TCU men’s basketball today: A break from conference play, but not a break from strength of schedule

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Emanuel Miller scored 13 points and blocked five shots in the lopsided loss to Texas (The Associated Press/Gareth Patterson).




By Jeff Wilson
Frogs Today senior writer

FORT WORTH — TCU has had its hands full in the Big 12 Conference, where all 10 teams in the NET rankings are in the top 70 and six are in the top 35.

The Horned Frogs’ game Saturday morning is out of conference, but the foe is 10th-ranked team in the NET.

The home game against LSU, part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge, isn’t like a midseason football non-conference game teams plop in the middle of their schedules for what essentially amounts to a bye.  LSU is dealing with injuries, but is an athletic from an improved Southeast Conference that boasts the No. 1 team in the country, Auburn.

For the Frogs, this game could be a resume-builder after theirs took a hit following the 23-point home loss Tuesday to Texas.

The Frogs dropped like a rock, from 44 to 60. They’ve moved up four spots thanks to the misfortunes of other teams. They would likely move up significantly with an upset of LSU, which is ranked 19th by The Associated Press.

Coach Jamie Dixon, though, was left to wonder how after a dismal performance against the Longhorns. Sophomore guard Mike Miles Jr. called the loss embarrassing and that TCU got exactly what it deserved.

The Frogs, one of the top rebounding teams in the country, were outrebounded by 10. They made only 2 of 16 3-pointers, missed too many free throws, and surrounded far too many buckets late in the shot clock.

No. 19 LSU at TCU men

11 a.m. Saturday, Schollmaier Arena, Fort Worth

Records: LSU 16-4, 4-4 SEC; TCU 13-4, 3-3 Big 12

TV: ESPN2. Radio: KLIF/570 AM

About LSU: The Tigers snapped a three-game losing streak Wednesday with a 70-64 victory over Texas A&M despite being without starters Xavier Pinson and Darius Days Another starter, Tari Eason, was injured during the A&M game. Eason, the team’s leading scorer (15.4 points), is expected to play today, and Days and Pinson could play with minutes restrictions. They are the Tigers’ second- and third-leading scorers. … Freshman guard Brandon Murray is the fourth-leading scorer at 10.3 points per game. He scored 21 points against the Aggies. … The Tigers lead the all-time series 3-1, though TCU won the most recent meeting 83-74 in 1986. Coach Jamie Dixon was a senior guard for the Frogs.

About TCU: The Frogs are coming off a 73-50 home loss to Texas before a record round of 8,412. Mike Miles Jr. scored a team-high 14 points to snap a drought of three straight games under 10 points. … Junior forward Emanuel Miller said that TCU didn’t compete hard enough against Texas, which won the rebounding battle 41-31 and beat the Frogs to many loose balls. Miller, though, had one of his best all-around games of the season, scoring 13 points and blocking five shots. … TCU is 25-177 all-time against ranked opponents,17-55 against ranked opponents at home and 9-36 under coach Jamie Dixon. … TCU is 4-4 all-time in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, but has lost two straight. They surrendered a late lead last season at Missouri and lost 102-98 in overtime.

Jeff Wilson,

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