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TCU Basketball Preview: Oklahoma Sooners

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After a nightmare trip to Norman, the Frogs turn their focus to basketball this afternoon, looking to upset the #16 Oklahoma Sooners.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Game Time: 1:00pm CDT | Location: Lloyd Noble Center - Norman, OK
TV: ESPNU | Series: OU leads 15-2 | Game Line: OU -11.5

The TCU Men's Basketball team has had quite the 24 hours. After a snowstorm rendered most major thoroughfares throughout North Texas and Oklahoma impassible, the charter company that TCU scheduled to bus the team from Fort Worth to Norman canceled their service. Originally, it looked like the game would have to be postponed and made up later. However, a last ditch effort to get to Norman saved the game.

At 4:30pm yesterday afternoon, the Frogs boarded an Amtrak train in Fort Worth. Scheduled arrival in Norman was 8:48pm. However, fate had other plans. A second train sharing the tracks with TCU's train had engine trouble, causing the Frogs to be delayed by more than four hours. The team arrived in Norman just before 1:00am, less than 12 hours before tipoff. After a quick hotel stay, the Frogs will take the floor against the Sooners as scheduled. TCU will get the chance to prove how they perform in the face of adversity this afternoon.

Winners of three of their last four, TCU enters the game on the heels of their best stretch of play to date this season. Last time out, the Frogs led wire-to-wire against Texas Tech, defeating the Red Raiders 71-54. Seniors led the way against Texas Tech, as Kyan Anderson, Trey Zeigler, and Amric Fields combined for 42 points. Sophomore Kenrich Williams had perhaps his best game of the season, scoring 10 points and collecting 16 rebounds in his second career double-double.

The win against Texas Tech improved the Frogs to 17-11 overall and 4-11 in Big 12 play. TCU remains in 9th place in the conference, but hope for a bid to the NIT is alive and well.  The Sooners enter the contest 21-8 overall and 10-5 in Big 12 play. Oklahoma avoided a big embarrassment their last time out, prevailing in overtime against Texas Tech in Lubbock last weekend. The Sooners have been on the ropes during their last three games, dropping a 59-56 contest at Kansas State, then defeating Texas by two at home before defeating Texas Tech.

Despite their recent struggles with the bottom teams in the Big 12, the Sooners are within striking distance of a Big 12 Championship. Oklahoma is currently tied for second place with Iowa State and West Virginia, and with games remaining against the Cyclones and the Kansas Jayhawks, the Sooners have a chance to win at least a share of the Big 12 title.

A big reason for Oklahoma's success is because of Buddy Hield. The junior guard is averaging nearly 17 points and five rebounds per game. Hield leads the Big 12 in scoring and is the undisputed leader of the OU offense. Three other Sooners - Isaiah Cousins, TaShawn Thomas, and Ryan Spangler - average in double figures in points, with Spangler also anchoring the defense. He averages eight boards per game, a mark good for third in the Big 12.

For the Frogs, the seniors have been leading the way as of late. Anderson, Zeigler, and Fields have accounted for more than 52% of the Frogs' total offensive output over the last three games. This senior leadership will have to step it up again today for the Frogs to pick up just their second road win against a ranked team in program history. All-time, TCU is 1-68 on the road against ranked teams, with the lone win coming against #24 Hawaii on December 19, 1998.

TCU Projected Starters

Oklahoma Projected Starters

G

Kyan Anderson

13.1 ppg, 4.3 apg

F

Ryan Spangler

10.4 ppg, 7.9 rpg

G

Trey Zeigler

9.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg

F

TaShawn Thomas

11.0 ppg, 6.1 rpg

F

Kenrich Williams

8.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg

G

Jordan Woodard

9.1 ppg, 4.1 apg

F

Chris Washburn

6.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg

G

Isaiah Cousins

12.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg

C

Karviar Shephed

6.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg

G

Buddy Hield

16.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg

Here are some other notes, provided by GoFrogs.com:

  • TCU was receiving votes earlier this month in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
  • The last time TCU was receiving votes in February came during the 1998-99 campaign.
  • TCU is 31-5 when leading at the half under head coach Trent Johnson.
  • TCU has now held 30 opponents to 59 points or less under Trent Johnson.
  • In its last three home outings, TCU has held Oklahoma State, Kansas State & Texas Tech to 55 points or below.
  • TCU has out-rebounded its opposition 18 times this season.
  • TCU has already bettered its win total from a year ago and 2011-12.
  • TCU will play its 11th ranked opponent in 16 games this Saturday at Oklahoma.
  • Kyan Anderson is No. 6 all-time in scoring in program history with 1,550 points.
  • Anderson passed TCU great Kurt Thomas in points for a career vs. K-State.
  • Anderson moved into No. 1 all-time in program history in steals against Oklahoma State with now 167.
  • Kenrich Williams has scored in double-figures in 14 of the 28 games this season.
  • Williams is coming off his second double-double against Texas Tech with 10 points, 16 rebounds.
  • Williams had a career-high 16 rebounds against Texas Tech.
  • Trey Zeigler has scored in double-figures in 10 Big 12 games this year after scoring 15 vs. Texas Tech.
  • Zeigler had a season-high 20-point outing in the last road contest at Kansas.