After suffering a one-point loss to the Sooners to open Big 12 play, TCU has a shot at revenge. Here are five questions concerning the rematch.
1. Can TCU replicate how past teams have defended Trae Young?
This might honestly be the only question that matters, because the Sooner star all but beat TCU by himself, scoring 39 points and dishing out 14 assists. The key in that game was him being able to get to the line, going 15/18 in the game.
By his standards, Young struggled in the past two games against West Virginia and Texas Tech, who were both able to smother him on defense without fouling him.
The Horned Frogs don’t have the same kind of defense but do need to shut other players down, so that the assist numbers don’t rack up.
2. Is Alex Robinson back?
Next to Kenrich Williams, Alex Robinson was the most consistent player for TCU a year ago. This season, his numbers have fallen off across the board and have been coming off the bench. In the first three conference games, he shot a combined 3/17 from the field for seven points.
But last game he finally broke out of his funk, with the senior scoring 14 points and nine assists, while playing 45 minutes coming off the bench. Hopefully, for TCU fans, it’s the start of Robinson returning to form.
3. Will Jaylen Fisher recover from the blown layup?
The sophomore starting point guard had a good game against Texas, with 13 points and six assists. But his infamous moment came at the very end of second overtime, where he had a wide-open layup as time expired. Unfortunately, it rimmed out, losing the game for him and the team.
One thing that I noticed was that he had an “I can’t believe it”looks on his face while he was on the floor after the missed shot. There are two ways he could look at it; a) he blew an opportunity to win the game and let down his team.
Another, it was some kind of divine fate that the shot wouldn’t fall, considering what the University of Texas basketball program was going through with Andrew Jones being diagnosed with Leukemia that day. If his mindset is the ladder, he’ll be able to get over that night immediately.
4. Can TCU shut down the Sooner bigs again?
While giving up 90 points in a game isn’t the best thing, the Horned Frogs actually did a good job on the starting frontcourt of Oklahoma when it came to scoring. Brady Manek and Khadeem Lattin combined for just two points on 1/5 shooting.
Of course, that in itself is a double-edged sword. The Sooners were able to win without them, so more production from them will make it even harder to win.
5. Can Vladimir Brodziansky be the hero for TCU?
Of all the players for this balanced TCU team, no one might be more important than the senior forward. He was okay in the first game against Oklahoma, scoring 12 points and pulling down five boards.
What makes him so vital in this game is his ability to stretch the floor. The starting lineup for the Horned Frogs can all shoot the three, which pulls Lattin, who had seven blocks in his last game away from the paint. When Brodziansky is on, this team is incredibly hard to beat. They’ll need as much of him as possible to offset Young and the explosive Sooners.