Tortilla Tossin’ Player of the Game: Terrence Shannon is tte easy choice here, finishing with 23 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal, and 2 turnovers. Looking much more like his normal self. Taking 12 shots for 23 points is good stuff.
Multi-Purpose Player of the Game: Kevin McCullar again? He shot terribly from the field, 1 of 7, but had 7 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal, a block, and no turnovers.
- This was a fun game. I didn’t look at the clock, but it wouldn’t surprise me that within the last 2 minutes did the 13-point spread come into fruition. West Virginia shot really well I thought, or at the very least went toe-to-toe with Texas Tech for most of the game, but really it was Sherman who was almost single-handedly keeping WVU in the game. Regardless, that offense definitely played better than I expected.
- For the game, both teams shot 40% from the field, WVU shot better from beyond the arc, 33%, to Texas Tech’s 25%. The biggest difference between these two teams were turnovers, 9 for Texas Tech and 17 for West Virginia and offensive rebounds, 17 for the good guys and 9 for WVU. Those lost shots on turnovers probably is what cost WVU the game and I think WVU fans would point to the free throw disparity, 36 for Texas Tech and 22 for WVU, but I thought the foul calls were appropriate.
- Getting a fully functional Shannon is a big development. I didn’t like his last game out where he shot from outside mostly and he still shot 7 3-point shots, but yesterday he made 3 of them, but he also went to the rack and he also rebounded and was generally more involved.
- Another really great thing is the idea that Kevin Obanor is expanding his game, which is a really good development. His 3-point shot may be leaving him, but he’s definitely mixing things up inside and using that big body to create space and score. I think at the first of the year he was all about being outside and he’s morphing into a guy that can do both. That can only make him a more attractive player for the professional ranks. He finished with 18 points, going 6 of 12, made all 6 free throws to go with 4 rebounds, 3 of them offensive.
- Both Arms and McCullar went 1 of 7 and were just generally off, but the good news is that those shots were close and inside for the most part and they both found ways to contribute. I mentioned McCullar’s overall game, but Arms scored just 2 points, but had 6 rebounds, had 2 assists, a steal and 2 turnovers. Warren also had a game where he didn’t shoot well, but also had 7 points, 6 boards, an assist, 2 steals, and 2 turnovers.
- Santos-Silva’s 2 blocks were huge in the second half and he’s the kind of guy that doesn’t look all that athletic, but his length is so special.
- I should also mention Bryson Williams who scored 13 points, had 4 boards, made 4 of 8 from the floor including 2 of 3 from deep. That’s pretty efficient.
- Texas Tech made 70% of their free throws and of all things, the usually reliable Kevin McCullar only made 5 of 8 and Williams made 3 of 5, but I’ll generally take those sorts of numbers.
- The offense’s ability to produce points that are not painful offensive series to watch is a definite improvement from prior years. Not only that, but the offense continuing to push the ball is also a huge improvement. There’s this idea of holding onto the ball to hopefully squeeze out the clock, but taking advantage of opportunities is important too.
- Head coach Mark Adams: “Any time you play a team coached by Bob Huggins you know you’re in for a fight. We called it a war and told our guys to be ready for a war in the paint. They are just a tough and resilient team that is always in a game. They just keep fighting and we knew we would have to also. We won the game, but we are tired and just glad we got through it. It was a big win for us.”
- Up next? Tomorrow night, January 24th against Kansas in Lawrence with tip-off set for 8:00 pm. Also, after this game, Texas Tech will have the week off and won’t play again until Saturday where they will host Mississippi State on January 29th.