Andy Ellis In The Lane

Texas Tech has a 3 game home stand. Andy Ellis breaks down the early season to date.

Sometimes the easiest part of a game can be the most difficult. Shooting free throws, to most people, seems like the simplest thing on the basketball court. I think they are an easy part of the game, since they can be improved with hard work. However, they are not automatic for everyone that goes to the line; that's why you see them affect so many games. For instance, at the Red Raiders' most recent game, Texas Tech fell victim to missed free throws in Denton Friday night.

I might be in the minority, but I felt like Texas Tech played a good game on Friday. They did have a few mistakes though, especially on transition defense and rebounding in the second half. They obviously didn't do enough down the stretch of the game to win. Although I thought the team played better than I have seen other Tech teams play on the road.

North Texas has a strong team with a lot of experience and, obviously, they learned last year how to win games. That is one of the problems with the Raiders right now: I just don't know if they learned how to play together down the stretch to close out a competitive game and get the win. That is something that this team will have to learn over the course of this season. If they will use these losses to learn from, then they will learn how to finish people off.

With that said, I have heard a lot of complaining and seen plenty of things written about how bad this team is. I might be a little biased on this, since I played at Tech and know how a season goes but I am not ready to throw this team under the bus.

It has been two games and they are playing without 3 of there tallest players. That is like a football team playing without some of their biggest offensive linemen.

Missing those big guys is going to hurt the team with their rebounding for sure. From watching the game in Denton, the Red Raiders really battled hard to win that game. Players will have bad games and miss some shots but that doesn't mean that we have a bad team this year.

I remember that Coach Knight use to tell us that it isn't just one shot or one play at the end of a game that costs you the game. It could be a loose ball in the first half that leads to a three or a bad foul for an and one. Every play in a college basketball game at this level is the most important play of the game. So just let this team have some time to find who they are and get back some missing players.

Next, the Red Raiders get to come home to play 3 straight. These will be 3 games that Tech should win and use to gain some confidence. Stephen F Austin is a good team, but one that we should play well against and use our athleticism to take over the game. I hope everybody will come out and support this team and make the United Spirit Arena a real home court advantage for these guys.

So, come out to the arena and support the team for the next 3 games. If you can't make it, listen to me and Mark Finkner on any of the affiliate stations on the Texas Tech Sports Network.

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