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TCU Basketball Preview: Oklahoma State

TCU Basketball will travel to Stillwater this afternoon to face Oklahoma State in an Alamo Bowl appetizer.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Game Time: 3:00pm CDT | Location: Gallagher-Iba Arena - Stillwater, OK
TV: ESPNews | Series: OSU Leads 22-3 | Game Line: OSU -5.5

Calvin Coolidge was midway through his term as President of the United States. The Phantom of the Opera and the Wizard of Oz dominated the box office. F. Scott Fitzgerald has just published his hit novel "The Great Gatsby." And the TCU Horned Frogs defeated the Oklahoma State Cowboys 37-16 in Stillwater. The year was 1925, and little did anybody know at the time that the Frogs would go more than 90 years without another win in the city.

Since TCU's lone victory in 1925, the Frogs are 0-8 against the Pokes in Stillwater. All-time, TCU is just 3-22 against Oklahoma State, including 1-5 in Big 12 Conference play. The Frogs will look to reverse their fortunes against the Cowboys this afternoon, just before the football team kicks things off in the Alamo Bowl.

Both teams enter this afternoon's contest 8-4 on the year after dealing with some major injury issues. Oklahoma State jumped out to a 3-0 start the season, led by Phil Forte's 13.3 points per game. The Pokes then dropped four of their next nine games as Forte was sidelined with an arm injury. The senior guard from Flower Mound won't see the floor against TCU, and there's a good chance that he won't play the rest of this season as he pursues a medical redshirt.

Oklahoma State dropped back-to-back home games against Tulsa and Missouri State before rebounding to knock off Minnesota and take Florida to the brink. Most recently, OSU defeated Missouri - Kansas City 61-43 in Stillwater.

Jeff Newberry has stepped up big time during Forte's absence. The senior guard is leading Oklahoma State in both scoring and rebounding with 11.1 points and 5.9 boards per game. Leyton Hammonds and Jawun Evans have been productive scorers as well, with both guard adding about 10.5 points each night. The duo are also combining to pull down 9.0 boards per game.

Hot-shooting senior forward Chris Olivier has burst onto the scene after transferring to Oklahoma State from Eastern Illinois. In addition to his 9.9 points and 3.7 rebounds, he is leading the team in shooting with a 53.6% average from the field. Olivier has also been a force on the defensive end, leading the team with 1.4 blocks per game.

Across the court, the Frogs have won four games in a row to improve to 8-4 on the year. However, TCU enters the game looking to break an eight-game Big 12 road losing streak. Since joining the league, the Frogs are just 1-26 on the road against conference foes.

Karviar Shepherd will take the floor coming off a career night his last time out. Against Delaware State on Monday, the junior forward scored a season-high 15 points to go along with a career-high 19 rebounds. The performance bumped Shepherd's his season averages to 9.2 points and 7.4 boards per game. Shepherd is going to be a major factor in determining whether or not TCU will find success in Big 12 play this season.

The Frogs have also benefitted from their pair of quick-adapting transfers. Since moving to TCU from Pratt Community College, Vladimir Brodziansky has lit up his Division I foes. The Slovakian native leads the Frogs in scoring with 13.9 points per game on 60.7% shooting from the field. He is also pulling down 5.8 boards per game. New Mexico Junior College transfer Malique Trent has had an equally hot start to the season, adding 12.2 points and a team-high 3.5 assists per game.

Chris Washburn returned from a hand injury to score five points and grab four rebounds in 25 minutes against Delaware State on Monday. He is expected to see decent playing time again this afternoon after missing the first 11 games of the season. Elsewhere on the injury front, Devonta Abron is expected to play today after seeing just three minutes of action over the last two games because of a knee sprain. Chauncey Collins could also return to the starting lineup for the first time since a quad strain in early December. Finally, Dalton Dry is not expected to travel with the team due to an illness.

TCU Projected Starters

Oklahoma State Projected Starters

G

Michael Williams

5.0 ppg, 2.8 apg

F

Leyton Hammonds

10.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg

G

Malique Trent

12.2 ppg, 3.5 apg

F

Jeffrey Carroll

8.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg

G

Brandon Parrish

8.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg

C

Anthony Allen

4.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg

F

Vladimir Brodziansky

13.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg

G

Jawun Evans

10.2 ppg, 4.4 apg

F

Karviar Shepherd

9.2 ppg, 7.4 rpg

G

Jeff Newberry

11.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg

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

  • TCU has won 26 of its last 30 non-conference games dating back to 2013.
  • TCU is 40-7 when leading at the half under head coach Trent Johnson.
  • TCU has held 34 opponents to 59 points or less under Trent Johnson.
  • TCU has held two-straight opponents to under 50 points.
  • Heading into Saturday, TCU ranks No. 84 in NCAA in blocks per game, averaging 4.5 a contest.
  • 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.
  • Vladimir Brodziansky was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week following the season-opener.
  • Michael Williams has started six-straight games.
  • TCU's record is 5-1 since Williams was inserted into the starting lineup.
  • Williams only had two prior starts in his three-year career heading into this season.