Preview: WVU - TCU

For the second consecutive season, West Virginia opens Big 12 conference play with a road trip to TCU.


SCOUTING THE HORNED FROGS

Despite an unblemished 13-0 record (the best start in school history), TCU has gotten little Top 25 respect nationally, and it's mostly due to the level of out of comference comeptiton. The Frogs do hold a win over Mississippi, which is solid, but outside of that McNeese State is the best RPI team they have faced. Ten of the 13 wins have come at home, with two others on neutral courts, and nine of the wins are over teams with an RPI of 200 or worse.

Still, TCU does look to be improved, and doesn't figure to be the pushover it was in recent years. Veteran guard Kyan Anderson (5-11, 175 lbs.), leads the team with 13.4 points per game, and alos runs the offense effectively, dishing out 4.2 assists per outing. The match-up between Anderson and fellow senior Juwan Staten will be a good one to watch.

Shooting guard Trey Zeigler (6-5, 200 lbs.), who is playing for his third school, adds 7.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game, and is an inside threat only, having missed his only two 3-point attempts of the season.

The Frogs bring more height up front than West Virginia has seen in recent outings, including Karviar Shepherd (6-10, 225 lbs.) and Chris Washburn (6-8, 240 lbs.). Shepherd leads the team with 6.4 boards per game, while Washburn is right behind at 6.3. The duo also combines for better than 14 points per game, and forms a combination that plays well off one another. Swing forward Brandon Parrish (6-6, 185 lbs.) adds 6.8 points per game to the Frogs' balanced attack.

Off the bench, Amic Fields is the most productive, contributing eoght points and three rebounds per game, but he's just the head of a deep TCU bench that each contributes in various ways. Ten Frogs average at least 8.5 points per game, and two subs, Chauncey Collins and Hudson Price, are 3-point specialists who must be accounted for.


OUTLOOK

There's not much secret to the way West Virginia will face every opponent -- only shades and tweaks as to how the Mountaineers apply their pressure.

BlueGoldNews.com
Game Info
Sat Jan 3
4:00 PM E
Wilkerson-Greines Center

Fort Worth, TX
Records
WVU 12-1, 0-0
TCU 13-0, 0-0
Series
WVU 4-0
TV
Root/MASN/FoxNet
Sirius/XM
138/199
RPI
WVU-17
TCU-90
Against TCU, look for WVU to try to keep the ball out of Anderson's hands and force others to get the ball up court. While TCU isn't bad handling the ball, Anderson is clearly their best possessor, as he holds a near 2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

When TCU does break the pressure, West Virginia's halfcourt defense will be under the microscope. Virginia Tech was able to attack the Mountaineers quite successfully after getting the ball across the midcourt line, and got a number of close-in shots and dunks from its big men. The Frogs will try to do the same with Shepherd and Washburn, both of whom have the mobility to run the floor, catch the ball on the break and get to the rim quickly.

Both of these factors come down to the trade-off WVU has been winning this year: steals and turnovers vs. easy shots for its foes. In running out to its 12-1 record, the Mountaineers have been on the long end of that exchange in just about every game. What happens when that ratio backs out to about 60-40, or worse?

In the big picture, though, this is a game West Virginia has to win. Every game in the Big 12 is going to be precious this season, and road wins doubly so. That's no disrespect intended to an improved TCU squad, which has more players capable of competing in this tough conference. However, if West Virginia expects to contend for an upper level finish and an NCAA bid, this is one it has to get.


FAST BREAKS

TCU's normal home venue, Daniel-Myer Coliseum, in undergoing a $59 million renovation this year, which has pushed the Frogs home games to Wilkerson-Greines, which has a seating capacity of 4,800. If the Frogs stay in the game early, that could make for a tough environment for the Mountaineers.

* * *

WVU must keep its hands off Kyan Anderson, who has been almost perfect from the foul line this season. Anderson has missed just four all year, and is 45-of-49 (.918) to date.. He currently ranks No. 1 in the Big 12 Conference and 12th nationally in free throw percentage. Anyone else is fair game, however, as the Frogs shoot just 62.6% as a team from the line.

* * *

Even in light of the opposition, TCU has put up some very good defensive numbers. The Frogs are sixth in scoring defense, field goal percentage defense and blocked shots. Compare those numbers to their performance against WVU to see if the Frogs can continue their defensive dominance against better competition.

