Kerwin Walton plays meaningful minutes for Texas Tech
There is no question that McCasland is still trying to figure out what to do to get production from his bench. On Friday, he turned to Kerwin Walton for some significant minutes in an attempt to find someone other than Chance McMillan who might be able to contribute as a reserve.
Walton’s 16 minutes played came at the expense of Lamar Washington who saw only three minutes on the floor. The question, though, is whether Walton did enough to warrant another extended look when Tech returns to the court against Butler next week.
In this game, the former transfer from North Carolina who hardly saw the floor at all last season for Tech put up only two points (both on free throws) and three rebounds. What’s more, Washington actually did more statistically in his short stint on the court with three points, all of which came on an old-fashioned 3-point play.
What McCasland has to figure out is if he needs scoring or defense from his seventh rotational piece. That’s because Washington can provide the defense but struggles to score and is a turnover waiting to happen but Walton, who can shoot the 3-point shot as well as anyone on the team, is at best a reluctant defender and only an occasional rebounder.
Of course, McCasland will likely make that decision based on how each individual game plays out. What we are certain of is that he isn’t comfortable with the end of his rotation right now and that’s understandable.
Tech currently has six pieces to feel confident about, the five starters and McMillan. Other than that, no one has emerged to be a consistent contributor.
That’s a concern given that the rigors of Big 12 play will likely require Tech to go deeper into its bench than just one or two players, especially if an injury occurs, which seems highly likely. Friday, Walton got his shot to earn more minutes but he didn’t exactly blow anyone away. It will be interesting to see what McCasland does with his seventh spot moving forward because it appears to be one that is still in flux.