It’s a block party courtesy of twenty-two

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

This week’s player of the week really shined on the defensive end

After the murder of the frog on Monday night and the comeback in Austin there are plenty of positives to look at. This week, I chose to honor a player for his extraordinary efforts on the defensive end.

TJ Holyfield is once again the Texas Tech player of the week. Holyfield has been a rising star to compliment this younger team, blocking everything over the past few games. The most important piece of last year’s success was Tariq Owens’ ability to block any shot within a mile of himself; the necessity of Holyfield filling that capability cannot be understated. Holyfield had 11 blocks across the last 3 games, which is dramatically outpacing his earlier production.

Matt Coleman essentially became the end-all play for the Longhorns as the UT game came to a close. In the final minute of play Shaka Smart tried the same Coleman-to-the-basket play not once, not twice, but THREE times. Holyfield was not fooled and in the final thirty seconds he blocked Coleman on back-to-back possessions to seal a victory for the Red Raiders. Though he only managed two points in the game, Holyfield dominated the defensive stat line with 8 rebounds, 5 blocks, and one steal.

 Photo by Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Against TCU the Red Raiders dominated start to finish. In their rout, Holyfield played a much more balanced game putting up 10 points to go along with 3 blocks, 3 rebounds, and a steal. Going 4-6 from the field and 1-1 beyond the arc is illustrative of Holyfield’s increasing confidence in shooting the ball, but also should be noted is his increasing awareness during the motion offense. This team is finally grooving and Holyfield going from under-performing to where he is now is a big reason why.

Source: Viva the Matadors