Coach Trent Johnson has spoken in the last few days about hoping for a Merry Christmas for him and his family, something he claims to not have experienced since his Nevada team knocked off Kansas right before the holiday 11 years ago. Though he's quick to point out that the pre-season schedule has been favorable for the Frogs, it would be impossible not to celebrate an 11 win start, and the continuation of the longest winning streak in TCU Basketball history.
In the Roadrunners, the Frogs will see a team that hasn't quite hit it's stride, but certainly has some interesting pieces on their roster. UTSA can score; they drop in 77 points per game, a top 40 clip in the country. The scoring is led by junior Ryan Bowie and senior Keon Lewis, who both average over 15 ppg, UTSA has put together a 4-4 record to start their season. The points come from volume shooting, specifically from the guard play, as the Roadrunners as a team shoot under 40% and are one of the absolute worst teams in the country when it comes to assist ratio, managing only about 12 per game so far on the season. Where they really hurt themselves is on the defensive end, where their stats won't inspire much confidence. Allowing opposing offenses to score 75 ppg and pulling in only 24 defensive rebounds per contest won't win a lot of games come conference play.
The matchup of UTSA's run and gun offense against what has been a superb TCU defense will be fun to watch, and the length of the Frogs on the outside combined with the size inside should give the Roadrunners trouble. It will also be interesting to see how Brooks Thompson game plans to stop the TCU O - while not the most explosive in the country, it is one of the most balanced, with eight Frogs averaging five or more points per game. Though Kyan Anderson is the clear leader at point guard, and the only TCU player to average double digit points (12.5 ppg), Kenrich Williams, Amric Fields, Chris Washburn, Karviar Shepherd, and Trey Ziegler are all capable of filling it up in a hurry.
Though the Frogs 10-0 start may be a bit based on the level of competition, they do sport wins against Washington State, Mississippi State, and Ole Miss, and do a couple things very well that usually bode for success no matter who you play - defend, rebound, and hit open shots. They also pass the ball very well, do a good job of working inside out, and have a deep, experienced bench that should help them considerably in conference play.
The Frogs take on the Roadrunners at 7pm tonight, December 21st, at the Wilkerson-Greines Athletic Center. TCU is offering $5 tickets to home games over the holiday break.