Thursday, January 17, 2008

Grading Texas Tech Men's Basketball vs. #10 Texas A&M

Texas Tech 68 - #10 Texas A&M 53

January 16, 2008 
8:30 PM
United Spirit Arena - Lubbock, Texas

For anyone that is not a Texas Tech fan they may dismiss a Tech/A&M game 
as "no big deal", but anytime these two schools meet it is a big deal, in any sport.  In the midst of a frigid night both teams came out cold and mistake prone.  Unfortunately for A&M they stayed that way most of the night.  The Aggies had a season-high 20 turnovers and shoot a miserable 18-52 (34.6%) from the field.  Texas Tech played good defense except for a few defensive possessions, but the Tech crowd also played a role in the game.  In the first game in the USA with a good sized crowd,  the deafening noise kept A&M out of rhythm for the entire game, except for a few minutes in the beginning of the second half when they went on a 14-4 run to cut Tech's lead to 8.  Texas Tech took a 17-14 lead with six minutes and seven seconds left in the first half and never looked back.  Martin Zeno led the Red Raiders with 19 points and Trevor Cook added 14 along with 3 three-pointers.

Offense: B 
Texas Tech shoot 22-50 (44%) from the field and for the most part took good shots.  John Roberson took a few crazy shots and he will need to continue to grow into a mature point
 guard in order for this team to have a chance to sneak into the NCAA tournament.  Suddenly Tech also learned how to shoot free throws making 20-25 (80%), much better than they have shoot from the stripe prior this season.  I really liked what I saw tonight on the offensive end; Tech was aggressive, drove to the basket, and patient in finding open shots, despite a slow start.  This consistency will need to continue in the following weeks for the Red Raiders.
Defense: B+
The Red Raider did a good job playing well disciplined defense against Texas A&M tonight, making every point hard to get, and holding their opponent to 17 first-half points.  At the same time, a lot of A&M mistakes were mental ones - mostly travels possibly caused by crowd noise and intensity.
Overall: B+
I am really looking forward to this weekend's game at Oklahoma to see if Texas Tech has finally come together as a team.  There is no doubt tonight's game was the best game of this season thus far, but once again the Red Raiders will need to play more consistently in upcoming games, and if they do they can hang with most teams.

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