Oklahoma St Cowboys vs TCU Horned Frogs
The TCU Horned Frogs (15-6) look to snap a cold spell, as they return home to face the Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-16). The Frogs were embarrassed in Waco earlier this month, losing 90-64. In that game, three players ended up in double figures: JD Miller (17), Alex Robinson (16), and Kouat Noi (15). It was a depressing performance for the squad from Texas Christian. The Horned Frogs are small favorite on the road.
Cowboys Need to Rebound
Oklahoma State is coming off an embarrassing stretch of losses of their own, a dreadful stretch in which they have lost each of their last five games. I think it’s fair to say that OSU’s past month has been just as bad if not worse. Mike Boynton’s squad had to dismiss key players like Michael Weathers and Maurice Calloo, depleting their roster to the point that they had open tryouts for the team. A close win against South Carolina in the Big 12/SEC Challenge is their only win in their last 9 contests.
Few teams live or die by the three quite like the Pokes. They shoot a very healthy 38.6% from distance, 19th nationally, but their interior scoring is dreadful. Their already terrible 46% on twos (309th nationally) has tanked to 41% in Big 12 play, showing that other teams just lock them down inside.
Defensively, they are far more sound inside. They actually struggle far more with defending threes, an interesting symmetry with their offense. OSU is a very deliberate team. They will take their time setting up their offense to get a good look at a shot, and defensively they work to get a hand in your face and closeout hard. This doesn’t always work out for them, especially after their depth took a hit, but it can keep them competitive in most games. Unfortunately, close doesn’t count for much in college basketball.
TCU Wants More Wins for Resume
As for the Horned Frogs, well they evened the score in a rematch against the Cowboys this month. They won the game by only two points, but a win is a win and it avenged their embarrassing display to begin the month. Unfortunately for them, that was one of just three victories in their last 12 games. The team has struggled to find much offensively with their only exception coming in their victory against West Virginia, where they hung 98 points on their opposition. They normally find themselves in the 50-70 point range in most games. The only positive I can offer here is that TCU can find several ways to win ball games.
They can outlast a team in a defensive struggle like they did in their 55 – 50 win against the University of Florida or they can grind one out like they did when they defeated Oklahoma State 70 – 68. On a rare occasion, they can also put all phases together and wallop a team like they did to West Virginia, 98 – 67. The bottom line here is that neither of these teams are very good. They both have struggled this season and neither is on a particular roll coming into this game.
Horned Frogs Win
It should be competitive, but I give the slight edge to TCU only because of their diversity on the offensive end, but watch out because if the three ball is falling for the Pokes, this one might be finished before it even begins. I’ll stick with the frogs in this one though with a predicted score of 75 – 69.