Seems like 15,098 fans poured into the United Spirit Arena last night to watch a fight and a basketball game broke out. A basketball game that the Red Raiders won, by the way.
Texas Tech took down No. 19 Oklahoma State last night 65-61 in front of a sellout crowd at full tilt. Senior Jaye Crockett recorded another double-double, Tech shot 48 percent from the field, fans stormed the court, etc. Now let’s get to what happened with Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart.
In the final seconds, with Tech hanging on to a small lead, point guard Robert Turner managed to corral a lose ball on the Cowboy’s end, bring it down the court and hand it to Jaye Crockett, who was promptly fouled on his way up by Marcus Smart. After falling into the crowd, Smart got incensed by something someone said.
The fan whom Smart shoved is reportedly a die-hard Red Raider basketball supporter by the name of Jeff Orr. He appears to be enjoying the game with his family.
What Orr said to provoke Smart is difficult to make out, but that hasn’t stop anyone from forming theories.
Radio analyst John Holcomb confirms what he said on air: He heard Marcus Smart say the fan called him the n-word.
— Kelly Hines (@KellyHinesTW) February 9, 2014
Regardless what was said, Smart shouldn’t have lashed out like that. If he can’t take that kind of treatment from a nice guy in Lubbock, he’s going to hate NBA road trips to Miami or Los Angeles.
The saddest part of all is that this small, insignificant incident is overshadowing another outstanding performance by Tubby Smith’s basketball team. This team won four Big 12 games in all of the last two seasons combined, now they’re 4-6 (12-11 overall) on February 9. Under Smith’s leadership, Tech is now tied for seventh place in the conference and eyeing an NIT birth.
The schedule certainly gets tougher from here, with tilts against No. 21 Oklahoma, No. 16 Iowa State and No. 8 Kansas coming up, but this team proved last night you can’t sleep on them. And they proved it in front of a soldout USA, non-the-less.
— Michael Strong (@stillstrongttu) February 9, 2014
Good things are on the horizon for Tech basketball, there’s no doubt. It’s just sad that people aren’t talking about it.