It's a game between two schools with first-year coaches, both of whom have entered their new jobs and immediately elevated the level of play from their respective programs.
Fans of the Frogs and Jackets had relatively low expectations for Jamie Dixon and Josh Pastner entering the season, but here they both are, in the NIT Championship game.So, watch the game (ESPN), and chat along with us!
If you missed it, here's three things to watch and a prediction from Chris' preview article.
Three Things to Watch:
1 - Brodziansky v. Lammers
The battle in the paint between these two skilled big men should be fun to watch. Both can create shots on the offensive end while altering opponents’ shots on the defensive end. Vlad already has shown that he can work his way around people to score down low, like he did against Tacko Fall, but what he does defensively may be more important. Lammers is a much more talented offensive player than Fall, so it’ll be up to Vlad to lock him down. If either big outshines the other in a big way, that could go a long way toward determining the winner.
2 - Battle of the Boards
Also down low, it’ll be important for the Frogs to keep Georgia Tech off the glass, especially at the offensive end. Vlad and Kenrich will likely be responsible for keeping Lammers and Stephens off the boards for the Yellow Jackets, but it will need to be a group effort from guys like Miller and Desmond Bane crashing the glass as well. Georgia Tech is not the best shooting team out there, but any team can light up a scoreboard if they get multiple chances.
3 - Foul Trouble
If TCU wants to win this game, they will need their key players, such as Kenrich, Vlad, and Alex Robinson on the floor as much as possible. The Yellow Jackets get most of their offense by cutting and getting to the rim, so the Frogs will need to be ready and not get caught out of position forcing them to foul. On the flip side, if TCU can get either Lammers or Okogie into foul trouble for Georgia Tech, they will put themselves in a good position to win, assuming they knock down their free throws.
I expect the Frogs to cap off this incredible season by bringing home the hardware from New York. Look for Kenrich to have a big game (probably another double-double) and to be named MVP of the tournament when it is all said and done. I also expect some key performances from the seniors off the bench as they play in their final game as Horned Frogs.
Score Prediction: TCU 73, Georgia Tech 68