Matt Visinsky

Game Preview: SMU Mustangs vs. TCU Horned Frogs

Hatts previews SMU's rivalry game at TCU Wednesday night at 7 pm CT!

When: Wednesday, December 2 at 7 p.m CT
Where: Wilkerson-Greines Arena (Ft. Worth, Texas)
TV/Radio: FSSW/KAAM 770 AM
Series: SMU leads 104-85
Last Meeting: SMU beat TCU 69-61 in their season opener in 2013.

Pony Trends

The No. 22 SMU Mustangs fought off a hot shooting Brown squad to improve to 4-0 on the year. SMU had their depth tested in the 77-69 win over the Bears with both Nic and Ben Moore out. Despite being down two starters, there were a lot of positives that came out of the win including probably one of Keith Frazier’s most complete performances at SMU with 23 points, three assists and five rebounds. That wasn’t it however as the Mustangs also got a boost from Jarrey Foster, who’s had a great start to the year, and freshman guard Shake Milton who controlled the game well. There is a strong possibility SMU will have both Nic and Ben Moore back for their rivalry matchup with SMU and that should help keep them clicking as they have early on in the year. 

Scouting TCU

TCU is coming off a 71-60 win over Illinois State in Cancun last week to snap a two game losing streak. The Horned Frogs also lost a close matchup to Rhode Island 66-60. This is an improved team under Trent Johnson that has played well in the non-conference portion of their season especially. One of the keys going up against TCU will be to start fast as they have outscored their opponents 43-21 in the first four minutes of the game. The Mustangs have done a decent job of this so far but on the road against a rival, this will be key if SMU wants to come out with a win.   

Three Players to Watch

Vlad Brodziansky: The sophomore forward is off to a great start in his first season at TCU highlighted by him being named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week following their season opener. The 6-10, 215-pound forward from Slovakia has averaged just over 13 points and seven rebounds per game. He’s coming off his best performance since the season opener this past week when he put up 16 points and nine rebounds against Illinois State. The big man is not much of an outside threat as he’s only 1-6 on the season from outside the arc but does a lot of his damage in the paint with a good post game. 

Brandon Parrish: In the backcourt, it’s the 6-6, 210-pound guard Brandon Parrish leading the way. The junior guard has struggled turning the ball over this season but has put up double-digit points in three games this season and has also hit the boards hard in 4 of the 5 games this season. Parrish helps this offense go but needs to take care of the ball better to help this offense get going. 

Malique Trent: Another impressive guard for TCU has been sophomore Malique Trent who’s averaging just under 13 points a game in his first season with TCU as well. Turnovers have also been a problem for Trent who had seven in his last game against Illinois State; however, he did put 19 points and had three steals to go along with it. 

Matchup to Watch

SMU Frontcourt vs Vlad Brodziansky: TCU has three talented guards but there is no question this offense runs through Brodziansky. For a big man that likes to operate inside, it will be imperative for SMU to stay out of foul trouble early on this game as they are still shorthanded for a couple more weeks. Brodziansky is second on the team in field goal percentage at just over 58 percent per game, which tells you he’s getting good shots inside. The Mustangs have done okay inside the paint so far but will need to put forward one of their best efforts of the season to slow down Brodziansky. 

Keys to the Game

SMU needs to stay out of foul trouble of course but they also need to win the battle of the boards. TCU is 3-0 this season when out-rebounding its opponent and overall the Frogs are 30-15 under Johnson when they do outrebound their opponent. SMU has done a good job so far on the boards themselves with an advantage of close to 10 boards per game however, in the one game they struggled against Yale, the Mustangs finished all square with Yale in rebounds. One area the Mustangs could have an advantage is in the turnover battle. TCU, with three young guards, has struggled with this so far averaging 15 turnovers per game. SMU took advantage of this against Brown and could very well turn this into an advantage once again Wednesday night.  

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