LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas Tech saw its three-game winning streak snapped Saturday, falling 73-70 to Oklahoma State, which was tied for last place in the Big 12 going into that game.
Next, the Red Raiders will attempt to get back into the win column at home against Kansas State. Bruce Weber’s young squad is currently 2-10 in Big 12 play, last in the conference.
Monday, Chris Beard met with the media to discuss Texas Tech’s recent performance, and Wednesday’s game against the Wildcats.
“I think they’re a team that’s obviously faced a lot of adversity but there’s zero quit in them. They’re going to continue to fight and it’s what coach Weber stands for.”Chris Beard on Kansas State
Finishing close games
The Red Raiders dropped another close game on Saturday, something that’s becoming a worrisome trend this season. They are 1-6 this season in games that are decided by a five points or fewer, or went to overtime.
“You have to play well down the stretch,” Beard said. “And so it’s something we embrace, we practice, we have a plan. We just have to stay true to ourselves and continue to work on it. Hopefully that’ll turn and we’ll win some close games down the stretch here when it matters most.”
Beard always preaches sticking to his process, and isn’t panicking about his team’s failures in those situations. He knows it’s an area where they have to improve, but won’t overhaul anything to make that happen.
Kevin McCullar steps up
After missing last season with an injury, McCullar is now really showing what he’s capable of. At the beginning of the season, he mostly contributed with defense and hustle plays, but his offense is starting to come around in recent games. He was tied for Texas Tech’s lead in points with 15 on Saturday.
McCullar started the second half for Terrence Shannon after Shannon struggled in the first. When asked about the possibility of McCullar moving into the starting lineup, Beard did not rule it out.
“We consider everything with our starting lineup,” he said.
Texas Tech has mostly kept the same starting lineup throughout the season, with Chris Clarke filling in for injured players. McCullar could bring a jolt of energy to the group if Beard chooses to shake things up.
Dealing with Kansas State
The Wildcats head to Lubbock on a five-game losing streak. They will miss the NCAA Tournament for the third time in Weber’s eight-year tenure there, barring a conference tournament miracle.
They have a team littered with young guards, players prone to taking bad shots. It’s made for a tough offensive season. But Beard doesn’t take any opponent lightly, and doesn’t expect a team coached by Weber to quit.
“I think they’re a team that’s obviously faced a lot of adversity but there’s zero quit in them,” Beard said. “They’re going to continue to fight and it’s what coach Weber stands for.”