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TCU News: Baseball Back to Their Winning Ways, Iowa Looming for Hoops

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There’s a ton of excitement around Fort Worth, with baseball starting conference play and basketball hoping to pull off an upset Sunday.

Links Be Informed Blood

Basketball:

Along Came... TCU | Black Hearts Gold Pants

Iowa’s scouting report of TCU is dead-on... save the part about a less imposing backcourt. You listening, Fish, A-Rob, and Bane?

Speaking of mismatches in the post, Kenrich Williams figures to be a tough draw for the Hawkeyes. Williams, a 6-7 210-pound junior, is extremely active on the glass, ranking second in the Big 12 in rebounding at 9.4 per game. Williams can also put pressure on defenses because of his ability to shoot, but his calling card is the hustle plays in the paint.

Dixon’s squad is a little less imposing in the backcourt.

TCU’s Dixon breaks down concerns about Iowa matchup in NIT | The Star-Telegram

Peter Jok is the man who makes the Hawkeyes offense run, and keeping him off the free throw line is huge.

“They’ve got a very experienced senior in Jok,” Dixon said. “He’s a scoring guard (or) a scoring wing … Jok can put it on the floor. He can shoot the mid-range jumper. He runs off screens well. He can shoot the ball from 3-point range. If you’re averaging 20 points a game in the Big Ten, you’ve got to score in a variety of ways. And he does that. But his free throws are what really stand out. We’ve got to keep him off the foul line.”

TCU’s Williams: Frogs’ season turned at Big 12 tournament | The Star-Telegram

The win over Kansas was so big for the program and the players, but the fact that they weren’t satisfied after is what truly speaks volumes.

“We wanted to go into the Big 12 (tournament) and win games. We just told each other, ‘We’re going to go out and play our hardest and put defense first.’” Williams said. “From then on, we’ve learned that if we play defense, we’ll be successful.”

TCU vs. Iowa NIT Second Round preview | Yahoo Sports

This game could very well come down to who wins the battle of the boards.

Rebounding could be the difference in the game. The Hawkeyes are led by Nicholas Baer, who averaged a meager 5.7 rebounds per game, while TCU is led by Kenrich "Kenny Hustle" Williams and his 9.4 boards per game. TCU has outrebounded it's opponents by 3.2 rebounds per game this season.

Baseball:

TCU’s Baker to become ninth Frog to play for college Team USA | The Star-Telegram

Another significant honor for TCU’s slugging first baseman. He joins a long list of Frog stars that wore the stars and stripes on the diamond.

Eight other TCU players have played for the Collegiate National Team, including catcher Evan Skoug last year. Jake Arrieta played in 2006, Kyle Winkler in 2010, Josh Elander and Andrew Mitchell in 2011, and Riley Ferrell, Brandon Finnegan and Preston Morrison in 2013.

Frogs make themselves at home in 3-1 victory against Kansas | The Star-Telegram

TCU doesn’t sound deflated after a tough week away, but more ready to get back to playing to their own level of expectations.

“We walked out, and it was like, ‘Thank God we’re back in Texas,’ ” said shortstop Ryan Merrill, who hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning and drove in an insurance run in the eighth inning. “We feel like we’re TCU baseball again. We don’t really know what we were doing out in California. Now we just feel good. We got a win in Lupton Stadium. We feel good.”