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Walker eager to use lopsided loss as teching tool

Posted: December 2, 2012 - 10:43pm  |  Updated: December 3, 2012 - 1:16am
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Texas Tech's Dejan Kravic, left, and Trency Jackson, right, battle for a loose ball with Arizona's Solomon Hill during Tech's 85-57 loss on Saturday in Lubbock.   Zach Long
Zach Long
Texas Tech's Dejan Kravic, left, and Trency Jackson, right, battle for a loose ball with Arizona's Solomon Hill during Tech's 85-57 loss on Saturday in Lubbock.
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A coach can counsel new players until he’s blue in the face on the intensity they’ll face when major-college competition arrives.

But there’s nothing like a little trial by fire to awaken players to the challenges that lay ahead.

“Now we can get their attention a little bit more,” Tech Texas basketball coach Chris Walker said after his team was trounced by Arizona, 85-57, inside United Spirit Arena on Saturday.

For all the promise the Red Raiders (4-1) showed in winning their first four games, there was little doubt major-conference competition was going to reveal the growing pains that come on a roster with seven new players and a coach who has had little time to stamp his identity on the program.

Facing an opponent in the Wildcats who were bigger, more experienced and just as fast, the Red Raiders struggled inside and endured long stretches of offensive inactivity. The game illustrated Tech’s need to find other ways to score when its opponent takes away the transition game the Red Raiders want to play.

Frustration led to foul trouble for Jordan Tolbert and Dejan Kravic, who struggled to stay on the floor. Both fouled out midway through the second half. Without the pair on the floor, Tech was forced to rely heavily on its guards, who had trouble penetrating against Arizona’s lengthy defenders.

“That’s going to happen in the Big 12 when you play against bigger teams,” Walker said. “We have to play through it. We have to find a way. It’s just another challenge. That hurts our offense a little bit, and we have to get the guys more involved, because when those guys go out, we become more guard-oriented. At the end of the day, it’s tough to score on teams with that kind of length.”

The optimism Walker has operated with since his hiring as the interim coach two months ago didn’t fade with Saturday’s result. If anything, he said, he was glad his players now have tangible evidence of the kind of improvements they have to make.

“It gives me a chance to get my players’ attention and say, ‘Guys, that’s where we want to be,’” Walker said. “Yeah, they took us to school, but that’s where we’re going to be. If you hang your head, now Tuesday could become a worse loss.”

The Red Raiders will have the chance to bounce back at 6 p.m. Tuesday, when it hosts Northern Kentucky.

Tech forward Jaye Crockett said after the game he didn’t have any sense that his teammates were going to allow any ill feelings from a lopsided loss to linger past Saturday night.

“You can’t dwell on that,” he said. “You win some, you lose some, and you have to bounce back to the next game.

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Letting the loss linger

I wouldn't let this loss linger. I would linger on the last five years of losing really. How about the fact that our children have gone through Elementary school without knowing Red Raider Basketball because of the failure to field a competitive team in the last five years? The United Spirit Arena sits empty game after game because nobody will step up and take the reins of this program.



I can assume from your whine that you didn't step foot in United Spirit Arena in the last five years also.

Hollow words from a hollow fan.

Get out of the way and let Walker see what he can do.

It's hard to attract good players when they see fans like you.


What is there to do

What is there to do in Lubbock, anyway? I cannot understand why Basketball is not supported. No pro teams, no competing college programs. What I see on TV is disgusting. Even the students do not show up--now that is sad.

I agree with the sentiment that the coaching has been unacceptable and the program has dropped a long way. Still, there is not that much on TV. Surely, Lubbock is not a city of old retired people.


something to do

The new IMAX is awesome and costs less than going to see a Tech game, mens' OR womens'. The nachos are better too..........


another one coming to town

Northern Kentucky is 0-5 on the year and have lost by an average of 13 points per game. They are a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference along with other notable schools such as Stetson, East Tennessee State, Lipscomb (remember them), and Mercer, among others. They have lost to Siena and Cal State-Northridge to name but two. Ohio State beat them about 25 points Saturday. Tech will improve their record of hammering another creampuff before 7500 fans no doubt. Stay home and watch water turn into ice in the freezer or go to the IMAX for more excitement.


Riddle me this Batman

Just what the heck is a teching tool?

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