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TCU Basketball Preview: Oklahoma

TCU closes out the regular season this afternoon with a home contest against the 6th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners in Fort Worth.

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Game Time: 12:00pm CDT | Location: Schollmaier Arena - Fort Worth, TX
TV: ESPNews | Series: OU Leads 17-2 | Game Line: OU -13.0

What has turned into a long regular season for the Frogs will come to a close this afternoon as TCU hosts the 6th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners. Led by future consensus All-American Buddy Hield, the Sooners enter today's game 23-6 overall and 11-6 in Big 12 play. Across the court, the Frogs sit at 11-19 overall and just 2-15 in league action.

After capturing the Big 12 scoring title a year ago, Buddy Hield has taken it up a notch this season. The senior guard is second in the entire nation in scoring with 25.3 points per game. For comparison, TCU's top two scorers combine for just 23.5 points per game. Hield is also pulling down 5.4 rebounds per game to go along with 2.1 assists and 1.2 steals. He connects on 49.3% of his shots, including a 47.6% mark from behind the arc. It's safe to say Hield has all but locked up his spot on the All-American team.

What makes the Sooners so dangerous are the role-players who don't get as much attention because of Hield's unprecedented success. Isaiah Cousins has transformed into one of the best guards in the league, without receiving much praise. He is averaging 13.1 points to go with his 4.8 rebounds and team-high 4.5 assists per game.

Jordan Woodard is another Sooner putting together a career season in Hield's shadow. He adds another 12.9 points per game while pulling down 3.1 rebounds and dishing out 3.7 assists each night. Double-double machine Ryan Spangler contributes 10.8 points and 9.7 boards per game, partly thanks to a team-high 55.5% shooting percentage. Khadeem Lattin rounds out the starting five. While only averaing 5.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, he has been one of the most efficient players on Lon Kruger's roster, shooting 54.5% from the field and averaging less than a turnover per game.

With so many impressive weapons on the offensive end, it should come as no surprise that the Sooners enter today's game with the 18th-best scoring offense in the nation, averaging 81.1 points per game. The team is also ranked in the top 40 in total team rebounds, with almost 40 each game.

Perhaps the most interesting facet of this year's Oklahoma team is that the bulk of their production comes from the starting five. The team's bench combines to score just 13.4 points per game, less than 17% of the team's total offensive output. In fact, the Sooners' sixth man plays only 13.0 minutes on average. If the Frogs can get to Oklahoma's bench, things might be slightly closer than expected.

Speaking of the Frogs, they limp into today's game with one of the worst scoring offenses in the nation. TCU manages just 67.0 points per game, a mark that ranks 305th out of 351 NCAA Division I teams. That number is even lower in Big 12 play, as the Frogs knock in 62.3 points against conference opponents. After topping the 70-point mark in three straight games, TCU finished with only 54 points against Kansas State on Saturday.

As has been the case for much of the season, the team's two guards lead the charge in scoring. Chauncey Collins holds the slightest of advantages over Malique Trent for role as TCU's top scorer. Collins enters today's game averaging 11.8 points per game while Trent is just behind with 11.7 each night. Both guards pull down about three boards per game and shoot slightly less than 40% from the field.

TCU will be celebrating the career of lone senior Devonta Abron during today's game. After transferring from Arkansas, Abron played three full seasons for Trent Johnson, appearing in 86 games while making 21 starts. He has played a pivotal role for the Frogs off the bench throughout the duration of his career in Fort Worth. The Dallas native will wrap up his collegiate career averaging over five points and four rebounds per game.

As far as next week's Big 12 Tournament is concerned, the Frogs have locked up the 10-seed and will face #7 Texas Tech on Wednesday at 8:00 PM in Kansas City. The Sooners have much to play for as Oklahoma is trying to beat out West Virginia for the 2-seed. Oklahoma needs a victory today and a Baylor win over WVU to claim the #2 spot. Any other combination will result in OU slotting into the 3- or 4-seed line.

TCU Projected Starters

Oklahoma Projected Starters

G

Malique Trent

11.7 ppg, 2.7 apg

F

Ryan Spangler

10.8 ppg, 9.7 rpg

G

Chauncey Collins

11.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg

F

Khadeem Lattin

5.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg

G

Brandon Parrish

8.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg

G

Jordan Woodard

12.9 ppg, 3.1 apg

F

JD Miller

6.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg

G

Isaiah Cousins

13.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg

F

Vladimir Brodziansky

9.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg

G

Buddy Hield

25.3 ppg, 5.4 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 its 12th opponent either ranked or receiving votes in its last 18 games versus 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 and have missed multiple games.
  • TCU has won five out of its last 12 Big 12 Conference home games.
  • TCU played its first 11 games without Chris Washburn and Kenrich Williams.
  • Williams and Michael Williams will miss the remaining portion of the schedule with an injury.
  • Malique Trent ranks first in the Big 12 Conference in steals and No. 32 in the NCAA.
  • Trent was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week Monday.