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Cowboy Gameday: TCU Horned Frogs

The Pokes are riding a big-time three game win streak as they head to Ft. Worth for a Big 12 shootout with TCU.

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday's match-up between the Cowboys and the Frogs is a tale of two teams. Red-hot Oklahoma State is currently riding a three game winning streak, all against top-25 teams. With their win against Baylor, the Pokes went up two games above .500 in BigXII conference play, earning a #21 ranking in the process. The Frogs, on the other hand, are struggling to find a victory. After opening the season with thirteen straight non-conference wins, the Frogs have only won one of their last eleven.

Here's a look at the Cowboys projected starting lineups on Saturday.

Osu_ath_brand.0.png Oklahoma State Projected Starting Lineup
POS Player GP MIN PPG RPG APG SPG BPG TPG FG% FT% 3P%
G Anthony Hickey Jr. 24 29.5 9.3 4.7 3.6 2 0.2 1.5 0.41 0.37 0.36
G Phil Forte III 24 33.8 17 2.3 1.8 2.1 0 1.8 0.45 0.86 0.42
F Jeff Newberry 24 19.9 6.3 2.4 1.4 1.1 0.3 1 0.38 0.78 0.32
F Le'Bryan Nash 23 31.2 17 5.6 1.9 0.8 1.1 2.8 0.46 0.78 0.11
C Michael Cobbins 21 27.2 6.5 5.8 0.7 0.9 2 1.2 0.6 0.54 0

The Cowboys are coming fresh off a 74-65 win against the #16 Baylor Bears. After trailing by one at the half, the Pokes used the three-point shot against the zone to pull off the win in Waco. OSU relied on their starting five for point production, with four out of their five starters ending the night with double figures. Le'Bryan Nash shot an efficient 8-for-14 from the field, ending the game with 22 points, five rebounds, and three steals. Cowboy sharpshooter Phil Forte, who was still bogged down with flu-like symptoms, managed to shoot a respectable 50% from the field, putting up 18 points in the process. This was the Cowboys' first win in Waco since 2006.

Let's take a look at the Horned Frogs projected starting line up.

TCU.0.png TCU Projected Starting Lineup
POS Player GP MIN PPG RPG APG SPG BPG TPG FG% FT% 3P%
G Kyan Anderson 24 30.8 13 1.4 4 1.5 0.1 2.4 0.4 0.87 0.33
G Trey Zeigler 24 25.8 8.7 4 2.2 0.7 0.3 1.9 0.44 0.58 0
F Kenrich Williams 24 25.4 8.5 6.7 1.2 0.8 0.9 1 0.49 0.57 0.37
F Chris Washburn 24 23.3 6.4 5.9 1.3 1.3 1.5 1 0.44 0.46 0.33
C Karviar Shepherd 24 24.1 6.1 5.8 1 0.4 0.8 1.2 0.42 0.6 0

TCU is coming off of a loss against the Texas Longhorns, putting up a season low 43 points. The Frogs only managed to score 16 points in the first half, shooting at a dismal 29% (FG) for the game. Guard Kyan Anderson led all Frogs with 11 points, shooting 3-for-8 from the field.

This is the first contest between the two teams this year, with the second matchup coming on March fourth. Last year, the Cowboys swept both games, winning the first by 22 and the second by 32. In last year's series, the Horned Frogs led the Cowboys on only two occasions. Even then, both times were within the first five minutes, and both of the games were decided by halftime.

TCU is currently 0-4 against the Pokes as BigXII conference members. In addition, the Frogs have lost by at least 17 in each of those four games. The Horned Frogs have struggled this season offensively as they're shooting 43 percent which is 197th best in the country.

Storyline to Watch

OSU Senior Le'Bryan Nash is currently one point away from knocking Desmond Mason out of the top-5 all-time scoring list for Oklahoma State. Nash is sitting at 1,701 while Mason is sitting at 1,702, and with plenty of games left, LB could steal James Anderson's #4 spot at 1,811 by the end of the season.

Keys to the game

STAY FOCUSED
It's no mystery that TCU has struggled this year; the Frogs are currently 1-10 in the BigXII and dead last in the conference. It would not be out of the question for the Cowboys to start off slow on Saturday, but it is imperative that they get going fast and pull away early. When you let teams like TCU hang around, they can make things too close for comfort. The Frogs should have defeated the Mountaineers in Morgantown and were three points away from defeating Kansas on their home court. For the Cowboys, this game is purely business - start fast, keep your distance, and don't let up until the victory is secured.

BENCH PRODUCTION
Outside of the starting five, the Pokes have struggled to produce offensively. In the past two games, the Cowboys have only mustered up four bench points. Four. Against the Bears, not one Cowboy scored off the bench. The starting five isn't going to be red-hot all of the time; sooner or later, they are going to struggle, and that's when you have to have a bench to lean on. If a consistent scoring bench is not there in those times of trouble, it's going to be a long night.

Game Information

WHERE: Wilkerson-Greines Athletic Center (5,000), Fort Worth, Tex.
WHEN: Saturday, February 14th, at 6:00 PM CT
TV: ESPNU / WatchESPN
RADIO: Cowboy Radio Network
VIEW FROM THE ENEMYFrogs O' War

Prediction

If the Pokes do what they should, this game shouldn't be close by any means; they just need to make sure that happens. Oklahoma State wins in Fort Worth, 78-61.

Make sure you come back to CRFF post-game for our recap story!