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TCU Basketball Preview: South Dakota State

The Frogs are 2-0 but will begin their toughest stretch of non-conference games tonight with a home battle against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Game Time: 1:00pm CDT | Location: Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center - Fort Worth, TX
TV: None | Series: First Meeting | Game Line: TCU -2.0

The comfortable portion of TCU's non-conference schedule is over, at least for now. The Frogs are set to begin a four-game stretch against teams that advanced to the postseason last year, beginning tonight with a home contest against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. Although they don't carry the brand recognition, South Dakota State is a talented team.

The Jackrabbits finished 24-11 last year, Champions of the Summit League. North Dakota State edged South Dakota State by one point in the Summit League Championship game, earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament while the Jackrabbits were relegated to the NIT.  In the Tournament, SDSU upset #1 seed Colorado State in Fort Collins before eventually falling to Vanderbilt.

The majority of last year's SDSU team returns for this season, looking just as lethal as they did in 2014-15. A trio of guards that averaged nearly 40 points per game a year ago leads the charge for the Jackrabbits. Deondre Parks has been the most productive thus far, averaging 15.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Jake Bittle is another hot scorer. Through three games on the year, he is averaging 14.7 points, 3.3 assists, and 3.0 rebounds. George Marshall completes the trio, scoring 14.0 points and dishing out 3.0 assists per game.

Reed Tellinghuisen and Mike Daum complete a starting five that all averages in double-figures. Tellinghausen averages 11.0 points, while also grabbing 6.7 rebounds per game. Daum isn't far behind with a 10.0 point per game average, but he leads the team in rebounding with 7.7 each night. The Jackrabbits established a fast-paced, run and gun offense last season, averaging 73.0 points per game. Through three games this year, SDSU has improved upon that mark, now averaging 85.0 points per game.

The Jackrabbits opened the season with an 87-52 win over Division II Chadron State before defeating Weber State 85-68. On Thursday, SDSU traveled to Illinois State, beating the Redbirds 83-67. South Dakota State's offense will present the toughest challenge for TCU's defense thus far on this young season. The Frogs held off Southeastern Louisiana 90-77 in the season opener before cruising past Houston Baptist 90-63 on Friday night.

The Frogs will counter SDSU's five double-digit scorers with five double-digit scorers of their own. Vladimir Brodziansky leads the Frogs with 16.0 points per game. He is also averaging 8.0 boards a night. Chauncey Collins has transitioned into his role as the team's #1 point guard successfully, as evidenced by his 15.0 points per game average. He is also an impressive 17/17 from the line to begin the season. Karviar Shepherd is averaging 12.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game through the first two contests. Malique Trent is adding another 10.0 points per game despite averaging just 17.0 minutes per game. Finally, and perhaps most surprisingly, Devonta Abron is contributing 11.5 points per game on average. The Frogs' lone senior has been the team's biggest threat off the bench, scoring a career-high 19 points against Houston Baptist on Friday.

Shooting has been a strength for the Frogs so far this season. TCU is averaging 49.1% from the field on the year, in addition to 77.9% from the free throw line. The Frogs have hit the 90-point mark twice in a single season for the first time as a member of the Big 12 Conference. TCU will need this impressively balanced scoring attack to continue this afternoon if they are to top the Jackrabbits.

Three Things to Watch:

1. Foul Issues

One area where TCU has struggled slightly this season is with fouling. Malique Trent spent a significant amount of the Southeastern Louisiana game on the bench in foul trouble. However, he managed to score eight points in 17 minutes. If he can avoid committing fouls early, watch for Trent to find a rhythm offensively. Against Houston Baptist on Friday, TCU's entire second-team picked up at least three fouls, while Lyrik Shreiner and Dalton Dry each had four. With depth an issue on this year's TCU team, the Frogs can't afford for anybody to be in foul trouble. Luckily for TCU, their opponents are shooting just 63.8% from the line this season. Keeping the Jackrabbits away from scoring easy points this afternoon will be a big key for the Frogs' success.

2. Bench Production

Until Chris Washburn returns, the Frogs are only 10 players deep. With depth a concern, it will be important for the TCU bench to keep contributing on the offensive end. The five reserves have accounted for 40% of TCU's total minutes played this season, as well as 31% of the team's total points scored. If guys like Devonta Abron and JD Miller can continue to contribute meaningfully off the bench, the significance of the depth issues will decrease. After all, TCU is averaging 90.0 points per game. Not too shabby.

3. Parrish's Performance

Brandon Parrish is one of the Frogs' silent leaders. As a junior, Parrish provides important experience and knowledge in the starting lineup. He is also a great shooter, which makes his offensive statistics somewhat perplexing. Parrish is averaging the second-most minutes on the team at 26.0 per game, however he has attempted only seven shots on the season, the third fewest of any Frog. Three of those seven shots were from behind the arc. Parrish has proven that he can score the ball, so look for him to begin creating more opportunities for himself and taking more shots.

TCU Projected Starters

South Dakota State Projected Starters


Chauncey Collins

15.0 ppg, 2.5 apg


Reed Tellinghuisen

11.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg


Malique Trent

10.0 ppg, 3.5 apg


Ian Theisen

8.7 ppg, 2.0 rpg


Brandon Parrish

8.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg


Deondre Parks

15.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg


Vladimir Brodziansky

16.0 ppg, 8.0 ppg


Jake Bittle

14.7 ppg, 3.3 apg


Karviar Shepherd

12.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg


George Marshall

14.0 ppg, 3.0 apg

Here are other game notes, courtesy of

  • TCU has now won 20-straight non-conference games dating back to 2013-14.
  • TCU went 9-0 in non-conference games last season at Wilkerson-Greines.
  • TCU held HBU to only 19 first half points Thursday.
  • TCU is 34-7 when leading at the half under head coach Trent Johnson.
  • TCU has held 30 opponents to 59 points or less under Trent Johnson.
  • TCU is 19-5 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 in its season-opener 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 this week.
  • Brodziansky joins former Frog Trey Zeigler as the only TCU player to earn the honor under Trent Johnson.
  • Shepherd scored his 500th career point Thursday night against Houston Baptist.
  • Devonta Abron, the lone senior this season, scored a career-high 19 points against HBU