Transition Defense Key for Frogs vs. UNLV

Ahead of one of his team's most important home games of the season, TCU basketball head coach Jim Christian knows that his team's fate may very well come down to their ability to play excellent transition defense.

"We have to eliminate the easy baskets that they killed us on early in the game in Las Vegas," Christian said. "When you turn it over, they kill you."

As sluggish as TCU began the game in Las Vegas, the Runnin' Rebels came out just as on point.

UNLV shot over 50 percent from behind the three-point arc. Anthony Marshall paced the Rebels with 27 points and rangy power forward Mike Moser got yet another double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds.

On the other hand, TCU connected on just three of 18 attempts from behind the three point arc.

"You can't over-penetrate. You can't drive into tough situations, and you have to knock in three pointers and score in the post," Christian said. "We have to play well offensively to beat them."

Christian also said it was guard Anthony Marshall who he thought really hurt the Frogs.

"You know Mike Moser is going to get his stats because he can score in such a variety of ways," Christian said. "I thought Marshall was the one that really hurt us. His penetration hurt us. We let him play his game, and he was able to create plays for everybody."

Stopping Marshall means playing the solid transition defense that Christian talked about. UNLV is one of the quickest teams in the Mountain West, and Marshall likes to push the tempo.

"The best way to play good transition defense is to play well offensively. You've got to score or get fouled because that lets you [set up] your defense," Christian said.

Against Colorado State, the Frogs jumped out to a hot start which Christian credits to unselfish play.

"We played unselfishly against Colorado State, and we got the ball popping to start the game," Christian said. "When we knock down shots, we can be tough to beat as well."

One guy that has stepped up recently for the Frogs is senior guard J.R. Cadot. Cadot began the season 6-24 from behind the three point arc. However, the senior from the Bahamas is 6-10 from three point range over the last three games.

In Mountain West Conference games, Hank Thorns is number one in three pointers per game (2.88) and number two in three point shooting at 42.6 percent.

So far this season, UNLV has made a living on sharing the basketball. The Rebels rank second nationally in assists per game at 18.5.

Christian acknowledged that forward Mike Moser will likely get his average tomorrow night, but the key for the Frogs will be stopping guard Anthony Marshall who is averaging 11.6 points per game on the season.

Marshall scored well above that average in TCU and UNLV's first meeting.

The last time the two clubs met both Adrick McKinney and Kyan Anderson had season highs in scoring for TCU.

TCU will tip-off at 6:30 Tuesday evening at Daniel Meyer Coliseum.

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