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TCU Basketball Preview: Prairie View A&M

TCU will bid farewell to the Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center (again) tonight with a contest against the Prairie View A&M Panthers.

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 4-0 | Game Line: None

Tonight we will collectively bid a final farewell to what has become a TCU Basketball icon over the last two years - the Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center. With the newly renovated Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena set to open next week, this will (hopefully) be TCU's final contest inside the Fort Worth ISD multipurpose facility. The Frogs will say goodbye their temporary home tonight with a contest against the Prairie View A&M Panthers.

To put it lightly, Prairie View A&M has struggled to begin the season. The Panthers are 0-7 on the year, one of just six winless teams remaining in all of college basketball. Scheduling hasn't done the team any favors, as they are in the midst of a nine-game road trip to begin the year. Most recently, the Panthers fell to Baylor, 80-41. TCU defeated PVAMU 71-54 last season in Fort Worth.

Statistically, Prairie View A&M is one of the worst teams in the country. The Panthers are scoring just 57.6 points per game, the fifth fewest of any team in the nation. The team is shooting 37.6% from the field, a mark that ranks 341st out of 351 Division I teams. PVAMU is also dead last in the country in assists, dishing out just 8.6 per game as a team.

Defensively, things have been just as rough. The Panthers are allowing their opponents to shoot 49.5% from the field, giving up 80.7 points per game. The team is also in the bottom 15 in the nation in rebounding with 31.0 each night.

Individually, Admassu Williams has been a leader for Prairie View A&M this season. He leads the team in both rebounds, with 7.0 per game, and blocked shots, with seven on the year. His 52.4% shooting average from the field is also tops on the team. Williams is one of just two Panthers averaging in double-figures in scoring, with 10.6 points per game.

Tevin Bellinger is the team's leading scorer with 14.7 points per game on 39.4% shooting from the field. He is also grabbing 2.6 rebounds and dishing out 1.3 assists each night. Jaryn Johnson is the next highest scorer, adding 8.6 points per game. He leads the team in steals with 11 on the year. Karim York and Zachary Hamilton round out the starting five and are each averaging 7.6 points per game.

In all likelihood, the Frogs shouldn't have much trouble dispatching the Panthers tonight. Even with a banged up TCU team coming off one of their worst non-conference performances in recent history, the talent disparity in this one should be too much for Prairie View A&M to overcome.

Vladimir Brodziansky continues to be the leader of this TCU squad, however his teammates are gunning for that title. Brodziansky is averaging a team-high 14.3 points per game on a team-high 60.8% shooting from the field. He is also pulling down 6.5 rebounds while committing just 1.75 turnovers per game. His 13 blocks on the year is also best on the team.

Malique Trent is closing the gap on Brodziansky's scoring lead. The New Mexico Junior College transfer is now averaging 12.0 points per game this season, and has bumped his shooting percentage to over 40% for the first time this season. Trent is the team leader in assists and steals, but he has also committed 24 turnovers this year, by far the most of any Horned Frog.

Karviar Shepherd recently passed Brodziansky for most rebounds on the team, as he is now pulling down 7.0 boards per game. The Frogs' top big man is also adding 9.0 points per game. A successful start to the season continues for Brandon Parrish, who is averaging 9.3 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. Parrish remains the Frogs' best three-point shooter, averaging 57.1% from behind the arc.

Off the bench, JD Miller has been heating up as of late. Fueled by a six-point, 12-rebound night against Washington on Tuesday, Miller is now averaging 6.5 points and 4.8 rebounds in just 15.3 minutes of action each night. Devonta Abron continues to shine in his position as the team's sixth man, contributing 7.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.

With a big mismatch in talent between TCU and Prairie View A&M tonight, games like this provide the opportunity to work out the kinks, experiment with different formations, and develop players off the bench. Look for the Frogs to do all three of those things tonight in what should be a pretty comfortable victory.

Three Things to Watch:

1. Point Guard Dilemma

Entering the season, Chauncey Collins was assumed to be the team's top point guard. However, the combination of a handful of poor shooting performances and some missed time due to a quad injury raises the question as to whether or not Michael Williams should get a shot to run the offense. In six career starts, Collins is averaging 9.3 points per game on 32.6% shooting from the field. Williams isn't far behind, averaging 7.3 points on 40.7% shooting in four career starts. However, the biggest disparity is in the assist-to-turnover ratio. Collins has turned the ball over 12 times while dishing out 16 assists. Williams has just one turnover on 11 total assists. If Collins continues to struggle, there's a chance that we could see Williams take a more prominent role in running the offense.

2. Develop the Bench

After TCU built a 44-19 halftime lead over Houston Baptist in the second game of the season, Trent Johnson allowed his bench to play for the majority of the second half. Each of the five reserves appeared in the game for at least 16 minutes. If all goes well tonight, we could see a similar situation. In addition to adding some clarity to the point guard dilemma, tonight's game will hopefully provide some nice playing time for the TCU bench. With a team that is only 10 players deep, every minute that the reserves can play early in the season will pay off during conference play.

3. Finish on a High Note

Tonight will be TCU's 26th and final game in a temporary venue after it was announced that the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum would be undergoing a massive renovation project following the 2013-14 season. The Frogs are 17-8 in that span, including 14-8 at the Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center. Additionally, after tonight's game, the Frogs will take a nine-day break to complete their final exams for the semester. What better way to return to action on December 20th than to open a newly renovated Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena on the heels of a big victory?

TCU Projected Starters

Prairie View A&M Projected Starters

G

Michael Williams

5.0 ppg, 2.4 apg

G

Tevin Bellinger

14.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg

G

Malique Trent

12.0 ppg, 3.4 apg

G

Jaryn Johnson

8.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg

G

Brandon Parrish

9.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg

G

Avery Lomax

3.3 ppg, 2.3 apg

F

Vladimir Brodziansky

14.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg

F

Admassu Williams

10.6 ppg, 7.0 rpg

F

Karviar Shepherd

9.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg

F

Karim York

6.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg

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

  • TCU has won 22 of its last 26 non-conference games dating back to 2013.
  • TCU is 36-7 when leading at the half under head coach Trent Johnson.
  • TCU has held 31 opponents to 59 points or less under Trent Johnson.
  • TCU is 15-4 all-time under Trent Johnson during the month of December.
  • Heading into Friday, TCU ranks No. 29 in NCAA in blocks per game, averaging 5.50 a contest.
  • TCU posted the 11th most free throws made in school history in its season-opener with 36.
  • TCU returned three starters from a year ago in Chris Washburn, Kenrich Williams and Karviar Shepherd.
  • With Williams out, Washburn and Shepherd are TCU's captains this season.
  • TCU has played its first eight games without Washburn and Williams.
  • Vladimir Brodziansky was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week following the season-opener.
  • Brodziansky joins former Frog Trey Zeigler as the only TCU player to earn the honor under Trent Johnson.
  • Shepherd scored his 500th career point against Houston Baptist.
  • Michael Williams has started two-straight games.
  • Williams only had two prior starts in his three-year career heading into this season.
  • Devonta Abron, the lone senior this season, has now played in 100 games during his career.