* * *

Both temas have made hay on the offensive glass. West Virginia retains its nation-leading 18.1 offensive rebouns per game, but the Frogs aren't far behind at 14.2. Below, we chart the offensive rebound percentage of each team.


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See what West Virginia fans are saying here

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Despite an unblemished 13-0 record (the best start in school history), TCU has gotten little Top 25 respect nationally, and it's mostly due to the level of out of comference comeptiton. The Frogs do hold a win over Mississippi, which is solid, but outside of that McNeese State is the best RPI team they have faced. Ten of the 13 wins have come at home, with two others on neutral courts, and nine of the wins are over teams with an RPI of 200 or worse.

Still, TCU does look to be improved, and doesn't figure to be the pushover it was in recent years. Veteran guard Kyan Anderson (5-11, 175 lbs.), leads the team with 13.4 points per game, and alos runs the offense effectively, dishing out 4.2 assists per outing. The match-up between Anderson and fellow senior Juwan Staten will be a good one to watch.

Shooting guard Trey Zeigler (6-5, 200 lbs.), who is playing for his third school, adds 7.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game, and is an inside threat only, having missed his only two 3-point attempts of the season.

The Frogs bring more height up front than West Virginia has seen in recent outings, including Karviar Shepherd (6-10, 225 lbs.) and Chris Washburn (6-8, 240 lbs.). Shepherd leads the team with 6.4 boards per game, while Washburn is right behind at 6.3. The duo also combines for better than 14 points per game, and forms a combination that plays well off one another. Swing forward Brandon Parrish (6-6, 185 lbs.) adds 6.8 points per game to the Frogs' balanced attack.

Off the bench, Amic Fields is the most productive, contributing eoght points and three rebounds per game, but he's just the head of a deep TCU bench that each contributes in various ways. Ten Frogs average at least 8.5 points per game, and two subs, Chauncey Collins and Hudson Price, are 3-point specialists who must be accounted for.


There's not much secret to the way West Virginia will face every opponent -- only shades and tweaks as to how the Mountaineers apply their pressure.

Against TCU, look for WVU to try to keep the ball out of Anderson's hands and force others to get the ball up court. While TCU isn't bad handling the ball, Anderson is clearly their best possessor, as he holds a near 2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio.

When TCU does break the pressure, West Virginia's halfcourt defense will be under the microscope. Virginia Tech was able to attack the Mountaineers quite successfully after getting the ball across the midcourt line, and got a number of close-in shots and dunks from its big men. The Frogs will try to do the same with Shepherd and Washburn, both of whom have the mobility to run the floor, catch the ball on the break and get to the rim quickly.

Both of these factors come down to the trade-off WVU has been winning this year: steals and turnovers vs. easy shots for its foes. In running out to its 12-1 record, the Mountaineers have been on the long end of that exchange in just about every game. What happens when that ratio backs out to about 60-40, or worse?

In the big picture, though, this is a game West Virginia has to win. Every game in the Big 12 is going to be precious this season, and road wins doubly so. That's no disrespect intended to an improved TCU squad, which has more players capable of competing in this tough conference. However, if West Virginia expects to contend for an upper level finish and an NCAA bid, this is one it has to get.



TCU's normal home venue, Daniel-Myer Coliseum, in undergoing a $59 million renovation this year, which has pushed the Frogs home games to Wilkerson-Greines, which has a seating capacity of 4,800. If the Frogs stay in the game early, that could make for a tough environment for the Mountaineers.

* * *

WVU must keep its hands off Kyan Anderson, who has been almost perfect from the foul line this season. Anderson has missed just four all year, and is 45-of-49 (.918) to date.. He currently ranks No. 1 in the Big 12 Conference and 12th nationally in free throw percentage. Anyone else is fair game, however, as the Frogs shoot just 62.6% as a team from the line.

* * *

Even in light of the opposition, TCU has put up some very good defensive numbers. The Frogs are sixth in scoring defense, field goal percentage defense and blocked shots. Compare those numbers to their performance against WVU to see if the Frogs can continue their defensive dominance against better competition.

* * *

Both temas have made hay on the offensive glass. West Virginia retains its nation-leading 18.1 offensive rebouns per game, but the Frogs aren't far behind at 14.2. Below, we chart the offensive rebound percentage of each team.

See what West Virginia fans are saying here

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