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TCU Basketball vs Xavier: Preview

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The Horned Frogs face their toughest test of the season in the 10-2 Musketeers.

TCU Basketball vs Illinois State (12.3.19) | Fort Worth, TX
TCU Basketball vs Illinois State (12.3.19) | Fort Worth, TX
Melissa Triebwasser

It’s been a while since these two teams have met... almost 40 years in fact. The Horned Frogs and Musketeers have played just once in Fort Worth and never in Cincy, meeting in a tournament for their second ever contest. This one is being played as part of the inaugural Big East/Big 12 Battle.

Though the two squads have similar records (TCU stands at 8-2 and Xavier 10-2), they’re thought of quite differently — the Musketeers have hovered near the bottom of the Top 25 most of the young season while the Frogs were picked to finish last in the Big 12 in a preseason poll.

For TCU, Sunday’s game represents a chance to get a bubble-positive win against a big-time program on their home floor; for Xavier it’s a chance to get a P5 road win that could elevate them back into the rankings.

One other note of importance: bring your teddy bears. TCU will host a Teddy Bear Toss during halftime of Sunday’s game, and fans are encouraged to bring new or used teddy bears to toss onto the court during halftime. They will be collected to aid SafeHaven during the holiday season. Fans are also encouraged to arrive early to the game to get a picture with Santa Superfrog on the concourse of Schollmaier Arena starting at 3 p.m. and lasting until 3:45 p.m.

GAME INFORMATION

Broadcast: ESPN2

Play-By-Play: Ted Emrich

Analyst: Tim Welsh

Online: WatchESPN.com

Radio: KTCU 88.7 FM // SIRIUS XM 375

Play-By-Play: Brian Estridge Analyst: John Denton

Online: HFTV // TuneIn

Series: Tied 1-1

In Fort Worth: XU leads 1-0

In Cincinnati: -

Neutral: TCU leads 1-0

First Meeting: XU won 80-76 (1/12/70) in Fort Worth

Last Meeting: TCU won 57-47 (12/30/80) in Albuquerque

Winning Streak: TCU W1 Dixon vs. Xavier: Tied 1-1

NOTES

  • TCU (8-2) continues non-conference play Sunday with a 4 p.m. game against Xavier (10-2) at Schollmaier Arena. The game will be shown on ESPN2.
  • The game is a part of the inaugural Big East/Big 12 Battle. The Big East leads this season’s contest 5-2.
  • TCU leads the Big 12 with 9.4 3-pointers made per game. TCU ranks 16th nationally in steals (9.7), 12th in assists (17.3), 21st in turnover margin (4.8) and 24th in turnovers forced (17.9).
  • Since the 2014-15 season, the Frogs have gone 63-10 in November and December combined. Under Jamie Dixon (since 2016-17), TCU has gone 42-6 in November and December combined. Also, under Dixon, TCU has gone 54-11 in nonconference games.
  • TCU has two returning starters from last season, senior Desmond Bane and sophomore Kevin Samuel. One of the best shooters in the Big 12, Bane ranks sixth in the conference with a scoring average of 16.1 points per game. Samuel ranks sixth in the nation by shooting 69.2 percent from the field and is fifth in the Big 12 with 8.4 rebounds per game. Samuel’s six double-doubles this season leads the Big 12 and ranks 11th in the nation.
  • Bane has earned multiple preseason honors. He was named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team, was one of 20 players nationally named to the watch list for the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year award, the Oscar Robertson Trophy and was named to the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 which is given to the best player in the nation.
  • At 1,414 career points, Bane is 11th on TCU’s all-time scoring list. He is 12 points shy of Gary Turner (1,426, 1964-66) for 10th.

LAST TIME OUT

Freshman guard PJ Fuller scored a game and career-high 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting as TCU defeated Lamar 79-50 Saturday afternoon inside Schollmaier Arena. Senior guard Edric Dennis scored 14 points, including 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point range. RJ Nembhard finished just shy of a triple-double with 13 points, seven rebounds and a career-high nine assists. Kevin Samuel picked up his sixth double-double of the season as he scored 10 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

ABOUT THE OPPONENT

Xavier is 10-2 and is coming off a 74-61 win over Western Carolina Wednesday. The Musketeers are led by Naji Marshall’s 16.9 points per game to go with 5.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. Marshall missed Wednesday’s game due to an illness. Xavier fell to Texas in the NIT last season and was picked third in the Big East Preseason Poll in October.

SERIES HISTORY

The all-time series is tied 1-1. The Musketeers won the only meeting in Fort Worth, 80-76 on Jan. 12, 1970. The last meeting between the two teams also came towards the end of December. TCU won 57-47 on Dec. 30, 1980 in the consolation game of the Lobo Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M. TCU is 10-13 all-time against Big East teams.

UP NEXT

TCU will have some time off for Christmas before returning home to face George Mason on Dec. 30 at 8 p.m. in the final non-conference game before Big 12 play. The game will be on FSSW.