It has been quite an unusual 40th college season for Texas Tech coach Bob Knight. His successor already has been picked and he is off to...
LUBBOCK, Texas — It has been quite an unusual 40th college season for Texas Tech coach Bob Knight. His successor already has been picked and he is off to his worst start in a decade, but he seemingly has the same intensity that helped him win three national championships with Indiana.
“I’m still coaching. My name is still on there as the coach,” the 65-year-old Knight said. “My name’s on there, then that’s what I’m doing.”
Knight, with 860 career victories, needs 20 to overtake retired Dean Smith of North Carolina for No. 1 on the all-time men’s Division I list. But with a team that is struggling and 19 games remaining before postseason play, passing Smith seems as if it will have to wait for next season.
After last season’s team made a surprising run to the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament, this year’s Raiders (6-5) are the least experienced team Knight has coached.
There are seven freshmen and one junior-college transfer on the roster. The influx of new players and the fact several interior players have been hobbled by injuries means Knight is off to his slowest start as a coach since 1995 at Indiana.
“We’ve got an awful lot of work to do to be competitive,” Knight said. “Forgetting the injuries, we’re not where I had hoped we would be at this point.”
Knight said he is “disappointed” so far by the performance of Texas Tech, which plays Arkansas (8-2) for the first time since 1991 today in Dallas.
Pat Knight, who signed a contract in October that designated him as his father’s successor as Texas Tech’s coach, said the team has been inconsistent without a leader.
“We told our team it doesn’t need to be one guy,” Pat said.
“It can be the whole team, just as long as somebody takes the burden off the coaching staff.”
Texas Tech started 10-1 in each of Bob Knight’s first two seasons, and the Raiders have won at least 20 games all four years since he arrived — a first for the school.
Tuesday’s Top 25 games
At No. 4 Memphis 76, Louisiana Tech 58
Senior forward Rodney Carney scored a career-high 37 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Tigers (9-1) over the Bulldogs (6-5).
Carney was 14 of 25 from the field, including 5 of 10 from three-point range, as Memphis won its sixth straight since losing to top-ranked Duke. Freshman forward Shawne Williams added 17 points for the Tigers.
Paul Millsap led Louisiana Tech with 27 points and 12 rebounds.
At No. 11 Louisville 76,
Middle Tennessee 68
Brandon Jenkins scored a career-high 20 points and David Padgett added 18 for the Cardinals (7-1) in a victory over the Blue Raiders (5-3) in the first round of the Billy Minardi Classic.
Louisville plays College of Charleston in tonight’s tournament final.
Middle Tennessee played the last 16 minutes without coach Kermit Davis, who was ejected after receiving two technical fouls.
At No. 25 Iowa 65, Drake 60
Adam Haluska connected on two three-pointers in the final 1:37 and the Hawkeyes (9-3) beat the Bulldogs (6-4) for the 27th straight time.
Greg Brunner had 17 points and 12 rebounds for Iowa.
At Oregon 91, Howard 55
Junior Aaron Brooks, from Franklin High School in Seattle, had 10 points and 10 assists — his first double-double at Oregon — as the Ducks (6-4) routed the Bison (1-6).
Oregon’s Malik Hairston scored a game-high 22 points.
• Senior forward Allen Morill of Arizona State (4-3) will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his left knee Monday, school officials announced.