I'm having a tough time getting that exercised about this loss in Lubbock.
Passive offense and an early lack of intensity on defense allowed the referees to participate in the Tech gutty-home-win narrative. A 43-13 free throw margin raises an eyebrow, but we're as responsible for that fact as the zebra's weird inconsistencies. The Mason technical was a good example of the absurdity of this game. The more we fell for the fool's gold of a bricked three pointer without running some semblance of offense, the more the referees began to consider it a right for a Tech player to grab Augustin to slow up a fast break or for Tech defenders to undercut rebounders and shooters when they leave their feet. Play like chumps, be treated like chumps. Happens all of the time. When you play dumb basketball on the road, you open up the possibility for the referees to create their own game. The mirror is always the best place for assigning blame.
Somewhere, Bob Knight was displeased with the officiating. In principle.
Tech's Martin Zeno had a Scottie Pippen stat sheet: 15 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists. His play was crucial for opening up the game for some of Tech's more marginal contributors. Voskuil, voted Most Likely To Join A West Texas Boy Band, Gentlest Eyelashes, and Most Likely To Wear a Pooka Shell Necklace, by his high school senior class, hit the crucial free throws down the stretch. Hey, here's an idea: deny that guy the entry pass off of the inbounds and make one of the kids who keeps bricking shoot the freebies. I'm no coach though. Just sayin'...
And I swear, on the moon and the sun and the stars: This game sucked.
Actually, I'd cut Barnes a break. There appeared to be several instances in the game where guys didn't translate specific Barnes instructions to action. See Gary Johnson. Oh, Gary. Why?
Justin Mason turned in a nice effort, but the rest of the team was largely AWOL. I'm convinced that Atchley's recent proclivity for early fouls and a seat on the bench is screwing our defense and taking away all of our high screen and pop game on offense. If he comes in cold thereafter, we've lost a key ingredient. No big deal if Abrams is making his shots. When he's not (5 of 17), it's the DJ Augustin show and though I appreciate 30 points on his statline, I'd rather see 12 assists. We had a lowly nine as a team.
Damion James, who deserves to be lauded for his improvement from last year and for his manly effort on the offensive boards, is also good for two low basketball IQ plays per game. He just has a tough time reading game context, particularly when we're struggling.
JD Lewis will go back to "providing depth" when we play NU and OSU.
All in all, this game is best summed up by the knowledge that life is full of imperfection and bad things happen to good teams. In short:
We'll refocus and get our work done against Nebraska. We'd better. Aleks Maric is gangsta!