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TCU Basketball Preview: Grambling State

The 11-0 Horned Frogs take the court tonight as a ranked team for the first time in nearly 16 seasons.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The start of the 2014-2015 TCU Horned Frogs basketball season has been a series of "firsts." First 11-0 start in program history. First double-digit game winning streak since 1998. First national ranking in 16 seasons. Now TCU can pick up its first win as a ranked team since January 21, 1999.

The 25th ranked Horned Frogs host the 2-7 Grambling State Tigers tonight at 7:00pm at the Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center. The Frogs lead the all-time series against Grambling 11-0, and on paper, tonight's contest is a pretty significant mismatch. TCU comes into the game with the nation's 14th best scoring defense, holding opponents to an average of 55.7 points per game. Grambling, on the other hand, has the nation's worst scoring offense, averaging just 46.0 points per game.

The Frogs are also the nation's eighth best team when it comes to field goal percentage defense, allowing opponents to shoot just 34.9% from the field. Conversely, Grambling comes in at 350th out of 351 teams in terms of field goal shooting. The Tigers have shot just 33.3% from the field. The Frogs have held 9 of their 11 opponents this season to fewer than 57 points and 37.0% shooting. Grambling will likely be the 10th team to join that list tonight.

There are not many bright spots to pull from Grambling's season so far. The Tigers, 0-7 against Division I opponents, defeated NAIA Lyon College 55-49 in late November before defeating Selma University, which competes in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association, 74-64 earlier this month. Grambling State's margin of defeat against Division I opponents is just under 40 points per game - the closest loss being a 25-point defeat at the Air Force Academy.

To make matters worse, Grambling will be playing its second consecutive ranked team in TCU this week. The Tigers travel to Fort Worth after dropping an 86-38 contest to the then-16th ranked Washington Huskies.

The Tigers' leading scorer so far this season is senior forward A'Torri Shine, who enters tonight's contest averaging 12.3 points per game on nearly 45% shooting from the field. Shine dropped 16 on the Horned Frogs in last year's contest, a 98-75 TCU win in Fort Worth. Shine is the leader of this Grambling State team, so look for the Tiger's offense to run through him.

Tonight's contest should be a tune-up game for the Horned Frogs, one more chance to experiment with different lineups and get each player on the floor before a week-long Christmas break. Senior guard Kyan Anderson's first breakout game last year came against Grambling State, as Anderson dropped 27 points and dished out 5 assists in just 28 minutes of playing time. Look for him to have another big game tonight.

Kenrich Williams should also get some significant playing time. The sophomore forward has been one of the biggest additions to this TCU team, averaging 9.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, and just 0.5 turnovers per game off the bench. Williams has appeared in all 11 games this season, and has scored double-figures in seven of those games.

Tonight should provide a decent opportunity for Devonta Abron and Amric Fields to continue their return to full strength after each player suffered injuries last season. Also look for freshman center Link Kabadyundi to get some playing time. Kabadyundi has only seen eight total minutes of game action since his 12 point, 6 rebound night against Mississippi Valley State about a month ago.

Overall, tonight should provide an opportunity for all 15 Horned Frogs to see some playing time. TCU will have a good chance of extending their school-best start to 12-0, allowing Trent Johnson and each of his players to have a very merry Christmas.

TCU Projected Starters

Grambling State Projected Starters


Kyan Anderson

12.8 ppg, 4.6 apg


Kyle Williams

3.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg


Trey Zeigler

7.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg


Mark Gray

8.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg


Brandon Parrish

7.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg


A'Torri Shine

12.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg


Chris Washburn

8.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg


Chase Cormier

3.2 ppg, 3.2 apg


Karviar Shephed

7.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg


Carlton Lowe

2.6 ppg, 1.5 rpg

Here are other game notes, courtesy of

• TCU is 11-0 for the first time in school history.

• It is the best start to a season since going 9-0 in 1997-98, which was the last time the Frogs made the NCAA Tournament.

• TCU is 26-4 when leading at the half under head coach Trent Johnson.

• TCU has now held 23 opponents to 59 points or less under Trent Johnson.

• TCU out-rebounded its opponent for the 10th time this season vs. UTSA.

• TCU captured its first regular-season tournament title since 1991 by winning the Corpus Christi Coastal Classic.

• TCU has already bettered its win total from a year ago.

• Kyan Anderson is No. 10 all-time in scoring in program history with 1,324 points.

• Anderson only needs 103 more points to move into No. 9 all-time.

• Anderson now has 19 20-point games in his four-year career after scoring 21 against Furman.

• TCU is 8-3 when Karviar Shepherd grabs double-digit boards.

• Kenrich Williams scored in double-figures for the seventh time in 11 games vs. UTSA.

• Williams was named the tournament MVP at the Corpus Christi Coastal Classic.