Photo CC: (AP Photo/Brad Tollefson)
In week 6 of this year’s Men’s Basketball campaign, the Red Raiders split their matchups with a win over Incarnate Word and a tough overtime loss to Oklahoma State, bringing their record to 8-3 overall and 1-2 in Big 12 play. The game against Incarnate Word was a typical mid-week tune-up game in which every Red Raider saw the floor for at least eight minutes. Highlighting the game was the return of Kevin McCullar, who made his first appearance of the season coming off of an ankle injury sustained in practice early this year. He picked up right where he left off from last season, displaying his high basketball IQ early and often, resulting in an 11-3-2 line in just 12 minutes.
Against OSU, the duo of Edwards and McClung finally found some offensive success that had been lacking in the first couple of conference games. Mac McClung found the bottom of the net a team-high seven times on 15 attempts, adding on four more from the free-throw line for 21 points, tying his personal best this season. He looked more comfortable from beyond the perimeter as well, connecting on three deep balls and seemingly eliminating some of the hesitation displayed over the last few games, attempting seven shots from three-point range. His offensive display was enough to earn Player of the Week honors for week six. McClung is leading the team with 15ppg and will be a key factor in improving the offense’s effectiveness moving forward, especially against zones where his drive and kick ability will help facilitate ball movement while drawing attention in the lane.
Looking ahead to week seven of the season, Tech has two conference games against Kansas State and Iowa State who are a combined 1-5 so far in Big 12 play. The Red Raiders will be favored in both matchups and should win both, gaining some momentum heading into the halfway point of conference play. Coach Beard and staff have some adjustments to make on offense, especially against zone defenses & are likely looking forward to facing two of the bottom teams in the league this week in order to make the necessary changes.