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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tech ‘didn’t compete’

Coach laments Red Raiders' lack of fight

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Senior speeches

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KU seniors Sasha Kaun, Russell Robinson, Rodrick Stewart, Jeremy Case and Darnell Jackson give their senior speeches after the Jayhawks' 109-51 victory over Texas Tech.

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For the first time this season, Kansas junior Brandon Rush is the Big 12 Player of the Week.

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Audio clips

2007-08 KU-Texas Tech Hoops

Texas Tech's men's basketball team has proven to be a disturbing anomaly, able to beat a top-10 squad one day before losing by 58 to another just two days later.

Really, what's to make of Texas Tech's 109-51 loss to No. 6 Kansas on Monday, especially since it followed an 83-80 victory over No. 5 Texas on Saturday?

Talent can't account for such a drastic extreme, nor can the opponents' performance or home-court advantage.

It has to be something internal. Something like heart. Something Tech, apparently, chooses not to pack with the rest of its luggage on certain road trips.

"I feel like someone put a meat necklace around my neck and just threw me into a lions' den," Texas Tech coach Pat Knight said. "I had guys, honestly, I thought looked scared when they got out there to play. Not one guy showed up tonight."

Kansas (27-3 overall, 12-3 Big 12 Conference) clearly was the better team, and playing in front of an emotional Senior Night crowd didn't help matters for Texas Tech (16-13 and 7-8).

Early noise by Alan Voskuil (eight points) and Martin Zeno (19) soon gave way to a scrapped game plan that, coupled with KU's near-perfect performance, led to a disastrous, embarrassing night at Allen Fieldhouse.

An ESPN television audience only magnified the number of witnesses.

"We quit driving, and we were just jacking up shots," said Knight, who replaced father Bob Knight earlier this season as Tech's head coach. "It was disappointing. I just call it casual basketball. We didn't compete. Hopefully these guys figure it out."

Odd that it took two records of futility in less than a week perhaps to get the point across.

After all, Texas Tech's 98-54 loss at Texas A&M on Wednesday was the school's worst blowout ever. Monday's massacre outdid that by 14 points, truly a beatdown for the ages.

Recent history shows the Red Raiders have nobody to blame but themselves for letting Monday's game get that out of hand. They have chosen to show up for some games while just staying away from others. That 44-point loss to Texas A&M particularly is strange because the Red Raiders beat the Aggies by 15 earlier in the season.

Believe it or not, Tech still is playing for something. A victory Saturday over Baylor would put the Red Raiders at 8-8 in Big 12 play, and a nice run through next week's conference tournament could secure an NIT bid at the very least.

But if that's even remotely possible, the team that showed up in Lawrence better bury itself in the backyard - along with that meat necklace that got Knight mauled on Monday.

"I don't know how much of a difference it would've made if we showed up, because they're such a good team and this atmosphere," Knight said. "But it would've made it a little better on the bench."

Comments

Jeffery Barrett 6 years, 9 months ago

I'm glad there's someone that feels the way I do about winning, 1510!

Shazam 6 years, 9 months ago

Tech just happened to play in Allen Fieldhouse on the one night that Self couldn't stop his players from scoring. The intent to get every senior on the board spilled over as almost every Jayhawk felt the desire to add to this historic blowout. It was just as exciting to see Kleinmann, Bechard, Teahan, Reed, and Witherspoon score as it was to see Case and Stewart bury those threes. There's enough love from the fans to remind all of these players of how appreciated they are, and not just on Senior night. Any other night and Self would have slowed the game down once it got beyond reason, but this night was about the players.

LAJayhawk 6 years, 8 months ago

"It's my job to kick your a**, and it's your job to stop me." --Bob Knight

Armen Kurdian 6 years, 9 months ago

I was concerned w/Coach Self's comment about no one wanting to win like that, and feeling bad about the victory. Fine, you may not have intended to run up the score, but Coach Self had all the scrubs in...what's he supposed to do? Tell our guys not to compete simply because Tech couldn't find it's collective butt w/both hands?

Win big, win often, and win with extreme prejudice.

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