In the Lane with Andy Ellis

Former Texas Tech basketball player and current radio analyst Andy Ellis breaks down the loss to Baylor and looks ahead to Tech's matchup with Texas on Tuesday night.

A New Year is upon us and we are all hoping that our team will play better in the New Year.  I have to say that I have seen some improvement out of the team in the last five games.  The defense has gotten remarkably better.  The guys have given up right at 60 points a game; the Raiders are starting to find an identity.  Our defense is getting better and it looks like more and more of the guys are buying in to this style.

The offense had some good stretches, but it does still have long periods of droughts.  The good thing about playing better defense is that you can still win games if you play good defense.  I think that the New Mexico game was a good example of that.  Tech started off that game playing like the team that we all thought we would have this year.

We came out and were very aggressive on defense and were getting stops against a very good offensive New Mexico team.  I saw in that game for the first time this year, our team running the motion offense again.  The guys were setting screens and cutting with a purpose.   They were moving the ball so well for the first 10 minutes of that game as well.  Doing all of those things they were getting open shots and easy baskets and just like that we were up 15 points.

We did slip back into the old offense of not moving the ball as much.  It stalled their offense, but what I did like is that the defense kept up and they gave themselves a chance to win.  Tech obviously did not win the game, but because of the defense that they played they had a chance to. This team still has to learn how to win those close games with good teams.  I do believe that playing the defense they have in the last four games is a good step in that direction though. 

Now I'm not going to tell everybody how great Tech is, but I do see improvement out of them and that's good going into conference.  The Big 12 season started on Saturday against Baylor.  The team did a really good job of playing after a terrible start.  Tech was able to even take the lead late in the second half.  They just weren't able to finish out the game against a very talented Baylor team.

The Raiders now will have the Texas Longhorns coming to town on Tuesday.  It will be another tough game.  Texas is a very good team and has been playing better as of late.  The key for Tech will be to play very physical from the beginning of the game.  The defense must be as good as it can be and Tech will have to move the ball on offense.  This is a game that you just want to battle and keep it competitive until the end.

I don't know how well the Tech team will do in the conference, but I am more encouraged now than I was before this last five game stretch. 

Let's make sure to keep supporting the team, even in the tough times.  As a former player, I can't emphasize enough how much the crowd means to the team. 

Like always, if you can't make it out to the game, make sure to listen to it on Double T 104.3. For those of you who would like to talk basketball, or about our team's improvements, I would love to answer your comments. 

Go Tech!


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