Red Raider Defense Continues Leading Nation

Red Raider Defense Continues Leading Nation

Norense Odiase Norense Odiase

LUBBOCK, Texas – After playing 10 games, Texas Tech has earned 10 wins, leads the nation in field-goal defense and scoring defense and comes in at No. 4 in the NCAA NET Rankings, No. 12 in the Associated Press Top-25 Poll, No. 11 in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll and No. 9 in the ESPN Power Rankings.

The Red Raiders (10-0) return to action at 6 p.m. on Thursday against No. 2 Duke at Madison Square Garden in their fourth neutral-court game of the season, while the Blue Devils (9-1) will host Princeton on Tuesday before traveling up to New York for the first-ever matchup between the two schools.

Texas Tech is unbeaten through 10 games for the second time in program history with the only other time coming with a 12-0 start to the 1929-30 season. The Red Raiders got to 10-0 with an impressive 82-48 win over Abilene Christian last Saturday in the final game ever at the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum. TTU's defense limited the Wildcats to 28.3 percent shooting in the game, while Jarrett Culver went off for a career-high 30 points after going 12-for-13 from the field. The Red Raiders finished the game shooting 55.6 percent from the field with 10 players scoring in the game. Culver would earn Big 12 Player of the Week for his performance, the first in his career and the first conference honor of the season for the Red Raiders. 

After two strong performances last week, the Red Raiders continue to lead the nation by limiting opponents to 32.2 percent shooting and have now matched Virginia by holding teams to 51.2 points per game for the national lead. TTU is second nationally with a 26.3 scoring margin advantage, fourth in 3-point defense (25.0 %), 11th with a 5.3 turnover margin advantage, 16th with 5.4 blocked shots per game and 25th with a 7.5 rebounding advantage. Offensively, the Red Raiders are scoring 77.5 points per game and are 18th nationally with a 49.9 shooting percentage and second in the Big 12 with only 115 turnovers through 10 games.

In the polls, Texas Tech remained at No. 11 in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll but dropped one spot to No. 12 in the AP Top-25. The Red Raiders, who were unranked in the preseason polls, appeared in 14 AP polls last season but would enter this season unranked through three weeks. The Red Raiders finished the 2017-18 season at No. 6 in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll and were in its Top-10 rankings seven times during the season. The No. 6 ranking to finish the season matched a program-best set on Feb. 12, 2018 in the USA TODAY Coaches poll and on Feb. 19, 2018 in the AP Top 25 Poll.

Kansas (9-0) is the top-ranked team in the nation for the second straight week, followed by the Blue Devils, Tennessee (8-1), Michigan (11-0) and Virginia (9-0) in the polls. Texas Tech is one of nine teams who are still unbeaten with KU, Michigan, Virginia, No. 6 Nevada (11-0), No. 14 Buffalo (10-0), No. 21 Houston (10-0) and No. 24 Furman (12-0). St. John's (10-0) is the only undefeated team outside the polls in the seventh release of the season. 


Powered by Frankly