Tech has to do a better job of owning the lane
Thanks in large part to Likekele’s work off of the dribble, Oklahoma State had a 32-22 edge in scoring in the lane back on January 2nd. What’s more, OSU had 12 offensive rebounds leading to nine second-chance points on that night.
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Tech can’t allow the Cowboys to dominate the paint that way tonight or else another loss will be probable. And it all has to start with Marcus Santos-Silva, who is coming off of a strong game against Kansas with 12 points and 8 rebounds.
But against Oklahoma State in round one, the senior big man had just seven points and five rebounds in almost 24 minutes of action. Even worse, Tech was a -8 on the scoreboard that night when Santos-Silva was on the court.
OSU is a guard-heavy, perimeter-oriented team. They don’t have a dominant big man on the roster. Therefore, there’s no reason for Santos-Silva not to have his way in the paint tonight.
Coming off of his first game with double-digit scoring in six outings, Santos-Silva has to follow up Saturday’s nice showing with another meaningful performance. But this season, only twice has he been able to string together back-to-back double-digit games. That includes no such instances in Big 12 play.
Look to see if Tech can get another strong showing from their big man tonight. He should be the best post player in the gym and he has to play like it. If he does, Tech will be in position to come home with a much-needed win.