Tortilla Tossin’ Player of the Game: So difficult to chose one player, but I think this meant the most to Kevin McCullar, who hit that three-point shot in the first half when Texas Tech was rolling and I think he wanted to just come out of his own body. He led the team with 19 points on just 7 shots, making 3, but made 12 of 15 free throws, had 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal, and 2 turnovers. Helluva day.
Multi-Purpose Player of the Game: how about picking a guy that went 0-6? Adonis Arms just missed on so many shots, but he was absolutely involved in so many other ways, led the team with 31 minutes and also led the team with 9 rebounds and 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 turnovers.
- Ever see a team and a fan base will something to happen? I just did. Just sort of amazing to watch something to fruition. The environment on television was absolutely amazing and I know it’s easy to talk about ESPN, but having everyone just gush over the scene was a ton of fun. I don’t know if there were detractors, there always are, but this night belonged to Texas Tech and Lubbock and Mark Adams and those players. Texas Tech, Adams, the players, the staff, the fans, and everyone involved were not too big for the moment. Think about how big of a moment this was and to not falter on any level is just amazing.
- I though Mark Adams pressing Texas from the get-go was significant. He knows more than anyone how Beard likes to slow down the offense and grind out possessions. By shortening the shot-clock, Adams created an offense that was completely unsure of itself and stood around and had a single guy dribbling more than anything else.
- Beard absolutely countered by pressuring in the second half and he made it clear that he was going to make this a classic Beard game where if he can just get it close, just get it close, then Texas will have a chance and that’s exactly what he did. Texas Tech struggled to break the press many times in the second half, I don’t have the turnover break-down between halves, but I think it was 6 in the first and 8 in the second. Not completely careless, but the full court press caused issues for sure.
- All of the pearl-clutching by the Texas media about the hostility of the Texas Tech crowd was for nothing. The Texas Tech crowd was nothing short of amazing and the fans were everything you want them to be, which is loud and passionate.
- I can’t remember the setting, but I think that Beard was asked at some point in the transition about Mark Adams being the defensive mastermind and Beard quipped that he knew defense too. That is true, but it is also true that Adams is the mastermind. Texas’ offense was top 100, but after yesterday they were run through the ringer, they made 43% of their shots in the first half, including a nice thought in their offensive game-plan to get the ball backside as quickly as possible for open 3-point shots. That worked to an extent, as they made 5 of 16. But in the second have the vice grips were absolutely on, Texas shot 37% and was only 1 of 7 from beyond the arc as that swing pass (and Adams and Texas Tech adjusting) dried up and they had no offensive answers. They did make a concerted effort to get to the free throw line in the second half and that was the only way they were able to stay in the game.
- Texas Tech’s ability to make and get open shots in the first is what separated this team. The second half became a slog and free throw contest, which Kevin McCullar was all too ready to take on. Texas Tech didn’t dominate the points in the paint, it was 30 to 24 in favor of Texas Tech, but they did dominate the at the free throw line. My guess is that Longhorns were absolutely not happy with how the game was called, but I thought it was about as evenly called as a game could have been. There’s always questions about certain calls, but win or lose I thought the refs were not part of the game and that’s all you ever want.
- It certainly was a weird deal to have Avery Benson make an appearance. I don’t know what the intent was, but it was strange. Maybe he thought that Benson would be beloved because of what he was last year or maybe he thought this would be a Louisville repeat, but that was almost cruel to do to a player that hadn’t played in a while and was not part of the rotation. He couldn’t keep up in any way and am just not sure what his presence added.
- The play of Bryson Willaims and Kevin Obanor are game-changers. If Williams can deal inside (16 points on 7 of 11 from the field) and Obanor makes 5 of 7 from deep (17 points on 5 of 8 from the field) then look out.
- Mylik Wilson’s defense was absolutely critical. For me, I thought he led the charge in pressuring Texas up the court and his ability to pester without fouling was hugely critical. He scored 5 points including a terrific steal and dunk.
- I don’t know who I love this more for, but I think McCullar, Santos-Silva, Shannon, and Nadolny probably felt a bit “left at the altar” when Beard left and this meant something for them. MSS is such a huge part of this team’s success inside it’s not even funny, 7 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 blocks. Opposing players are always surprised when he blocks their shots, but he does on a regular basis.
- Advanced Stats Box Score? Your leaders were Obanor at +5.8, then Williams and McCullar at +4.1, then Santos-Silva at +3.4 and Wilson at +0.2.
- Head coach Mark Adams: “I’m relieved, I’m tired but also so proud and appreciative of the way our players played they showed a lot of heart. Our fans were maybe better than our players were, they were outstanding. They behaved themselves and were cheering us on and showed why we have the best fans in the country. Couldn’t say enough about them it was just an awesome environment. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything like that before.”
- Up next? Texas Tech hits the road after being home for a couple of games, traveling to Morgantown to take on West Virginia on Saturday February 5th, tip-off is at 1:00 p.m.
— Texas Tech University (@TexasTech) February 2, 2022
Going up, on a Tuesday 🎶 pic.twitter.com/wNyx6veSdk
— Texas Tech Basketball (@TexasTechMBB) February 2, 2022