#21 Texas Tech fell to Ohio State, 80-73, on the final day of the Maui Invitational. Head coach of the Red Raiders Mark Adams And starting forward Daniel Batcho answered questions from the media after the game.
Inside the Red Raiders were present and asked several questions during the press conference. The following is a transcript of the press conference.
MARK ADAMS: Well, I give the state of Ohio a lot of credit. Looking at the stats sheet, they were just a little bit better than us in every category, and that’s how the match went. Only they are a really good team, very difficult to defend and well trained, good players. I think they will have a great year. This is another game we can learn from.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Daniel?
Q. What do you feel you learned during this tournament by playing against this quality competition?
DANIEL BATCHO: I feel like we just need to be more focused and have fewer moments where we seem a little out of bounds and kind of don’t know what we’re doing. But this is coming to our age because we are very young. It’s not an excuse, but it’s true. I think we are improving, because we have learned a lot from this tournament. So that’s what I’m happy with.
Q. With your own game, getting this experience, how has that helped you?
DANIEL BATCHO: It’s given me a lot of confidence to see where they are because we were playing, they’re really good teams that we’re playing, and just to see where they are, that’s fine.
Q. How did you cut your eye? I lost it in the match. I have not seen how it happened.
DANIEL BATCHO: I took an elbow on the rebuttal, but that’s it.
THE MODERATOR: All right. Thanks for your time, Daniel. We will answer questions for the coach.
Q. You were 4-8 from three-point range in the first half and then 1-10. What were they doing, what were the defensive adjustments that, contrasting those two corridors?
MARK ADAMS: Well I think it was, I thought they were really good at putting up a hand and contesting shots. But we missed it, we had a good look that we missed it too. But this is, we think one of our strengths is three-point shooting.
But when I look at Ohio State and their experience and some of those guys that they have, we’re nowhere near those guys. Obviously Sean McNeil is a guy that we coached against West Virginia and I’ve actually recruited from junior college and even into portal. We think about him a lot. Likekele is a player we played against Oklahoma State, so tough, great character, leader, and it showed on the field.
I thought the biggest difference was only in the moments when we, under pressure, in difficult situations we didn’t get a block or we had a turnover or we just didn’t behave as we should have. Their experience showed in that moment and our inexperience was a big difference in the game.
Q. They got layups or dunks on inbound plays on at least three different plays. What did you see what happened in those plays?
MARK ADAMS: It’s, again, lack of our inexperience. And you have to give a lot of credit to, I guess it was Key, their big boy, Zed Key, would, they were really physical and sealed our guys at the top. We just didn’t have the help of the rear. Something we’ve been working on.
But these are things that will be corrected in post defense. But also only on our side of help. That it was just too late to get there. But they have explosive players. And, yes, something we usually don’t like to see is giving up layups and dunks. It’s just something we’re not used to. Also give a lot of credit to their head coach and some of the sets they ran.
Q. Obanor and Batcho’s 1-2 draw this week, despite a couple of losses, was very productive, very good. What do you think of how they performed?
MARK ADAMS: I think they did well. KO finally hit some three. He probably didn’t throw the number 3 ball as he could and should. But he played hard, aggressive and gave us everything he had.
But I thought Daniel Batcho was great in all three games. Just a warrior. And that consistency is what we’re really looking for. We just have to develop some with our guards. We’ll get there. We only have a few younger players in those positions.
Q. You mentioned some of the younger players and that’s something you talked about. I know this is a sour note, leaving it on a sour note, but what upsides do you get? And what did you learn about your team this week in Maui?
MARK ADAMS: Well, there are a lot of positives. I mean Creighton’s game was, they’re so hard to protect. But we came back and had a really good game against Louisville. I know we got them, they are also going through adversity but we played very hard. So we responded to that adversity. And then go down to the start of the game and then come back.
So I was commended on how our guys responded and didn’t just give in and kept fighting. So I thought they did a good job getting back into the game in the second half and at the end of the first half.
Q. Your thoughts on Justice Sueing today and her performance after she’s had a couple games off-shooting. Was it surprising to see him do what he did today?
MARK ADAMS: Well, again he’s a guy we’ve talked about a lot. He was really good. They have so many players that you have to focus on that could get 15, 20 points. Just a very, very explosive offense. I talked about Sean McNeil and filming him. And then you have Brice, number 10, who could end up being a lottery winner, just incredible scorer.
So it’s hard defensively to focus on just one or two guys. But I certainly thought Justice played very, very well.