The TCU men’s basketball team will finish up their two-game road trip tonight as they take on the No. 14 University of Nevada-Las Vegas Rebels at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Both teams are coming off tough losses, as UNLV lost by only two points at the buzzer to the No. 22 San Diego State Aztecs, and TCU lost in double-overtime, 95-89, to the Colorado State Rams.
TCU head coach Jim Christian said his major concern for the game was letting the Rebels take advantage of mistakes.
“We have to be careful with the basketball,” Christian said. “We can’t let [UNLV] get into transition off turnovers; we need to guard well. In order to win in this league, you need to be able to play 40 minutes of solid defense.”
Christian said inconsistent defense was one of the reasons why TCU fell to Colorado State last Saturday.
“We didn’t play our best game, but we had a chance to win the game,” Christian said. “Colorado State is one of the better teams in the league, and I think we’ve proven we can beat just about anybody. When you score 76 points on the road in regulation and shoot 52 percent on the road, you have a chance to win. We get opportunities, we just need to use them.”
Christian said that while the UNLV game will be a challenge, he expects his team to utilize their strengths and play together as a solid team.
The Horned Frogs are forcing an average of 18.3 turnovers per game.
“I don’t think our team is built around just one guy,” Christian said. “But Hank Thorns, [J.R.] Cadot and Amric [Fields] are the returning guys, the guys who play a lot. However, if we want to be a team that competes for a championship, we need to have a better defensive team mindset.” Senior guard Thorns is third in the Mountain West Conference in assists, while senior Cadot is third in the MWC in total rebounds.
Sophomore forward Fields has been hot, scoring an average of 17.5 points per game over the last three games. He won his first career Mountain West Conference Player of the Week award earlier this month.
UNLV has won eight out of their last 10 games, including wins over the University of California and No. 22 University of Illinois. The Frogs are 2-16 all time against the Rebels, with their only road win against UNLV occurring in 1999.
TCU vs UNLV
When: Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 9:30 p.m.
Where: Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nev.
Radio: 88.7 FM (KTCU) and 820 AM/96.7 (WBAP)
GoFrogs.com: Follow GameTracker or listen live