TCU at Cincinnati Preview

We all knew this was going to be a difficult league to navigate.

Following Saturday's 62-59 road loss to 14th-ranked Baylor, Wes Miller was quick to point out that his team didn't have time to feel sorry themselves.

"We're in the best league in college basketball and we don't have the ability to put our heads down or feel sorry for ourselves," Miller told the media following a second consecutive one possession loss.

"We have a chance to get back to work but we got a big-time team in TCU coming in Tuesday night. We got to turn then page quick, learn, and get ready to play and that's what this league is."

(Photo: TCU Athletics)

Miller was right in his praise of TCU being another marquee opponent visiting Fifth Third Arena.

The 19th-ranked Horned Frogs enter Tuesday night's match up with a 13-3 record, following back-to-back home wins over No. 2 Houston and No. 9 Oklahoma.

 TCU head coach Jamie Dixon is familiar with the Bearcats and the Queen City. He was 8-4 against UC during his time as head coach of Pittsburgh.

Key Stats and Notes:

- UC is shooting 39.1 percent from 3-point range at home, compared to 23.1 on the road. TCU has held its opponents to less than 30 percent from 3-point range in four of the last five games.

- The Bearcats have given up an average of 65.3 ppg in Big 12 play which ranks fourth in the conference. TCU 76.3 ppg on offense leads the Big 12. 

- UC currently ranks 18th nationally in Kenpom with a 94.4 adjusted defensive efficiency. TCU ranks 26th in adjusted offense and 39th in adjusted defense. 

- Following the Bearcats' second consecutive Big 12 loss, they fell to 32nd in the Kenpom rankings and 33rd in the NET ratings. TCU is currently 22nd and 29th in the two rating systems.

- Tuesday night's game will mark the fourth-straight ranked opponent that UC will face. It is the longest streak since the 1993-94 season as a member of the Great Midwest Conference. UC played six consecutive games against ranked opponents that season and could see the same this season as the Bearcats next two games are against 15th-ranked Oklahoma and 3rd-ranked Kansas.

Scouting TCU

TCU's 16.2 scoring margin ranks 12th nationally. A big reason for their success has been their ability to get out in transition and score quickly. Jamie Dixon's squad averages 22.8 fast break points per game, which is the best in the country. TCU ranks eighth nationally in average possession length at 14.8 seconds per offensive possession and 11th nationally with 10.2 steals per game. TCU wants to speed you up and average 16.2 turnovers forced per game. The Frogs have forced 13 or more turnovers in all but two games (Houston and Nevada).


Players to watch:

6'2 Senior G 3 Avery Anderson (9.6 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 3.6 apg)

TCU ranks 9th nationally in assists per game (18.9) and a big reason for that has been Anderson's ability to consistently set his teammates up for scoring opportunities. Anderson spent the last four seasons at Oklahoma State, prior to transferring to TCU. Anderson is shooting just 26.7 percent from 3-point range but is an 82.5 percent free throw shooter so you have to keep him off the line. 

6'3 Senior G Trevian Tennyson (8.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 1.7 apg)

Tennyson began his career at Central Connecticut State then transferred to Ranger college before spending two seasons at Texas A&M Corpus-Christi. The Arlington native has had an interesting journey to TCU but had a coming out party in the Kansas loss, scoring 24 points on 6-8 shooting from 3. He has scored in double figures in just four other games but is a guy that you have to keep track of on the perimeter, as his 46.7 percent from deep leads the team.

6'8 Senior G Micah Peavy (10.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.1 apg)

Peavy started his career at Texas Tech but is now in his third season with TCU. The Duncanville (TX) native started the season scoring in double figures in eight of nine games, but has been less consistent recently, scoring 7 points against Houston and 5 against Oklahoma. Peavy's best game this season was a triple-double against Arizona State. In that game he scored 13 points to go with 12 rebounds and 10 assists. 

6'7 Senior F Emanuel Miller (16.8 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.8 apg)

Miller spent his first two seasons at Texas A&M but now enters his third season at TCU. Miller earned Big 12 player of the week for the second time this season on Monday after scoring 27 against Oklahoma and 13 against Houston. His layup with 6.7 seconds left to play was the game-winner against 2nd -ranked Houston.

Miller leads the team and ranks sixth in the Big 12 with 16.8 points per game and has reached 20 points in four of the last seven games. His 5.9 rpg also leads the team. His best game of the season was a 29-point outburst against Georgetown.

6'11 Sophomore C Ernest Udeh (4.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 58.3 FG%))

Udeh began his career at Kansas but after averaging just 2.7 ppg in 8 minutes per game, elected to look for a different place to call home. At 6'11, Udeh isn't a prolific shot blocker or scorer around the rim, but his presence makes a difference. He pulled down nine rebounds against Houston and had 18 rebounds against Texas A&M-Commerce. 

6'2 Senior G Jameer Nelson JR (11 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.4 apg)

Nelson transferred to TCU this season after spending the past two seasons at Delaware and leading the Colonial Athletic Association in scoring at 20.6 ppg. Nelson ranks second in the Big 12 and 12th nationally with 2.6 steals per game and is one of 12 players nationally that is averaging at least 11.0 points, 3.0 assists and 2.5 steals per game.

6'8 Junior F JaKobe Coles (10.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg)

Coles started the season scoring 12 or more points in six of 7 games, but has struggled some since. He didn't play in three games (foot injury) and hasn't reached double figures since December 2nd when he scored 17 against Georgetown. Still, Coles is a pivotal part of the TCU offense and is a starter caliber player. 

The rest:

6'7 forward Chuck O'Bannon Jr scored 25 points in a win over Old Dominion and averages 6.8 ppg in 16 minutes per game. 

6'9 forward Xavier Cork leads the team in field goal percentage (64%) and has provided productive minutes off the bench, averaging 4.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg.

TCU's depth allows them to be aggressive defensively and play at a tempo that puts pressure on the opposition. 

How to watch

7:00 pm on ESPN+


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