Walk-ons provide spark
Tech found offense from an unlikely source on Tuesday night during a 68-59 loss to No. 13 Kansas State.
Namely, its two walk-ons.
Sophomores Luke Adams and Clark Lammert, who have played sparingly this season, combined for nine first-half points, with both hitting a 3-pointer and providing spurts of strong defense.
Lammert has played in the last three games, but it was the first significant action for Adams since playing seven minutes against Baylor in early January.
Walker said he was “coaching by feel” when explaining the added playing time for the two walk-ons.
“We needed some energy,” Walker said. “and I know I had two hungry pit bulls who were ready to get into the game.”
Lammert’s 3-pointer put an end to a 13-2 Kansas State run in the first half, and Adams’ trey with about three minutes to go in the half cut a once 13-point lead down to five.
“They came in the game and contributed really well,” Tech guard Josh Gray said. “They came in and played big, and we really needed that.”
Game special for Gray
Josh Gray’s recruiting choice came down to Texas Tech and Kansas State, and though he ultimately chose the Red Raiders, who said he had developed good relationships with members of the Wildcats, including head coach Bruce Weber.
“It was good emotion,” Gray said. “We wanted to be pitted against each other.”
After a slow start, Gray played well in the second half, and finished with 10 points on 5 of 11 shooting and five assists. Perhaps most importantly, he committed only one turnover.
“I just want to say I’m proud of Josh,” teammate Jordan Tolbert said. “Everybody has been talking to him about controlling his turnovers, and that would give us a better chance to win. I just want to say I’m proud of him.”
Weber impressed by Tech
Kansas State coach Bruce Weber had a feeling his team would be in for a physical, hard-nosed game against the Red Raiders on Tuesday.
Even though the Wildcats nearly doubled Tech up on the glass, 38-20, he was impressed by how hard the Red Raiders played.
"It's the first time all season we've won the game and lost our 'play hard' chart," Weber said. "They out-toughed us for loose balls and got on the floor. They had deflections, were very active. They've been good all year on steals.
"They really play hard."