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Game Preview: TCU (9-10) vs. Baylor (13-5)

The Beatdown Express makes its way back to Fort Worth Saturday as the Frogs try to make it a respectable game against Baylor.


Time: Saturday, January 26th, 3:00 p.m. Central.

TV: Big 12 Network (TXA-21 in DFW)

I'm a sucker for a tasty spread.

No, I'm not talking a cheese and cracker platter, although those are delicious, but I'm talking about betting spreads.

As many of you know, I foolishly took TCU to cover against West Virginia when they were sitting at +13.5. I justified this in my mind by saying that TCU had only lost one Big 12 conference game this season by more than 13 points (to Oklahoma State).

However, TCU has only covered the spread twice in their last five games, against Oklahoma State (+19) and Baylor (+18.5). I have a feeling the line will be a little lower for this go around,but probably still in the 12-14 point range. If it's higher than 15, I may have to take it again. I'll keep you all in the loop once the official line comes out on Bovada.

Now, to the game.

Baylor has won four out of their last five, including the first meeting between these two teams on January 12th. TCU actually led that game at halftime, giving Frog fans a brief moment of hope that this season might not be a complete and utter failure.

However, an awful showing by TCU in the second half, coupled with Baylor actually trying, restored the order of the universe, and the Bears went on to win 51-40.

Frankly, I don't expect Baylor to come out as slow this time around, and I don't expect TCU to be able to slow down guys like Pierre Jackson and Isaiah Austin again. Both Jackson and Austin were off that night, and if they're on, watch out. This will get ugly fast.

I came away from the West Virginia game pretty impressed with how aggressive Kyan Anderson was. He needs to work on finishing around the rim a little bit, and he still has trouble protecting the ball (he had three more turnovers against the Mountaineers, bringing his TO total to 60 on the season. He had 67 all of last year).

If he can maintain that aggression, and McKinney can continue to rebound like he has, the Frogs could keep this interesting.

I'll be there in person, so if you're there come say hi. I'm the guy with the huge beard.

Also, to keep you entertained, here are some quick facts from

* TCU ranks No. 1 in the Big 12 and No. 13 in the NCAA in scoring defense (57.2 ppg). The squad is No. 19 nationally in fewest 3-pointers allowed (4.3 3pg) and 81st in 3-point field-goal percentage defense (31.3%).

* TCU has limited all but three opponents to fewer than 70 points this season.

* TCU's scoring defense average is nearly 15 points fewer per game than last season's final figure (72.1 ppg).

* TCU has held two Big 12 opponents to their lowest scoring totals of the season to that point (Baylor: 51; Iowa State: 63).

* TCU has allowed 50 points or fewer five times. Its five previous efforts allowing 50 or fewer stretched back over 127 games to 2008.

* TCU is second in the Big 12 in turnovers forced during conference play (14.0 tpg).

* TCU has attempted 110 free throws in Big 12 play compared to only 79 for its opponents, an average margin of +5.2 pg.

* TCU has erased second-half deficits in six of its nine victories. Nine of the squad's 18 games have been decided by seven points or fewer.

* TCU is 9-1 in when outshooting the opponent and 7-1 when shooting 45.0% or higher from the field overall.

* TCU is 6-1 when leading at the half.

* TCU has featured nine different starting lineups this season.

* TCU players own two of the top-4 individual scoring performances by Big 12 players this season (Kyan Anderson, 35 vs. UAB; Garlon Green, 31 at Rice).

* TCU also owns the top rebounding game by a Big 12 player (Adrick McKinney, 20 vs. Houston).

* Garlon Green will tie TCU's all-time leading scorer, Darrell Browder (1980-83), for 10th place on the program's career games played list at 117 with an appearance vs. Baylor. It also will mark Green's 97th consecutive game seeing action.

* Green recently entered TCU's top 10 for career minutes played. He currently sits at No. 9 (2,883 mins).

* McKinney is 10th in the Big 12 in overall rebounding average (6.8 rpg) and No. 4 in the conference in offensive rebounding since the start of league play (3.2 orpg).

* McKinney has scored in double figures in six of the last 11 games. He had done so only seven times in 40 career games entering the stretch.

* McKinney has led TCU in rebounding in 10 of the last 13 games, averaging 8.5 rpg. He had paced the squad only five times in 37 career games entering the current stretch.

* McKinney as pulled in at least five boards in each of the last 13 contests, the longest streak for a Frog since 2009-10 (Zvonko Buljan, 24 straight).

* Kyan Anderson ranks among the Big 12 leaders in minutes played (No. 5), steals (No. 6), assists (No. 8), assist/turnover ratio (No. 10), 3-pointers (No. 14) and scoring (No. 16).

* Green is averaging a team-high 13.1 ppg and shooting 46.7% from 3-point range (14-of-30) over the last 10 contests with three 20-point outings.

* Prior to the current stretch, Green was 0-for-5 from outside the arc in the first nine contests.

* Abron's current individual field-goal percentage of 56.3% would rank No. 9 in TCU single-season history.

* Charles Hill Jr., who has started at shooting guard each of the last four games, has averaged playing 31.8 minutes during the last five games. He played only 31 minutes all season entering the current stretch.

* Hill has scored 32 of his 37 points in Big 12 action.

* Since the start of Big 12 play, Connell Crossland ranks No. 9 in the league in offensive rebounding, tied for No. 12 in blocked shots and tied for No. 20 in overall rebounding.

Go Frogs.