TCU (10-17, 1-11 MWC) will face No. 7 Brigham Young (24-2, 10-1 MWC) 3:30 p.m. on Saturday in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum in front of what is expected to be a capacity crowd.
The game will be a rematch of a Jan. 18 matchup when BYU beat the Horned Frogs 83-67 at the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah.
All tickets to Saturday’s game have been sold out and according to an e-mail sent out by the TCU Athletic Department Wednesday morning, the deadline for students to redeem a ticket with their student IDs was 5 p.m. Thursday.
The Cougars will come into the game a half game behind No. 6 San Diego State in the Mountain West Conference standings. BYU senior guard Jimmer Fredette (27.3 ppg) leads the nation in scoring. BYU has won 14 of its past 15 games, while the Frogs will enter the game in the middle of a nine-game losing streak, having lost 13 of their past 14.
The Frogs have struggled to find consistency both on offense and defense after guard Sammy Yeager was dismissed from the team in January and leading scorer Ronnie Moss (15.7 ppg) was suspended indefinitely three weeks ago.
Junior point guard Hank Thorns has led the Frogs with 12.6 points per game and 7.8 assists per game in Moss’ absence.
Despite TCU’s recent struggles, head coach Jim Christian said his team is excited for the opportunity to host a team like BYU and thinks they’ll thrive in the big-time atmosphere.
“It’s going to be interesting to see,” Christian said. “Obviously, our kids are going to be excited to play.”
“For whatever reason, we have played better in tougher environments,” he said. “We played well at San Diego State and we played well at BYU. Hopefully we’ll take advantage of it.”
BYU will also be ready for the raucous atmosphere.
Cougars head coach Dave Rose explained via teleconference how his team should be ready for any crowd, since attendance in away venues has been well above average since in almost all 18 of BYU’s road games.
“I think it’s a good thing for our team because that atmosphere is one of the reasons people come to BYU, to be able to play in those kinds of atmospheres everywhere we go,” Rose said.
But if TCU wants to have a chance Saturday, it will have to stop a shot-happy Cougar offense that ranks eighth in the country with 83.1 points per game.
“All my players know if they have an open shot they need to shoot it,” Rose said. “We have to make shots. We’re not a driving team that gets to the rim and we’re not an unbelievable offensive rebounding team.”
The entire BYU show is led by Fredette, who shoots 47 percent from the field and 42 percent from behind the arc.
With a TCU defense that allows opponents to shoot 46.6 percent from the field, the Frogs may need more than a crowd boost to knock off the Cougars.
It’s been over six years since Daniel-Meyer Coliseum sold out 8212; 7,218 fans packed in to watch the Frogs defeat the Red Raiders, 83-68, on Nov. 24, 2004.
The win put the Frogs at 3-0 for the season and TCU led by as many as 22 points. Former Red Raider Marcus Shropshire transferred to TCU after playing a season under then-Red Raiders’ coach Bob Knight. Shropshire drained a 3-pointer while falling down with 1:51 left in the first half, spurring a 10-0 run for the Frogs.
Notes on Daniel-Meyer Coliseum
Year opened: Dec. 14, 1961
Largest crowd (Men): 7,267 vs. Kansas (Dec. 1, 2003)
All-time home record (Men): 428-256
Sports editor Ryne Sulier contributed to this article.