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Big 12 Tournament: TCU vs. West Virginia Mega-Preview

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Fresh off a 67-62 upset win over #7 Texas Tech, the Frogs turn their attention to the 2nd-seeded West Virginia Mountaineers tonight in the Quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament.

Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Game Time: 6:00pm CDT | Location: Sprint Center - Kansas City, MO
TV: ESPNU | Series: WVU Leads 8-0 | Game Line: WVU -15.5

The TCU Horned Frogs picked up their second Big 12 Tournament win in program history last night with a 67-62 victory over the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Now, TCU turns their focus to a Quarterfinal meeting with the #2 seed, a scrappy West Virginia Mountaineers team that swept the regular season series against the Frogs.

After a mid-February hiccup in which the Mountaineers dropped back-to-back games to fall from atop the Big 12 standings into second place, the team finished the year on a high note, winning their last four games in convincing fashion. West Virginia has thrived off a high-powered offense and a lockdown defense throughout the entire season, resulting in their 24-7 overall record that includes a 13-5 mark in league play.

Perhaps the ‘Eers biggest strength is their balanced scoring attack. Jaysean Paige leads the team with 14.3 points per game, but five of his teammates average between nine and 12 points each night. Devin Williams has been a sure-shot all season long and enters tonight's game scoring 12.7 points per game to go along with a team-high 9.1 rebounds.

Daxter Miles Jr. has proven to be a consistent scoring threat for WVU this season, averaging 9.9 points per game on over 43% shooting from the field. Tarik Phillip adds another 9.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 2.9 assists each night. Jonathan Holton is just behind, contributing 9.4 points per game to compliment 7.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists. He leads the team with a 54.8% shooting percentage from the field. Jevon Carter rounds out the main scoring threats for Bob Huggins' team. The well-rounded sophomore guard enters the contest averaging 9.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game.

Collectively, the Mountaineers put up some impressive numbers on both ends of the floor. West Virginia enters the game 37th in the nation in total scoring, averaging 79.6 points per game. More impressively, WVU dishes out 14.8 assists each night, a mark that ranks in the top 25% of all Division I teams. The team's lockdown defense has resulted in a 32nd-best 39.8 rebounds per game, to go along with an average of just 66.2 points per game allowed to the opposition, another mark that ranks in the top 50 in the nation.

As for the Frogs, the team has struggled to score all season long. TCU enters the game 305th out of 351 Division I teams in scoring, averaging only 67.0 points per game. That number drops even lower in Big 12 play, as the Frogs are knocking in just 62.7 points per game against league foes. To further compound those issues, the TCU defense is allowing their opposition to score 71.3 points per game on average. The team enters tonight's game 12-20 overall after finishing the regular season 2-16 in Big 12 play.

The Frogs' two point guards lead the show on the offensive end. Chauncey Collins and Malique Trent are each averaging 11.8 points per game for Trent Johnson's squad. Shooting troubles have plagued the sophomores throughout much of the season, as both Collins and Trent are averaging about 38.7% shooting from the field. The duo of guards has struggled with ball control as well, combining for 4.6 assists and 4.9 turnovers per game.

Vladimir Brodziansky has been one of the more consistent Frogs throughout the season. The sophomore enters tonight's game averaging 9.5 points and 4.4 rebounds per game on a team-high 52.6% shooting percentage from the field. After tearing through non-conference play, Brodziansky saw his numbers dip slightly in Big 12 games, however he remains one of the top performers for the Frogs.

Brandon Parrish and Karviar Shepherd provide support for the team in the middle of the rotation. Parrish is averaging 8.7 points per game while shooting a team-high 41.0% from behind the arc. Shepherd has been the team's top rebounder, pulling down 5.4 boards each night. After missing five games with a back issue, Shepherd has registered at least 15 minutes in each of the last three games.

After dealing with injury issues of his own, Chris Washburn has put together a solid junior season. The forward who missed the first 11 games of the year with a broken finger enters the game contributing 6.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. Equally impressive, true freshman JD Miller has come off the bench to average 6.7 points and 4.2 boards each night. As one of the main cornerstones for the future of this TCU program, Miller has impressed in his first collegiate season.

