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Game Preview: TCU (6-4) vs. Southern (4-5)

TCU faces off against Southern tonight, in an attempt to get back on track after tough losses to Houston and Tulsa.

Ethan Miller

Time/TV: 8:00 pm Central, Fox Sports Southwest Plus

TCU hosts Southern University Jaguars Tuesday night as they attempt to get to 7-4 on the season and gain a little momentum heading into conference play.

The Jaguars, despite their losing record, will not be a pushover for the Frogs. Currently, Southern is averaging more points per game (68.0 to 54.5), rebounds per game (35.3 to 33.0), assists per game (13.6 to 11.0) and are shooting at a better rate (44.4% to 42.4%) than the Frogs.

They’re led by senior guards Derick Beltran and Jameel Grace, who lead the team in points per game and assists per game respectively. Beltran has had a hot hand as of late for the Jags, scoring 49 points in their last two games.

Big man Brandon Moore, a 6’ 10" transfer from FIU, has come on as of late as well, seeing substantial minutes in the past five games, while starting the last three. In those five games he’s averaging eight rebounds a game, and will more than likely be a force in the paint.

It’s important for Adrick McKinney and Devonta Abron to get on the glass early and often. They’ll both be dealing with Moore throughout the night.

With Southern having the slight statistical rebounding edge, the glass will once again be a huge issue for the Frogs in this game. For the Frogs, controlling the glass is always important. TCU needs to establish that dominance early on.

Meanwhile, Garlon Green and Connell Crossland will have their hands full with freshman Malcolm Miller. Miller is averaging 13.4 points per game and almost 5 rebounds. Miller is a very dynamic guard/small forward hybrid, and he’s only been held below 10 points once this season.

TCU needs to put themselves in good shooting spots early on as well. They’ve shot very poorly the past two games (33.3% against Houston, 38.3% against Tulsa) and that trend cannot continue. Kyan Anderson, Green and Crossland need to drive to the rim, get shots around the basket and draw fouls.

Lastly, TCU needs to continue to play stout defense and force turnovers. They forced 23 against a sloppy Tulsa team and are forcing an average of 14.6 turnovers per game.

It’s been apparent early in the season that players are buying into Trent Johnson’s system, as the defense has made great improvements over previous years. Offensively however, it’s time to start seeing results on the court.