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TCU Basketball Preview: Houston Baptist

The Frogs look to pick up their 20th consecutive non-conference win tonight against the Houston Baptist Huskies at the Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Game Time: 7:00pm CDT | Location: Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center - Fort Worth, TX
TV: FOX Sports Southwest Plus | Series: TCU leads 5-1 | Game Line: None

The bad news heading into this game is that TCU has been relegated to the Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center once again as the finishing touches are applied to the Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena.  The good news is that TCU has never lost to a non-conference opponent at the Wilk. The Frogs enter tonight's contest against the Houston Baptist Huskies with a 19-game winning streak against their non-con foes, with 10 of those 19 wins coming at the Fort Worth ISD multipurpose facility. Tonight's contest is the first of two games in the "on-campus" portion of the 2015 Cancun Challenge.

TCU began the season last Friday with a 90-77 win over the Southeastern Louisiana Lions at the University Recreation Center on campus. Vladimir Brodziansky stole the show for the Frogs, picking up a double-double in his first career start in the Purple and White. The transfer from Pratt Community College in Kansas scored 19 points, grabbed 10 boards, dished out five assists, and blocked two shots, en route to winning Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors.

Brodziansky looks to lead the charge once again tonight as the Frogs face the Huskies for the first time since 1976. Houston Baptists enters the game 1-1 following a 102-62 win over Crowley's Ridge College out of the National Christian College Athletic Association on Monday. HBU fell to New Mexico State 91-69 to open the season. The Huskies are led by a trio of double-digit scorers in Anthony Odunsi, Colter Lasher, and Trey Patterson. Odunsi and Lasher are each averaging over 14.0 points per game while Patterson isn't far behind at 10.5 per game. Josh Ibarra has been lethal off the bench. In just 27 total minutes of action this season, he has scored 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Ibarra and Odunsi both recorded double-doubles in their win over Crowley's Ridge.

The Huskies have been a pretty efficient team through the first two games of this young season. HBU has committed just 26 turnovers on the year while also dishing out 37 assists on 69 made baskets. Houston Baptist is shooting 49.3% from the field as a team, but just 31.4% from behind the arc and 61.1% from the free throw line. They have also been out-rebounded 81-69 in their first two contests.

For the Frogs, three other players joined Brodziansky in scoring double-digits during the season opener against SE Louisiana. Chauncey Collins was a perfect 9/9 from the line en route to scoring 17 points in his first test as the #1 point guard. Karviar Shepherd also had a promising start to the season, scoring 17 points, grabbing six rebounds, and shooting 8/10 from the free throw line. Brandon Parrish was the only other double-digit scorer as he added 10 points on the night.

The Frogs had a great day shooting from the floor overall. As a team, TCU shot 24/49 from the field, 6/12 from behind the arc, and a blistering 36/47 from the free throw line. After starting 6/14, the Frogs rallied off 25 consecutive made free throws. Additionally, five different Horned Frogs hit a three-pointer in the win. The performance marked just the third time that TCU scored 90 or more points in a single game in the Trent Johnson era. Despite the hot shooting performance, TCU recorded just 11 assists and committed 19 turnovers as a team. TCU out-rebounded SELA 40-34 and recorded 10 blocks in the win.

Three Things to Watch:

1. Team Defense

The Frogs are without their top two defenders in Chris Washburn, who will miss the next 3-5 weeks with a broken bone in his hand, and Kenrich Williams, who is out for the season after undergoing knee surgery in September. Against Southeastern Louisiana, TCU looked every bit like a team without its top two defenders. The Frogs gave up 77 points, including 10 three-pointers to a team that has historically struggled to score. For comparison, Southeastern Louisiana scored 77 or more points just five times all of last season (including an 87-point performance against Houston Baptist). On the other side, the Frogs gave up 77 or more only six times in regulation last season, all in Big 12 play, with four of those coming on the road. Brodziansky and Shepherd led the show on defense in the season opener, but TCU is going to need their smaller guards like Chauncey Collins and Malique Trent to step it up on the defensive end, at least until Washburn returns.

2. Vlad's Curtain Call

Brodziansky will start again tonight in place of the injured Chris Washburn, looking to repeat his incredible performance from the season opener. While he set the bar pretty high for himself on Friday, it will be interesting to see how he plays following the 19 point, 10 rebound night. Brodziansky was dominant at the junior college, and it appears that he has made a flawless transition to the Division I game. With another solid performance tonight, Brodziansky will be well on his way to cementing himself as a dominant force on this year's TCU team.

3. Malique Trent's Second Start

Malique Trent didn't have the season opener that he had probably hoped for. After getting the start in his first game as a Horned Frog, Trent picked up two fouls in the first 2:20 of the game before sitting the rest of the first half. A third foul in the opening minutes of the second half resulted in even more time on the bench. Trent managed just 17 total minutes of game action, but he ended up scoring eight points, while also recording four rebounds and four assists. He has proven to be a prolific scorer at both the high school and junior college level, and I believe that he is the best pure shooter on this year's team. If he can stay out of foul trouble in the early minutes of tonight's performance, we should see him shine at the point guard position.

TCU Projected Starters

Houston Baptist Projected Starters

G

Chauncey Collins

17.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg

G

Anthony Odunsi

14.5 ppg, 6.0 apg

G

Malique Trent

8.0 ppg, 4.0 apg

G

Caleb Crayton

8.0 ppg, 2.0 apg

G

Brandon Parrish

10.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg

G

Trey Patterson

10.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg

F

Vladimir Brodziansky

19.0 ppg, 10.0 ppg

F

Colter Lasher

14.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg

F

Karviar Shepherd

16.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg

G

Cody Stetler

3.0 ppg, 0.5 apg

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

  • TCU recorded 10 blocked shots in its season-opener for a second-straight season.
  • TCU went 10-0 in non-conference games last season at Wilkerson-Greines.
  • TCU is playing Houston Baptist for the first time since 1976.
  • TCU is 33-7 when leading at the half under head coach Trent Johnson.
  • TCU has held 30 opponents to 59 points or less under Trent Johnson.
  • TCU has now won 19-straight non-conference games dating back to 2013-14.
  • TCU is 18-5 all-time under Trent Johnson during the month of November.
  • TCU went a program-best 13-0 last season during non-conference play.
  • TCU posted the 11th most free throws made in school history last Friday night with 36.
  • TCU returns two starters from a year ago in Chris Washburn and Karviar Shepherd.
  • Washburn and Shepherd are TCU's captains this season.
  • Vladimir Brodziansky was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week.
  • Brodziansky joins former Frog Trey Zeigler as the only TCU player to earn the honor under Trent Johnson.
  • Under Johnson, TCU has only played a total of seven Thursday games going into its match-up against HBU.