Texas Tech guard Ty Nurse logged a season-high in minutes against Alabama on Wednesday with 24.
That would have been merely a warm-up a year ago.
Nurse led Texas Tech with 30.2 minutes played per game last season, but with a heavy influx of new talent at the guard position — Tech’s recruiting class included five backcourt players — the senior has become more of a role player for the Red Raiders this season.
But don’t expect Nurse to complain about reduced playing time.
“It has been an adjustment,” said Nurse, who is averaging 10.1 minutes per game, “but at the same time, it’s not about me; it’s about the team. Whatever I can do to help the team win, and whatever is best for the team, that’s all that matters to me.”
Despite a diminished role during games, Tech coach Chris Walker said Nurse’s experience is a valuable asset for the Red Raiders. It’s why he was on the court late during Tech’s comeback attempt against Alabama, hitting the 3-pointer that pulled Tech to within two points with a little more than one minute left in the game.
“You’ve got to have one guy out there who can make a shot,” Walker said. “I believe Ty can do that.”
Nurse has shown the ability to light it up since arriving in Lubbock. He scored 29 points in the season opener against Troy last season, and he was second on the team in scoring at about nine points per game.
The Vancouver, British Columbia, native has not been able to find the same stroke thus far this season, though. He had made just 1 of 14 shots from the perimeter before connecting on the late three against Alabama. Nurse said improving comes down to being more selective.
“Just take better shots,” he said when asked how he approaches a shooting slump. “Take good shots and stick to that. You don’t have to shoot your way out of it. Just have confidence.”
Nurse, who is on pace to graduate from Tech in May with an economics degree, is confident his shooting touch will come around, and he believes he can be a major asset to the team, even if he isn’t playing as much as he did during his junior season.
“I think I can help to stabilize everyone on the court,” he said. “I’ve played in a lot of big games. I do have experience, I’m a bit older, and I take care of the ball well, too (He has seven assists to zero turnovers this season). So in those crucial possessions, I can help stabilize those guys on the court who are maybe a bit more out of control, but who do make plays. I can kind of calm them.”
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