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TCU Basketball Preview: Bradley

The Frogs look to improve to 11-1 in last game before Big 12 play opens.

NCAA Basketball: Texas Southern at Texas Christian Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Game Time: 8:00pm CST | Location: Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena - Fort Worth, TX | TV: FOX Sports Net | Series: Tied 5-5 | Game Line: TCU -19.5

Coming off of a blowout win over Texas Southern, TCU now will welcome the Bradley Braves to Fort Worth. This will be the eleventh time the programs have met, including the third straight season. However, the Frogs have not lost to Bradley since 1952. Surprisingly, this is also the first time that the two teams have met in Fort Worth.

TCU is off to a great start this season, especially at Schollmaier Arena, where they are 8-0. The most recent win for the Frogs came at home on Sunday, when they beat Texas Southern 96-59. The star player for TCU was senior forward Chris Washburn off the bench, who had 15 points and nine rebounds in only 11 minutes on the floor. Including Washburn, nine players scored 6 or more points against the Tigers.

After a week off for finals, the team was able to come out hot and had overcome their shooting woes from their prior two games. As a team, they shot 52.9% from the field including 40% from beyond the arc. They also were better from the line as no player missed more than one free throw.

The Frogs will be looking to continue their impressive shooting against Bradley, who enters the game at 5-7. Lacking any stiff competition or signature wins, the Braves enter the game ranked #236 in the RPI (NCAA.com). For comparison, TCU enters the game ranked #18, thanks to their 10-1 record and their wins over Arkansas State, Illinois State, and Texas Southern.

Bradley comes into the game after losing at Ole Miss 66-49 on Monday. The Braves struggled to get going in against the Rebels, shooting only 31% from the field. They also turned the ball over 17 times and were out-rebounded 41-36.

Bradley is led by freshman guard Darrell Brown, who scored 14 points at Ole Miss. He leads the team in both scoring and assists this year, averaging 12.3 points and 2.6 assists per game. Another player to keep an eye on will be sophomore forward Luuk van Bree. Van Bree’s stats so far this season have not been very impressive, but he did score 19 points and grabbed 11 boards when these teams met in Illinois last year.

Three Things to Watch:

1 - Push the Tempo

TCU dominated Texas Southern by pushing the tempo and getting good looks in transition. Bradley got behind early against Ole Miss because the Rebels pushed the tempo. Both of these teams are at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of offensive styles, so the Frogs should look to come out against the Braves and push the tempo early. If TCU can turn this game into a run-n-gun game and get some easy transition looks from turnovers, then the Frogs should be able to come away with a victory.

2 - Dominate the Glass

In their win over Texas Southern, the Frogs absolutely dominated the Tigers in rebounding. They had a 50-27 advantage on the boards, which is impressive considering they were going up against one of the best rebounders in the nation, Derrick Griffin. It was also a group effort, as five players finished the game with 5+ rebounds. Limiting the Tigers’ second-chance opportunities was a major reason for the blowout victory, and it will be important for the Frogs to continue their efforts on the glass heading into Big 12 play.

3 - Brodziansky vs. van Bree

This will be an exciting post matchup to watch as the Slovakian Brodziansky squares off against the Dutchman van Bree. Both of these big men are more skilled than most and will show some solid fundamentals in this game. Vlad has a slight size advantage at 6’11” compared to van Bree at 6’9”, which is good for the Frogs. Vlad also has the advantage in the numbers, putting up better stats in nearly every possible category.

Prediction:

Bradley has a short turnaround from their game against Ole Miss and isn’t the best team out there. TCU should be able to come out early and push the tempo and pull away in the first half. I expect a big game from our guards Jaylen Fisher and Alex Robinson. The Frogs’ defensive pressure should lead to a high number of turnovers by Bradley and a lot of fast break points for TCU. Ultimately, the Frogs should get the win and head into their first conference game against Kansas at 11-1.

Score Prediction: TCU 81, Bradley 54

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

• TCU and Bradley will meet for the 11th time Wednesday night.

• TCU head coach Jamie Dixon is 83-12 during the month of December.

• TCU currently ranks No. 33 in turnovers forced in the NCAA.

Brandon Parrish played in his 108th game on Sunday and is a 2017 Allstate NABC Good Works Team® nominee.

• Parrish needs to play in only 11 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 against Arkansas State

• Shepherd has tallied 580 career rebounds and needs only 120 to become only the 10th player all-time to capture 700 boards.