Frogs look for first Big 12 win against Kansas State
TCU will return home seeking its first win in conference play against No. 16 Kansas State after the Horned Frogs dropped both games on the team's first-ever Big 12 road trip.
The Frogs (9-7 overall, 0-3 conference) fell to Baylor 51-40 Saturday to extend their conference losing streak to three. The Kansas State Wildcats (13-2, 2-0) are riding a season-best six-game winning streak.
The Wildcats remained undefeated in conference play after taking down West Virginia in Morgantown. Junior guard Shane Southwell sealed the 65-64 victory on a pair of free throws with 21 seconds left.
KSU is 2-0 in the Big 12 for the second time since the league’s creation in 1997 and the first time since the 2007-08 season when the Wildcats started the year 5-0. Kansas State and TCU have met five times before, with KSU holding a 3-2 edge.
“[The Wildcats are] not going to give you anything,” TCU head coach Trent Johnson said. “They’re not going to have many breakdowns offensively or defensively so everything we get we’re going to have to earn.”
Senior guard Rodney McGruder, a unanimous preseason All-Big 12 selection, leads the Wildcats with 14.9 points per game and 18 steals on the season. His 30 assists are fifth on the team.
“McGruder scores at a very, very good clip, but [the Wildcats] don’t take bad shots,” Johnson said.
The Frogs have struggled on offense against Big 12 competition, putting up a league-worst .349 field goal percentage and 46 points per game in conference. The defense has held conference opponents to 58.7 points per game, second best in the conference.
After injuries to key players such as forward Amric Fields and guard Jarvis Ray, Johnson said he is concerned about player depth in competition against the Big 12.
“We’re not deep enough or talented enough to be trying to run up and down with anybody in our conference, let alone non-conference,” Johnson said. “We’re sort of forced with the hand we have, until we get our talent level up to where it needs to be."
Johnson said the key strategy for TCU will be to run as much time off the clock as possible, while getting the best possible shots available.
Tip-off between the Frogs and Wildcats is set for 8 p.m. on Wednesday in the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.