Oral Roberts vs TCU Preview and Prediction
Oral Roberts vs TCU Preview
The TCU Horned Frogs are looking to stay undefeated and play like the 20th-ranked team in the nation, something they failed to do in their season opener, a 66-61 win over Cal-State Bakersfield on Wednesday.
Of course their No.20 ranking is based on potential–TCU is without its two leading scorers from last season and with two presumptive starters for this year — guard Jaylen Fisher and forward Kouat Noi, out with knee injuries — the Horned Frog team playing currently will look drastically different come conference play.
“We’re a team that had three guys who had played college basketball playing (in the opener),” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said after the win. “We’re in a process, and we’re going to keep getting better. But we got better from first half to second half. We defended and won with defense.”
“We’ve got the ranking people are talking about, so everybody is going to look that we weren’t that good,” Dixon explained. “Maybe today we weren’t, but we are going to be very good.”
Junior guard Desmond Bane led the Horned Frogs (1-0) with 14 points and 10 rebounds in the victory, with nine points of those points coming in the final seven minutes, including two free throws to seal the game with 18.8 seconds left.
Oral Roberts (1-1) heads to Cow Town on the heels of a 79-62 win over NAIA powerhouse Southwestern (Kansas) on Friday in Tulsa. The Golden Eagles went on a 21-4 run to close the first half and held on behind the Emmanuel Nzekwesi’s 24 points and 12 rebounds.
“He’s going to be bigger than most guys,” Mills said about the 6-8, 240-pound Nzekwesi. “He’s more suited on the interior with his versatility and occasionally on the perimeter.”
The Golden Eagles had five players reach double figures in scoring with Sam Kerns hitting for 14, and Carlos Jurgens, Aidan Saunders and Kaelen Malone adding 11 apiece.
“Southwestern made seven of their first 11, and we worked getting stops,” Oral Roberts coach Paul Mills said. “I thought getting stops allowed us to get opportunities to run, and it opened some threes up — specifically late.”
TCU is in a state of transition, losing their leading scorers from a season ago and other expected starters out with injuries. With the line hovering around -21 points–favoring No.20 TCU, it makes you tense up when you see what CSU-Bakersfield was able to do against them a few days ago.
Personally, I bought a point against the spread and took -20 TCU. I like them to bounce-back against an Oral Roberts team that does not scare me.
TCU 83 Oral Roberts 58
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