Game Time: 4:00pm CST| Location: Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena - Fort Worth, TX | TV: FOX Sports Net | Series: First Meeting | Game Line: TCU -18.5
After dropping a game for the first time this season against SMU on Wednesday, TCU will look to rebound with a win tonight against the Wofford Terriers. This will mark the first time these two programs have met on the hardwood.
TCU is back home after falling to SMU 74-59 on Wednesday night in Dallas. The Mustangs took a 4-3 lead with 18:24 left in the first half and never let looked back. The Frogs struggled to get their shots to fall. TCU only made 27.3% of their shots from beyond the arc and 58.3% from the free throw line.
On defense, the Frogs got into foul trouble early in the second half, forcing important players like Kenrich Williams and Jaylen Fisher to the bench during key moments.
Williams did still manage to have a big game though, grabbing 13 boards. Alex Robinson also was a bright spot in the game, getting a double-double off the bench with 12 points and 10 assists.
That loss is in the past now and the Frogs will have to turn their focus to Wofford. The Terriers come to Fort Worth at 3-6 and ranked #287 in RPI (NCAA.com). All three of their wins so far this season have come at home against non-Division 1 opponents. They have played three games so far against Power 5 teams and have lost all three by an average of 18 points.
Wofford is led by sophomore guard Fletcher Magee, who is averaging 15.2 points per game, but only shooting 40.7% from the field. Another player to keep an eye on is senior guard Eric Garcia, who leads the team in assists with 4.8 per game. The Frogs will want to avoid fouling either of these two players, as they are shooting 88% from the free throw line combined.
Three Things to Watch:
1 - The First Five Minutes
TCU has struggled getting out of the gates in a few of their games so far this season and it finally got to them against SMU. The Mustangs got out to a 19-8 lead in the first eight minutes and TCU never was able to catch up. The Frogs had been able to come back from poor starts earlier in the year, most notably coming back from down 22-5 to Washington to win 86-71. Although Wofford is not the best team out there, TCU will want to put this game away early and will need a strong start.
2 - Getting Wofford in Foul Trouble
The Frogs have been very successful this season when they have gotten their opponents in foul trouble. In their three biggest wins so far this year, the two versus Washington and one over Arkansas State, TCU has forced key players to sit down for long periods of time by being aggressive and attacking on offense.
3 - Free Throw Shooting
Getting opponents into foul trouble and getting into the bonus is great, but TCU needs to start capitalizing on their opportunities at the line. In the three games I mentioned against Washington and Arkansas State, TCU converted 73.9% of their free throws, which has room for improvement but is much better than the 58.3% they made against SMU. If the Frogs can stay above 70% at the charity stripe, it will make them even more competitive, especially with Big 12 play looming.
I expect the Frogs to come out and be aggressive from the very start. After taking a frustrating loss on Wednesday, they will most likely come out with a fire in their belly and take it to the Terriers. I expect Vladimir Brodziansky to have another big game since Wofford doesn’t have any players that are both talented and long enough to guard him. Kenrich Williams will probably also come away with his fourth-straight game grabbing double-digit rebounds. Ultimately, this should be a comfortable, bounce-back win.
Score Prediction: TCU 81, Wofford 56
Here are some additional game notes, courtesy of GoFrogs.com:
• TCU and Wofford will meet for the first time Saturday afternoon.
• TCU head coach Jamie Dixon is 81-12 during the month of December.
• TCU currently ranks No. 22 in turnovers forced in the NCAA.
• Jaylen Fisher currently ranks 14th among all freshmen nationally in total assists with 37.
• Brandon Parrish played in his 106th game Wednesday and is a 2017 Allstate NABC Good Works Team® nominee.
• Parrish needs to play in only 13 more games to move into the top-10 all-time in games played in school history.
• Karviar Shepherd is now No. 6 all-time in career starts at TCU with 94. He played in his 100th game last Saturday.
• Shepherd has tallied 572 career rebounds and needs only 128 to become only the 10th player all-time to capture 700 boards.
• Alex Robinson has recorded 11 games of five or more assists in his career. He had 10 against SMU.
• Robinson,who was named to the all-tournament team in Vegas, has led TCU in assists six times this season.
• Robinson scored a career-high 24 points against Washington in Las Vegas and had a career-high 10 assists versus SMU.
• Kenrich Williams grabbed a career-high 18 boards against UNLV. He has now had three-straight games of 10 or more boards.
• Williams' 18 boards are the most in the Big 12 Conference this season and tied for the 14th most in the NCAA.
• Williams posted his second-straight double-double of the season versus Arkansas State with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
• Williams ranks No. 12 in the NCAA in offensive rebounds with a 4.0 average on the season.
• Vladimir Brodziansky has hit 13-straight buckets heading into Saturday.