Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Knight calls out, counting on best players
By Jeff Caplan
The early season Top 25 ranking given to Texas Tech, long before No. 22 Baylor or No. 24 Texas A&M broke through, was clearly premature.
The Red Raiders (16-11, 4-9 Big 12) have likely played themselves out of the NIT with a five-game losing streak that includes three in a row at home. It will be difficult tonight to avoid a four-game home skid, which would be Tech's longest in more than 10 years, with hot Baylor (22-6, 9-5) in town.
The Bears have won two in a row, are after a school-record 23rd victory and are trying to lock down a top-four seed and bye in next week's Big 12 Championship in Kansas City. Baylor finishes the regular season at home Saturday against the Texas Longhorns with a chance for Scott Drew's team to win 11 conference games. Not bad for a club the coaches picked to finish 10th.
If Tech is going to get out of its rut, Knight knows what has to happen.
"I’ve got to get [John] Roberson and [Mike] Singletary playing," said Knight of his two juniors and co-leading scorers. "I realize some of the other guys are going to struggle because some of them are new to the program, but when my two best guys are struggling and making mistakes in crunch time, we have no chance. So, I’ve got to get those two playing."