Finally, it wouldn't be a TCU game without some injury issues. The team's lone senior, Devonta Abron, isn't expected to play after missing the last four games with a quad injury. Additionally, junior Michael Williams is out with a broken hand. While not officially listed on the team's injury report, true freshman Lyrik Shreiner has seen just 19 total minutes of action in the last eight games.

Tale of the Tape

Season Stats

WVU Season Stats

Last Five Games

TCU Horned Frogs

West Virginia Mountaineers

3/9/16

vs Texas Tech

W 67-62

3/5/16

at #19 Baylor

W 69-58

3/5/16

vs #6 Oklahoma

L 75-67

3/2/16

vs Texas Tech

W 90-68

3/2/16

at Kansas State

L 79-54

2/27/16

at Oklahoma State

W 70-56

2/27/16

vs #19 Baylor

L 86-71

2/22/16

vs #17 Iowa State

W 97-87

2/23/16

at Texas Tech

L 83-79

2/20/16

vs #3 Oklahoma

L 76-62

Season Series

First Meeting

The first meeting between these two Big 12 newcomers was a knock-down, drag-out fight that ultimately saw the Mountaineers take home a 95-87 win in Fort Worth. Six different WVU players finished the game in double-figures, led by Jaysean Paige's 20 points off the bench. Fellow reserve Tarik Phillip added another 18 points. Across the court, Chauncey Collins scored a season-high 20 points while Karviar Shepherd added 18 and Malique Trent finished with 15.

WVU Shot Chart 1

After the Frogs found themselves in a big hole early, the team battled back and led throughout much of the middle portion of the contest. However,  the TCU defense struggled to keep West Virginia in check down the stretch, allowing the Mountaineers to keep a comfortable distance late in the game.

WVU Flow 1

Second Meeting

TCU's return visit to Morgantown didn't exactly go well. The Frogs trailed by double-digits for much of the contest, eventually falling 73-42. Chauncey Collins scored 20 points for the Frogs, but that was just about the only highlight for TCU. Across the court, four Mountaineers finished in double-figures, led by Jonathan Holton's 14 points.

WVU Shots 2

This season's loss in Morgantown served as one of the worst defeats in Trent Johnson's tenure at the school. The Frogs fell behind early and never recovered in what ended up being a blowout defeat.

WVU Flow 2

Projected Starters

TCU Projected Starters

West Virginia Projected Starters

G

Malique Trent

11.8 ppg, 2.6 apg

F

Devin Williams

12.7 ppg, 9.1 rpg

G

Chauncey Collins

11.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg

F

Esa Ahmad

4.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg

G

Brandon Parrish

8.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg

F

Nathan Adrian

4.8 ppg, 3.2 rpg

F

Chris Washburn

6.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg

G

Jevon Carter

9.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg

F

Karviar Shepherd

7.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg

G

Daxter Miles, Jr.

9.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg

Game Notes

(courtesy of GoFrogs.com)

  • TCU is 41-9 when leading at the half under head coach Trent Johnson.
  • TCU will play its 14th opponent either ranked or receiving votes in its last 20 games versus No. 9 West Virginia.
  • TCU is now 2-1 at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship the last two years.
  • TCU won on the opening day of the tournament for a second-straight season by defeating Texas Tech Wednesday night.
  • TCU played its first 11 games without Chris Washburn and Kenrich Williams.
  • Williams, Devonta Abron and Michael Williams all sat out the Texas Tech contest with an injury.
  • Vladimir Brodziansky tallied his second career double-double with 13 points and 10 boards vs. Texas Tech.
  • Chauncey Collins has scored in double-figures in six-straight games, including four games of 15 or more.
  • Malique Trent ranks first in the Big 12 Conference in steals and No. 16 in the NCAA.
  • Trent was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week after averaging 20 points per game against Texas Tech and Baylor.

Tournament Central

TCU 87, #17 West Virginia 95

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Up Next

The winner of tonight's contest will face the winner of the last quarterfinal of the day, which pits #3 Oklahoma against #6 Iowa State. That game is set to tip off approximately 30 minutes following the TCU vs. West Virginia contest. Tomorrow's semifinal game is tentatively scheduled for 8:00 pm at the Sprint Center in Kansas City and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2.