Texas Tech basketball: Red Raiders sloppy in victory over UTA

Dec 21, 2023; Lubbock, Texas, USA;  Texas Tech Red Raiders guard Pop Isaacs (2) dribbles the ball
Dec 21, 2023; Lubbock, Texas, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders guard Pop Isaacs (2) dribbles the ball / Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
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Kerwin Walton was silent for Texas Tech

At some point, we will all stop obsessing over Kerwin Walton's performances and treat him like he's just another member of the team. However, that day is not today.

That's because Walton is one of the most fascinating players we've seen come through Lubbock. It's rare for any program to see a player go from essentially the end of the bench to a starting role in the span of just a month with that month coming in the middle of the season.

What's more, it is even more unusual for a previously unproductive player to just explode as Walton has done when given starters minutes. Additionally, with the injury to Devan Cambridge, Tech desperately needs someone to take up the slack and Walton might be the only option, especially in regard to scoring points.

Those are some of the reasons that all eyes are on Walton every game. Well, if you watched the former North Carolina transfer on Thursday, you didn't see much as he looked more like the player we saw early in the season rather than the one who had been electric over the past three contests.

Again getting the start, he was held scoreless as he went 0-3 from the floor. That performance included two missed 3-pointers and a blown layup off the dribble. He also had only one rebound and one assist in his 20 minutes of action.

Playing the fewest minutes of any starter, Walton essentially saw no action in the second half as reserve guard Chance McMillan got 30 minutes on the court scoring 13 points and pulling down 3 rebounds.

Now, on the broadcast, it was stated that an illness had been running through the Texas Tech basketball program and perhaps Walton was impacted by that. The broadcast crew did not elaborate on who had been or was still sick but maybe Walton fell into one of those categories.

Or, maybe Walton was targeted by UTA as a player they could not give any open looks to. As the season progresses, he will have to figure out how to still be impactful even when opposing coaches emphasize stopping him specifically.

The good news is that Tech has the depth at guard to make up for a quiet day from Walton. As the only Red Raider to see the floor on Thursday but fail to register a point, he looked more like the Kerwin Walton we saw all of last season and for the first three weeks of 2023-24. Hopefully, this performance was just a blip on the radar and he will get back to being effective on both ends of the floor when Tech returns to action next week.