Men’s Basketball | January 12, 2023
There was one direct message. On the court with his team. In his media availability with local reporters.
“Don’t’ feel sorry for yourself,” Texas Tech coach Mark Adams said. “Don’t point fingers. Don’t blame somebody else. You’ve got to keep going. Look yourself in the eye and say, ‘I’m going to do better’. Sometimes through adversity you need to change your mentality. That’s difficult in life to do. We are challenging our guys to be the catalyst to help us change.”
That quote came on Thursday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. upstairs in the Womble Practice Facility to the media. It came less than 48 hours after a 34-point loss at Iowa State. It was delivered about 10 minutes after he had finished a film session reviewing the game with his team and then flipping the script with a scouting report on the next opponent. Both were truth telling sessions.
“We have to match our opponent’s intensity,” Adams said. “We have to go as hard, if not harder, than them. We want to make our fans proud. There was an embarrassing moment at Iowa State and we’ve been inconsistent in conference games with our effort. It starts with effort and playing together. As a team.”
Texas Tech is set to take on No. 10 Texas at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Primetime. ESPN. With a 0-4 record in Big 12 play for the first time since 2015 after an 84-50 loss at No. 14 Iowa State on Tuesday in Ames. The Red Raiders were coming off a 68-63 overtime loss to Oklahoma last Saturday after dropping close games against nationally-ranked Kansas and TCU to open the conference slate. Tech led TCU by 13 before falling by six on New Year’s Eve. Tech had the ball down one on the final possession against the Jayhawks before falling by three. Tech showed fight in its first three Big 12 games. On Tuesday, the Cyclones delivered a no-doubt knockout.
“When you have a loss like that, you’re usually more receptive to listening and learning,” Adams said. “Our guys are in a situation now where we are trying to get back on the right track. That means working hard and listening. We’ve got their minds right and physically we are getting better. Batcho and Pop are going through some practices for the first time in a while so we are going to be better. They want to get this thing turned around. The attitude has been great. Everyone wants to win.”
Adams has been on the sidelines coaching the past four seasons as Texas Tech went into Austin and earned wins. He’s also been on the sidelines coaching the past four games where the Red Raiders have dropped games to begin conference play. Tech, which had not won in Austin since 1996, broke a 22-game losing streak there with a 68-62 win on January 12, 2019. Adams was the associate head coach when the team broke the streak and the head coach last season when Tech earned a 61-55 win over the Longhorns on February 19, 2022, to complete the season sweep. In short, he knows what it takes to win.
“We’ve got to get back to playing tough team defense,” Adams said. “We have to be more physical and play team basketball. A big part of this game against Texas will be about us. We have to take care of the ball and share it more. A weakness of ours has been rebounding so we’re really emphasizing boxing out and being tougher.”
Texas, on the other hand, was down by 18 on Wednesday night to TCU. In boxing, a referee may have called the fight. In basketball, you play until the horn – either responding with punches or trying just to survive. The Longhorns threw punches, coming back to win 79-75. UT is now 14-2 on the season, 3-1 in Big 12 play and 10-1 on their new home court.
“Texas is one of the best teams in the conference,” Adams said. “They are a really talented team. They have two really good guards in Tyrese Hunter and Marcus Carr and then they have some really physical guys inside. They can also step out and shoot the 3. Their team will play great defense and are just a really tough team. We’ll have to play our best for a chance to win.”
For the full press conference, watch the video below.
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