Texas Tech (10-11, 2-6) versus TCU (9-10, 0-7)
Where: Lubbock, Texas, United Spirit Arena
When: Saturday, February 1, 12:30 p.m. (CT)
TV: Big 12 Sports Network U-Verse (14), Dish, DirecTV, Suddenlink
Radio: Texas Tech Sports Network from Learfield Sports
The Matchup: Since losing at home to Texas Tech on January 18, TCU’s fortunes have not taken a sudden turn for the better. Yes, the Horned Frogs played valiantly on the road against Oklahoma, but still lost by eight points. Then Trent Johnson’s team returned home and was shellacked by Kansas. No shame in getting whipped by the Jayhawks; that would happen to the vast majority of teams out there. But at the end of the day TCU remains winless in conference play, and it is difficult to see where a conference win will come, if it comes at all. The upcoming game in Lubbock may be one of the few winnable games on TCU’s schedule, and even it looks like a long shot.
Point guard Kyan Anderson continues to lead the Frogs in scoring with 15 points per contest, and assists with 4.7 per game. Power forward Amric Fields is coming on as well. He averages 14 points and pulls down six boards per game. Highly touted freshman Karviar Shepherd leads TCU with over two blocked shots per contest. He also averages eight points per game and leads the Horned Frogs in rebounds with seven per outing.
TCU’s primary problems come on offense and on the glass. The Frogs shoot only 41 percent from the floor, 32 percent from three-point range, and are minus-six in rebounding margin. That latter number bodes ill for TCU as they confront a Texas Tech squad that is nasty on the glass.
Just as the Frogs are winless since their last meeting, so are the Texas Tech Red Raiders. But all of Tech’s losses--on the road to West Virginia and Kansas State and at home to Oklahoma—were winnable. In all three of those games, the Red Raiders were on the lip of the cup well into the second half, but could not get the job done down the stretch.
There are good and bad signs for the Red Raiders. On the positive side, Jaye Crockett continues to be a reliable workhorse, and Dusty Hannahs continues to develop into something more than just a face-up shooter. On the downside, Jordan Tolbert is becoming a cipher and indeed, failed even to score against Kansas State. If he doesn’t snap out of his funk against the Frogs, one suspects that freshman Alex Foster will begin to cut into Tolbert’s minutes.
Tech Player to Watch: Dusty Hannahs scored a career high 25 points against West Virginia (he also had six assists) and put up 14 against Kansas State. And Hannahs is becoming a tougher matchup because he’s showing the ability to hit pull-ups and floaters in addition to deep jumpers, and because he’s developing into a decent distributor.
TCU Player to Watch: In Big 12 play, forward Amric Fields leads TCU in scoring with 14 points per game and is second in rebounds with 5.3 per contest.
Notable: TCU’s Karviar Shepherd suffered a hand injury against Kansas and is listed as questionable for the game against Tech.
Quotable: “It is not good enough. We just cannot pride ourselves on moral victories, because we do not believe in that. It is a different year and a different team. We just have to come in here and win.” —Tech guard Dusty Hannahs