The Bitter Cup

Despite leading a couple of times, despite leading in overtime, the Red Raiders just did not have enough in the tank to close out the win. Joe Yeager dissects what went wrong.

The Bitter Cup: I've endured some bitter losses in my time as a Texas Tech basketball fan. A loss to Texas A&M in 1986 in which Dwayne Chism blew a game-clinching dunk rates high. That game was for control of the SWC race. And of course, the Sweet 16 loss to Georgetown in which merely breathing on Allen Iverson was deemed a foul, was unbearable. But the latest loss to Texas is right up there.


Jaye Crockett missing an uncontested three-pointer at the buzzer after the team battled back from a 14-point deficit stung badly. Blowing a six-point lead in overtime was the clincher. This loss was a gut-buster supreme.


More Substitution Puzzles: The logic behind Billy Gillispie's substitution patterns has been elusive in many games, and the Texas contest was no different. For instance, was Luke Adams really a better option for virtually the entire second half than Ty Nurse?


In 34 minutes of play Adams went 0-4 from the field, dished no assists and committed three turnovers. He also committed a terrible foul far from the basket during overtime to bail the Horns out of a bad possession.


Nurse, on the other hand, scored five points, handed out four assists and committed two turnovers in only 17 minutes of play. And he was absolutely busting his butt in the process.


Although Nurse was saddled with a fourth foul just before halftime, I cannot help but think that he might have made the difference for Tech if Gillispie had deployed him judiciously in the second half and/or overtime.


Petteway in Charge of the Offense? Although he didn't shoot worth a lick from the outside, Terran Petteway had a nice game. He pulled down 10 big rebounds, and was a confounding presence at the top of Tech's zone defense. That said, what on earth was Petteway doing handling the orange late in overtime?


Petteway is anything but a scintillating handler of the rock, yet Tech ran their offense through him on one of their last possessions, which resulted in a Javarez Willis turnover. And then Petteway attempted to bring the ball up against the press and traveled, killing Tech's chances to win the game.


Dumbfounding. Simply dumbfounding.


The Return of Bean: Nobody has a clue what Tech's roster will look like next season, but there has been speculation that the current roster will be purged to make way for newcomers.


One player who almost certainly will return is Javarez Willis. Frankly, he is the only creative guard Tech has right now. And he's creative despite being incredibly right-hand dominant. If Willis ever develops a left hand he will be borderline lethal.


Crockett in Your Pocket: How ‘bout Jaye Crockett with five big steals? That's  a mighty number for a guard, let alone a forward. But Crockett always gives you something when he plays big minutes. He'll score some points, block some shots, grab some rebounds, or come up with some steals. Crockett just finds a way to contribute. 

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