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TCU Horned Frogs Game Preview (Part 1)

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The Dawgs play TCU in back-to-back games starting with the finals of the Global Sports Classic in Las Vegas

NCAA Basketball: Texas Christian at UNLV Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

Date: Saturday, 11/26/16

Tip-Off Time: 7:30pm PST

TV: None (streaming online at: https://campusinsiders.com/live/global-sports-classic-championship-game/

Radio: Komo 1000

TCU Statistics:

Record: 5-0

Points For per Game: 80.4 ppg

Points Against per Game: 63.2 ppg

Strength of Schedule: 302nd

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 106.5 (87th)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 95.5 (43rd)

Line: TCU -1

TCU Key Players:

F- Kenrich Williams, Sr. 6-7, 210: 9.0ppg, 10.0rpg, 2.3apg, 41.7% FG, 40% FT, 42.9% 3pt

Williams didn’t play in the Horned Frogs’ first two games but has made up for lost time by getting 18 rebounds against UNLV last night. He’s 25th nationally in offensive rebound percentage so whoever goes up against Williams will have to box out on every defensive possession. He has the statistical oddity of shooting better from behind the arc than from the free throw line but that’s a marker of small sample sizes.

F- Brandon Parrish, Sr. 6-6, 210: 10.6ppg, 4.6rpg, 1.2apg, 55.9% FG, 80% FT, 50% 3pt

F- Desmond Bane, Fr. 6-5, 215: 12.4ppg, 4.2rpg, 0.8apg, 59% FG, 100% FT, 44.4% 3pt

I’m combining the sections for Bane and Parrish because when you look at their advanced statistics they’re almost the same player. Both are using about 14% of TCU’s possessions and both are in the top-30 nationally in Offensive Rating at over 145. For context, Denzel Valentine led the country last year at 127. Parrish commits about three times as many fouls as Bane but otherwise their shooting, rebounding, and turnover percentages are nearly identical. There’s no way these rates are sustainable for an entire season so the Dawgs have to hope they cool off these next two games.

G- Alex Robinson, Jr. 6-1, 180: 10.4ppg, 1.8rpg, 5.2apg, 46.5% FG, 41.2% FT, 35.7% 3pt

G- Jaylen Fisher, Fr. 6-2,195: 10.6ppg, 1.6rpg, 5.4apg, 40% FG, 76.9% FT, 41.2% 3pt

And once again, a pair of Horned Frogs are almost the same player. The raw points, rebounds, and assists totals are almost scary how identical they are. With as well as the rest of the team shoots, it isn’t surprising that two players average more than 5 assists per game but it’s a signal for how balanced this team is on offense. Fisher does turn the ball over an extra time per game compared to Robinson but he shoots it better from the line and from beyond the arc.

The Outlook

TCU’s victory over UNLV last night means that for the second time in as many years the Huskies will play the same non-conference opponent twice. The twist is that this time it will happen in back-to-back games. This three-game stretch (two versus TCU plus at Gonzaga) will show whether this team is capable of competing for an NCAA tournament berth. A 2-1 record and taking care of business at home would put the Dawgs in a great spot going into the conference slate.

The Horned Frogs are definitely the best team UW will have faced this year. Jamie Dixon is in his first year coaching at his alma mater after making Pittsburgh an almost perennial tournament team for a decade. They are incredibly balanced with 10 different players receiving double digit minutes and five players with double digit scoring (with a 6th at 9 points per game). They are 9th nationally in percentage of field goals assisted so they share the ball and are not afraid of making the extra pass, something that has given UW fits so far this year.

On defense, TCU is very aggressive and is 10th nationally in forcing turnovers. The one glaring weak spot is that they are somehow worse than UW in giving up 3-pointers. If the Dawgs can be patient with the ball and make the extra pass after TCU tries to jump the passing lane they will likely find success. It will be paramount for Markelle Fultz to be a steady hand on offense and play under control.

TCU has blown out the three worst teams on their schedule and won by 4 and 9 points against the two best teams. If Washington plays like they did in the 2nd half last night against Western Kentucky this is a very beatable team. However, if they play like they did against Yale this could get ugly fast. The close game against UNLV meant TCU had to play all out for 40 minutes last night whereas UW got to rest their starters. I also don’t think Fultz has consecutive off nights shooting the ball and will make a couple big baskets down the stretch.

Prediction

Washington Huskies- 82, TCU Horned Frogs- 80