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TCU Basketball Preview: Iowa State

Another game, another ranked opponent for TCU. This time, the Frogs host #19 Iowa State.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Game Time: 3:00pm CDT | Location: Schollmaier Arena - Fort Worth, TX
TV: ESPNU | Series: ISU Leads 7-5 | Game Line: ISU -9.5

A difficult stretch of league play continues this afternoon for TCU as the Frogs host the 19th-ranked Iowa State Cyclones. ISU enters today's contest 14-4 overall but just 3-3 in league play. After starting 1-3 against fellow Big 12 foes, the Cyclones rebounded last week with a road win over Kansas State and a big home upset over #1 Oklahoma. Across the court, TCU is 9-9 on the year after having dropped five of their first six Big 12 games, including three in a row.

Iowa State enters today's contest with one of the most efficient offenses in the country. The Cyclones are averaging 85.0 points per game, the 8th most of any team in the country. ISU is also one of just six teams in the nation shooting over 50% from the field. The Cyclones are led by a very talented group of starters that does most of the heavy lifting for first year head coach Steve Prohm.

Georges Niang is not only the best scorer on this year's Iowa State team, but he is one of the best scorers in the nation. The senior forward enters today's game averaging 19.7 points per game on a ridiculous 53.8% shooting from the field. He is also averaging 6.4 boards and 3.1 assists per game while connecting on 41.0% of his three-point shot attempts. Niang runs the show for ISU and it will be important for the Frogs to keep him in check this afternoon.

Niang is one of five Cyclones averaging in double figures this season. Monte Morris is adding another 15.0 points per game, to go along with his team-high 6.9 assists each contest. Morris usually makes up for the bulk of ISU's 16.6 assists per game, a mark that ranks 29th in the nation. The team's leading rebounder, Jameel McKay, is averaging 13.5 points to go along with his 9.2 boards per game. McKay has been lethal this season, as he enters the contest shooting 58.5% from the field.

Abdel Nader does it all for Prohm's team, averaging 12.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. The forward is making the most of his senior campaign and has rounded into one of the most complete players in the Big 12. Naz Long is the team's fifth and final double-digit scorer, however he is out for the remainder of the season after complications suffered from off-season hip surgery. Filling in for Long in the starting lineup is junior guard Matt Thomas, who has done a great job replicating Long's production thus far. Thomas is averaging 9.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.

An interesting facet of this year's Iowa State team is their lack of true depth. The Cyclones have used just seven total players in each of their six Big 12 games this season. Deonte Burton and Hallice Cooke are usually the first two off the bench, but neither player sees more than 15 minutes of action per game. One key for the Frogs this afternoon will be whether or not they can drive into the paint and force ISU's starters into foul trouble.

Luckily for TCU, Iowa State is one of the few Big 12 teams that doesn't rely on the deep ball for offense. The Cyclones enter today shooting just 36.0% from behind the arc, meaning the team does most of its damage inside. The Frogs interior defense has been significantly better than their perimeter defense, an element that could benefit TCU today.

Offensively for the Frogs, this is a team still trying to find its identity. Averaging a Big 12-low 63.2 points per game in league play, TCU hasn't surpassed the 70 point mark since January 4 against West Virginia. Comparatively, Iowa State has scored at least 76 points in each of their last 17 consecutive games. There's no doubt that the Frogs will need their shots to fall this afternoon to hang with ISU.

Vladimir Brodziansky continues to lead the charge for TCU. Even after transitioning to his role on the bench, the sophomore forward leads the team in scoring with 11.8 points per game on a team-high 54.9% shooting from the field. Most recently, Brodziansky dropped 18 against Texas Tech, singlehandedly leading the big comeback for TCU.

The Frogs' only other active double-digit scorer is Chauncey Collins, who has turned it up a notch in Big 12 play. The sophomore guard is averaging 10.5 points per game this season, including 13.2 in league play. He fell just one point shy of a career high against Texas Tech on Monday, dropping 19 points in the contest. Collins has found new life as of late after returning to the starting lineup in place of the suspended Malique Trent.

TCU's duo of Karviar Shepherd and Brandon Parrish continue to provide crucial support inside. The two are combining to average 17.2 points and 9.6 rebounds each night. Shepherd leads the team in rebounding with 6.0 per game while Parrish continues to be the team's best deep threat, connecting on 50.0% of his long-ball attempts.

Entering today's contest, the Frogs have played 51 consecutive games with a record of .500 or better, a mark that is tied for the 9th longest of such streak in school history. At 9-9 on the year, a loss today would put an end to that impressive run.

TCU Projected Starters

Iowa State Projected Starters

G

Michael Williams

4.9 ppg, 2.9 apg

F

Jameel McKay

13.5 ppg, 9.2 rpg

G

Chauncey Collins

9.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg

F

Abdel Nader

12.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg

G

Brandon Parrish

8.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg

F

Georges Niang

19.7 ppg, 6.4 apg

F

Chris Washburn

7.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg

G

Monte Morris

15.0 ppg, 6.9 apg

F

Karviar Shepherd

9.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg

G

Matt Thomas

9.7 ppg, 5.1 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.
  • Heading into Saturday, TCU ranks No. 73 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. 40 in NCAA in field goal percentage on the season.
  • Michael Williams has started 10-straight games.
  • TCU is 8-4 all-time when Williams starts.
  • Brandon Parrish ranks second in the Big 12 Conference in 3-point field goal percentage at 52 percent.