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The TCU men and coach Jamie Dixon are 5-4 halfway through the Big 12 schedule, but things are about to get tougher (The Associated Press/Emil Lippe).

 

 

By Jeff Wilson
Frogs Today senior writer

 

FORT WORTH — The first half of Big 12 play for the TCU men has been rough, with low-scoring, physical games that haven’t always been aesthetically pleasing.

If they thought that was a tough slate, just wait until the second half.

It starts Saturday at No. 9 Texas Tech, where the Horned Frogs will embark on what is the nation’s second-most difficult schedule the rest of the way.

Coach Jamie Dixon never seems entirely satisfied, but he likes his team.

“They’re working hard,” he said. “They’re great kids. I love the group.”

The Frogs have 16 wins through their first 21 games for the first time since the 1997-98 NCAA Tournament team and is off to its best nine-game start in conference play since 2003-04 in Conference USA.

They have had success on the road this season, going 4-1, and they are 2-1 against top 25 teams. One of the wins was on the road, last month at then-No. 15 Iowa State.

But the game Saturday is one of four road games and seven games overall remaining against ranked teams. Of the remaining nine games, five are on the road.

TCU men at Texas Tech

3 p.m. Saturday, United Supermarkets Arena, Lubbock

Records: TCU 16-5, 5-4 Big 12; Texas Tech  18-6, 7-4

TV: ESPN+. Radio: KLIF/570 AM

About TCU: The Frogs are coming off a 77-73 victory Tuesday over Oklahoma State that was closer than it should have been. Chuck O’Bannon Jr. shook off a lousy shooting game vs. Kansas State to lead TCU with 19 points. Eddie Lampkin Jr. scored 10 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and drained two free throws with 19.1 seconds to go. … TCU won without leading scorer Mike Miles Jr., who missed his second straight game with a wrist injury. He said that he expects to play against Texas Tech, and would take the floor as one of three players in the Power 5 conferences who averages at least 15.0 points, 4.0 assists and 3.5 rebounds. … Damion Baugh has averaged 16.5 points in Miles’ absence. … TCU continues to lead the nation in offensive rebound percentage (39.6%) and leads the Big 12 in rebounding margin (10.1), offensive rebounds per game (14.1) and rebounds per game (41.2). The Frogs have been outrebounded only three times this season. … Guard Micah Peavy transferred from Texas Tech to TCU after last season.

About Texas Tech: The Red Raiders are coming off a 70-55 loss at Oklahoma in which they were outscored 45-25 in the second half. Oklahoma had lost 7 of 8 games and three in a row, while Texas Tech had won three straight. … The Red Raiders rank third nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency, according to KenPom rankings, while TCU sits 28th. … Senior forward Bryson Williams leads Texas Tech in scoring at 13.3 points per game, but many of his points come from the outside. He shoots 45.6% on 3-pointers. … Texas Tech swept both games last season from TCU and is 7-4 against Frogs coach Jamie Dixon, and leads the all-time series 85-52 and 49-16 in Lubbock

Jeff Wilson, jeff@frogstoday.com