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TEXAS TECH Team Report
In a first-round loss to Boston College in the NCAA Tournament, the Red Raiders managed to overcome an off game from senior guard Jarrius Jackson. But their defense wasn't solid enough to offset an 84-75 loss, which capped a 21-13 season.
The Red Raiders' tournament credentials were dubious to begin with. As the fifth-place finisher in the Big 12, Texas Tech was included in the NCAA field over fourth-place Kansas State, which handed the Red Raiders a 21-point loss in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament.
Throughout the season, Tech's winning formula usually combined solid defense with the scoring combination of Jackson and Martin Zeno. If one of those guards went cold -- which Jackson did by scoring just one second-half field goal against Boston College -- or if the Red Raiders slipped defensively, outcomes often got ugly.
One problem for veteran coach Bob Knight is his reputation as a difficult coach precludes him from landing blue-chip recruits. He must win with unknowns, which he often does because he continues to be a masterful teacher with a proven system.
Eventually, however, superior talent wins out.
Knight does at least sound encouraged about the potential his Tech squad possesses next season. He didn't get into any specifics, but he at least sounds like a coach who isn't ready just yet to call it quits after boosting his record total of all-time wins to 890.
"We were talking about what we want to do with the kids we recruited and what these kids that are coming back are going to have to do," Knight said. "I'll talk to them about that when we get home. We have some things that we think we can do with the players that we're going to have next year that are really intriguing and really interesting."
--Whenever Texas Tech coach Bob Knight shows up at the NCAA Tournament, his media session often serves as a forum for different issues pertaining to basketball One of Knight's criticisms this year concerned the workload of referees. He advocated that officials be limited to three games a week, as well as geographical restrictions. "We don't need better officials, we need officials working less time," Knight said.
--With four NCAA Tournament appearances in six seasons with the Red Raiders, Bob Knight tied Gerald Myers for the most trips in Texas Tech history. Myers now serves as the Tech athletic director.
THE RECORDS: 21-13 overall, 9-7, fifth in Big 12.
HOW THE SEASON ENDED: Texas Tech landed a 10th seed in the NCAA Tournament despite a 21-point loss in the quarterfinal round of the Big 12 Tournament against Kansas State. The Red Raiders' suspect tournament credentials were exposed in a first-round loss to Boston College.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Yeah, I'd like to see it rain dollar bills, too. I thought that Jay was defended against well. You just can't go out there and do exactly what you want to do." -- Texas Tech coach Bob Knight on whether G Jarrius Jackson needed to play more aggressively in his last game after he was held to 10 points, half his average.
THE GOOD NEWS: As prickly as he can be as a controversial coach, Bob Knight not only is a legend, but still knows how to get the most out of his teams. After logging just his second losing season of his career by going 15-17 in 2006, Knight responded by guiding Texas Tech into the NCAA Tournament. It wasn't a great team, yet it was good enough to sweep a season from Texas A&M and also beat Kansas, the two top-10 teams in the Big 12.
THE BAD NEWS: Although Boston College often created mismatches with its size, the differential was especially telling against Texas Tech and exposed just how much the Red Raiders need bigger skilled players at virtually all positions, even in the backcourt. The lack of size was reflected in Texas Tech's status as the worst rebounding team in the Big 12.
KEY RETURNEES: With the departure of G Jarrius Jackson, Martin Zeno will get even more opportunities to create off the wing and exploit his ability to create mismatches with his 6-5 frame. Otherwise, the Red Raiders must scour their roster to find another returnee who can handle more of the scoring burden. No one immediately jumps out who's demonstrated that kind of potential.
--With 2,221 career points, G Jarrius Jackson finished his career second on the Texas Tech scoring list behind former teammate Andre Emmett. In 133 career games, Jackson started 131, coming back from a pregame suspension at the beginning of his last season because of academic issues.
--The player on the Texas Tech team Knight praised as the most improved was G Alan Voskuil, who averaged four points but netted 12, all in the second half, in the NCAA Tournament loss to Boston College.
--G Charlie Burgess stepped into the role of point guard as a juco transfer for the Red Raiders and eventually logged almost as many minutes on average as Jackson and Martin Zeno, a pair of iron men. Burgess scored 12 points on 6-of-13 shooting against Boston College.
Previous Report: 06/08/2007