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TCU Basketball Preview: Texas

The Frogs travel to Austin tonight looking to sweep the season series with the Longhorns for the first time since 1987.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Game Time: 7:00pm CDT | Location: Frank Erwin Center - Austin, TX
TV: Longhorn Network | Series: UT Leads 106-63 | Game Line: UT -11.0

1987 was a good year for TCU Basketball. Jim Killingsworth and the Frogs finished 24-7 overall, claiming what would be the program's last Southwest Conference title. The team also knocked off Marshall in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament - the program's last win in the Big Dance. The "Killer Frogs" of 1987 also picked up what was the team's last season sweep, back-to-back victories, and road win against the Texas Longhorns.

The 2016 edition of the Horned Frogs will have the opportunity to make history of their own this evening in the Capital City. After beating Texas 58-57 on January 9, TCU travels to Austin in a position to sweep the Longhorns for the first time in nearly three decades.

However, tonight's contest features two teams moving in opposite directions since their encounter earlier this month. Texas won three of their four games since falling to the Frogs, knocking off #19 Iowa State and #6 West Virginia in the process. Conversely, TCU has dropped all four of their contests since defeating the Longhorns, losing by an average margin of 15.3 points per game.

Texas has figured out how to perform without star center Cameron Ridley, who remains sidelined after suffering a broken foot in late December. Shaka Smart's two flashy shooters, Isaiah Taylor and Javan Felix, continue to carry the Longhorns offensively. Taylor leads the team in both scoring and assists, averaging 16.3 and 4.7 each night. Felix is the team's only other double-digit scorer, adding 11.2 points to go along with his 2.1 assists.

Despite the recent success, the Longhorns remain vulnerable in the paint. Shaquille Cleare and Prince Ibeh, the team's only other big men, are combining to average 5.4 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Connor Lammert has helped fill the void to some extent, as the senior forward is adding 6.5 points and 5.8 boards each night.

A pair of freshman guards provides the support for Taylor and Felix. Eric Davis Jr. makes the most out of his 22.0 minutes per game, knocking in 8.3 points and grabbing 2.4 rebounds. Meanwhile Kerwin Roach Jr. is adding another 5.6 points and 2.2 rebounds per game.

Across the court, the TCU offense received a boost late last week as Malique Trent returned to action following a three-game suspension for an unspecified violation of team rules. The sophomore guard is one of three Frogs averaging in double-figures, scoring 11.4 points per game to go along with his team-high 3.0 assists.

Chauncey Collins has stepped it up as of late, helping to fill the void left in the wake of Trent's aforementioned suspension. On the season, Collins is averaging 10.7 points per game, with the bulk of his production coming in Big 12 play over the last three weeks. The sophomore guard scored a team-high 14 points in Saturday's loss to Iowa State.

Vladimir Brodziansky continues to light up the scoreboard as well, despite moving to a more permanent role off the bench. The transfer from Pratt Community College leads the team in scoring with 11.8 points per game. He is also pulling down 5.3 rebounds and shooting a team-high 55.0% from the field.

Finally, Trent Johnson's duo of seasoned juniors provides major support on both ends of the floor. Karviar Shepherd leads the team in rebounding with 6.2 per game to go along with his 8.4 points, while Brandon Parrish is averaging an equally impressive 8.0 points and 3.5 boards each night. Parrish is also the team's best three-point threat, hitting 49.1% of his attempts from long range.

The Frogs enter tonight's contest with the worst scoring offense in the Big 12, and one of the worst in the entire nation. TCU is scoring just 69.0 points per game this season, a mark that ranks 274th out of 351 Division I teams. There's no question that Trent Johnson and his team will need to figure out how to score with more intensity if they want to knock off the Longhorns tonight.

For a full breakdown of tonight's rematch, check out our Second Chance Points feature.

TCU Projected Starters

Texas Projected Starters

G

Michael Williams

5.4 ppg, 2.9 apg

F

Connor Lammert

6.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg

G

Chauncey Collins

10.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg

C

Prince Ibeh

2.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg

G

Brandon Parrish

8.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg

G

Isaiah Taylor

16.3 ppg, 4.7 apg

F

Chris Washburn

7.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg

G

Javan Felix

11.2 ppg, 2.1 apg

F

Karviar Shepherd

8.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg

G

Kendal Yancy

2.7 ppg, 1.4 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 played its fourth ranked opponent in its last six games this past Saturday.
  • TCU returned three starters from a year ago in Chris Washburn, Kenrich Williams and Karviar Shepherd.
  • All three are TCU's captains this season.
  • TCU has won four out of its last eight Big 12 Conference home games.
  • TCU played its first 11 games without Washburn and Williams.
  • Brodziansky ranks No. 57 in NCAA in field goal percentage on the season.
  • Michael Williams has started 13-straight games. Williams made only his 15th career start versus Iowa State.
  • Malique Trent ranks third in the Big 12 Conference in steals and No. 43 in the NCAA.