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TCU Basketball Preview: Oklahoma State

The Frogs return to action tonight looking to knock off Oklahoma State at home for the second year in a row while simultaneously snapping a seven-game Big 12 losing streak.

Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Game Time: 6:00pm CDT | Location: Schollmaier Arena - Fort Worth, TX
TV: ESPNU | Series: OSU Leads 23-3 | Game Line: OSU -1.0

The Frogs will look to snap their seven-game conference losing streak tonight as the Oklahoma State Cowboys make their first visit to Schollmaier Arena. Each team is limping into the contest after losing both games and key players last week. Oklahoma State dropped to 11-12 overall and 2-8 in league play after falling to Iowa State on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Frogs are 10-13 on the year and 1-9 in Big 12 play following a blowout home loss to Kansas over the weekend.

The biggest storyline entering tonight's game is the injury situation for both teams. Starting with Oklahoma State, the Cowboys are without their top two leading scorers. The hot-shooting Phil Forte is out for the season after suffering an arm injury during the Pokes' third game of the year. Forte was averaging a team-high 13.3 points per game before being sidelined.

Perhaps even more concerning for Travis Ford is the loss of superstar freshman Jawun Evans, who is out indefinitely after suffering an apparent shoulder injury against Texas Tech last week. In Forte's absence, Evans stepped up as the team's leading scorer, averaging 12.9 points per game. The do-it-all guard was also contributing 4.4 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. After Evans suffered the injury, Oklahoma State blew a late lead to Texas Tech before falling at home to Iowa State. His absence could be the determining factor in tonight's game.

Without their top two scorers, the Cowboys are forced to look elsewhere for production on the offensive end. Jeff Newberry and Leyton Hammonds are the most likely candidates, as the duo has been reliable scoring options for Ford's team this season. Newberry enters the game averaging 10.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Additionally, Hammonds is the team's top rebounder, pulling down 5.3 each night to go along with his 10.3 points. The team's best shooter, Chris Olivier, is adding another 9.0 points per game on 54.5% shooting from the field. Finally, sophomore Jeffrey Carroll is a decent scoring threat, knocking in another 8.5 points each night.

The Frogs aren't without injury issues of their own. After dropping games to #1 Oklahoma and #7 Kansas by a combined 42 points last week, Carlos Mendez of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is reporting that Malique Trent has a wrist sprain that Karviar Shepherd is battling some back issues. Trent is the team's leading scorer with 11.0 points per game while Shepherd is the top rebounder, pulling down 5.8 each night. Losing either of those players would be a huge blow to an already thin TCU roster.

Trent Johnson has turned to Vladimir Brodziansky and Chauncey Collins for help on the offensive end as of late. After returning to the starting lineup, both Brodziansky and Collins have put up some solid numbers on the offensive end. Collins' scoring output continues to improve and is currently up to 10.4 points per game. Brodziansky has been a rather consistent threat as a starter, putting up 10.7 points each night. These two will likely have to surpass their averages tonight if the Frogs are to pick up their second Big 12 win of the season.

Unfortunately for TCU, the Frogs are sitting in a precarious spot as we enter the final sprint toward March Madness. The team is currently alone in last place in the Big 12 with a 1-9 league record. In all likelihood, tonight represents the last legitimate shot the team has to win another conference game this season. Following the contest, the Frogs have seven more league games with six of those occurring either on the road, against a ranked team, or both. A TCU win tonight would lock the Frogs and Cowboys into a tie for ninth place in the league, giving a slight glimmer of hope to a TCU team looking to avoid their third last-place finish in the last four seasons. However, a loss would serve as a metaphorical nail in the coffin, putting the Frogs two games out of ninth place with just seven to go.

For a more in-depth look at how the Frogs can knock off the Cowboys, check out our Second Chance Points feature.

TCU Projected Starters

Oklahoma State Projected Starters

G

Malique Trent

11.0 ppg, 3.0 apg

F

Leyton Hammonds

10.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg

G

Chauncey Collins

10.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg

F

Jeffrey Carroll

8.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg

G

Brandon Parrish

8.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg

F

Mitchell Solomon

3.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg

F

Chris Washburn

8.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg

G

Tyree Griffin

4.7 ppg, 3.0 apg

F

Devonta Abron

5.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg

G

Jeff Newberry

10.8 ppg, 4.5 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 played its seventh opponent either ranked or receiving votes in its last 10 games vs. Kansas.
  • 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 sixth in the Big 12 Conference in steals and No. 66 in the NCAA.