Game Time: 8:00pm CST | Location: Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena - Fort Worth, TX | TV: ESPNU | Series: Oklahoma State Leads 24-4 | Game Line: TCU -1.5
After a tough loss at #4 Baylor on Saturday, TCU will have to refocus their attention as they host Oklahoma State tonight. The Frogs will be looking for revenge over the Cowboys after losing in Stillwater earlier this season. TCU has had success against Oklahoma State at home the past two seasons, beating them in Fort Worth both times.
Last time these teams met, the Cowboys pulled away from the Frogs in the closing minutes for an 89-76 victory. It wasn’t all bad for TCU, as they went an impressive 22/24 from the free throw line and they out-rebounded Oklahoma State 35-30. However, they struggled from the field, shooting only 39.3%.
Kenrich Williams shined in the loss, dropping in 20 points on 7/10 shooting and grabbing 12 boards to finish with the double-double. Vladimir Brodziansky also had a solid game, going 9/10 at the free throw line and finishing with 20 points as well. Karviar Shepherd played well, scoring six points in seven minutes on the floor.
In their last game out, TCU struggled to get anything going offensively and fell 70-52 in Waco on Saturday. The Frogs shot 37.7% from the field and were even worse from beyond the arc, where they made only 27.8%. The Bears meanwhile shot 53.6% from the field and out-rebounded TCU 36-26.
Jaylen Fisher provided a bright spot for the Frogs, dropping in 18 points and going 6/9 from the field. Kenrich also played decently, scoring 10 points on 5/10 shooting and pulling down six rebounds. It was an off day for Vlad, who was 3/12 from the field and only finished with just six points.
Since these teams met in Stillwater, the Cowboys have continued to play fantastic basketball and have gone 4-1, including an 82-75 win at West Virginia. Their only loss came last week when they fell at home 72-69 against Baylor. Oklahoma State is currently 16-9 overall and 5-7 in Big 12 play, which has them tied for 6th with Kansas State and just a single game behind TCU. Thanks to winning six of their last seven games, they have moved up to #30 in the RPI and should make the NCAA Tournament.
In their last game, Oklahoma State was able to set the game on cruise control in the 2nd half and came away with an 84-71 victory over Texas in Stillwater. Jeffrey Carroll and Phil Forte both played well for the Cowboys, dropping in 18 points each. Forte is a sharpshooter that the Frogs will have to watch out for, and he was 4/6 from deep against the Longhorns. Davon Dillard also had a big game off the bench, scoring 15 points and grabbing eight rebounds.
In the last meeting between the Frogs and Cowboys, it was star point guard Jawun Evans that did a majority of the damage. Evans shined by dropping in numerous floaters and finishing with 27 points and eight assists. Carroll also had a good game against TCU and has been a very consistent player for Oklahoma State. In the last meeting, he finished with a double-double, scoring 19 points to go along with 10 rebounds.
Three Things to Watch:
1 - Taking Care of the Ball
The Frogs turned the ball over seven times against Baylor on Saturday and lost by 18, but beat Texas Tech last Tuesday by one while turning it over 21 times. Stats can be weird sometimes but it is important to limit turnovers because they can kill momentum and any chances to win. If TCU had taken better care of the ball against the Red Raiders, the game probably would not have been so close down the stretch. However, against an up-tempo team like Oklahoma State, it will be critical to take care of the ball and limit fast break opportunities for the Cowboys. The Frogs only had 12 turnovers when these teams met in Stillwater and were in that game until the final six minutes.
2 - Bouncing Back
TCU’s game on Saturday against Baylor was not good. However, the Frogs have had some off nights before too, such as their Big 12/SEC Challenge game against Auburn. After a rough game against the Tigers, TCU managed to bounce back and get a key win in Manhattan over Kansas State. They were aggressive and shot the ball well against the Wildcats, which is what they will need to do tonight in order to take down Oklahoma State. In that effort, the entire team did their part to get the win, as six players finished with double-digit points and the team had 20 assists and 13 steals. JD Miller was exceptionally good, finishing with 18 points on 7/10 shooting and 4/5 from beyond the arc.
3 - Brandon Parrish
Parrish started when the two teams met in Stillwater and played 18 minutes, but finished with just a single point and was 0/6 from the field, including 0/4 from three. He has been a vocal leader for TCU this season and I believe that no player is more fired up about the potential of getting the Frogs into the dance than Parrish. He will likely come off of the bench tonight, but if he can come in and provide a spark by knocking down a couple from deep or infusing the team with some emotion, then the Frogs should be able to find a way to get a win tonight.
This game will be fast-paced and exciting to watch and both teams match up very well. Both teams center around fantastic guard play and like to get out and run on offense. It will be critical for TCU to get to the basket and try to get some of the Cowboys in foul trouble like they did in Stillwater. I expect Karviar Shepherd to get off to a hot start off of the bench and to bring some needed physicality. However, it’ll be up to the guards to find a way to win this game as Oklahoma State will focus on limiting Vlad in the post. In the end, I think the Frogs come away with a critical win behind fantastic performances from Alex Robinson and Miller.
Score Prediction: TCU 87, Oklahoma State 84 (OT)
Here are some additional game notes, courtesy of GoFrogs.com:
- In its five seasons in the Big 12, TCU has three road conference wins, two of those wins coming this season.
- In 12 Big 12 games, Jamie Dixon has coached as many conference wins (6) as TCU had in the last three years combined.
- TCU's NCAA RPI is 36.
- TCU last played in the NCAA Tournament in 1998 with its last win in the tournament coming in 1987 when Dixon was a player.
- TCU is 17-4 against unranked opponents.
- The Frogs are 13-3 at home this season and 3-5 on the road.
- TCU is 16-3 when outrebounding its opponent.
- TCU is 7-1 when shooting over 50 percent from the field.
- TCU is 14-1 when leading at halftime (Baylor).
- TCU is 10-3 when forcing more turnovers than it commits (Baylor, Auburn).
- TCU's 74.9 points per game is the highest average since the 2002-03 season (80.4).
- TCU is shooting 46.3 percent from the field, the most since the 1998-99 season (49.1).
- TCU's 16.7 assists per game is the most since the 2000-01 season (18.9).
- TCU's 36.3 rebounds per game is the most since the 2002-03 season (38.9).
- TCU currently ranks No. 2 in the Big 12 and No. 21 in the NCAA in assists (16.7).
- Kenrich Williams ranks No. 2 in the Big 12 and No. 42 in the NCAA with 9.3 rebounds per game.
- Williams ranks No. 24 in the NCAA and No. 2 in the Big 12 in offensive rebounds with a 3.3 average on the season.
- Brandon Parrish is a 2017 Allstate NABC Good Works Team® nominee.
- Parrish ranks 6th all-time in games played in school history. He is 8 away from the most in school history (129).
- Karviar Shepherd has tallied 617 career rebounds and needs 83 to become only the 10th player all-time to capture 700 boards.
- Alex Robinson has led TCU in assists 18 times this season.
- Robinson has at least four assists in all but four games this season.
- Vladimir Brodziansky ranks second in the Big 12 and 23rd nationally with 2.4 blocks per game.
- Brodziansky's 60 total blocks ranks eighth for the most in school history for a single season.