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Game Preview: TCU Horned Frogs (9-7) vs. #16 Kansas State Wildcats (13-2)

TCU is still looking for its first conference win in the Big 12. It won't be easy to secure a W against #16 Kansas State.

Justin K. Aller

Time/TV: 8:00 p.m. Central/ESPNU

TCU played one solid half against Baylor, and despite losing they kept it a respectable game. They'll need two solid halves against Kansas State, and it still may not be end well.

The Wildcats' two losses this season came to Michigan and Gonzaga, both of whom were ranked in the Top 15 (4 and 14, respectively) at the time of the game. They've also knocked off the likes of Oklahoma State, Florida and most recently, West Virginia.

Led by Rodney McGruder, a senior guard from Washington D.C. averaging 14.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, Kansas State is 2-0 in the Big 12, and 13-2 overall.

Unfortunately for the Frogs, one of Kansas State's biggest strengths is rebounding. They're 27th in the nation in rebounding, averaging 40.2 boards a game. Three players, McGruder, Thomas Gipson and Nino Williams, average over five rebounds per game, with four more players grabbing at least three per game.

We know by now that TCU is a very streaky shooting team, and that to have a chance, things come down to how well their defense plays. That defense is based on forcing bad shots, and keeping the ball out of the paint. It's also predicated on traps, and keeping the ball from moving quickly.

Kansas State averages almost 16 assists per game, led by Angel Rodriguez at 4.4 per game, which is generally an indicator that they move the ball very well.

A key to this game for TCU is to get Devonta Abron involved early. In the games against Texas Tech and Baylor, games in which he reached double digit scoring and was active on the boards, the Frogs managed to hang around.

However against Oklahoma State, where he only got three shots off and only grabbed one board, the Frogs were blown out.

It would also help if the good Garlon Green would show up. In the last five games, Green has scored 0, 20, 9, 15 and 31. Kyan Anderson is another guy who needs to bust out of a slump.

Over the past three games, Anderson has gone an embarrassing 7-33 from the floor (21.2%) and 3-14 from three point range (21.4%). He also accounted for 14 turnovers in those three game.

Quite frankly, I don't believe this is a game that TCU can or will win, but hey, it doesn't appear that these players are giving up any time soon, and that's nice to see.

Go Frogs.