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TCU Basketball Preview: Washington (again)

After knocking off the Huskies in the Global Sports Classic on Saturday, TCU will face them a second consecutive time tonight in Fort Worth.

NCAA Basketball: Texas Christian at UNLV Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

Game Time: 6:00pm CST| Location: Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena - Fort Worth, TX | TV: FOX Sports Southwest Plus | Series: TCU leads 2-1 | Game Line: TCU -6

The Frogs are back home and have brought with them their first tournament title under new head coach Jamie Dixon. At 6-0, Dixon is off to the best career start at TCU for any men’s basketball coach ever. TCU will face the Washington Huskies once again, this time at Schollmaier Arena.

The Horned Frogs were able to get the better of Washington in Las Vegas this past Saturday, coming away with the 93-80 victory and the Global Sports Classic championship trophy. TCU came out of the gates on fire and never trailed the Huskies. The Frogs were able to get some of Washington’s most important players into foul trouble and were able to find good open shots. TCU shot an impressive 52.6 percent from the field and held a 36-29 advantage on the boards.

Point guard Alex Robinson led the way off the bench for TCU, dropping in 24 points, including 8 consecutive points to extend the Frogs lead in the second half. Kenrich Williams once again had an impressive game on the boards, leading the Frogs with 7 rebounds in addition to his 11 points.

Now, TCU will have to find a way to beat Washington once again. The Huskies are led by star freshman guard Markelle Fultz, who is already being considered a candidate for national player of the year. He dropped 27 points in 25 minutes against the Frogs in Las Vegas, but fouled out with about seven minutes left in the game. Not having Fultz on the floor down the stretch really hurt the Huskies’ chances at a comeback.

In addition to Fultz, the Frogs will have to shut down forward Noah Dickerson and guard David Crisp. Both players contributed 14 points each against TCU and Dickerson ended the game with a double-double by also grabbing 10 rebounds.

This game represents a huge chance for the Frogs to get another win over a Pac-12 foe on their resume. Having two wins over Washington could go a long way for TCU if they happen to be up against a Pac-12 team in front of a selection committee.

Three Things to Watch:

1 - Fisher vs. Fultz

The matchup to watch in this game is the battle of the star freshman guards. Both TCU freshman Jaylen Fisher and the Huskies’ Fultz were highly touted recruits and have already had major impacts on their respective teams. Fisher leads the team in assists with 5.3 per game and is third on the team in scoring at 10.5 points per game. He was also named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week for the first week of the season.

Fultz has been stuffing the stat sheets for Washington so far this season. The #7 overall recruit in the nation has lived up to the hype, averaging 23 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 6.7 assists per game. He has also shot an impressive 55.3 percent from the field through six games. Watching these two freshmen go at it on the court for a second time will be entertaining for all.

2 - Balanced Scoring Attack for TCU

Through six games this season, the Frogs have eight separate players averaging over 8 points per game. Four of those players are averaging double-digits and three of those four are newcomers on the team. The additions of Robinson, Fisher, and Desmond Bane and the return of Kenrich Williams have been a blessing for the team’s depth. If TCU wants to continue to beat high-quality opponents like Washington, they will need to continue to have a balanced offensive attack.

3 - Getting Washington in Foul Trouble

TCU was able to pull away from the Huskies in the second half and keep their lead because they were able to get Washington into foul trouble early in the second half. The Frogs were able to get 33 attempts at the free throw line and converted 26 of those. Fultz fouled out with about seven minutes left which was a huge benefit to TCU. The Huskies also had five players with at least 4 fouls, which limited their ability to play aggressive defense. If the Frogs can get the Huskies in foul trouble once again, TCU will have a good shot at beating them again.

Prediction:

The Frogs and Huskies will come out to an electric crowd and this game will be exciting right from the first tip. Fisher will be able to get his team some good looks and Fultz will put on a scoring show. The freshmen will go back and forth but TCU will ultimately be able to come away with the win due to more depth. Bane will crack double-digit scoring for the fifth time this season and the Huskies will get in foul trouble, limiting their chance to leave Fort Worth with a win.

Score Prediction: TCU 91, Washington 82

Here are some additional game notes, courtesy of GoFrogs.com:

• TCU and Washington will face each other for a second-straight game Wednesday.

• TCU head coach Jamie Dixon is 76-6 during the month of November.

• TCU currently ranks No. 15 in turnovers forced in the NCAA.

Jaylen Fisher currently ranks fifth among all freshmen nationally in total assists with 32.

Desmond Bane, the Global Sports Classic MVP, has scored 10 or more points in four out of the six games.

Brandon Parrish played in his 103rd game Saturday night.

• Parrish needs to play in only 16 more games to move into the top-10 all-time in games played in school history.

Karviar Shepherd is now No. 9 all-time in career starts at TCU with 91.

• Shepherd has tallied 571 career rebounds and needs only 129 to become only the 10th player all-time to capture 700 boards.

Alex Robinson has recorded eight games of five or more assists in his career.

• Robinson,who was named to the all-tournament team in Vegas, led TCU in assists for a fourth time this season against UNLV.

• Robinson scored a career-high 24 points against Washington this past Saturday night.

Kenrich Williams grabbed a career-high 18 boards against UNLV.

• Williams' 18 boards are the most in the Big 12 Conference this season and tied for the 12th most in the NCAA.