December 7, 2011

Gillispie pleased with effort

Just when you think you know first-year head coach Billy Gillispie, he throws the fan base a curveball.

Gillispie -- usually one to be frustrated after a loss -- said the Red Raiders played their finest 12 minutes of basketball this early season to close out a 75-69 loss Tuesday against TCU in Fort Worth, Texas.

"I thought we played hard," Gillispie said. "I thought we competed like I've been talking about the last 11 or 12 minutes of the game. It was my most proud 12 minutes as the Texas Tech coach and that's the kind of team that I put on the court and they scrapped and clawed and gave themselves a chance to win."

TCU, a team that shot 22 percent from beyond the arc going into the game, shot 52 percent in the first half for 29 points of its 42-29 lead over Tech.

Tech came back in the second half to outscore the Horned Frogs 40-33 and closed as close to six points of TCU in the final three minutes, but never came any closer.

Freshman walk-on guard Luke Adams saw his most extensive action of the season as he played the final 11 minutes of the game, recorded three assists and sank three-of-three free throw shots.

"He was in there the whole time," Gillispie said of Adams and the final 12 minutes. "The other guys competed really hard too, but he was prepared. John Wooden said, 'I'll be prepared and perhaps someday my chance will come.'

"He hadn't had a chance to play except in the exhibitions and he came in and immediately we ran a play that put the ball in his hands, he fed the post and did it the first two times he touched it. There's a lot of different ways to win a game. Defensively, he took a big charge for us."

Gillispie went on to praise the effort of the rest of his team.

Freshman forward Jordan Tolbert, a Fort Worth native playing in front of his family, scored a career-high 27 points to lead all players in the game. His total could have been much hire had he not drawn his fourth personal foul in the sixth minute of the second half.

"I think this is the best game we've played this year," Tolbert said. "It's definitely a game we can build off of."

Tolbert said the 10 newcomers are getting a good grasp on the Division I game and it resulted in 14 points for freshman Toddrick Gotcher and eight points respectively for the junior college duo of guard Ty Nurse and forward Jaron Nash.

"'Don't foul,'" Tolbert said was the lesson of the night. "I got in early foul trouble. I think if I didn't get into foul trouble we would have had a better chance to win so I learned that."

Tech will get the next few days off for fall semester final exams and the Red Raiders won't play another game until Dec. 18 against Grambling State in the United Spirit Arena after playing five straight games out of Lubbock for the first time since 1993.

"I don't expect them on Dec. 6 to be much farther along than they are," Gillispie said. "So I'm very proud of not the result but the process."

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