Yeager Shots: Oklahoma

Red Raiders dropped their third-straight Big 12 Conference game, but first on the road. Joe Yeager shares his thoughts from the game.

A Good 18-Point Loss? Yes, the Red Raiders lost at Oklahoma by 18 points, and that is hardly a satisfactory outcome. But this game felt much closer than the final score indicated. It felt more like a 10-point loss.

 

This was a two-point game with less than 9:30 to play. It was a five-point game with less than seven minutes to play. And Oklahoma didn't open up a permanent double-digit lead until 4:41 to play.

 

In the end, Texas Tech let this game get away in the end. The Red Raiders simply couldn't get any stops down the stretch, and began jacking up three-pointers in a vain attempt to catch up.

 

Tech is still very much an immature and inexperienced team that tends to lose its poise. And loss of poise against Big 12 teams, even for a few minutes, means double-digit losses.

 

Long Range Game Again a Disaster: The Red Raiders play their worst when they shoot lots of threes. That was certainly the case against Oklahoma as Tech hoisted up 22 three pointers (over 37 percent of their total shots) and made only five. Daylen Robinson, Josh Gray and Jaye Crockett were a combined 0 for eleven from three-point country.

 

This approach is poison for the Red Raiders. They need to keep their three-point attempts below 30 percent, and preferably under 25. Probably better to have shot clock violations than to attempt three pointers. At least with shot clock violations, the game is slowed down and the opposition has no opportunity for long rebounds and fast breaks.

 

Aggression within Discipline: In his attempts to make over the Red Raiders as a disciplined, methodical team, Chris Walker faces a bit of a dilemma. Specifically, how can he convince his team to play in this manner while still encouraging it to be aggressive on offense?

 

It was plainly apparent that the Sooners were by far the more aggressive team in Norman. On both ends of the court, OU took the fight to the Red Raiders. To Tech's credit, the Red Raiders counterpunched well for most of the game. Still, if the Red Raiders are to improve their chances for victory, they must figure out ways to be disciplined on offense, yet maintain an attack mode. The Sooners shot twice as many free throws as Tech. So did Kansas. This is a function of comparative aggressiveness. And it's a problem the Tech coaching staff needs to solve.

 

Tapsoba's Role: Kader Tapsoba has a real knack for blocking shots. He had two in only 10 minutes of action against the Sooners. I'm not sure whether or not he's quick enough to guard a player like Romero Osby 10 feet away from the hoop, but why not give him a shot? Dejan Kravic, who had a marvelous game on offense and on the boards, certainly could do nothing with Osby. Perhaps, Tapsoba, with his timing and quick lift off the court, could have done better.

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