clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

TCU Basketball Preview: Baylor

New, 2 comments

Fresh off a 58-57 upset win over Texas, the Frogs travel to Waco for a showdown against their biggest in-state rival, the Baylor Bears.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Game Time: 7:15pm CDT | Location: Ferrell Center - Waco, TX
TV: ESPNews | Series: BU Leads 96-81 | Game Line: BU -13.0

TCU will get the chance to knock off their second in-state rival in as many games tonight as the Frogs travel south to meet the 22nd-ranked Baylor Bears in Waco. However, unlike during Saturday's 58-57 win over Texas, Baylor presents a multitude of matchup problems all over the court.

The Bears enter tonight's contest 12-3 on the year, back in the AP Top 25 after a big 94-89 road win over Iowa State that pushed BU to 2-1 in Big 12 play. In what has been a theme throughout much of the season, Baylor controlled the Cyclones on the glass, out-rebounding ISU 40-34. Two Bears finished with double-doubles as Jonathan Motley came off the bench to score 27 points and grab 13 rebounds while Taurean Prince added 18 points and pulled down 10 boards.

Motley set career highs in both points and rebounds in the win, as the sophomore forward is averaging 11.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game heading into tonight's contest. Prince, on the other hand, has been a consistent high-scoring threat for Scott Drew this season. He leads the team with 15.7 points each night, thanks in part to four 20+ performances just since Christmas.

Alongside Motley and Prince, Rico Gathers has been a double-double machine for Baylor this season. The senior forward is averaging 13.9 points and 10.9 rebounds per game, thanks to seven double-double outings, including a 17-point, 17-rebound effort in BU's convincing win over Oklahoma State last week.

Perhaps what makes Baylor so strong is their balanced scoring attack. Al Freeman is quietly averaging 12.9 points per game via a team-high 42.6% shooting percentage from behind the arc. Additionally, Lester Medford has looked just as deadly passing the ball as he has shooting it. The senior guard is dishing out 6.9 assists to go along with his 9.4 points per game. Finally, T.J. Maston and Ishmail Wainright have been two pretty solid scoring threats off the bench.

As a team, the Bears are the best assisting squad in the nation, averaging 21.3 each night. That passing and scoring ability has propelled Baylor to 81.9 points per game, a mark that ranks 31st in the country. As if that wasn't daunting enough, Gathers and his teammates combine to pull down 41.2 rebounds per game, the 34th-most in the country. With more than 150 spots separating Baylor and TCU in the total rebounds stat category, tonight's contest could very well be decided on the glass.

The Frogs enter tonight's game 9-6 on the year after the aforementioned upset win over Texas on Saturday. In his first start of the season after missing 11 games due to a broken pinky finger, Chris Washburn scored 14 points, pulled down eight rebounds, and swatted away what would have been a go-ahead basket for Texas with under three seconds remaining. There's no doubt that TCU will rely heavily both on Washburn's defense and strength down low tonight.

Chauncey Collins has been a leader for TCU on the offensive end as of late. The sophomore guard scored a career-high 20 points against West Virginia last week, one of four double-digit performances in his last five games. Collins' is emerging as the talented shooter that Trent Johnson and his staff believes he can be. He has surpassed the 40% mark from the field in five of his last six games. The Frogs will need another hot-shooting night from Collins to keep pace with the Bears tonight.

Another deciding factor in tonight's contest could be Brandon Parrish's performance behind the arc. Parrish is shooting a team-high 53.5% from deep, connecting on 23 of his 43 three-point shot attempts this season. He enters the game off a season-high 5/6 from behind the arc against Texas. The junior guard's interior game has improved as well, as Parrish is now shooting just under 50% from the field.

Winning on the road in the Big 12 is tough, but the Frogs enter tonight's game with increased confidence and momentum following their first conference win of the year. A lot needs to go right for TCU tonight, but if the Frogs can continue to shoot near 50% from the field, keep Baylor in check on the glass, and force the Bears into foul trouble, there's a chance we could see a TCU win in Waco for the first time since 2002.

TCU Projected Starters

Baylor Projected Starters

G

Michael Williams

4.9 ppg, 2.6 apg

F

Rico Gathers

13.5 ppg, 10.9 rpg

G

Malique Trent

11.7 ppg, 2.9 apg

F

Taurean Prince

15.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg

G

Brandon Parrish

8.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg

G

Lester Medford

9.4 ppg, 6.9 apg

F

Chris Washburn

7.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg

G

Ishmail Wainright

5.7 ppg, 4.5 apg

F

Karviar Shepherd

8.9 ppg, 6.7 rpg

G

Al Freeman

12.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg

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

  • TCU is 41-8 when leading at the half under head coach Trent Johnson.
  • TCU has held 35 opponents to 59 points or less under Trent Johnson.
  • TCU had held two-straight opponents to under 50 points prior to league play.
  • Heading into Wednesday, TCU ranks No. 75 in NCAA in scoring defense.
  • 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 played its first 11 games without Washburn and Williams.
  • Brodziansky ranks No. 34 in NCAA in field goal percentage on the season.
  • Michael Williams has started nine-straight games.