I didn’t expect Texas Tech (9-3) to go 0-fer in Las Vegas, and I most certainly didn’t expect them to lose the games by an average of 16 points, but that is exactly what happened. And the two losses sprang from failure in two areas that have been Red Raider strengths: rebounding and defense.
In the loss to Loyola (Ill.), the Ramblers won on the glass 39-29 and scored 11 second-chance points to Tech’s four. Currently, Tech is a plus-seven rebounding team.
In the defeat to Houston, the Red Raiders allowed the Coogs to connect on 54 percent of their shots from the field and from 3-point range. On the season, Tech holds their opponents to 38 and 33 percent shooting from the field and 3-point country, respectively. The absence of Zach Smith, Tech’s best interior defender, doubtless contributed to Tech’s defensive woes.
Assists/Turnovers: Devaugntah Williams is not only Tech’s leading scorer at 11 points per game, but his two-to-one assist/turnover ratio is best on the team. It’s beginning to look like Williams is not only Tech’s best shooting guard, but also its best point guard.
Of Free Throws and Field Goals: Big man Norense Odiase shoots better from the field (58 percent) than he does from the free throw line (57 percent). This is unacceptable given that Odiase has shot more free throws (47) than any other player on the team. The Red Raiders struggle for offense. Odiase hitting his free throws is one simple way to minimize this weakness.
Gotcher Note: Toddrick Gotcher, who has more D-1 experience than any Tech player, and whose 45 percent 3-point shooting is six percentage points higher than second place Devaugntah Williams, has yet to start a game.
44 Points: The 44 points scored against Loyala (Ill.) were Tech’s fewest since putting up 42 against Kansas in a road loss on March 4, 2013.
Big 12 Power Rankings:
1. West Virginia (11-1)
2. Baylor (10-1)
3. Texas (10-2)
4. Kansas (9-2)
5. Iowa State (9-1)
6. TCU (12-0)
7. Oklahoma (8-3)
8. Oklahoma State (9-2)
9. Kansas State (7-4)
10. Texas Tech (9-3)
Tech Looks to Regroup from Ugly Vegas Trip
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