Texas Tech Is Finding Rhythm at the Right Time of Year
The Red Raiders had one foot in the grave in Lawrence, Kansas when the Jayhawks pushed them in. Then, the Cowboys started shoveling dirt onto the Red Raiders' hopes and dreams last Tuesday. Now, just seven days later, Texas Tech looks like a brand new team after beating Texas on Saturday and demolishing TCU 69-49 on Tuesday.
The two major breaks the Red Raiders had to take this season zapped them of any chance to play meaningful basketball at any kind of rhythm. There's only so much you can do in practice to mesh and get on the same page to the level needed to win at the top of the Big 12 conference. Texas Tech was also desperately missing Raider Riot and the fans of the United Supermarkets Arena being at full force. They sure sounded close to full force in the past two wins for Texas Tech.
Nobody contributed to the win against TCU tonight more than Kyler Edwards, who was on fire in the first half and hardly slowed down until he was taken out of the game with the lead in hand. Edwards finished with a game-high 20 points on 7 of 8 shooting and adding four assists.
Marcus Santos-Silva and Tyreek Smith are rounding into a formidable presence inside as well, with the duo adding to the stat sheet in valuable ways. Smith had nine points and six boards, while Santos-Silva had five offensive rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks.
As good as the Red Raiders are starting to look offensively with rhythm and power, it's the defensive end where they've really picked up the pace. Texas Tech forced TCU into 38 percent shooting from the field and a paltry 23 percent from three.
No player played more than 26 minutes as Chris Beard keeps his eyes on the ultimate goal of being fresh enough to make a run in the NCAA tournament. Texas Tech moves to 16-8 on the season and 8-7 in Big 12 play, with games against Iowa State and Baylor remaining in the regular season.
Currently, the Red Raiders have a five-seed in the NCAA tournament, according to hoopshd.com and their Nitty Gritty ratings. With a NET ranking of 15th according to the NCAA, the Red Raiders are pacing to get back to the four-seed. There are two more regular-season games before any kind of tournament talk is legitimate, though.
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