Photo cc: AP Photo/David Becker
Texas Tech Men’s Basketball’s fourth week of play featured a lone game, their Big 12 opening matchup at home against Kansas. The Jayhawks pulled off the victory in the final 30 seconds in a game in which the Red Raiders led by seven with just 10 minutes remaining. The game was every bit the defensive struggle most expected going in with a final score of 58-57. On offense, Tech shot just 32.3% from the field while posting another subpar performance at the charity stripe going 11-18. Mac McClung and Terrence Shannon Jr. accounted for 41 of the 57 points scored by Texas Tech, with Kyler Edwards having a rare off-game shooting 0-9 and failing to record a single point. On top of Shannon’s 20 points, he added a team-high nine rebounds and shot 4-7 from deep, earning week 4’s Player of the Week designation.
This breakout performance was something everyone was waiting on from the Sophomore and bodes well for his confidence moving forward. Shannon Jr’s four 3-pointers not only doubled his total made for this season entering the game, but they were also a career-high as he made only nine all of last year. The improved shooting is not only good for the Tech team but good for Shannon Jr. individually as his jump-shooting is the biggest area of improvement NBA scouts will be looking for this season. Seeing him take over with Edwards having an off night is promising for an offense that has struggled at times when Edwards or McClung is having an off-performance. Going forward, if the three-headed attack of McClung, Edwards, and Shannon Jr. is performing up to their potential, Texas Tech is going to be in a position to win every game remaining on the schedule.
For the second week in a row, the Red Raiders will play just one game, this time on the road in Norman against Oklahoma for their first away contest of the year. The Oklahoma Sooners enter the game with a conference win over TCU already on the ledger and an overall record of 5-1. Texas Tech is just 1-5 in their last six trips to Oklahoma facing the Sooners. It’s too early in the year to call this game a must-win, but it’s about as close to one as you’ll find if Tech wants to be in contention for the Big 12 championship.