Matt Visinsky

Game Preview: SMU hosts rival TCU in Dallas

Demo breaks down SMU's matchup against TCU on Wednesday night in Moody Coliseum.

When: Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. CT
Where: Moody Coliseum, Dallas, TX
TV/Radio: ESPNews /KAAM 770
Series: SMU leads 105-85
Last meeting: SMU won 75-70 on Dec. 2, 2015

Pony Trends

SMU hosts TCU in the third fame of a six-game home stand Wednesday night.  The Mustangs come into Wednesday’s game having won its last two contests and is 5-0 at home in 2016. Since the start of the 2014 season, SMU is 37-3 in Moody and has 19 consecutive wins over non-conference opponents. The Mustangs have not been playing their best basketball in the early part of the season, so picking up two wins at home has gone a long way to restore some of their confidence. Their last time out, the Mustangs beat Delaware State 74-60 behind Ben Moore’s 16 points and 11 rebounds.    

Breaking Down TCU

The Horned Frogs are one of the remaining 12 undefeated teams in the NCAA this season. Like SMU and Tim Jankovich, TCU is also playing under a first-year head coach in Jamie Dixon. By beating Arkansas State Dixon became the first first-year coach in program history to begin his career 8-0. A year ago, TCU went 13-0 in non-conference play and look to be headed down a similar road. A big part of TCU’s early success had been its bench play. The Horned Frog bench has outscored opponents 293-129 this season. 

TCU players to watch

G Kenrich Williams: He has recorded back-to-back double-doubles. He also recorded a career-high 18 rebounds against UNLV—the most Big 12 Conference this season. He is 13th in the NCAA in offensive rebounds with 4.0 rebounds per game. 

F Vladimir Brodziansky: Dude is on fire right now. He hasn’t missed a shot since 4:45 mark of the first half against Washington on November 30. His current streak of consecutive baskets sits at nine, but a year ago he hit 14-stright over three games without missing.  

G Jaylen Fisher: The freshman is playing well though his first eight games at TCU, scoring 11.4 points a game which 0.5 PPG behind Alex Robinson for the team lead.

Projected starting lineups

G Jaylen Fisher (11.4 PPG, 4.5 RPG)
G Kenrich Williams (10.5 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 2.2 APG)
G Desmond Bane (9.3 PPG, 3.1 RPG)
F JD Miller (9.0 PPG, 3.6 RPG)
F Karviar Shepard (6.4 PPG, 3.6 RPG)

G Shake Milton (11.1 PPG, 4.2 APG)
G Jarrey Foster (8.2 PPG, 58.2 FG%)
G Sterling Brown (10.8 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 2.8 APG)
F Ben Moore (11.7 PPG, 7.9 RPG)
F Semi Ojeleye (17.2 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 50.5 FG%)

Matchup to Watch

SMU’s bench versus TCU’s bench: Compared to the Horned Frogs, SMU is getting little to no production outside its starting five. TCU has four players averaging double-digit scoring and two of those are coming off the bench. In fact sophomore Alex Robinson leads the team with 11.9 points a game off the bench. Brodziansky is averaging 11.4 points off the bench, while Brandon Parrish is chipping in 7.9 points per game. SMU has yet to play an opponent with a bench this deep. On average, SMU is outscoring opposing benches 13.4-6. TCU’s bench is scoring an average of 36.6 points per game.

Keys to the game

Fouls: SMU simply can’t afford to get into foul trouble. TCU is too deep and has too many skilled players for SMU to allow fouls to dictate who plays when. Robinson plays the most minutes on the team with an average of 29.5 minutes per game. SMU has four players playing 30 minutes or more a game. Nine Horned Frogs are logging 10 minutes or more per night, while SMU has seven players breaking double-digits. Furthermore, TCU has three other players logging in more minutes than SMU’s next two bench players. TCU has a ton of depth and that could be the difference in this game on its own, throw in the potential for foul trouble and it could get messy.  

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