Duke basketball: Texas Tech defense is elite but offense is vulnerable

Duke basketball prepares to face Texas Tech Red Raiders guard Terrence Shannon Jr. (Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball prepares to face Texas Tech Red Raiders guard Terrence Shannon Jr. (Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Duke basketball team must exploit the weaknesses of Texas Tech in the Sweet 16. 

Thursday night will be no easy challenge for the Duke basketball team as the Blue Devils face the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

Texas Tech has one of the best defenses in the county, and it has proven to be a worthy National Championship contender.

Opponents are only averaging 60.2 points per game against the Red Raiders this season while shooting 38.2-percent from the floor, 31.4-percent from 3-point, and 68.5-percent from the free throw line.

The Red Raiders also force their foes into an average of 16.0 turnovers per game, a startling number.

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On the other side of the ball, the Texas Tech offense presents a very balanced attack as six different players post at least 8.0 points per game. The team shoots 47.0-percent from the floor yet only connects at a 31.4-percent rate from deep

The group is clearly led by Bryson Williams, who averages 13.9 points per game and shoots 53.7-percent from the field and 40.9-percent from 3-point range.

Terrance Shannon Jr. and Kevin Obanor average 10.5 points and 10.0 points, respectively.

Duke basketball must be sharp on defensive side of the floor

However, there are some vulnerabilities from the Red Raiders.

In its nine losses this season, Texas Tech has failed to score more than 55 points in five of those games.

The Red Raiders have only scored more than 68 points in one of their losses, a 94-91 double-overtime loss on the road against Kansas.

It is the defense of Mark Adams’ team that keeps Texas Tech in the game when its offense is not hitting shots, but the Blue Devils have the offensive firepower to make things difficult for the Red Raiders.

Duke is averaging 80.3 points per game.

Tipoff between the Blue Devils and Red Raiders is scheduled for 9:39 p.m. EST inside the Chase Center in San Francisco, California on CBS.

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