Tortilla Tossin’ Player of the Game: Adonis Arms had himself a game, 16 points on 6 of 9 from the floor including 3 of 5 from deep, 1 rebound, 7 assists, 3 turnovers, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. Arms led the team with 28 minutes for the game.
Multi-Purpose Player of the Game: I’m going to go with Marcus Santos-Silva who had 9 rebounds, 6 points, 2 assists, a steal, but 5 whopping turnovers. Normally I wouldn’t give someone an “award” after a 5 turnover game, but the other option being Obanor had 3 so here we are.
- My son Youssouf had a basketball game and two soccer games, both soccer games conflicted with this game and forgot to tape the danged thing. So I wondered if there was an extended dance-mix and yes, there is over 16 minutes of highlights. So it’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good.
- The one bad thing was the 16 turnovers. That’s sort of been Texas Tech’s biggest issue on offense, other than 3-point shooting, but the turnovers has been one big thing with this team.
- Texas Tech dominated inside, not just the rebounds, where Texas Tech won 28-21, but Texas Tech scored 44 to 16 points in the paint. I know that Howland talked about the points off of turnovers, but that was the key for me, just dominating inside again, and again, and again. Don’t get me wrong, the 24-11 points off of turnovers was significant, don’t get me wrong, but dominating the paint is what this team does.
- The other key was the constant passing. Getting 20 assists is huge and as an example, despite having 10 more minutes to play, Texas Tech had only 14 assists against Kansas. KU had something to do with that, but ball movement is a big part of offensive success.
- Would be completely inappropriate to not discuss Mylik Wilson’s 12 points on 3 of 4 from the floor, making all 6 free throws. There are few players as smooth with the ball with Wilson.
- Should also mention Kevin Obanor’s 13 points, 6 rebounds, assist, and 3 turnover night. His presence inside is significant, I keep writing about it and probably won’t stop. He came in this year as a guy that just wanted to shoot outside, and he’s changed his game. A reverse dunk? I didn’t know he had it in him.
- Advanced Stats Box Score had Arms as the best player, with Wilson, then Batcho, then McCullar and Obanor. That’s the great thing about ASBS is that McCullar finished with just 2 points and 4 assists so his offensive game isn’t going to shine, but on the defensive end, he had a significant impact.
- Mississippi State head coach Ben Howland: “Well, that was a very, very tough day to be handled the way they handled us. They defended us so well. They forced 22 turnovers which turned into 24 points, and we only shot 30-percent from the field. They scored in the paint all day long, 44 points. I was telling on the radio just now that I think they [Texas Tech] is the best team in their league. They’ve got to be one of the best teams in the country, and I’d be surprised if they’re not an [NCAA] Elite Eight, [NCAA] Final Four team.Having studied them on film and seeing they’re older, they’re big and strong. They have an unorthodox way to defend by forcing everything sideline, everything baseline. They’re very physical. They’re very skilled inside, and you look at [Bryson] Williams and [Kevin] Obanor, they’re really good players.
We didn’t handle their defensive pressure at all today, and that was really frustrating. We had 22 turnovers, and you just can’t turn it over against good teams. The one thing I told our team afterwards is we had the toughest schedule of anybody in the country this week— [playing] at Kentucky [and] at Texas Tech. And, you know, Tech is just a monster in terms of how big and physical and strong they are. The fact they just keep bringing them in off the bench, they don’t lose a step when they’re substituting.”
- Head coach Mark Adams: “It’s always exciting when you can share the ball and spread the points around. It makes it difficult for opponents to scout you and focus on one or two guys. You look down our lineup and we have a lot of guys that can score double figures – nearly the entire team can.”
- Up next? The University of Texas comes to Lubbock on Tuesday, February 1st at 8:00 p.m. with the game broadcast set for ESPN2.