The TCU men’s basketball team will play the University of Virginia in the Paradise Jam tournament today at 5 p.m.
The Paradise Jam tournament is held yearly in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Other teams participating in the tournament are Virginia, Drake, Drexel, Marquette, Ole Miss, Winthrop and Norfolk State.
Virginia is TCU’s opening round opponent, and the Frogs will take on Drexel or Norfolk State in the second round, depending on the result of the Virginia game.
Virginia has preseason All-ACC pick Mike Scott, who averaged 15.9 points and 10.2 rebounds for the Cavaliers this past season.
“They are a very fundamentally sound basketball team,” TCU head coach Jim Christian said. “They play hard, and they are great defensively.”
Preseason predictions project this Virginia team to be the best thus far in Tony Bennett’s coaching tenure at the school. Bennett is in his third season coaching the Cavaliers.
TCU senior center Craig Williams is a native of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the tournament expects big crowds to watch the TCU games, thanks to the influence that Williams has in the islands. Williams attended St. Croix High School and was two-time player of the year there.
In order to beat Virginia on Friday, the Frogs will have their first 3-0 start since 2007-2008. The Frogs have forced an average of 32 turnovers in their first two games this season. No team turned the ball over more than 19 times in a game versus TCU a season ago.
Sophomore guard KT Harrell is averaging 10.5 points and 3.5 assists per game for Tony Bennett.
Jim Christian has encouraged his team to push the ball into transition.
“This is going to be a different type of game because we are going to have to execute well in the half court to beat them,” Christian said about the Virginia defense. “Hopefully, we will be able to get the game at our pace a little bit though.”
The Frogs will be in the Virgin Islands until next Tuesday and play three games there. The Frogs’ next home game is Nov. 30 against Lamar.