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TCU Basketball Preview: Baylor

The Frogs are set to close out their regular season series with Baylor tonight in Fort Worth.

Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Game Time: 7:00pm CDT | Location: Schollmaier Arena - Fort Worth, TX
TV: ESPNU | Series: BU Leads 97-81 | Game Line: BU -9.0

The Frogs return to the friendly confines of Schollmaier Arena tonight to host the Baylor Bears in what is the team's second-to-last home game of the 2015-16 season. TCU comes limping into the contest at 11-17 overall and 2-13 in Big 12 play. Conversely, the Bears are 20-8 this season, including 9-6 in league action. Baylor routed TCU 82-54 when the teams first met in Waco earlier this season.

Four prolific scorers fuel the Bears offense night in and night out. Taurean Prince is a do-it-all forward for Baylor, averaging 15.0 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. The senior has been one of the key pieces of BU's foundation for the last four years. Joining Prince at the top of the scoring chart is Rico Gathers, who is adding another 12.0 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. Gathers had been putting up incredible offensive numbers until being sidelined with an illness in early February. He has failed to record double-digit points or rebounds in four straight games after accomplishing that feat in 19 of the Bears' first 21 games.

Al Freeman and Jonathan Motely provide crucial support for Baylor. Freeman enters tonight's game averaging 11.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. Motley has proven to be the team's best shooter, averaging a ridiculous 62.4% from the floor. Motley was one of three Bears to score in double-figures against the Frogs in the first go round, coming off the bench to knock in 10 points.

Despite averaging just 13.5 minutes per game, Terry Maston has been another relatively important piece for Scott Drew's team. Maston is averaging 6.5 points and 2.7 rebounds per game but managed 17 points and six rebounds against the Frogs in January.

Like most of the Big 12, the Bears are incredibly efficient on offense. The team ranks 61st in the nation in total scoring with 78.2 points per game. More impressively, Baylor is second in assists, with 18.9 each night.

Across the court, TCU has bumped their offensive averages as of late thanks to a pair of close games. The Frogs enter tonight's contest averaging 67.3 points per game, a mark that ranks 294th in the nation. Offense usually runs through the team's guards, as Chauncey Collins and Malique Trent lead the team in scoring. Collins is the team's top scorer, averaging 11.7 points per game. Trent is just behind, adding another 11.3 points to go along with a team-high 3.0 assists each night.

Vladimir Brodziansky has continued to put up solid numbers during his first season in Fort Worth. The transfer sophomore is averaging 9.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, in addition to shooting a team-high 53.1% from the floor. Brandon Parrish is the final major cog in the team's offense, knocking in another 8.6 points per game thanks to lights out shooting from behind the arc. Parrish is the team's best deep threat, connecting on 43.3% of his three-point shot attempts.

The Frogs enter tonight's game dealing with some injury concerns. Karviar Shepherd is unlikely to play after missing most of the last five games with a back injury. Additionally, Devonta Abron is dealing with a thigh injury and his status is uncertain at this time.

For more in-depth analysis of tonight's game, check out our Second Chance Points feature.

TCU Projected Starters

Baylor Projected Starters

G

Malique Trent

11.3 ppg, 2.8 apg

F

Johnathan Motley

11.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg

G

Chauncey Collins

11.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg

F

Taurean Prince

15.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg

G

Brandon Parrish

8.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg

G

Lester Medford

9.6 ppg, 7.0 apg

F

JD Miller

6.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg

G

Ishmail Wainright

5.7 ppg, 4.0 rpg

F

Vladimir Brodziansky

9.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg

G

Al Freeman

11.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg

Here are other game notes, courtesy of GoFrogs.com:

  • TCU is 41-9 when leading at the half under head coach Trent Johnson.
  • TCU will play two out of its final three games of the season at home.
  • TCU will play its 11th opponent either ranked or receiving votes in its last 16 games versus Baylor.
  • TCU returned three starters from a year ago in Chris Washburn, Kenrich Williams and Karviar Shepherd.
  • All three are TCU's captains this season and have missed multiple games.
  • TCU has won five out of its last 11 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 third in the Big 12 Conference in steals and No. 51 in the NCAA.