Thursday, the Texas Tech basketball team played its second of three exhibition games in the Bahamas so let’s take a look at what we learned from our latest look at the Red Raiders.
After a disappointing start to their three-game foreign tour of the Bahamas, the Texas Tech basketball team showed quite a bit of grit Thursday night. One day after falling to the Bahamas National Team by six points, Chris Beard’s team pulled out a thrilling 94-92 win over Lithuanian professional team Mega Bemax.
True freshman Jahmi’us Ramsey led the way 44 huge points and 12 rebounds as the program’s freshmen were far more integral Thursday than they were in game-one. In fact, Ramsey was joined by Terrence Shannon and Clarence Nadolny as three of the four players on the roster to log over 27 minutes of action.
Sophomore guard Kyler Edwards was the fourth member of that group and he had a nice rebound effort after an abysmal shooting performance on Wednesday. Though he only shot 25% from the floor, he put up 17 points after scoring just four points on 2/12 shooting against the Bahamas National Team.
Eleven of those points came in the opening 20 minutes and his nine-point outburst in the game’s first five minutes helped ensure that the Red Raiders got off to a much better start than on Wednesday. Still, Tech trailed at the half 49-45.
That’s when Ramsey took over. With starting point guard Davide Morretti playing fewer than five minutes after limping off the floor early in the game and Wednesday’s leading scorer Chris Clarke playing only 5:29, the 5-star Duncanville product flashed the type of physical dominance that many expect to see this year from the highest-rated player to ever sign with the Red Raiders.
Attacking the rim with no regard for the Bemax defense, Ramsey made 17/28 field goals while getting to the free-throw line 12 times. In what turned into a back-and-forth shootout, the 6-foot-4 phenom was the team’s go-to player and he delivered.
Time and time again, he responded to Bemax scores to help keep Tech in the lead. And his final points of the night (points 26 and 27 of the second half) gave Tech a 92-89 lead in the final minute.
Defensively, this was not a classic Chris Beard performance, which might be expected of a team playing six freshmen and eight players that were not part of last year’s team. Bemax shot 40% from the floor but only 8/32 (25%) from 3-point range. In addition, Tech was able to force 17 turnovers and won the points off turnovers battle 24-5. Tech also outrebounded Bemax 49-46 while coming up with ten steals and two blocked shots.
It is not surprising to see the defense lag in only the team’s second exhibition game. What Beard and his defensive mastermind Mark Adams ask these players to do is different than any type of scheme any of the newcomers have seen in their careers and being without Moretti, one of only three returners from last season, only made matters more difficult on that end of the court.
Just as was the case after Wednesday’s game, our reactions to the outcome of this game must be tempered. But by taking a closer look at the box score, we can further gain an idea about what we have in this year’s Red Raider hoops team after game-two in the Bahamas.