Jamie is travelling this weekend, so I'll be doing the game preview. Hi guys!
TV/Time: KTXA 21 at 3:00 CST
Who's looking forward to getting their first Big 12 road win tonight? I know I am!
In all seriousness, the Frogs have their work cut out for them in a big way as they head up to Kansas and attempt to send the Jayhawks fan home saddened for just the ninth time in Bill Self's ten years there. That is mind boggling, and the Jayhawk fans will be at the absolute top of their game. Still, this is a team that TCU did beat not that long ago, so it's certainly not impossible that they can win this game as well. Here are your keys to the game.
1. Weather the storm early- This Frogs team, as you're all aware, is not the most offensively gifted team in the Big 12 (in fact they are the least offensively gifted team in the Big 12) so if history is going to repeat itself the Frogs are going to have to stay close early. The arena is going to be rocking, the Kansas players are going to be amped up for revenge and it will be important for the Frogs to match that intensity and stop themselves from falling in a deep early hole- in an environment like the Phog it's not one that this TCU team can expect to come back from.
2. Kyan Anderson has to bring it on defense (and make an occasional three pointer)- The Jayhawks put a lot of weight on senior PG Elijah Johnson's shoulders, and his 3-16 performance against the Frogs last time was a big part of how the Frogs were able to control the game against the Jayhawks. Anderson is going to have to frustrate Johnson again this afternoon for the Frogs to stay in it, and that defensive pressure isn't the only thing that the frogs need from Anderson. Kyan was also one of only two frogs to make a three pointer in the Texas game, which was absolutely crucial for getting the Horns away from their 2-3 zone, which set up the run that tied the game for the frogs in the second half. Kansas will play pressure defense, but if the frogs aren't knocking down three pointers then the zone will put a cap on TCU's inside game and hurt our chances.
3. Garlon Green needs to be great.- As Garlon Green goes, so go the Frogs. We've had a lot of time to try and sort out who our best remaining player was after the Amric Fields injury, and the opinions still aren't entirely firm. What is firm, however, is that the Frogs don't stay in games if Garlon Green doesn't have a good night. Green led all scorers last time with 20 points on 7 of 13 shooting, and it will probably take another performance like that for TCU to have a chance in this game too.
4. Stay out of foul trouble.- This is a big point for the frogs, as the tide of the Texas game turned when Adrick McKinney picked up his third foul in the second half and had to sit- the Frogs were never able to take the lead, and lost most of the momentum they had gained, watching the Texas big men pound it inside with impunity and not have to work defensively as well. TCU is not a deep team, especially inside, so it will be important for the frogs to keep their best players on the court as much as possible to have a chance in this one. This becomes even more of a factor with Kansas playing at home, as the other Big 12 members all seem to have horror stories of ghost fouls that get called with regularity in the Phog. It may or may not be true, but it will be up to our bigs to keep their heads on straight and play clean so that if there is a questionable call or two in the game it won't mean extended bench time due to foul trouble.
This will be the toughest game that the frogs play all year, but still I feel strangely good about this one and think TCU will be competitive again. The line is Kansas +25 if I've managed to sway any degenerates anyway. Enjoy the game and, as always, Go Frogs!