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Second Chance Points: Oklahoma Sooners

TCU gets another shot at Oklahoma this afternoon, this time in Norman. Where can the Frogs improve from the first contest to come away with an upset win today?

Kevin Jairaj-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.

TCU and Oklahoma met earlier this month in Fort Worth, with the 21st-ranked Sooners grinding out a 68-56 win. A slow start and a failure to capitalize on momentum eventually did in the Frogs, as Oklahoma pulled away in the second half. The first frame was a back-and-forth affair that saw long shooting slumps and big runs for both teams. However, the story of the day was the TCU offense (or lack thereof).

Frogs' Offensive Struggles

TCU

OU

FG %

31.5%

46.2%

3-pt FG %

38.5%

36.4%

FT %

41.7%

66.7%

Rebounds

43

47

Blocked Shots

5

11

Turnovers

14

17

Pts off Turnovers

8

16

Despite the loss, there are several keys that the Frogs can take from this game and apply toward today's rematch. With some adjustments on offense and a few other tweaks, TCU could earn their best road win in program history today in Norman.

Avoid a Slow Start

To put it nicely, the Frogs struggled out of the gate in the first meeting against Oklahoma. TCU started 0/15 from the field, including 10 missed layups. In that same span, the Frogs committed four turnovers and had four shots blocked, which allowed the Sooners to open up a 9-0 lead. ESPN's cameras caught an appropriate reaction from a young fan:

OU Kid

In the opening minutes of the game, the Frogs did a great job of penetrating through the Oklahoma defense, getting into the lane, and creating open looks. However, TCU really struggled to connect on these looks. In today's rematch, the Frogs must capitalize on each and every open opportunity that they get, especially in the paint. The TCU offense has really picked up as of late, and the Frogs will need to continue this hot streak today in Norman to pull the upset. As the partial shot chart below shows, the Frogs were getting shot attempts in the paint, but they just wouldn't fall. One big key today will be whether or not TCU can change their fortunes in the paint.

OU Shot Chart

Force Turnovers... and Capitalize

In the first meeting, the TCU defense did a great job of forcing turnovers, gathering loose balls, and creating opportunities. Oklahoma had 17 turnovers in the game, including 10 in the first half. Where the Frogs struggled was turning these opportunities into points. TCU only managed eight points off Oklahoma's 17 turnovers. That's just four made field goals on 17 opportunities that were created in the game. If the Frogs are to come away with a big upset win today, they will need to not only continue their routinely tough defense, but also capitalize on these created opportunities.

Similarly, the Frogs out-rebounded Oklahoma 21-12 on the offensive end, but only managed to score six second chance points. TCU excels at pulling down rebounds, especially on the offensive end, and this was evident in the first game against Oklahoma. Again, the Frogs must capitalize on these opportunities and turn chances into points.

OU Game Flow

Attack the Paint

As was mentioned above, the Frogs did a good job creating opportunities in the paint in the first meeting, but the shots weren't falling. This theme was evident throughout the entire game, not just in the opening minutes. The Frogs shot 15/51 in the paint, just 29.4%. Many of these missed shots were close range jumpers and layups. Creating 51 opportunities in the paint is a big success against a tough Oklahoma defense, but the Frogs need to connect on more of these shots. For TCU to have a chance today, the Frogs will need to continue to create these opportunities, but more importantly, the Frogs will have to take advantage of these opportunities.

OU Full Shot Chart

Keep Grinding

Despite the struggles on offense, the Frogs played tough against the Sooners earlier this month. It was a grind-it-out type of a game for Oklahoma, as the Frogs refused to go away. After TCU's early drought, the Frogs fought back to grab a 28-21 lead late in the first half. The TCU defense is talented enough to keep games close while the offense is struggling, and it will be important for TCU to weather any slumps that might take place this afternoon. The first Oklahoma game was a microcosm of this season for TCU. Despite struggles, the Frogs fight tough and make their opponents uneasy.

This toughness has started to pay off for TCU, as the Frogs have won three of their last four games, including an upset of #21 Oklahoma State. Team confidence has risen to an all-time high during the last four games, and the offense has picked up as a result. The Frogs believe they can compete and win, and this confidence is beginning to pay dividends. If TCU can open an early lead in Norman this afternoon, the Frogs will have an opportunity to ride their confidence boost to a victory.

TCU Offense in Big 12 Play

FG %

FT %

Points

First 11 Games

37.3%

55.6%

59.7

Last 4 Games

47.5%

67.9%

70.5

Senior Leadership

Finally, if the Frogs are to come away with a win in Norman this afternoon, the senior leadership on this team must continue their dominance. Kyan Anderson, Trey Zeigler, and Amric Fields have been on fire recently, as the trio have combined for 148 of TCU's 282 points in the last four games, a whopping 52.5% of total offensive output. Oklahoma did a good job of shutting down the TCU seniors in the first meeting, allowing just 19 total points to the trio. For TCU to pull the upset today, it will be important for these three to continue their hot streak this afternoon.

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The Frogs really struggled to score in the first meeting with Oklahoma earlier this month. TCU's offensive struggles and lack of capitalizing on opportunities cost the Frogs in the first game, but these are areas where TCU has improved significantly as of late. If the Frogs can continue their hot shooting, create opportunities in the paint, and capitalize off turnovers and rebounds, TCU could very well pull a big upset this afternoon in Norman.