Thirty-one points. It was done in a way that occasionally makes me forget we lost to a Tech team that thoroughly outplayed us. Well, perhaps thoroughly is a strong, overly-sports-radio-host way of putting it. At times there were something like eight freshman on the floor. The game suffered for it. Often we blew easy buckets in transition and took terrible shots in the half-court.
It is hard to put too much on this game, however. Chris Jones and Jordan Williams are freshman, as if you didn’t know.* TTU has a bunch of frosh, too. The game was winnable. Everyone shot poorly from outside. We were eaten up inside.
George Odufuwa is sorely missed. Roger Franklin becoming eligible is a nice addition but he doesn’t bang inside like GO did. Robert Lewandowski hit us up for 17 and 4.
I have transitioned from that cautious optimism to full-on excitement*. This is an exciting young team. It is in the mold of the last four — that is to say the Johnny Jones mold. Hard, tough defense leads to transition baskets led by a dynamic point guard and flanked by shooters and finishers.
This dynamic point guard is taller and thus has an easier time seeing the floor. Not that Josh White was blind out there or anything. CJ had more Nice passes than I saw from Josh all last year. What do I mean by Nice? I mean those no-looks that set up a shooter or found a Kedrick under the basket.
For all of White’s talent and abilities, teams often trapped him and forced him to dribble out. He often did that but that left the defense time to rotate back to shooters. The good teams did that, or bottled him up and the bad teams just got shredded as bad teams do.
Is Texas Tech a bad team? They are young and talented like this North Texas squad. You could maybe argue that this was something like playing themselves.
So I’m struggling to hold back and continue taking each game –especially first week games–as non-indicators of the season. There are so many games to come and so much time before March (three months) that this game is destined to be forgotten.
I suppose most of the excitement is because it seems like our belief in Coach Jones paid dividends. For over a decade he has built the program into this respectable assemblage of talent that has a chance to do remarkable things.*
Nov 22 @UTA 7pm
Nov 27 @Miss St 1:30pm