Baylor versus TCU Game Preview

The Bears travel up I-35 to the land of the horned frogs in Fort Worth. The winless Frogs will look to pull off the upset, while the Bears just look to not stub their toe up North.

With the Bears just 2 weeks removed from their last matchup with the Horned Frogs, not much has really changed for either of these teams. Both have won and lost the games they should have. For the Bears, that means a 2-1 stretch with the lone loss coming at Kansas. For TCU, that meant three more losses to Big 12 foes.





















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TCU comes into the game on a 6 game losing streak, all in Big 12 play. They are one of two winless teams (joining Texas) in Big 12 play. The main issue for them is still their offense. They have yet to break the 55 point barrier in Big 12 play. The most they scored (54) was against Kansas State, with the least (40) coming in Waco those 14 days ago. On the flip side, they are still playing pretty good defense, though that is helped out considerably by their tremendously slow pace (337th according to KenPom).

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When your offense evolves into a dribble around and shoot with 3 seconds or less on the shot-clock, you really are just trying to make the game as ugly as possible and hope for a cheap win. Needless to say, that has not happened for the Frogs yet, as they have lost those 6 games by a combined 85 points (14 ppg) and have still not played Kansas or Oklahoma yet.

Not much has changed in their personnel these past few weeks, with Kyan Anderson being their main scorer and senior post men Garlon Green and Adrick McKinney being okay low post players. Green struggled terribly in the game in Waco, ending with 0 points and no rebounds in 22 minutes of action. Their best player in the previous game was Charles Hill who scored a career high 12 points on 5-9 shooting. He has played significant minutes in the last five games for the Horned Frogs.

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Keys to the Game –

-Feed the big guys – As we saw against Oklahoma State, the Bears post duo of Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson are one of the strengths of this team. Both are showing a better feel and touch for the low post game. I think we need to feature both players this week, as both will have a height advantage over their defender, be it Garlon Green, Adrick McKinney or DeVonta Abron, all under 6-8. McKinney is a tough post defender, someone who uses his 250 pounds to push the offensive player out of the paint, so it might be better to try and isolate the Baylor post player in a face-up position, meaning they will be able to dribble and attack the defender, rather than trying to bang down low with him.

- Win the tempo game – Again, the Horned Frogs want to make this one of the slowest games you have ever seen. If for some reason we went back to the pre-shot clock era, I am sure they would want the score to be in single digits. That is how slow they play. Baylor cannot fall into the trap of letting them take 35 seconds, and then us trying to force the tempo with our offense. That is what we did in the first half against them, and it caused us to take bad shots. The Bears have to speed up the game with their defense and their transition game. They have to get stops and secure those rebounds (something they struggled with in the earlier game, allowing 12 offensive rebounds to only 21 defensive rebounds).

-Limit their easy points – Look, TCU is just absolutely dreadful at times to watch on offense. They don't move well, don't shoot well, don't pass well, and well, they just aren't good. The Bears cannot give them free points, in terms of free throws or transition points. Baylor has to make them work for their points, something that TCU has not proven to be able to do at all.

Predictions –

KenPom – Bears win 65-51 (92% chance for win)

Massey – Bears win 67-50 (93% chance for win)

TeamRanking – Bears win 75.4 – 65.1 (84.9% chance for win)

BearsIllustrated – Bears win 65-47

The Bears have been a much more explosive team on the road this year and I think that continues against TCU. Baylor shot a terrible 31% in the first half of that game, where they trailed 22-21 at halftime. If the Bears simply shot 40%, they would have won by more than 20 at home. I think the Bears come out on fire and pull away in this game early. They are really starting to learn how to play well in the post and TCU has no one that can guard Cory Jefferson or Isaiah Austin.

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