Big 12 Breakdown: Texas Tech Red Raiders

By John Hayden
Scott Sewell – US Presswire

Just as the picture above depicts, this year has been a struggle for Texas Tech. Before the season even started, there were lost of struggles between the team and their head coach Billy Gillispie. There were talks and rumors that Gillispie was demanding his team do things that they weren’t physically capable of doing. A few players left the team and complained about how practices were run, and how they were mistreated. In September, citing health reasons, Gillispie resigned as the men’s basketball coach, and now Chris Walker is at the helm. Last season, the Red Raiders were 1-17 in the Big 12, and this season has been a struggle too.

The Red Raiders are 1-2 in conference play, and their only win came against TCU. They did play a great game against Kansas at home and was only down by two at the half before Kansas pulled away with the victory. They are 8-6 overall, and their most impressive win came against Grambling State, and their worst loss was in the hands of BaylorAfter watching the Kansas game, I came away impressed with their style of defense and with a few players. Dejan Kravic is an exceptional player who had his third eight-rebound game of the season. With his help in rebounds, the Red Raiders out-rebounded the Jayhawks in the first half for the first time since 2009. Jamal Jr. Williams is a player to be reckoned with this season, as he led the Red Raiders in scoring for the first time. Overall, five different players have led in scoring this season for Tech. The one player that Kansas stopped is Jaye Crockett, who is the most experienced player on the roster.

So to look onto a crystal ball and see the impact this squad can have on the Big 12 this season, we have to first start with their coach. Walkerhas them ready to play any top-10 team, and we saw that against Kansas. Walker is more than a coach; he is also a teacher of the game. You can always see him teaching his players on the sidelines, and hoping that they listen and learn. Secondly, we have to start seeing if the team is buying into his system and are learning how to be consistently, and play the game as Walker taught them to do. The outlook is bright for this team, but it will take a few years to see if they can be a bigger threat in the Big 12. This Thursday night we will see how they do on the road in Norman against the mighty Oklahoma Sooners. So, when it is all said and done, the Red Raiders will gun-sling themselves into 6th place in the Big 12. Also, look for them to get it all together before the Big 12 tourney.

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