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TCU Basketball Preview + Prediction: vs. SMU in the Iron Skillet

SMU Athletics

It was a dominant win for Horned Frogs basketball in the team’s latest showing.

TCU demolished Jackson State, 78-51, in a commanding performance on Tuesday night, Dec. 6.

Mike Miles and Emanuel Miller didn’t suit up Tuesday, though are “expected to play” in tonight’s game. Either way, the Frogs rolled without two of the team’s starters.

If the game showed anything, it showed TCU can still be more than competent without a couple of the team’s best players. JaKobe Coles SHOWED out with 21 points and extreme hustle on the defensive end, while Damion Baugh and Shahada Wells had their best games of the season, handling the ball and initiating play without Miles.

We also got the Frogs best highlight sequence of the season so far:

Now, TCU plays a bitter rival, and the only team Jackson State has beaten all year, as SMU (3-6) drives West to Fort Worth to play the Frogs in the Simmons Bank Showdown at Dickies Arena.

What used to be a yearly matchup ceased in 2018, after TCU handed SMU a 67-59 loss, but the Simmons Bank Showdown has brought the Iron Skillet back to the hardwood.

In what should be another easy win for the Frogs, it won’t be a far drive to the arena, as Dickies Arena is conveniently located 10 minutes from TCU campus.

Dec. 10 vs. SMU

The Mustangs are just going to have to hope they avoid their fourth straight loss after this one versus TCU.

Sitting 3-6 on the season, SMU doesn’t have a win against a team ranked higher than 264th in rankings.

But - SMU has shown flashes of being a decent team every now and then. The team led by as much as 11 late in the 1st Half against Arizona State, but struggles on the offensive end derailed its lead that game, and have cost the team in each of its last three games.

SMU is shooting only 30.6% from beyond the arc, and 39.3% overall from the floor, ranked 326th in the country.

The Mustangs also have had constant issues with getting into foul trouble. SMU averages 16.6 fouls per game. This could be a problem for the Mustangs against the Frogs. We’ve continually seen the Frogs take advantage of the charity stripe this season, Damion Baugh and Micah Peavy particularly. The Frogs rack up 17.3 fouls against per game, and take 15.6 free throw attempts per game.

Also, the Frogs have been one of the best in the country when it comes to forcing turnovers. Opponents are turning the ball over 17.4 times per game against TCU. As we saw against Jackson State, those turnovers led to fastbreak opportunities, and a few highlight plays.

And, look, SMU’s offense has struggled against inferior opponents like Jackson State, and when they match up against a good opponent (ranks inside Top-100, as is TCU), the Mustangs have been held to 64 points or less.

In comparison, TCU’s defense has been one of the 25-best in the nation, according to many varied analytics.

SMU’s impact players are Senior F Samuell Williamson, a transfer from Louisville who’s averaging 7.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 2.2 assists on a meager 39% field goal percentage, and Senior G Zach Nutall, who started his college career at Sam Houston State and is averaging 12.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.1 assists on a 39.8% shooting percentage.

Expect Williamson and Nutall with the ball in their hands a lot tonight.

And though those two are talented, experienced, and skillful players, I guarantee SMU doesn’t score 70 tonight.

While the Frogs offense hasn’t been great, it’ll pile up against SMU’s average defense to get a convincing win.


TCU 81, SMU 60