevin McCullar would be the pick here, scoring 14 points, but it took 15 shots to get there, 5 of 15, 10 boards, an assist, a turnover, and 2 steals.
- Full disclosure. I did not get to watch this game. I had parental obligations with my kids and am trying to fit in a bunch of stuff and simply didn’t/won’t get the chance to watch. So whatever I write, take with a grain of salt and am basing off of the box score and what I’ve tried to read.
- The first and most obvious takeaway is that Shannon traveled, but did not play. He even warmed up, but my guess is that his back wasn’t 100% and the best player for Texas Tech wasn’t playing. That obviously puts Texas Tech at a pretty severe disadvantage. It’s one thing for Shannon to not play in the early season against cupcakes, but against a top 5 opponent? Yeah, that doesn’t look as good.
- It doesn’t’ help when the ancillary players don’t pull their weight and just don’t shoot the ball well. Sometimes that happens. But having Bryson Williams take 10 shots in 15 minutes, only making 2 and only grabbing 2 rebounds is not ideal. Davion Warren was 2 of 8, but did contribute in other ways, grabbing 5 boards and leading the team with 3 assists. Adding in McCullar trying to shoulder the load going 5 of 15, that’s 3 starters who shot 11 of 33 yesterday.
- For good news, the defense held up for the most part. Gonzaga shot 43% from the field, but that was better than your offense, only 38%. Both teams shot 56 shots and the Bulldogs made 3 more shots, but they also absolutely killed you from deep, 13 of 31 from beyond the arc, which was good for 42%. I thought after the Arkansas State game that the defense was scrambling to cover open shooters for the Red Wolves and it appears that Gonzaga just killed from deep.
- More good news? Texas Tech scored 26 points in the paint compared to 16 for Gonzaga and their absolutely huge lineup. It would have been nice if that resulted in a higher free throw rate, but the refs weren’t really calling any fouls, only 13 foul shots for Texas Tech and 10 for Gonzaga.
- Texas Tech had just 9 assists compared to 16 for the Zags, while Texas Tech turned the ball over 12 times compared to 10. Gonzaga also had 8 fast break points to just 4 for Texas Tech. Open and easy buckets are not something that have been easy to come by for Texas Tech.
- The T-Rank box score gives us some insight in that the only positive players yesterday were McCullar, Arms, Obanor and Warren. The players that had the biggest negative impact? Santos-Silva -5.1, Nadolny at -3.5, and Williams at -2.7. Batcho actually had a +2.4 in BPM, but on the offensive side of the ball he and the team struggled at -2.9 (which may have had something to do with who else was on the floor), while defensively he was +5.4
- Head coach Mark Adams: “We felt like we were playing catch up the entire game. They are such an efficient team that can do so many things well. They missed some shots early and we were able to keep Timme and Chet in check which was our emphasis, but they are such a balanced offensive team with 3-point shooters who hit big shots. The thing that jumps out to me is the 3-point shooting. They are a veteran team that doesn’t make many mistakes.”
- Don’t look now, but there are just 2 more warm-up games before conference play starts, the next game is Eastern Washington in Lubbock on Wednesday, December 22nd at 1:00 p.m.