The Frogs are looking to move to 7-5 in conference play and 18-7 on the season as they take on the 20-3 Baylor Bears in Waco on Saturday afternoon.
If you missed Melissa's preview this morning, here are her "Three Things" to watch for as the game begins.
1 - The Three Ball
The Frogs had one of their worst offensive games of the season against Baylor in the first matchup, shooting under 30% from the field and deep. It was the start of a team wide shooting slump that cost them dearly over the course of the four game slide. But in the last two weeks, as TCU has gone 3-0, they have found a bit of a rhythm from deep, led by JD Miller and Jaylen Fisher. Baylor is so dang big inside that it’s crucial the Frogs stretch them out by hitting some shots from behind the arc, thus clearing out the lane a bit for the guard penetration of Fish, Alex Robinson, and Desmond Bane. When they first played BU, they struggled to get shots off in the paint, and with the Bears being completely unconcerned about TCU’s shooting, they packed the middle and made things tough. If they want to get a win today, they have to get some of that big beef out of the middle.
2 - Vladdy Dropping Dimes?
Texas Tech did a great job doubling Vlad Tuesday night, throwing two and three big bodies at him every time he touched the ball within 15’ of the basket and making life hard on him if he didn’t get it out of his hands almost immediately. While he did manage score down the stretch, he was a turnover machine (four in 32 minutes), and his weakness of passing out of those doubles was exposed. One of the most important skill sets for a post player is the ability to make good passes against pressure to cutting guards - and with the beef Baylor has, they can apply that pressure with a single player. Vlad has to either shoot quickly (something he does extraordinarily well) or make stronger pivots and better passes when he does get stopped. The TCU guards need to be a little more active in those situations as well, as opposed to getting lulled into waiting to see what he does.
3 - The Turnover Battle
The only turnovers the Frogs can afford today are the ones made by the Czech Stop in West, as TCU stayed close in Fort Worth because they protected the ball so well (only eight turnovers to Baylor’s ten). Fisher has cleaned up his act over the course of the last few weeks after struggling for several games, but he, Robinson, and Kenrich Williams combined for 11 of the Frog’s 21 turnovers against Texas Tech Tuesday night. On the road, in what promises to be a raucous environment, the key players for Jamie Dixon have to protect the rock. With opponents shooting under 40% from the floor and just over 30% from three against the Bears, its crucial that TCU values each possession and works to earn second chance points. Turnovers are momentum killers and run busters, and can let BU run away with this one quickly.
So, come chat about the game as we watch TCU (hopefully) beat the Bears.