Yeager Shots: The Greatest Weakness

Following the Red Raiders fourth-straight loss in conference play, Joe Yeager weighs in.

The Greatest Weakness: Whether or not the current Red Raider basketball team is the worst in recent memory is debatable. Unfortunately, the competition is mighty strong in this category. What is not open for debate is the fact that this is the poorest shooting team to come down Loop 289 in many a long year.


Now Oklahoma State is hardly a great basketball team. They are above average at best. And the defense the Cowboys applied to Tech was nothing to brag about. The Red Raiders got great, wide open looks all game long, but nobody could knock them down. Tech shot a dumbfounding 28 percent from the floor.


And although dreadful, that type of shooting has been the rule rather than the exception in conference play. Outside of Dusty Hannahs, a decent shooter who will one day be very good, there is nobody on the roster who is a threat to knock down a jumper. Consequently, defending the Red Raiders couldn't be easier. Pack the defense—man or zone—inside, and dare Tech to shoot it. Elementary.


The only coaching Chris Walker and staff can do to improve this team is to spend the overwhelming majority of practice shooting jump shots. Bubba Jennings, arguably one of the great shooters in college basketball history, should be able to provide some pointers. Somebody had better, otherwise this team and its followers have much misery in store.


Tolbert No Longer an Option: Whatever post abilities Jordan Tolbert displayed early in his freshman year have deserted him. Sad to say, when Tolbert gets the ball in deep, his post moves are slow and mechanical, his footwork is poor, and he shows no feel for the defender. It is time to stop feeding him the rock.


The best hope for Tolbert is that he develops into another Gionet Cooper. Many will remember Cooper as a critical role player on several very good Tech teams in the nineties. Cooper was not an interior scorer and he recognized his limitations. Instead, he concentrated on banging, defending and rebounding. Cooper excelled in those areas and became a big contributor on some darn good teams. Hopefully, this is Tolbert's future, because 20 points per game is not in the cards.


Daylen over Josh? Obviously, unless the Red Raiders begin knocking down open shots, point guard play is a bit otiose. Still, it is becoming apparent to this observer that Daylen Robinson is a better option at this position than Josh Gray.


Robinson doesn't quite have Gray's crazy quicks, and I'm not sure he's a better passer, but the fact is that Robinson thinks pass first and score second. He's a better distributor and floor general than Gray, and the offense runs more smoothly with him in the lineup.


Can't Blame Chris: I feel for Chris Walker. I really do. Whatever happens with his current team, the remainder of the season is just not an accurate reflection of his coaching abilities. Walker simply does not have enough tools with which to work.


Is Chris Walker a great coach, a poor one, or something in between? Unfortunately, we will not know the answer based on this season. And that is a shame because Walker May not get another chance to show what he can do in Lubbock.

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