The TCU men’s basketball team (9-8, 0-5 Big 12) is riding a five-game losing streak as they head to Norman, Okla., for a Wednesday night matchup with the No. 25-ranked Oklahoma Sooners (14-4, 3-2 Big 12).
The Frogs are currently in last place in the Big 12 and have lost their last two Big 12 road games by a combined 58 points. They haven’t won a road matchup since Dec. 5.
Oklahoma is coming off an upset win over the No. 24-ranked Baylor Bears (13-5, 1-4 Big 12) in which they trailed by eight points at halftime.
The Sooners also average 84.7 points per game, which is currently the second highest in the Big 12, and have five players that average double-digits in scoring this season.
Oklahoma is also 8-2 at home this season. TCU has never won in Norman, Okla., in program history. The last time these two teams met, the Frogs squeaked out a narrow 70-67 win to cap their first season in the Big 12.
The Sooners lead the all-time series 10-2.
Injuries and off-the-court issues have resulted in a lack of depth that’s heavily contributed to TCU’s lack of success thus far. The Frogs only have 11 of their 16 players available for the rest of the season, with only eight being on scholarship.
“It’s hard to simulate physicality in practice,” TCU head coach Trent Johnson said.
Junior forward Amric Fields is still recovering from a variety of injuries, hampering his overall conditioning and ability to practice, according to Johnson.
“The day after a game or the day after a hard, physical practice, we have to rest him,” Johnson said. “The majority of his conditioning is [from] the bike and very slight walkthroughs.”
Fields missed most of last season with a torn ACL and broke his hand earlier this season. He is averaging 13.7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game this season.
“From a conditioning standpoint, he’s probably maybe 60 to 65 percent, but at least he’s not experiencing any pain or anything like that,” Johnson said. “Just soreness. It’s been tough on him because he wants to do more.”
Despite the team’s struggles as a whole, freshman center Karviar Shepherd has improved his play as of late. The Dallas native has posted back-to-back games of career highs in points and is averaging 7.4 rebounds per game this season.
“He’s got a better understanding of good shot, bad shot,” Johnson said. “He’s making some strides offensively and defensively.”
Tip-off for Wednesday night’s contest is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. CT.