For the first edition of Tech trashing from a simpler time when no one knew who Jeff Orr was, read the preview for the game in Lubbock. I’m not sure who the announcers for Saturday’s game are going to be, but I do know what they’re going to be talking about. Marcus Smart will be back from his three game suspension, but who even remembers what he was suspended for? I’m sure someone in the media will explain it to us. Then I’m sure they’ll explain dozens more times. I do know that he took up cyber bullying in his down time and poor Kyle may never be the same. #PrayersForPorter But, Smart being back on the court can only be a good thing, even if it comes with judgmental and preachy ramblings about his actions. At the very least, Twitter is safer. Does anyone really remember how Tech won the game from two weeks ago? In my mind, that game is a blur of mediocre performances. Everything before Smart shoving a Tech superfan has been washed away, which may actually have more to do with how the outcome affected my treatment of my liver. I don’t blame Marcus for his actions though. Being screamed at and insulted has to take a toll on you psychologically. Especially when those doing the yelling have a tenuous at best grasp of the finer points of the English language. I would think as much as anything, Smart was just tired of hearing sentences started with “ya’ll ain’t…” Add in how grading it must be to live life as a Tech superfan and having to watch a team intentionally making games unwatchable and you have a perfect recipe for exactly what happened. As usual, Tech features one or two legitimately talented players and the rest of the roster is filled out with guys who seemingly were recruited for reasons beyond basketball ability. Perhaps their astrological sign matched what the roster was lacking, they just look good in red and black or maybe Pat Knight thought their mom was a real looker. But, Tubby Smith would put a speed limit on the Miami Heat roster. In his mind, all this running up and down the court angries up the blood. A fast break led to the Smart-Orr altercation, so we’ll be having no more of that. Word is his players don’t run in practice when they get into trouble, they knit. And if this game goes over 90 combined points, Lubbock is going to be flooded with quilts. Texas Tech’s Season So Far There’s a sort of demented symmetry to the Red Raiders’ results so far. Their longest winning streak is 3-games, which included the win over OSU. Their longest losing streak is also 3-games, which they’ve done twice, both also coming in Big 12 play. They started conference play with a loss to Iowa St. and then dropped the next two also. Their 3-game win streak ended with a second loss to Iowa St., which was followed by a heartbreaker against KU. A loss in Stillwater would give them another 3-game skid and enough games left to fit in a 4th fail streak of the same length. A Cowboys win is practically inevitable mathematically. Considering OSU is a 9.5 point favorite, Vegas must subscribe to my pattern theory too. Should we go into how Tech has been remarkably competitive and much improved over the past few games and how they just went to Norman and punched the Sooners in the mouth? (crickets) Meet The Red Raiders I considered giving you a profile of Jeff Orr here since he helped decide the first game in Lubbock. He isn’t likely to be a participant in the rematch, however. Besides, no matter how much I kick him when he’s down, it’s nothing compared to what life has undoubtedly done to him already. In his first two seasons, forward Jordan Tolbert averaged 10.7 points and 5.6 rebounds. This season, he averages 11 and 5.9. All that time in the gym really paid off. Tubby Smith’s first signee was current point guard Robert Turner, who came from New Mexico JC. The current point guard at New Mexico JC is Jeff Newberry, who is committed to play at Oklahoma State next season. If the NMJC point guard dual doesn’t pack GIA next year I give up on you fans. Kader Tapsoba is 26 years old. Most of us were out of school for three or four years by the time we were his age. If only he wasn’t stuck at Texas Tech I’d say Tapsoba was really onto something. Stats Time Texas Tech allows a conference low 68.2 points per game and over their last five, they’ve allowed even less. That includes a three game win streak, a competitive performance in Ames and the loss in the final seconds against Kansas. Strangely, they haven’t made big improvements in any other statistical categories during this stretch despite nearly everyone agreeing that they look better. Their turnover rate, rebounding and field goal percentage has all held steady. Their free throw percentage has actually declined. I’m not entirely sure how this makes sense, unless Tech hasn’t really made any major improvements from earlier in the season. What I am sure of is that the longer you look at the numbers they average, the more confident you get that OSU is going to win this game. So, I suggest you do that if you’re hemming and hawing over that point spread.
Preview: OSU-Texas Tech
Pistols Firing | Feb 22