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February 18, 2011At 11-15 and 3-8 in Big 12 Conference play it wouldn't come as a surprise if the Red Raider basketball squad missed out on the 2011 postseason tournaments.
There is a silver lining though for the future of Texas Tech hoops though. More minutes are going to Tech's freshmen, and forward Jaye Crockett is making the most of his time on the court.
Crockett, a redshirt freshman forward from Clovis, N.M., has made a lot of improvement from the beginning of the season until now and he has been seeing more minutes lately.
Senior forward Mike Singletary has struggled with a calf injury over the team's last two games and that has allowed Crockett to get off the bench early and have an extended chance to show Red Raider fans what he can be down the road.
"Losing Mike, you lose scoring and rebounding so I just figured I need to go in and get buckets and rebounds whenever they're available," Crockett said before Thursday's practice.
Against Texas A&M, Crockett had seven points in 13 minutes and Aggie head coach Mark Turgeon praised Crockett as a guy who really gave A&M a problem. In a 92-84 loss at Missouri, Crockett put up 11 points in 19 minutes and added nine boards to tie Brad Reese for the Red Raiders' game high.
Crockett has played at least 10 minutes in every game since the Oklahoma State game on Jan. 29.
"I feel like I learn in every game," Crockett said. "I learn something new every game and then going in and watching film after the games with coach and just learning from my mistakes."
Guard Bean Willis also has seen an increase in minutes lately. He played 28 minutes in the loss to Missouri and scored 10 points. He still can make a lot of improvement though, especially from behind the arc when he shoots about 30 percent right now.
After Singletary and Roberson's long run at Tech comes to an end at the conclusion of this season, it's obvious there is potential for Crockett and Willis to become Tech's next one-two duo based on the increase in minutes they're getting.
But Crockett said no one inside the locker room is thinking about transitioning to next season and instead have their full attention on a rematch with Baylor which will be played in Waco at 7 p.m.
"I mean nothing really," Crockett said when asked about how much talk there is about next season. "We just went from the same game plan that we had at the beginning with everyone trying to give 110 percent to the team, trying to get a win."
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