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TCU Basketball Preview: West Virginia

The TCU Basketball team returns to the hardwood bright and early this morning to face the 10th-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers in Morgantown.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Game Time: 11:00am CDT | Location: WVU Coliseum - Morgantown, WV
TV: ESPNU | Series: WVU Leads 7-0 | Game Line: WVU - 17.5

The Frogs will look to begin their first Big 12 winning streak in nearly a year this morning as they travel to Morgantown to face the 10th-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers. TCU used a furious second half run to knock off Oklahoma State 63-56 Monday evening. The win bumped the Frogs to 11-13 on the year and 2-9 in Big 12 play. The Mountaineers fell to 19-5 overall and 8-3 in league play after a 75-65 loss at the hands of Kansas in Lawrence earlier this week.

Like most Big 12 teams, West Virginia is led by a powerful core of scorers that can light up the scoreboard on any given night. Arguably the most productive Mountaineer this season has been Jaysean Paige. The senior guard enters today's game averaging 14.2 points per game to go along with 3.6 boards, 1.1 assists, and 1.5 steals.

Devin Williams has been the top rebounder for Bob Huggins this season, pulling down 8.8 per game. He also averages 13.4 points per game and has racked up 10 double-doubles so far this season. Daxter Miles and Jevon Carter are the third and fourth key pieces of WVU's offence. Miles adds 10.4 points each night while Carter contributes another 10.0 points per game. The duo also combine to average nearly five rebounds and five assists each night.

As a team, the Mountaineers are one of the best in the country when it comes to total offense. Through 24 games, West Virginia is averaging 80.3 points per game, a mark that ranks 33rd in the nation. The team's 39.6 boards per game is also in the top 50 in the country. The WVU defense has been equally impressive, holding opponents to a miniscule 65.8 points per game.

The Mountaineers' offense poses a significant test for the TCU defense - case in point: WVU dropped 95 on the Frogs in Fort Worth earlier this season, the most points allowed by TCU in a single game since the 2013-14 season. West Virginia also shot 57.7% from the field, one of the best opponent shooting percentages against TCU in the Trent Johnson era.

The Frogs put up a pretty good fight against the ‘Eers in the first meeting, scoring 87 points of their own, the most the team has ever scored in a Big 12 Conference game. It's entirely possible that TCU will have to improve upon that effort if they are to pick up their first-ever win over the Mountaineers in program history this morning.

Individually, the team's two point guards continue to lead on the offensive end. Malique Trent had jumped to the top of the scoring chart, averaging 11.0 points per game on just 38.4% shooting from the field. Fellow guard Chauncey Collins is adding another 10.5 points each night, to go along with 3.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists.

Vladimir Brodziansky is the only other double-digit scorer, contributing another 10.4 points per game. He is also grabbing 4.7 rebounds and shooting a team-high 44.5% from the field.

Offense has been a major issue for the Frogs this season. TCU enters today's game dead last in the Big 12 and 288th in the nation in total offense, scoring just 68.0 points per game. In fact, the team has surpassed the 70-point mark just three times in 2016, however, one of those contests was the 95-87 loss to West Virginia in January.

On the injury front, Karviar Shepherd will likely return to action today after missing Monday's game against Oklahoma State with a lingering back injury. Malique Trent is expected to be back at full strength after suffering a sprained wrist last weekend.

TCU's last trip to Morgantown featured a (quite controversial) 86-85 overtime loss to the Mountaineers. The Frogs will no doubt need to put up their third straight impressive offensive performance against West Virginia this morning if they are to pick up their third conference win of the season.

TCU Projected Starters

Oklahoma State Projected Starters

G

Malique Trent

11.0 ppg, 3.0 apg

F

Nathan Adrian

4.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg

G

Chauncey Collins

10.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg

F

Esa Ahmad

4.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg

G

Brandon Parrish

8.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg

F

Devin Williams

13.4 ppg, 8.8 rpg

F

Chris Washburn

8.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg

G

Jevon Carter

10.0 ppg, 2.9 rpg

F

Devonta Abron

5.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg

G

Daxter Miles, Jr.

10.4 ppg, 2.3 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 36 opponents to 59 points or less under Trent Johnson.
  • TCU will play its eighth opponent either ranked or receiving votes in its last 12 games vs. WVU.
  • 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 five out of its last 10 Big 12 Conference home games.
  • TCU played its first 11 games without Chris Washburn and Kenrich Williams.
  • Williams will miss the entire season with an injury.
  • Malique Trent ranks sixth in the Big 12 Conference in steals and No. 75 in the NCAA.