By Jeff Wilson
Frogs Today senior writer
Jamie Dixon knows that a coach’s opinion doesn’t matter when it comes to made-for-TV games like the ones ESPN conjured up Saturday with the Big 12/SEC Challenge, which forced the TCU men’s basketball team to play Saturday and again just more than 48 hours later at Oklahoma.
The Sooners were in a slightly more difficult situation, losing Saturday afternoon at No. 1 Auburn and then having to travel home.
At least TCU won, beating LSU 77-68.
The coaches would rather have had at least another day to rest and prepare.
“We’ve got a two-hour head start on them,” Dixon said.
That’s the spirit.
The good news is that the Horned Frogs and Sooners played each other barely two weeks ago, Jan. 15, with TCU escaping with a 59-58 victory in overtime.
Neither team is starting over on its scouting reports. The players are the same. The styles are the same. The stakes are the same.
“In this league there are nine [other] teams we play twice a year,” Dixon said. “The familiarity is so so clear … but we have to be better. We beat them by one and we beat them on the glass by one. There ain’t no way we beat them up there unless we outrebound them by a bigger number. That’s who we are. If we don’t do that, we can’t be successful.”
TCU men at Oklahoma
8 p.m. Monday, Lloyd Noble Center, Norman Oklahoma
Records: TCU 14-4, 3-3 Big 12; Oklahoma 13-8, 3-5
TV: ESPN2. Radio: KLIF/570 AM
About TCU: The Frogs are coming off a 77-68 home victory over then-No. 19 LSU. Mike Miles Jr. and Chuck O’Bannon Jr. scored a game-high 19 points. Miles also grabbed eight rebounds and dished out six assists. O’Bannon hit 3-pointers on three straight possessions early in the second half to give TCU a 16-point lead. … Miles and O’Bannon helped TCU beat Oklahoma on Jan. 15. Inside the final minute of overtime, Miles drove to the basketball and dished to O’Bannon for a g0-ahead 3-pointer. … The Frogs outrebounded LSU 40-34, marking the 14th time in 15 games they finished with more rebounds. The only game they didn’t lead was the 23-point loss to Texas. … Damion Baugh added 14 points to give him double figures in two of the past three games.
About Oklahoma: The Sooners lost Saturday 86-68 at No. 1 Auburn. Jordan Goldwire, a Duke transfer, scored a game-high 19 points. He scored 12 points in the first matchup against TCU. … Tanner Groves, a transfer from Eastern Washington, continues to pace the Sooners in scoring, average 13.1 points per game. Umoji Gibson, who transferred two years ago from North Texas, average 12.4 points and is the Sooners’ best 3-point threat. … Oklahoma has lost four of its past five Big 12 games, but won its last in the conference Wednesday 72-62 at West Virginia as Groves scored 21 points in his younger brother, Jacob, scored 12. … Despite TCU having the head-to-head win and a better overall record, Oklahoma is No. 33 in the NET rankings while TCU is No. 51.
Jeff Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org