Texas Tech Basketball: 3 keys to beating Duke in Sweet 16 matchup

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Kevin Obanor Texas Tech Basketball (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)

1. Get Kevin Obanor going

Former Oral Roberts star Kevin Obanor has been dominating the boards this postseason. Now it’s time for him to dominate the scoring sheet, too.

Obanor has pulled down a whopping 26 rebounds in the first two games of the NCAA Tournament. His proficiency on the boards either extended possessions or served as a moribund reminder to opponents of how difficult it would be to score against Texas Tech. Keep in mind, Obanor averaged just 5.4 rebounds per game during the regular season.

The senior forward hasn’t been bad scoring the rock during his first two postseason games this year. He scored 10 points against Montana State and 15 points against Notre Dame, which accounted for more than a quarter of the team’s points in the rock fight with the Fighting Irish.

He’s capable of more, though. During Oral Roberts’ memorable run to the Sweet 16 last year, Obanor dropped 30 on the Ohio State Buckeyes in the First Round and 28 on the Florida Gators to close the weekend. Only when he stopped scoring (12 points against Arkansas) did the party train stop.

Obanor hasn’t needed to fill the role of a scorer for the Lubbock program all year. He’s averaged an even 10 points per game, the worst scoring average of his college career. While Adams hasn’t relied on him to score, the peripherals are more concerning. Obanor is also sporting a career-worst splits across the line, shooting .469/.331/.761.

Bryson Williams has been the team’s best scorer all season, averaging 13.9 points per game. He’s led the way in the NCAA Tournament too, with 20 points against Montana State and 14 points against Notre Dame.

He can’t carry the load himself, though. It’s time for the secondary scorers to step up and lead Texas Tech to the Elite Eight.

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