No More Bullets In The Chamber

After another loss Joe Yeager writes that there is nothing left for the Red Raiders to turn to to try and notch a win in Big 12 Conference play.

No More Bullets in the Chamber: Anybody still waiting for the light to come on for the Red Raiders can forget it. If it wasn't crystal clear already, Tech's dejecting 80-63 loss to Oklahoma State proves that there is no hope for the Red Raiders in 2011/2012.

 

Billy Clyde Gillispie is pushing buttons, pulling levers, turning switches and whacking everything in sight with a ballpeen hammer. No dice.

 

He alters the very essence of his team against Missouri and loses by 13. He takes the "dramatic" step of actually starting his best player (Jaye Crockett), gets some real productivity from his offense for a change, and still loses at home by 17 to a mediocre Oklahoma State team.

 

At this point, it's not a matter of coaching. There are no magic pills that will heal this squad. What you've seen from the Red Raiders is what you will get for the remainder of the season. The only hope for the future is a serious infusion of talent and slow improvement with experience.

 

The Guard Has Changed: For the last three weeks I've been saying that Jaye Crockett is this team's ace in the hole, and it appears this reality has finally been apprehended by Gillispie. Crockett started the game, played 38 minutes, and was a force. He still gives up an easy bucket occasionally, but put the odd defensive lapse against 16 points on five-of-eight shooting to go along with 14 rebounds, and it just doesn't measure up.

 

Jordan Tolbert, on the other hand, has returned rather ignominiously to earth. Conference teams have a book on Tolbert and have taken a red marker to the text. Against the Cowboys, Tolbert played only six minutes, scored three points and committed three fouls. He did not see the court in the second half.

 

Free Throw Clinic: The Cowboys connected on a dumbfounding 33 of 35 free throw attempts (94.3 percent). That is third best by an opponent in Texas Tech history, trailing only Iowa State and Baylor, both of whom shot 94.7 percent in 1997 and 1984 respectively. But the Cowboys' free throw shooting performance was easily the best by a Tech opponent when an opponent shot 20 or more free throws. The Houston Cougars shot 91.7 percent from the stripe against Tech in 1981 on 33 of 36 shooting. Oklahoma State has relegated Houston to second place in this category.

 

BCG's Stopper: Cowboy point guard Markel Brown was the chief thorn in Tech's side. He repeatedly broke down Tech's defense off the dribble and had 16 points at the halftime break.

 

DeShon Minnis didn't start the game, but he did start the second half and was tasked with slowing down Brown. Thus Gillispie indicated he believes Minnis is his best perimeter defender. The results were not good, however, as Brown finished with 30 points on seven of 12 shooting.

 

How ironic and disheartening that on a night where Tech finally found some offense, their defense let them down.

 

Double-Digit Downers: In Tech's nine conference losses, the Red Raiders have stayed within double digits of their opponents only twice. Tech stayed single-digit close in road losses to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.


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