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Second Chance Points: Texas Longhorns

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In the first meeting between these Lone Star State rivals, the Longhorns held the Frogs to just 48 points. What does TCU need to improve on the offensive end to defeat Texas tomorrow night?

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

One of the elements that the Big 12 Conference prides itself on is its competition format - in Big 12 basketball, each team plays every other team at home and on the road. The league boasts that this double round robin format is the most successful way to determine "One True Champion." This gives each team the opportunity to make corrections and adjustments before the second matchup in the season series.

The Frogs will travel to Austin tomorrow night looking to end a long skid against the Texas Longhorns in the Capital City. TCU is currently riding a 12-game losing streak in Austin and hasn't won there since February 18, 1987. In the first matchup between these teams, the Longhorns held TCU to a season-low 48 points on just 33.3% shooting from the field. Texas used a strong defensive performance to limit the Frogs offensively, en route to an easy 66-48 victory in Fort Worth.

Lone Star Stats

TCU

Texas

FG %

33.3%

48.0%

3pt FG %

16.7%

38.5%

FT %

39.1%

76.5%

Rebounds

30

41

Blocks

3

9

Points in the Paint

22

26

Bench Points

21

26

Texas used superior height, size, and length to dominate TCU on the defensive end in the first meeting. Although the Frogs will be mismatched again tonight, the Longhorns have been reeling since their trip to Fort Worth, losing four of their last five contests to drop out of the top 25 and into 8th place in the Big 12. TCU can take advantage of the limping Longhorns, but the Frogs are going to have to make several adjustments on the offensive end of the court.

Disclaimer: If you are a fan of scoring and offense in college basketball, you probably should stop reading now.

Traversing Texas' Trees

In the first meeting, Texas' four big men were able to dominate the Frogs on the defensive end. Myles Turner (6'11" - 240), Prince Ibeh (6'10" - 240), Cameron Ridley (6'9" - 285) and Jonathan Holmes (6'8" - 240) combined for eight of Texas' nine blocked shots and 20 of Texas' 33 defensive rebounds in the first meeting. The Frogs were able to score just 12 field goals in the paint in the entire game, mostly because of these four defenders' ability to block and alter shots down low. In one sequence in the second half, Ibeh, Turner, and Holmes blocked three consecutive TCU shots. The Frogs did a decent job of getting the ball inside down low, but couldn't compete with the size and length of Texas' defenders.

"Well, that was very disappointing. Going into the game, we knew they were going to pay a lot of attention to Kyan [Anderson] in the zone so there would be opportunities for open shots. I just didn't like our effort. There wasn't a lot I liked out there, but there will be more opportunities. There will be more opportunities in this league."- Head Coach Trent Johnson

Not only were the Longhorns' big men able to block and alter shots, but they dominated TCU on the boards. The Frogs were pulled down just 10 offensive rebounds, compared to Texas' 33 defensive rebounds. By crashing the boards, the Longhorns prevented TCU from opportunities at second chance points, further limiting the TCU offense. Going up against Texas' defense is no easy task, but the Frogs must be able to get the ball inside, and they must be more aggressive on the boards if they are able to pull the upset tomorrow night.

UT Shot Chart

Offensive Rhythm

An element that has been lacking in many conference games for TCU seems to be an offensive rhythm. The Frogs rely so much on their own defensive strengths that they sometimes fail to get into any sort of flow on the offensive end. In the first meeting, TCU struggled mightily on offense, posting a season-low 48 points on 33.3% shooting. On numerous possessions, the Frogs failed to penetrate the Texas defense, leading to rushed shots on bad looks because the shot clock was winding down.

In the first half especially, the Frogs struggled to get the ball inside, leading to several deep three-point attempts. In the first frame, TCU shot just 1/11 from deep, the only basket coming on a contested 25-foot Brandon Parrish heave as the shot clock expired. At one point in the contest, the Frogs were 1/6 from behind the arc and 3/6 inside. The lack of early scoring was a major factor in allowing Texas to lead this one wire-to-wire. Moving forward, it is tremendously important for TCU to establish some sort of offensive rhythm in order to increase scoring output.

UT Game Flow

Get Kyan Going

A big reason for the Frogs' slow start was Kyan Anderson's limited minutes in the first half due to foul trouble. Anderson played the first 11:00 of the first half before picking up two fouls within a span of 90 seconds around the 9:00 mark of the first half. Knowing that he would need Anderson's scoring ability in the second half, Trent Johnson left Kyan on the bench for the remainder of the half. Anderson's limited frame ended with no points on just one shot attempt.

The second half wasn't much better for TCU's leading scorer. He scored just 2 points on 1/4 shooting in 14 minutes on the floor. Anderson isn't to blame for the Frogs' loss to Texas in late January, but he will have to get things going for the Frogs to prevail in the rematch. Often times, as Anderson goes, so does the Horned Frogs offense. When Kyan is hitting his shots, the offense usually opens up and scoring increases. Anderson had a rare off-night against the Longhorns earlier this year, so look for him to be back on pace in Austin.

Capitalize in the Capital City

Finally, the Frogs need to capitalize on each and every opportunity that they might receive, especially being on the road Wednesday night. TCU had a similar sequence against West Virginia earlier in the season, but a long scoring drought against the Longhorns eventually buried the Frogs in the first meeting. TCU was able to pull within 10 at the 16:16 mark of the second half on a monstrous Trey Zeigler dunk that brought the crowd to life. After cutting what was once a 15-point deficit to 10, it seemed like TCU had the momentum, leading to a Rick Barnes timeout.

Texas had missed nine shots a row, but a massive scoring drought by the Frogs prevented TCU from capitalizing on the momentum. After cutting the deficit to 37-27, the Frogs missed their next 10 shots and committed four turnovers in a 7:39 span. During this drought, Texas outscored TCU 15-1, opened up a 24-point lead, and put the game away for good. The Frogs likely won't have many opportunities at grabbing the momentum in Austin on Wednesday night, but if the opportunities do present themselves, the Frogs need to seize their chance and keep their foot on the gas.

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The Frogs have struggled to score in Big 12 play, averaging 61.4 points per game on 38.1% shooting from the field. The lack of offensive output in first meeting with the Longhorns was (hopefully) an anomaly. The 48 points and 33.3% shooting against the Longhorns remain season lows, far below what the Frogs are averaging. While it will be tough for TCU to score against this Texas defense again tonight, it will be important for the Frogs to begin to find themselves offensively moving forward.

The Longhorns are struggling as of late, dropping four of their previous games. The Frogs are in a position to take advantage of a banged up Texas team, but the offense must figure itself out and be able to put points on the board if TCU looks to pull the upset.