Tuesday night’s victory over West Virginia was just what the Frogs needed.
It was a controlling, dominant 76-72 win, and the Frogs never batted an eye.
Even without star PG Mike Miles Jr., TCU dissected the WVU defense, marching down the court quickly seemingly every possession. As we said in our game preview for that game, the Frogs would need Shahada Wells and Damion Baugh to step up in Mike’s absence. Well - they both did.
It was an especially impressive performance from those two, and JaKobe Coles and Xavier Cork also came in big when needed.
Now, today, the Frogs are going to need a very similar performance from all involved, especially against the stifling defense of Oklahoma State and the interior presence of Moussa Cisse.
We know, unfortunately, that the Frogs have shown teams the formula to beating them. Stop the Frogs’ outstanding transition game, and you stop the Frogs.
The Mountaineers had no chance in doing so - all game long - but the Cowboys should have a much better chance.
Analytically, Oklahoma State is one of the best defensive teams in the conference - stifling in the post with Moussa Cisse’s presence, and fantastic from the outside. If they pack it in, and don’t hurry anything offensively (giving Frogs fast-break opportunities), the Cowboys can turn this into a half-court game and give the Frogs trouble.
The fact they’re at home today only helps the Cowboys chances in slowing down this TCU tempo. If they slow the tempo down, the Frogs won’t be able to attack, and get to the rim, as much as they’ll want to.
Hopefully they can - as the Frogs don’t like to take many threes, and Oklahoma State’s pristine perimeter defense may limit TCU from doing so.
On the positive note for TCU, and how I can see the Frogs winning this game - Oklahoma State is the worst team in the Big 12 at limiting turnovers. Per game, the Cowboys allow 14 turnovers to opponents.
TCU can exploit this, and should be able to. If they’re not going to be getting fast-break opportunities off missed shots and hurried possessions, they’ll need to force turnovers.
Luckily, the Cowboys’ lackadaisical offense may give TCU the chances they need.
Just how it was against West Virginia, the Frogs are going to need to run up the scoring if they want to leave Stillwater with a win in their back pocket. 76 was more than enough to deal with West Virginia, and we’re going to need the Frogs to put up another 70-piece to feel comfortable.
If they hit their open shots - this is doable. They may not even need that many fast-break opportunities to get to 70, as long as they hit open shots.
Frogs are 15-2 when they score more than 67 points.
Oklahoma State’s defense has only allowed a few teams to score more than 67 points all season. Can Shahada Wells and Damion Baugh step up once again?
I think they do. Damion scores 15, Shahada adds another 13, and the Frogs get to 70 points, and get the win.
TCU 70, Oklahoma State 65