Bupkis in the Big 12?

The Red Raiders lost their sixth straight game on Saturday and Joe Yeager takes a deeper look into what's going wrong.

0-18? The conventional wisdom was wrong. Everybody said Texas Tech would struggle in conference play. Everybody dramatically understated how the Red Raiders would fare in the Big 12. Because right now Tech is not merely losing, it is not even competing.

 

The Red Raiders are now 0-6 in conference play and their average margin of defeat is a whopping 17 points. What's worse, Tech cannot even look to their home court as a possible boost to victory. In conference home games the Red Raiders are losing by an average of 24 points.

 

Unless a minor miracle happens, there is no reason whatsoever to believe this team will win a conference game. The Red Raiders are staring straight down the barrel of an 0-18 Big 12 season.

 

Rotation Dooms Red Raiders: One almost has to wonder if Billy Clyde Gillispie is more about sending messages than winning games this season. The rotation he deployed against Iowa State certainly gives one reason to pause.

 

Inexplicably, Jaye Crockett, who had been hands down Tech's best performer in conference play, saw only two minutes of action. He didn't even see the court until nine minutes had elapsed, and then he was summarily remanded to the bench where he remained for the remainder of the game.

 

This in spite of another bad game by Jordan Tolbert. Heck, even Jaron Nash, who has no offensive game whatsoever, got six minutes of play.

 

With Robert Lewandowski having his best game of the season, Crockett at the other post position might have given the Red Raiders a chance to stay close to the Cyclones. Alas, for reasons unknown and inexplicable (injury?), this never happened.

 

Offensive Ineptitude: The Red Raiders scored 52 points and shot 37 percent from the field at home against possibly the worst defensive team in the Big 12. They did this, moreover, on their home court.

 

Desperation at the Point Guard Position: Poor productivity at the point guard position has plagued the Red Raiders all season, and the situation has reached the crisis point. Billy Gillispie's rotation suggests he senses this.

 

Starter Ty Nurse played only 20 minutes and hardly at all in the second half despite dishing out four assists and committing only one turnover. DeShon Minnis garnered 27 minutes despite committing four turnovers and handing out only two assists. Luke Adams, who notched 16 minutes, also had a one-to-two assist/turnover ratio and shot one of five from the floor. Heck, even Kevin Wagner got 11 minutes of play, but didn't show anything special.

 

Gillispie is sending out messages in bottles. And he's not getting any answers.

 

Love for Lammert: Outside of Lewandowski's play, the only bright spot in the Iowa State game was Clark Lammert. He's too doggone skinny to hold his ground defensively against most Big 12 post players, but he's a legitimate energy guy. Lammert also has a drawer full of nifty post moves and some genuine quickness. In time I can see him developing into another Quentin Anderson, who was a very solid interior player on Tech's SWC championship team of 1985.


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