Andy Ellis In The Lane - 11.25

While many are taking it easy for Thanksgiving and a cold front sweeps through the West Texas Panhandle, the Red Raiders will be at the South Padre Island Invitational. It might be warmer there but with the competition they're facing, it won't be a day at the beach.

Well, the Texas Tech Red Raiders had a good 3 game home stand before going off to the South Padre Island Invitational. They didn't play as well as they could have in those 3 games but we did see steady improvement. I think with this group of guys, it is all about playing games and trying to find an identity as to who they are as a team.

Tech didn't play well in the first half of either of the first two games. However, they came out in the second halves and played much better and with a purpose. It was encouraging to see that the team and the coaches can go in at half and make some adjustments.

In the 3rd game of the home stand they put it all together for a much better game. They started that game playing well on the defensive end and doing a much better job on the boards. When this team can do a good job on defense, they have a great chance of getting out on the break. Once on the break, the Raiders are good in the open court and usually make easy baskets.

This team is beginning to find themselves and are certainly looking better each game. If you watch this team play, you can see what ability they have. Athleticism abounds. Unfortunately that hasn't fully shown itself getting rebounds. It is still early in the year and all teams across the country are trying to figure out who they are, Tech is in that same situation. It is going to take some time but the coaches are getting a better idea of what kind of team they have.

Next, Tech is going down to the South Padre Island Invitational. It is going to be a good challenge for them, as they will see St. Mary's in the first game on Friday. St. Mary's is a good team that made it to the sweet 16 last year, so they know how to win. They like to shoot the 3 and they are very prolific at it with the guards they have.

Tech will have a good shot at winning that game, but they will have to play solid all around. The Raiders should start on the defensive end of the floor and then have all 5 players box out and rebound. Hopefully the Red Raiders will continue the hot shooting that they found against Georgia Southern. It was exciting to see Tech play when they are knocking down shots.

Our team will also meet BYU in the tournament, who is a solid team with great scoring guard Jimmer Fredette, and South Florida. BYU is the best rebounding team in the nation with 49 rebounds a game. So Tech should get two good games no matter who they play. It will be a good chance to see the team play against some better quality teams.

Everybody be sure to tune in to one of the stations on the Texas Tech Sports Network and listen to the game on Friday at 7:30. I hope that you all have a very happy Thanksgiving.

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