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TCU Basketball Preview: West Virginia Mountaineers

The Frogs face their stiffest road test of the season this afternoon in Morgantown against the 18th ranked Mountaineers. TCU looks to extract revenge after falling to West Virginia earlier this month.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Game Time: 1:00pm CDT | Location: WVU Coliseum – Morgantown, WV
TV: ESPNU | Series: WVU leads 5-0 | Game Line: WVU -9.5

TCU and West Virginia face off this afternoon with each team coming off blowout losses to the Texas Longhorns. The Frogs fell to UT at home Wednesday night 66-48, in a game where TCU’s defense held the ‘Horns in check, but the offense struggled to penetrate through the tough Texas defense. The Mountaineers, on the other hand, were thoroughly dismantled by the Longhorns in Austin last Saturday. Texas held West Virginia to just seven points in the final 13:00 of the game, en route to a 77-50 victory.

TCU knows that its own tough defense can keep the Mountaineers' scoring struggles going. Coming into today’s matchup, the Frogs possess the fourth best field goal percentage defense in the country, allowing opponents to shoot just 34.7%. Only #1 Kentucky, #2 Virginia, and #17 Texas have better scoring defenses. The Frogs defense came to play in the first half of the earlier contest against the Mountaineers, as TCU held WVU to just seven points in the first 10:00 of the game.

The biggest impact on today’s contest will likely be West Virginia forward Juwan Staten. The Mountaineer’s leading scorer (15.0 ppg) and assists man (4.0 apg) missed the first game in Fort Worth with the flu. The insertion of Staten into the West Virginia lineup will provide another challenge for the TCU defense. Behind Staten is Devin Williams, a sophomore forward that lit up the Frogs for 14 points and 8 boards earlier this month. The Frogs must contain these two scorers to have a shot at the upset this afternoon.

For the Frogs, everything goes through senior guard Kyan Anderson. Against Texas Tech, Anderson dropped 19 points and led TCU to a 20-point victory. Against Texas on Monday, Anderson scored just two, and the rest of the Frog offense struggled from the field. As Anderson goes, so does the TCU offense. In the first matchup, Anderson dropped 19 points on 50.0% shooting from the field. The Frogs will need another big day from him to pull off the upset.

Rebounding is going to be a major deciding factor in today’s game. In TCU’s 14 wins this season, the Frogs are out-rebounding their opponents by over 10 boards per game. But in TCU’s four losses, the Frogs are getting out-rebounded by nearly nine boards per game. Fresh off his insertion into the starting lineup, Kenrich Williams leads the team in rebounds per game with 6.5. Williams will need help from Karviar Shepherd and Chris Washburn on the boards this afternoon.

The Frogs played West Virginia tough in the first matchup and should know just what they need to improve upon to earn a win today. With 40 minutes of lockdown defense, better scoring, and a stronger control of gathering offensive and defensive boards, the Frogs could earn the first victory over West Virginia in program history today.

TCU Projected Starters

West Virginia Projected Starters

G

Kyan Anderson

13.2 ppg, 3.9 apg

F

Jonathan Holton

9.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg

G

Trey Zeigler

8.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg

F

Devin Williams

10.8 ppg, 7.7 rpg

F

Kenrich Williams

8.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg

G

Juwan Staten

15.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg

F

Chris Washburn

6.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg

G

Daxter Miller, Jr.

6.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg

C

Karviar Shephed

6.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg

G

Gary Browne

6.6 ppg, 1.2 rpg

Here are other game notes, courtesy of GoFrogs.com:

• Prior to its overtime setback against Baylor, TCU was 13-2 for only the second time in school history.

• TCU opened the 1951-52 season 14-2 overall.

• It is the best start to a season since going 9-0 in 1997-98, which was the last time the Frogs made the NCAA Tournament.

• TCU is 29-5 when leading at the half under head coach Trent Johnson.

• TCU has now held 27 opponents to 59 points or less under Trent Johnson.

• TCU has out-rebounded its opposition 13 times this season.

• TCU has already bettered its win total from a year ago and 2011-12.

• Kyan Anderson is No. 10 all-time in scoring in program history with 1,421 points.

• Anderson only needs six more points to move into No. 9 all-time.

• Anderson now has 19 20-point games in his four-year career after scoring 21 against Furman.

• Kenrich Williams has scored in double-figures in eight of the 18 games this season, including 10 vs. Texas.

• Trey Zeigler has led TCU in assists in six out of the last seven games.

• Zeigler has scored 15 or more points in two out of the last five games heading into Saturday.

Chauncey Collins scored in double-figures for only the third time this season at Texas Tech.

• TCU Director of Sports Medicine Chris Hall worked his 1,000th game at TCU vs. Texas Tech.