• Comment

Texas Tech set to face second straight top-25 foe at home in Oklahoma State

Red Raiders trying to cure struggles on both ends of the floor during a four-game losing streak

Posted: February 12, 2013 - 9:07pm  |  Updated: February 13, 2013 - 1:17am
Jordan Tolbert and Texas Tech will try to pull an upset of No. 17 Oklahoma State at 6 p.m. today.  Zach Long
Zach Long
Jordan Tolbert and Texas Tech will try to pull an upset of No. 17 Oklahoma State at 6 p.m. today.
Get your A-J Media Digital Subscription now!
Get your A-J Media Digital Subscription now!

Texas Tech may already be out of the hunt for a Big 12 Conference title, but if college basketball has proven anything this season, it’s that pretty much any team has a chance to affect a conference race.

The Red Raiders (9-12, 2-8 in Big 12) will have their opportunity to throw a wrench in the Big 12 title picture at 6 p.m. today when they host red-hot, 17th-ranked Oklahoma State (17-5, 7-3), which is riding a five-game winning streak and, with another victory, would join Kansas and Kansas State in a three-way tie for first place.

Tech hasn’t been able to capitalize on the momentum of a surprise win against Iowa State last month, losing four consecutive games that have featured struggles on both ends of the court.

“We just have to fight, keep playing until the last game is over,” Tech forward Jaye Crockett said. “We could make a run in the (Big 12) tournament or win out right now. Anything is possible. It’s basketball.”

Tech lost by 34 points when it played at Oklahoma State on Jan. 19, and the Cowboys have been on a tear ever since. They snapped a 33-game winning streak for Kansas inside Allen Fieldhouse on Feb. 2, then earned a thrilling overtime win against Baylor a few days later.

The Red Raiders, meanwhile, are coming off a 75-48 loss on the road against Baylor on Saturday, a game that marked the first time in 220 contests that Tech didn’t have at least one scorer in double figures.

That result provides a small window into the struggles Tech has endured offensively. The Red Raiders had hoped at the start of the season to be a more fast-paced outfit, but without the athletes to compete in the open court against top-tier teams in the conference, Tech has been forced to play a mostly half-court game.

At times, Tech’s action in those sets have produced some rhythm, but it has been hard to sustain. Put simply, Tech hasn’t been able to hit shots, converting just 37.8 percent of its attempts from the field during Big 12 play, second-worst in the conference behind TCU.

“What’s characteristic of an inexperienced team and a young team,” Tech coach Chris Walker said, “is when you can’t score on offense, they get their heads down. It’s the Charlie Brown syndrome. Then they can’t defend. Unfortunately, the offense affects the defense.”

Tech’s defense has regressed of late. Since limiting Iowa State to 51 points during an upset win Jan 23, the Red Raiders have surrendered 73.3 points per game during the four-game losing streak, and their 69.9 points per game yielded during Big 12 action are also a league worst.

Tech has found some success defending teams in the half-court, especially during home games against Kansas, Iowa State and Kansas State. But the Red Raiders have had major difficulties keeping pace in run-and-gun affairs, which will make limiting Oklahoma State’s open-court opportunities a must if they have any chance of authoring a top-25 upset for the first time since 2009.

“Getting back in transition, that has hurt us a lot,” sophomore forward Jordan Tolbert said. “If we can get back in transition and try to get rebounds, we could do pretty good.

“It’s not impossible.”


To comment on this story:


• 766-8735


• 766-2166


College basketball

Who: Oklahoma State vs. Texas Tech

When: 6 p.m. today

Where: United Spirit Arena

Records: Oklahoma State 17-5, 7-3 in Big 12 play; Tech 9-12, 2-8

Last time out: Oklahoma State 72, Texas 59; Baylor 75, Tech 48

Last meeting: Oklahoma State 79, Tech 45 on Jan. 19 in Stillwater, Okla.

TV: ESPNU (Suddenlink 503/553HD; Direct TV 208; AT&T U-Verse 605/1605HD; Dish Network 141)

Radio: KTTU 104.3

  • Comment
Comments (3) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.

Are we progressing?

Unless we are progressing then why should we keep Coach Walker ? If our gards don't limit their turnovers, if we can't maintain the early progress in defensiove rebounding, if we still shoot only about 65% at the line, why should he be retained.

Personally I like the guy. He has a soft hand and a professional approach, which was probably what this team needed. However, if you are looking for a formula to progress, I would look to KSU. Tenacity on defense and secure ball handling are hallmarks of their program. If we cannot get there, then we will not be able to compete. The thing is that those are all "want to" skills and this team can get better in those areas.

Best wishes to a class guy Coach Walker and your staff. I hope you succceed.


no. we are not!

There is no progress... they are still awful. 2-8 in the Big 12, enough said.

Hire a real coach and clean house. Get rid of everyone!



This is going to get real ugly real quick! Having recruits coming in to see an arena with more maintenance people and vendors than people's rears in the seats, has to be a wonderful experience for them. Oh boy, I get a chance to play in front of a few dozen people in a place that seats 15,000.

Back to Top