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TCU Basketball at Kansas State: Preview

The Frogs hit the road for the first time in conference play Tuesday night.

This Edric Dennis got the Horned Frogs hyped Saturday. Can they carry the momentum on the road?
Melissa Triebwasser

The Frogs are off to a 1-0 start in Big 12 play, not something to take for granted in one of the toughest basketball conferences in the country. RJ Nembhard’s banked in three sent TCU to overtime and an eventual victory over Iowa State Saturday night in Fort Worth, and they’ll need more scoring output from their young guard to win on the road Tuesday in the Little Apple. The Cats will be desperate coming off of an opening loss to Oklahoma, making this a pivotal early season-tilt for two teams that will be fighting to stay on the bubble all season long.


TCU: NET: 72 | RPI: 96 | KenPom: 50 | SOS: 101

KSU: NET: 92 | RPI: 148 | KenPom: 87 | SOS: 150


Broadcast: ESPNU

Play-By-Play: Rich Hollenberg

Analyst: King McClure

Online: // ESPN App

Radio: KTCU 88.7 FM // KLIF 570 AM SIRIUS XM 383 - (973 online)

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

Online: HFTV // TuneIn

Series: Kansas State leads 15-6

In Fort Worth: KSU leads 5-2

In Manhattan: KSU leads 8-2

Neutral: Tied 2-2

First Meeting: KSU won 75-17 (12/11/47) in Manhattan

Last Meeting: KSU won 70-61 (3/14/19) in Kansas City

Winning Streak: KSU, 4

Dixon vs. KSU: 2-5


  • TCU will try for its first 2-0 start ever in Big 12 play when it plays its first road game of the season Tuesday at Kansas State at 8 p.m. on ESPNU.
  • TCU last started 2-0 in conference play during the 2008-09 season, defeating Colorado State (1/3/09) and UNLV (1/10/09) to start Mountain West Conference action.
  • TCU leads the Big 12 with 9.9 3-pointers made per game. TCU ranks in the top 30 nationally in assists (9th, 17.7), 3-point field goals made (20th, 9.9), assist/turnover ratio (22nd, 1.31), turnover margin (27th, 3.8) and turnovers forced (29th, 17.3).
  • TCU has two returning starters from last season, senior Desmond Bane and sophomore Kevin Samuel. Bane, who earned multiple preseason honors, ranks high in the conference in several categories including fifth in scoring average at 17.0 points per game.
  • Samuel ranks third in the nation in shooting at 70.0 percent from the field and is seventh in the Big 12 with 8.5 rebounds per game. Samuel’s seven double-doubles this season leads the Big 12 and ranks 15th in the nation.
  • At 1,474 career points, Bane is 10th on TCU’s all-time scoring list. He is 29 points shy of Lee Nailon (1,503, 1964-66) for ninth.
  • At 115 career blocked shots, Samuel is sixth on TCU’s all-time list. Reggie Smith is next on the chart with 133.


RJ Nembhard scored a career-high 31 points, including the game-tying 3-pointer with 1.7 seconds left in regulation and the go-ahead free throw in overtime. The sophomore guard’s career effort helped the TCU men’s basketball team defeat Iowa State, 81-79, to begin Big 12 Conference play Saturday inside Schollmaier Arena.

Nembhard finished 10-of-15 from the field and 6-of-8 from 3-point range, both career-highs for makes. It was the second half and overtime where the Keller, Texas native did most of his damage. He was 8-of-9 from the field and 4-of-5 from 3-point range after halftime and scored 21 of TCU’s final 32 points to lead the Frogs in a back-and-forth game that featured 15 ties and 20 lead changes.


Kansas State is 7-6 overall, 0-1 in the Big 12 following a 66-61 loss at Oklahoma Saturday. The Wildcats are led in scoring and rebounding by senior Xavier Sneed with 15.0 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. The defending Big 12 Champions lost eight letterwinners, including three starters, from last year’s squad.


Kansas State leads the all-time series 15-6 with an 8-2 advantage in Manhattan. The Frogs have lost the last two meetings at KSU and last won there on Feb. 1, 2017, 86-80 in overtime in Jamie Dixon’s first season as TCU’s head coach. Seven of the last eight meetings, coincidentally all with Dixon as head coach, have been decided by 10 or fewer points.


TCU will return home to face Oklahoma State (10-3, 0-1) on Saturday at 1 p.m. on ESPN2.