Both teams started the second half shooting the ball well. Texas Tech was able to maintain at least a 10-point lead for most of the second half. The Red Raiders began to extend their lead with 6 minutes left in the game. Texas Tech won by a final score of 84-66.
TCU exposed a potential problem for the Red Raider offense tonight. Texas Tech was unable to do much against the TCU zone in the first half. The biggest factor was that the Red Raiders were unable to hit many 3-point shots, making just 3 of 14 for the game. Texas Tech has to find another way to attack zone defenses when 3-pointers aren't falling. The guards have to either dribble into the zone, or pass into the zone. I think we'll see more passes into the zone in the future. Andre Emmett had another outstanding game with 27 points. When Emmett is shooting well, he is one of the toughest players in the conference to guard. Robert Tomaszec had 17 points in the game. Tomaszec continues to show that he can consistently hit the 17-18 foot jumper, making him a tough defensive assignment. Nick Valdez scored 14 and had 6 assists off the bench. The offensive rebounding could still use some improvement. Texas Tech was only able to get 12 offensive rebounds, while TCU grabbed 22 defensive rebounds.
The Red Raiders could be a pretty good defensive team, but they need to force teams to play a half court game. Texas Tech gave up too many easy baskets to TCU in transition. These baskets weren't just off steals or rebounds, but also included transition baskets after made shots. No team can give up transition baskets after a made shot and expect to win against good teams. I think this problem will probably fixed soon. When the Red Raiders were able to slow down TCU the defense played well. Good rotation held TCU to just 1 of 14 shooting from behind the 3-point line. The defensive rebounding showed signs of improvement as well. Texas Tech grabbed 29 of 38 defensive rebounds. The defense is going to be a big key this season. If Coach Knight can fix a couple of minor problems, this could be one of the top defenses in the conference.
Nick Valdez – 14 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds. Valdez didn't put up the most impressive numbers, but he might have been the most impressive player tonight. Valdez seems to have the best understanding of what Coach Knight is trying to accomplish on the floor. On offense he is constantly directing players to the proper position on the court. On defense he always seems to be in the right place, at the right time. The only problem with Nick Valdez is that he isn't starting. The Red Raiders play at a different level when Valdez enters the game. He has definitely shown that he should be starting. I think the best solution would be to start Valdez instead of Storozynski. What Texas Tech would give up in size, they would make up for with a player who truly understands the game of basketball.