#6 Texas (14-2, 3-0) cruised to their seventh straight win, 80-46 over Bobby Knight and Texas Tech (10-8, 2-2). Coach Knight never seemed interested in this one and neither did his team. The Horns won again with their defense. Tech shot just 36.7% from the floor, turned the ball over 19 times (including on their first three possessions after halftime) and were outrebounded by Texas 37-25.
The Red Raiders struggled mightily against the Horns' 2-3 zone all game long. Knight's normally effective motion offense was grounded to a halt. The Red Raiders looked lost and at times laughable. Their only bright spot came from Jarrius Jackson with 21 points. Martin Zeno added 13 points. The two were the only Red Raiders in double figures. As stated in the preview, this is not a typical Texas Tech team. They only have two players who can score. They don't rebound, shoot, or defend particularly well and quickness is lacking at almost all positions. Texas Tech is looking at a long year ending with a possible NIT berth at best.
Texas on the other hand is cruising. Since the Tennessee game, this team has looked completely different. Our defense is stifling. We are taking better shots (49% from the floor against Tech). We are controlling turnovers (only 10 against Tech). And most importantly, we are feeding the post on nearly every offense possession.
Lamarcus Aldridge 19 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 steals, and 1 blocked shot.
Aldridge was the star of the game. He started slowly and passively in the first half, much like in the Villanova game, but really came alive in the second. Aldridge was practically unguardable on offense and anchored our zone defense on the other end. He still goes to the fade away jump shot too often instead of powering to the basket but is improving with each half. Aldridge has to be considered the front runner for Big 12 Player of the Year.
PJ Tucker 16 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and only 1 turnover
PJ played great as well. He always looks like he wants the ball more than any other player on the court. Tucker had an impressive break away dunk where he was simply quicker to the loose ball than the Tech player. The only way Aldridge doesn't win Big 12 POY is if PJ wins it.
Daniel Gibson 16 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and only 1 turnover
Gibson played good defense again. He is getting more and more comfortable playing off the ball on offense as well. He is SO streaky though. He finished 6/11 from the floor and 4/8 from three but hit back to back to back threes late in the game. His jump shot looks a little flat to me. In the NCAA tournament, we may not be able to survive a lengthy cold streak.
Kenton Paulino 6 points, 1 rebound, and 3 assists
Paulino was bound to cool off after back to back career performances. Kenton played the fewest minutes of any starter. He did played effectively at the point guard position though. We don't need him to score. Paulino needs to control the ball, feed the post, and hit the occasional open three. That is exactly what he did against Tech.
Brad Buckman 16 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 1 block, and 4 turnovers
Buckman dominated the paint especially early. My only criticism of Brad is his way too often three point shot (2/7 this game). He can hit the open one, especially from the top of the key. Seven three point shots are too many for a guard. Brad should take no more than one or two a game.
Bench: AJ Abrams 0 points, 5 assists in 19 minutes & Mike Williams 2 points and 5 rebounds in 13 minutes
Realistically that is our bench. We have one front court and one back court sub. Conner Atchley, Craig Winder, and JD Lewis will be more cheerleaders than players for the rest of the year. AJ played fine and distributed the ball nicely. He still needs to control his turnovers. Williams is hard to watch at times. For a McDonald's All American, he has almost no offensive skills. We must be able to count on him for 10-20 minutes a game of solid defense and rebounding if we want to win it all.
Next game: Saturday January 21st 3 PM CST @ Baylor (0-2, 0-2).