Texas Tech head coach Chris Walker referenced two professional teams in his post-game press conference following the Red Raiders 88-63 exhibition victory against University of Texas-Permian Basin on Thursday night.
Walker first mentioned the story he told his team about the Lakers and how the expectations for the team were high with all the new talent on the roster, but the results have not been there so far, and talent is not everything.
He then referenced the now World Champion San Francisco Giants and the adversity they went through in the playoffs en route to the title as a teaching moment for the team.
"If we love each other and as I've said a number of times, ‘TYT', touch your teammate, trust your teammate and teach your teammate," Walker said, "if we can do that, that'll make us that much better like the San Francisco Giants being down 2-0 to the best team in the MLB, being down 3-1 to the Cardinals and then winning the World Series, no one would have thought that.
"I'm telling those guys, that's what we have, it's not about what the outside opinion is, it's what's going on in that locker room and what we believe and the faith we have in each other."
The Red Raiders used that faith in each other opening the game on a 7-0 run thanks in part to three-straight turnovers by the Falcons and never looked back.
Freshman guard Dusty Hannahs, who finished game 4-for-8 for 12 points, said it was fun to get out in front of the fans for the first time this season.
"Just felt good to get out in front of, felt like a good crowd, it was loud, the environment was great," he said. "Just as Dejan (Kravic) said, we've been waiting for it. Practice has kind of been we're waiting and waiting to come out and unleash, today felt pretty good."
Along with Hannahs, a sort of newcomer to the team, Dejan
Kravic, who sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, got his first
playing time as a Red Raider and made the most of it.
Kravic led the team going 8-for-15 for 16 points and grabbed a team-leading six rebounds as well, and actually attributed his success to the season he sat on the sidelines watching.
"It's a big difference, I mean it's a lot more physical here and that's why I'm actually kind of glad I got to take that year off so I can really see how this game is played before I actually play in it," Kravic said. "So that year off was great for me, I learned so much.
"Just ready to come out and play."
Other notable Red Raiders in the win were Trency Jackson, who went 4-for-9 for 13 points and three boards and Daylen Robinson chipped in 10 as well.
Beyond the scoring performances, there are still a lot of things the Red Raiders need to work on as they prepare for the actual season opener against Prairie View A&M on November 9 inside the USA.
"We still have a young team of guys who are playing their
first college games, first college minutes," Walker said. "But for the most
part I think they played hard, came out a little sluggish in the second half,
but picked it up … For the most part I was pretty happy with our effort and how
we played out there together tonight."