Watching Texas Tech's double-court storming win against Washington tonight, I kept thinking of Pat Knight's words at Big 12 media day. In Kansas City a month ago, the Red Raiders coach insisted this year his team would be different because this year he finally had players.
Taking a cue from his pop, Knight didn't mince words about his earlier teams. He said emphatically that the players he had on the roster previously weren't good enough to win in the Big 12. They didn't defend well because they couldn't; they didn't run an efficient offense because the players weren't talented enough to do it.
I'll admit, at the time I thought it sounded like a cop out. Knight was feeling the heat in Lubbock and I thought maybe he was reaching for excuses.
I was wrong.
He was right.
Armed with good players -- his players -- and able to run the kind of game he wants to run, Knight has Texas Tech headed in the right direction.
Texas Tech is playing terrific defense -- something that's gotta please poppa. Before Washington put up 92 in overtime, Texas Tech had given up more than 61 in a game just once.
The Red Raiders are 8-0 and have scalped the best team in the Pac-10 in Washington and exposed the supposed rising team in the same conference, Oregon State.
The Big 12 is pretty loaded this year, so I'll be curious to see how Texas Tech measures up in league play, but there is no doubt Knight was right. He's got players and he's got a team.