Grant McCasland takes the blame for Texas Tech basketball's horrendous showing against Longhorns

Speaking to the media after the game, Texas Tech basketball head coach Grant McCasland took the blame for his team's horrendous showing Tuesday night against the Texas Longhorns.

TCU v Texas Tech
TCU v Texas Tech / John E. Moore III/GettyImages
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It wasn't that Texas Tech lost to Texas on Tuesday night. It was how Texas Tech lost that was the problem.

Shorthanded without big man Warren Washington for the third time in the last four games, everyone expected an uphill fight for the Red Raiders. However, no one expected Tech to show no fight at all and after the game, head coach Grant McCasland shouldered the blame for his team's no-show.

"As much as you feel like there's so much on the line in this game," he said, "it's one basketball game in the Big 12. But I grew up knowing what this means to Red Raiders and to myself and so I wanted to win this game.

"I'm embarrassed for our team, and I felt like Texas just got after us at the beginning of the game and beat us. Physically dominated the game and I didn't do a good enough job in the counter to give us an advantage. And then, the game got away from us by trying to do too much offensively in trying to get it back in one or two possessions and feeling the pressure of this game, I thought, got to us also."

Certainly, Texas scored an early knockout blow in the first half going up 30-15 at one point on their way to a 47-23 halftime advantage. In those first 20 minutes, Texas shot 60% from the field while the Red Raiders shot only 24.4% as a team.

"I did a terrible job coaching our team tonight," McCasland said. "And I've got to do a better job of making sure we're ready."

The head coach was then asked about how the offense can be improved when Washington is not able to play. Again, he shouldered the blame for his team's poor showing in that regard.

"That's where I did a terrible job," he said. "They took away a lot of our "get" actions and our movement to the basketball with bullying us. We should've went to the ball screen earlier and created better advantages, should've tried to get the matchups we wanted quicker and get advantages. We made a few substitutions thinking maybe it'll loosen up at some point and unfortunately, it didn't and some of our turnovers in those spots led to baskets."

In the game, Tech had only nine turnovers leading to 15 Texas points. That's not an unusually high number. However, when you are facing a team shooting 60% in a half, you can't afford to give up any possessions as you try to keep pace and weather the storm. That's why so many of Tech's first-half giveaways were so damaging as they served to only throw fuel on the fire.

Finally, McCasland had some blunt words to say when asked how his team would try to shake off back-to-back losses.

"I think you look in the mirror and you tell the truth," he said. "In a significant game of a lot of magnitude, and it is one basketball game, that's where you've got to try to put it in perspective and tell our guys...we're also playing to figure out how to get better and how to play in March and how to play deep into March.

"And so, the only thing you can do is get better from this and stare it in the face. I walked into the locker room, you can imagine...there's a lot of people standing there, administrators, everybody's looking at you like 'Oh crud, what happened?'

"You know what happened? We got beat. Bad. In a significant game. And I did a terrible job of preparing us. So what you do is you look at it in the mirror and you tell the truth and you figure out how you're going to get better. That's the truth. That's what I told them."

Hopefully, this was the low point of the season for the Red Raiders and hopefully, they will get better from taking a butt-kicking like they did on Tuesday night. That's because there remains plenty for this team to play for, including a spot in the NCAA Tournament, something that is no longer a guarantee but rather a privilege that still must be earned over the next two weeks.

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