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TCU Basketball Preview: Oklahoma

For the second time this season, the Frogs will hit the road to face the #1 ranked team in the nation.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Game Time: 7:00pm CDT | Location: Lloyd Noble Center - Norman, OK
TV: ESPNews | Series: OU Leads 16-2 | Game Line: OU -19.5

For the second time in as many weeks, the Frogs have to travel to face the top-ranked team in all the land. This time, TCU will pay a visit to Norman to take on the Oklahoma Sooners. Both teams enter tonight's contest coming off big wins in Saturday's Big 12/SEC Challenge. After a razor-thin 77-75 win over LSU, Oklahoma is now 18-2 on the year, entering their third week as the top-ranked team in the AP poll. The Sooners are 6-2 in Big 12 play, tied with West Virginia for first place in the league.

Any discussion about the Oklahoma Sooners has to start with prohibitive player of the year candidate Buddy Hield. The senior guard is the best scorer in the entire nation, averaging 26.2 points per game. Hield enters tonight's contest after scoring 62 points in two games last week. In fact, the Freeport, Bahamas native has scored 30 or more points in nine of Oklahoma's 20 games this season. His conference low is a measly 17 points against West Virginia on January 16. As if the scoring wasn't enough, Hield is averaging 5.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.4 steals per game in addition to shooting 52.8% from the field.

Hield's individual performances have sometimes overshadowed what is a very strong supporting cast in Lon Kruger's starting lineup. Jordan Woodard has lit up the scoreboard as well, averaging 14.4 points per game, shooting a team-high 53.2% from behind the arc. Isaiah Cousins is another talented scoring threat, knocking in another 13.3 per night. In addition, Ryan Spangler continues to be a double-double machine for the Sooners. The senior is averaging 11.0 points and 9.8 rebounds, thanks to nine double-double performances in his last 20 games.

Rounding out the starting five for Kruger's Sooners is Khadeem Lattin, who although rather quiet as of late, has been a pretty consistent performer this season. Lattin is averaging 6.1 points and 6.4 rebounds to go along with his team-high 58.0% shooting percentage from the field. Altogether, the Sooners combine to score 85.3 points per game, a mark that ranks 6th in the nation.

Lon Kruger relies on his starting five for a significant portion of the team's production. In fact, Oklahoma's sixth man, Dinjiyl Walker averages just 13.3 minutes per game. Eight of the 15 players on OU's roster average eight minutes per game or less. While the Sooners are a fairly clean team - very rarely does the team find themselves in foul trouble - their opponents have a significantly higher chance at success if the starters do pick up a handful of early fouls.

As nearly 20-point underdogs tonight, the Frogs will look to do just that on the road. TCU enters the game 10-11 on the year after knocking off Tennessee last time out. The Frogs used a huge second half rally to knock off the Vols, ending their five-game losing streak.

Chris Washburn, Brandon Parrish, Malique Trent, and Karviar Shepherd combined for 41 of TCU's 48 second-half points, as well as 56 overall in the victory. The scoring output boosted a TCU offense that has really struggled in 2016. The team is averaging just 68.6 points per game this season, including a Big 12-worst 61.6 in league play. On the road, the Frogs are scoring only 54.8 points per game against league opponents. The aforementioned quartet of Frogs will have to lead the charge once again as TCU looks to do the unthinkable in Norman.

TCU Projected Starters

Oklahoma Projected Starters

G

Malique Trent

11.4 ppg, 2.9 apg

F

Ryan Spangler

11.0 ppg, 9.8 rpg

G

Chauncey Collins

10.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg

F

Khadeem Lattin

6.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg

G

Brandon Parrish

8.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg

G

Jordan Woodard

14.4 ppg, 4.0 apg

F

Chris Washburn

7.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg

G

Isaiah Cousins

13.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg

F

Devonta Abron

5.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg

G

Buddy Hield

26.2 ppg, 5.9 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 will play its sixth opponent either ranked or receiving votes in its last nine games at Oklahoma.
  • 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 Chris Washburn and Kenrich Williams.
  • Williams will miss the entire season with an injury.
  • Malique Trent ranks fourth in the Big 12 Conference in steals and No. 55 in the NCAA