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Week 11 Player of the Week: Kevin McCullar

Credit: Texas Tech Athletics

The Red Raiders are getting hot at the right time, winners of three straight and six of the last eight, they now find themselves ranked number seven in the country. Texas Tech finished off the second leg of two conference sweeps last week against then ranked #9 Oklahoma and Kansas State. With eight conference games remaining, they find themselves in the mix for second place in the Big 12, assuming that Baylor locks up first place so long as the wheels don’t fall off down the stretch. The following teams are all within 1.5 games of each other for second place in the conference: West Virginia, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Texas, Kansas, and Oklahoma State. Five of the six are ranked in the top 25 this week, all but assuring that the home stretch of Big 12 play will be just as competitive and exciting as the start. 

The spotlight for the week falls on a familiar face in Kevin McCullar. The San Antonio native is garnering a ton of “glue-guy” talk from the national media and broadcasters that frequent the Texas Tech games. However, game after game he shows that he’s simply a “basketball-guy.” McCullar is consistently making well-timed cuts, rotating seamlessly on defense, and finding the open man on offense. He makes a case for being the most well-rounded player on the Tech roster and is more of a heartbeat of the team than the glue of it. McCullar is the leading rebounder, leader in steals, third in assists, and third-leading scorer since he debuted this season. He is also finding a groove from behind the arc, going 5-7 from deep this week after starting the season just 2-15. Coach Beard reinforced this sentiment in his post-game interview after the Kansas State victory saying in a roundabout way that Kevin is a threat from deep and the slow start was not an accurate representation of his shooting ability. Moving forward, if he continues to have the three-pointer in his arsenal, he will be that much harder to defend than he already is. 

Moving forward, the Red Raiders have their work cut out for them as four of the remaining eight games are against currently ranked opponents, which of course doesn’t include the trip to Allen Fieldhouse to take on unranked Kansas. This last month of the season could see the team land anywhere from a two through a six seed depending on how the chips fall. Up first is West Virginia at home in a game where Texas Tech will be looking to avenge the late-game collapse to the Mountaineers just two weeks ago in Morgantown. Then, the team will have six days rest before playing their next three in the same time-span.

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