The environment lived up to the hype, as Texas Tech fans showed up in full force Tuesday evening to welcome Chris Beard back to Lubbock. The game itself played out as many expected. The Longhorns went through extended stretches where they struggled against a good Texas Tech defense, ultimately falling 77-64.
- There was a 5 minute stretch early in the first half where Texas really let the game get away from them. From that moment forward, it was an uphill climb and the Longhorns were never able to truly get back in the game. They cut the lead to 6 or 7 points a few times in the second half, but every time they appeared poised to get back in the game, Texas Tech responded.
- The achilles heel of this team right now is the inability to get an offensive flow on too many possessions. Marcus Carr has received some criticism for his play as teams primary ball handler, but the Longhorns offense as a hole just looks unorganized and lost at times. Texas seems to be much more comfortable when they get out and push the tempo a little. Carr also began opening up the offense more in the second half when he was able to get in the lane and get to the free throw line.
- Devin Askew had a rough evening, turning the ball over 3 times in 15 minutes. It has been an up and down season for the transfer from Kentucky. He had a big opportunity to step up when Carr exited the game early with two fouls, but wasn't able to provide a spark.
- Perhaps the most frustrating performance came from Timmy Allen, who finished the game with 5 points and 5 rebounds. Texas Tech clearly had a plan to not let Allen beat them offensively and Texas didn't have a counter punch ready.
- Courtney Ramey single handily kept Texas in the game in the first half by connecting on 4 three pointers. Unfortunately, he didn't score at all in the second half and went ice cold from the floor.
Big picture thought
- This wasn't a game many expected Texas to win. It doesn't change much in terms of where the Longhorns are in relation to chasing a NCAA tournament bid, but it does call into question what the ceiling of this team truly is. Defense travels and wins games in March, but you still have to have an offensive pulse. Sloppy play on offense combined with being turnover prone is a sure path to an early exit. Texas must clean up on the turnovers if they want to maximize this season. They are way too reckless with the basketball and it's somewhat surprising it hasn't hurt them more up to this point. They have won several games this season committing 17+ turnovers which is a major gift.