It’s not often you see a coach scream at his players in the waning moments of a 25-point win, but that’s exactly what happened in Texas Tech’s 86-61 victory over Baylor on Saturday.
Chris Beard, head coach of the No. 15 Red Raiders, went off on two little-used bench players, including a walk-on, for executing an alley-oop dunk in the final seconds of the blowout.
On the play, junior guard Andrew Sorrells threw a lob pass to freshman walk-on Avery Benson, who slammed it down with one hand. The crowd went nuts for the the two bench players. But not Beard.
Beard was seen ranting on the sidelines after the play, presumably worried the alley-oop could be perceived as showing up the opponent.
It’s an unwritten rule in basketball that you just run out the clock in the waning seconds of a blowout win and not shoot, let alone execute an alley-oop.
So you can see Beard’s point, though some felt as if he went a little too far with his reaction.
Sorrells and Benson are both players who get very few opportunities to play, so you can also see why they might want to do what they can to make a lasting memory.
Beard made Sorrells, who threw the pass, apologize to Baylor coach Scott Drew after the final buzzer sounded. Beard appeared to apologize to Drew as well, according to CBS Sports.
If emotions were raw for Beard, it was for good reason. Center Norense Odiase lost two of his cousins in a car accident the day before the game. Beard subbed Odiase out with under eight minutes left and gave him a hug.
“Just have a lot of respect for Norense,” Beard said after the game, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported. “Just one of the toughest guys I’ve ever coached. He’s going through a lot of pain right now. I was glad for in some small, small way — it really doesn’t even matter — I’m glad that the team played well (Saturday) so he could have a little bit of an escape.”
Odiase chose to play in the game and logged 11 minutes.
“That was our plan today,” Beard said. “Try to win this game for Norense. To just give him and his family maybe a short escape from the tragic reality that we’re all facing right now.”
Texas Tech improved to 21-5 and 9-4 in the Big 12. They are tied with Kansas and just a half-game behind first-place Kansas State.
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