Norman, OK (SportsNetwork.com) - Two teams seemingly headed in opposite directions get together on Wednesday night, as the TCU Horned Frogs challenge the 25th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners at the Lloyd Noble Center in Big 12 Conference action.
TCU is barely past the break-even point for the season, coming in at 9-8 overall. The team has lost each of its first five conference clashes, that coming on the heels of a successful run from Dec. 5-29 when it won five in a row. The Horned Frogs won their first three road games of the campaign, but have dropped their last two. A 60-49 home setback versus Texas Tech last Saturday was TCU's most recent outing.
Oklahoma has quietly gone about its business this season, winning 14 of its first 18 games, including three against Big 12 competition. The Sooners have logged several big wins, including against Texas, Iowa State and most recently, Baylor. The Texas and Baylor games were both on the road, making the feats even that much more impressive. There are still several difficult games on the schedule, so it's imperative coach Lon Kruger's club beats the teams its supposed to.
Oklahoma owns a 10-2 lead in the all-time series with TCU, but it was the Horned Frogs who won the most recent encounter as they claimed a 70-67 home triumph last March.
TCU isn't the most explosive offensive team around. In fact, the Horned Frogs rank last in the Big 12 and 300th in the country with an average of only 65.9 ppg. They are however, permitting just 68.1 ppg, thus affording them the opportunity to hang around in games they may otherwise be blown out in. A -5.4 rebounding margin is cause for concern, but the team is +1.9 in turnovers. Kyan Anderson leads a list of three double-digit scorers, as he is hitting 47.5 percent of his field goal attempts in netting 14.6 ppg. He also serves as the team's primary playmaker with 4.6 apg. Amric Fields (13.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg) and Brandon Parrish (10.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg) round out the offensive-minded trio for the Frogs, although Jarvis Ray (9.8 ppg, 4.1 rpg) is close to joining the ranks.
Fields and Karviar Shepherd hit for 15 points apiece, but TCU shot a woeful 20.4 percent from the field, which included a 3-of-21 effort from 3-point range, in its recent loss to Texas Tech. It was the Frogs' worst offensive showing of the season, and came just a game after they put up a mere 50 points in a loss to Oklahoma State. Defensively, TCU did a solid job in limiting the Red Raiders to 37.8 percent field goal efficiency, which included a 2-of-10 effort from beyond the arc, and the Frogs forced 15 turnovers while committing only seven themselves. TCU, which only had 10 field goals in the game, went 26-of-31 at the free-throw line. The team was outrebounded by a 41-29 margin.
Unlike its counterpart tonight, Oklahoma has had very little trouble putting points on the scoreboard this season, as it ranks second in the conference and eighth in the country with an average of 84.7 ppg. All five starters are averaging double figures, led by Cameron Clark and his 17.1 ppg. Buddy Hield is hot on his heels with 16.6 ppg, while Jordan Woodward tacks on 11.3 ppg while acting as the team's top distributor with 4.7 apg. Defensively, the Sooners can certainly stand to tighten the reins as they allow 78.0 ppg, although they do force nearly 14 turnovers per outing.
Hield knocked down four 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 19 points, helping Oklahoma earn a narrow victory at Baylor over the weekend. Clark added 14 points and Woodward had 10, but the Sooners shot only 39.3 percent from the floor, missing 19 of their 26 long-range attempts along the way. The Bears were held to 40.7 percent accuracy on their total shots, and they missed half of their free throws (10-of-20). Conversely, the Sooners made good on 15-of-20 foul shots, and that difference played an integral role in the outcome.