Weakness: Whether or not the current Red Raider basketball team is the
worst in recent memory is debatable. Unfortunately, the competition is mighty
strong in this category. What is not open for debate is the fact that this is
the poorest shooting team to come down Loop 289 in many a long year.
Now Oklahoma State is hardly a great basketball team. They
are above average at best. And the defense the Cowboys applied to Tech was
nothing to brag about. The Red Raiders got great, wide open looks all game
long, but nobody could knock them down. Tech shot a dumbfounding 28 percent
from the floor.
And although dreadful, that type of shooting has been the
rule rather than the exception in conference play. Outside of Dusty Hannahs, a
decent shooter who will one day be very good, there is nobody on the roster who
is a threat to knock down a jumper. Consequently, defending the Red Raiders
couldn’t be easier. Pack the defense—man or zone—inside, and dare
Tech to shoot it. Elementary.
The only coaching Chris Walker and staff can do to improve
this team is to spend the overwhelming majority of practice shooting jump
shots. Bubba Jennings, arguably one of the great shooters in college basketball
history, should be able to provide some pointers. Somebody had better,
otherwise this team and its followers have much misery in store.
Tolbert No Longer an
Option: Whatever post abilities Jordan Tolbert displayed early in his
freshman year have deserted him. Sad to say, when Tolbert gets the ball in
deep, his post moves are slow and mechanical, his footwork is poor, and he
shows no feel for the defender. It is time to stop feeding him the rock.
The best hope for Tolbert is that he develops into another Gionet Cooper. Many will remember Cooper as a critical role
player on several very good Tech teams in the nineties. Cooper was not an
interior scorer and he recognized his limitations. Instead, he concentrated on
banging, defending and rebounding. Cooper excelled in those areas and became a
big contributor on some darn good teams. Hopefully, this is Tolbert’s future,
because 20 points per game is not in the cards.
Daylen over Josh? Obviously,
unless the Red Raiders begin knocking down open shots, point guard play is a
bit otiose. Still, it is becoming apparent to this observer that Daylen Robinson is a better option at this position than
Robinson doesn’t quite have Gray’s crazy quicks,
and I’m not sure he’s a better passer, but the fact is that Robinson thinks
pass first and score second. He’s a better distributor and floor general than
Gray, and the offense runs more smoothly with him in the lineup.
Can’t Blame Chris: I
feel for Chris Walker. I really do. Whatever happens with his current team, the
remainder of the season is just not an accurate reflection of his coaching
abilities. Walker simply does not have enough tools with which to work.
Is Chris Walker a great coach, a poor one, or something in
between? Unfortunately, we will not know the answer based on this season. And
that is a shame because Walker May not get another chance to show what he can
do in Lubbock.