What we discovered in regards to the Crimson Raiders in Maui
Over the previous three days, the Texas tech basketball staff participated within the Maui Invitational in Hawaii, marking the primary true checks of the season for Mark Adams’ rebuilt roster. Sadly, tech was capable of go simply 1-2 within the occasion, which signifies that the Crimson Raiders will possible fall out of the nationwide rankings subsequent week.
Nonetheless, checks the likes of which this staff simply skilled are what the early portion of the schedule needs to be about. That’s as a result of they reveal inside a staff the failings and weaknesses that should be addressed earlier than convention motion begins.
Definitely, the Crimson Raiders are higher for having traveled to Maui, even with a pair of losses now on their ledger. Simply how a lot better they’re after dealing with three major-conference opponents is one thing solely time will reveal. However for now, let’s check out what we discovered in regards to the Crimson Raiders over the course of the previous three video games.
Batcho is a beast
Daniel Batcho was tech’s greatest participant in Maui. Averaging 15.6 factors and seven.6 rebounds per sport within the occasion, he established himself as a real power within the put up.
Over the course of the offseason, we heard loads of hype, each from inside and exterior sources, in regards to the strides that the sophomore made within the offseason. In Maui, that hype was changed into precise outcomes as Batcho performed the very best basketball of his school profession towards glorious competitors.
Now, it’s truthful to counsel that the 6-foot-11 middle is tech’s greatest participant and that he shall be maybe this staff’s most essential cog going ahead. Whereas Kevin Obanor and De’Vion Harmon are additionally going to be integral parts of any success that the Crimson Raiders may have, they don’t look like able to impacting the sport in as some ways as Batcho can, particularly on the defensive finish. So whereas the Crimson Raiders could have dropped two video games this week, one constructive is that they’ve found that they’ve an absolute beast within the put up.
Scoring stays a chore
The extra the roster adjustments in Raiderland, the extra circumstances appear to stay the identical. In different phrases, even after this summer season’s roster makeover, tech nonetheless has hassle scoring factors.
That’s been an issue for this program on some stage going again to the beginning of the earlier teaching regime’s tenure, if not longer. Nonetheless, Adams tried to take steps towards fixing that situation this summer season.
Bringing in assistant coach Steve Inexperienced to re-design tech’s offensive assault and offering him with gamers that have been anticipated to suit his scheme, even on the detriment of tech’s general staff protection, the idea was that the Crimson Raiders wouldn’t be as offensively challenged this season.
Sadly, in Maui, we as soon as once more noticed this program battle to place the ball within the bucket towards bodily groups. Positive, tech may have hung 90 factors or extra on Louisville had Adams left his regulars in for your complete sport. Nonetheless, towards the 2 competent groups that tech noticed, Creighton and Ohio State, the Crimson Raiders averaged solely 69 factors.
Simply as in earlier seasons, tech seems to battle to attain when its protection can’t power a ton of turnovers from the opposite staff. As an illustration, when Creighton went your complete second half with out giving the ball away, tech mustered solely 34 factors within the remaining 20 minutes of play, 9 fewer factors than the Bluejays placed on the board. Equally, when Ohio State dedicated solely 10 turnovers on Wednesday, tech solely acquired to 73 factors.
There are two issues plaguing this offense proper now. First is that there are solely two gamers, Pop Isaacs and Harmon, who can create their very own offense off the dribble. Second, is that the 3-point photographs aren’t falling. For your complete time in Maui, tech shot solely 16-54 (29.6%) from deep.
One main situation is that two gamers who have been introduced into this system to assist treatment tech’s long-running 3-point taking pictures points, Kerwin Walton and D’Maurian Williams, are giving the staff subsequent to nothing. In Maui, that duo was simply 2-9 mixed from 3-point vary and scored simply 10 whole factors, all of which got here from Williams in tech’s victory over Louisville.
With out these gamers contributing, tech is having to rely extra closely on freshmen comparable to Lamar Washington and Robert Jennings to choose up a number of the scoring slack off of the bench and that’s a giant ask for such younger gamers. Due to this fact, it’s truthful to surprise if placing the ball within the basket goes to stay a major drawback for this staff all through this yr.
The protection lacks its typical dimension on the wings
One space the place tech sacrificed within the identify of offense (and particularly taking pictures) was when it got here to dimension, athleticism, and size on the wings. That got here again to hang-out Adams’ staff in Maui as a pair of opposing wing gamers torched the Crimson Raiders.
Creighton’s 6-foot-7 Arthur Kaluma scored a game-high 18 factors on Monday whereas Ohio State’s 6-foot-6 Justice Sueing had a profession day with 33 factors on Wednesday. In each circumstances, the defenders that tech threw at Kaluma and Sueing have been too small, too weak, and too brief to place up a lot resistance.
Sadly, Jaylon Tyson (being a redshirt freshman) is simply not sturdy sufficient to match up with gamers as bodily as Kaluma and Sueing. Nonetheless, he is likely one of the solely gamers tech has with the scale to attempt to verify athletic and dynamic wings one-on-one. Thus, these gamers have been capable of do virtually no matter they needed towards the Crimson Raiders.
Final yr, tech ran out three guards in Kevin McCullar Jr., Terrence Shannon Jr., and Adonis Arms, who have been 6-foot-5 or taller and who have been elite-level athletes able to guarding elite offensive gamers. This yr, Adams’ staff doesn’t have that kind of size on the wings and that proved to be an issue in Maui.