Published January 13, 2015
The 16th-ranked Kansas State Wildcats will play their first game in Fort Worth since 1969 when they take on the TCU Horned Frogs in Big 12 Conference action on Wednesday night.
Kansas State is an impressive 13-2 on the season, and the team has won its first two conference games by outlasting both Oklahoma State (73-67) and West Virginia (65-64). The Wildcats are in the midst of a season-long, six-game win streak, and they will try to improve to 3-0 in true road tilts with a victory tonight.
TCU is a two games over .500 (9-7), but the squad has dropped three straight, including its first two Big 12 bouts. The Horned Frogs are coming off consecutive road defeats to Oklahoma State (63-45) and Baylor (51-40), but the saving grace is the fact that they have won seven of the 10 games played in Fort Worth to this point.
Kansas State has won three of the previous five meetings in the series with TCU, although the Frogs won the last in Manhattan during the first round of the 1999 NIT, 72-71.
Although they have won the vast majority of their games this season, the Wildcats aren't an offensive juggernaut. In fact, the team boasts just one double-digit scorer in the form of Rodney McGruder (14.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg), instead relying on a balanced attack that features a total of eight guys averaging at least 4.0 ppg. Defensively is where K-State really earns its keep, the team allowing a mere 57.3 ppg behind typical shooting efforts of only .393 overall, which includes a .273 showing from 3-point range. Favorable margins also exist on both the glass (+8.5) and in the turnover department (+2.1). McGruder and Shane Southwell scored 17 points apiece in leading the 'Cats to their narrow win at West Virginia over the weekend, as the team moved to 2-0 in the Big 12 for the first time since the 2007-08 campaign. KSU shot 51.0 percent from the floor, knocking down 6-of-17 3-point tries along the way, while the Mountaineers hit 51.1 percent of their total shots, including 4-of-8 long-range attempts.
Despite a positive overall, the Horned Frogs are rather inept when it comes to offensive production. The team averages a meager 55.2 ppg, with that figure actually dropping to an embarrassing 46.0 ppg against Big 12 foes. Fortunately, TCU's defensive effort has been rock-solid as the team yields just 55.3 ppg overall, and 58.7 ppg in conference. Kyan Anderson (12.1 ppg, 3.7 apg) and Garlon Green (11.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg) are the only two double-digit scorers for a club that shoots about as well as it allows, while also doing the same in both the rebounding and turnover battles. TCU played exceptional defense once again in its recent clash with Baylor, holding the Bears to 51 points on 40.7 percent field goal efficiency. As it were though, the Frogs put forth their second-lowest scoring effort of the season in netting a scant 40 points behind a shooting performance that saw them convert just 33.3 percent of their total shots, but 44.4 percent of their long-range tries (4-of-9). Charles Hill, Jr. scored 12 points and Devonta Abron chipped in with 10 in defeat.