It's Not Who Starts, But Who Finishes|
Jaye Crockett is one of the nation's top Sixth Men in terms of scoring and rebounding.
February 22, 2012
By Sam Ross
It’s hard to imagine the absence of the leading scorer from the starting lineup of any team. Starting in only nine of his 86 games played in his career, Texas Tech junior forward Jaye Crockett has made the most of his minutes throughout his time spent as a Red Raider.
Although he is rarely on the floor to start the game, Crockett has managed to become the most reliable member on the squad. As the team’s leading scorer and one of the top Sixth Men in the nation, Crockett is the prototypical team player.
“My mentality is to lead by example,” Crockett said. “Leading a team means being vocal and working harder than anyone else.”
The hard work has paid off as this season has brought out the best in Crockett. Among the top ten Sixth Men in the power six conferences, Crockett leads the group in rebounding and ranks fourth in scoring with 7.0 rebounds and 12.3 points, respectively.
Crockett is having his best season as a Red Raider and leads the team in virtually every category. Aside from career highs in scoring and rebounding, he is shooting a career best 52.2 percent from the floor. He also leads the team in free throw percentage and has recorded seven of his 10 career double-doubles this season.
Furthermore, Crockett has set himself apart with seven double-digit rebounding efforts and double doubles on the season. Only one other player has achieved a double double this season and only twice has another player collected over 10 rebounds.
Waiting in idle on the bench for his number to be called, Texas Tech’s leading scorer has time to size up his opponents and plan his every move. Patience and consistency are two of the primary assets Crockett attributes to his game and continued improvement over the years.
“Over the years I’ve learned to be consistent,” Crockett said. “You just have to try and play to your strengths every game, just do what you can on the court and not try and do too much.”
Following his first season at Texas Tech in 2009, Crockett has steadily improved his game year by year.
In a limited role as a redshirt freshman, Crockett was able to shoot just shy of 50 percent from the field while averaging three rebounds and nearly five points per game. His sophomore year brought with it an increase in playing time. Now playing as the sixth man of the team, Crockett led the team in both scoring and rebounding in Big 12 play.
Entering the 2012-13 season amidst a coaching change and influx of new players, all eyes turn to Crockett – the talented yet unassuming leader – for a sense of stability. As the most experienced player on the roster, Crockett has been given a leadership role he has not assumed in prior seasons.
Although he said leadership can be a difficult job to assume, he says he enjoys working hard and setting a good example for the younger players.
“I’m teaching as much as I can, especially to new players first entering a major conference like the Big 12,” Crockett said. “Leadership is a great role to have; it helps me be a better person both on and off the court.”
With all five starters set to return to the team next season, he said continuing to learn and improve upon their play will be vital. Crockett said the most important thing he has learned in his career is to be consistent with his play. This year’s team has shown glimpses of what they are capable of; however, he said they will need to be more consistent to truly turn the corner.
Crockett is excited regarding the future of the Red Raiders. Considering the amount of talented young players returning in the seasons to come, he said the young players will need to step up soon.
“Of course when you have young players with talent you just have to make sure they come in with the right mindset next year and realize they’re not freshman anymore,” Crockett said. “They’re going to have to take on leadership roles themselves.”