Are the Texas Tech basketball guards coming out of their awful slump?

The guards on the Texas Tech basketball team may be showing signs of coming out of a collective slump.

Brigham Young v Texas Tech
Brigham Young v Texas Tech / John E. Moore III/GettyImages
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The Texas Tech basketball team picked up a much-needed win over TCU on Tuesday night. In the 82-81 win, one of the highlights was that the Red Raider guards showed signs that they are about to come out of a collective slump.

Texas Tech guards hit the skids at the same time.

Over the past few games, the Texas Tech basketball team saw its guards fall into a collective shooting slump. That included the team's leading scorer Pop Isaacs.

In the previous three games, the sophomore was unable to put up the type of offense that we'd come to expect from him for much of the conference season. Against UCF, Kansas, and Iowa State, he managed to average just 7.3 points per game.

During that stretch, he also was a wretched 5-33 from the field. That included shooting 3-15 from 3-point range.

Meanwhile, Tech's top bench scorer, Chance McMillan also went into a bit of a shooting slump at the same time. In those three games, he was just 2-18 from 3-point range. Remember, that the 3-pointer has been a huge weapon for him at times this year, including the eight he made against Butler and the six he hit against Oklahoma.

Then, there was Joe Toussaint's offensive downturn. Sure, on the surface he appeared to be playing well in that three-game stretch as he averaged 11 points per game.

However, he shot only 35.7% from the floor, down from his average of 42.3% for the season. To get his points, he was rather inefficient needing 10 shots to get 11 points versus UCF and nine shots to get six points against Kansas before taking only nine shots to get 16 points against Iowa State.

Given the struggles of all three of these players, it was amazing that Tech managed to go 2-1 during that three-game stretch. Thanks to the work of Darrion Williams, Tech was able to survive for a moment. However, we all know that if this team is to make any noise in March, those three Red Raiders will have to be on top of their game.

In Texas Tech's win over TCU, all three guards showed signs of coming out of their slumps

The Red Raiders might be about to get better guard play. That's one takeaway from Tuesday's comeback victory over TCU.

Of course, Isaacs was the star of the night with a team-high 19 points. However, he didn't go about it the easy way.

He was just 4-11 from the field and 0-5 from 3-point range. The good news, though, is that he was 11-12 from the free-throw line.

While Isaacs wasn't the picture of efficiency against TCU, he did finally figure out how to produce some offense even when his jump shot was failing him. That's a lesson he can take through the rest of the season.

In the three previous games, he had attempted a total of ten free throws. That was two fewer than he shot against TCU alone. It appears that being aggressive even when the points are tough to come by is something he rediscovered and hopefully that's part of his game for the rest of the season.

Meanwhile, McMillan put up nine points off the bench against TCU. Granted, he is capable of more but to see him at least hit one of his four 3-point attempts was encouraging. Still, he needs to be better. It appears that he's rushing his shot perhaps in response to tougher defensive tactics that are being deployed against him to limit quality 3-point opportunities. It will be up to Grant McCasland to scheme up ways to get better looks for one of his best outside shooters.

Then there is Toussaint. He had his second-straight impactful game with 14 points on 4-10 shooting. Like Isaacs, he also got to the line often going 5-5 there. That came on the heels of a 16-point showing against a rugged Iowa State defense.

The reality is that college basketball is all about guard play, especially in the NCAA Tournament. That's why Texas Tech has a shot to make a deep run this year.

However, for that to happen, the Red Raiders will need all three of their primary guards to play quality basketball down the stretch. Each showed signs of either breaking out of a slump or continuing to ascend on Tuesday against TCU. If they can all hit their stride and play their best ball for the rest of the season, this could be a very interesting team from here on out.

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