Will Texas Tech Basketball Win a Big 12 Conference Game?
With West Virginia beating TCU to move to 1-5 in Big 12 play the Red Raiders are now the only Big 12 conference team winless in the league at 0-6. They fell to 0-6 after their third straight home loss this season, an 81-74 loss to Baylor.
The Red Raiders have played close in five of those losses with their only big loss coming in Ames, Iowa against Iowa State. A 34-point loss. The rest of their losses were by a combined 23 points.
Obviously, being a good team isn't good enough in the Big 12 when most of the conference foes the Red Raiders are playing are much better than just good. There are five Big 12 teams in the top 15 in the country. Baylor is ranked 21st. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, and Texas Tech are the only unranked teams in the conference.
That's just the AP Poll, according to KenPom the go-to analytics model for college basketball, nine Big 12 teams are in the top 39. The tenth team is Texas Tech and they are 62nd.
That's a drastic dip.
So the question is, will Texas Tech win a Big 12 game in 2023? Probably, but I'm not sure where that first win will come.
Their next opportunity comes against Kansas State in Manhattan. After that? West Virginia in Lubbock. That game against the Mountaineers is the first of five more home games. With the United Supermarkets atmosphere staying strong, the Red Raiders can absolutely win any of those contests, regardless of the opponent.
The road games also have that feeling in the Big 12. Anybody can win on any given night, but with the defensive struggles of the Red Raiders this season their margin of error has been really thin and with a -4.5 turnover margin in conference games, you can see why Texas Tech has been on the wrong side of that thin line six times out of six. Even worse, Texas Tech has 30 more turnovers in Big 12 play than they have assists.
If Texas Tech can just play clean basketball their fortunes can change and they can change quickly.
In the last two games, Jaylon Tyson has had a bit of a breakout with back-to-back double-doubles. Pop Isaacs is averaging more than 16 points per game against Big 12 opponents. Daniel Batcho has been dealing with injuries and illness and still is second in the conference in blocked shots. Fardaws Aimaq has been as advertised in his return from an injured foot.
It's fair to say Texas Tech has been a bad Big 12 team, but they don't have bad Big 12 players. I'm not sure how to quantify that, but there just seems to be some disconnect between those talented individuals becoming a talented team. If those players can gel Texas Tech can win Big 12 games. If they continue to play as individuals, it will be incredibly tough to get Big 12 wins.