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Clemson Basketball: TCU Preview

The Tigers face the Toads with Horns in Toronto on Saturday.

TCU v Gonzaga Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

TCU Horned Frogs (7-0)

Basic Information

Location: Forth Worth, Texas

Type of School: Private Research University

Mascot: Horned Frog

Head Coach - Jamie Dixon

Seasons at TCU: 8

Career Record: 474-220

Regular Season Conference Championships: 1

Conference Tournament Championships: 1

NCAA Appearances: 14 (14-14)

Final 4 Appearances: 0

Kenpom Style of Play

() = National Ranking per Kenpom

Offense

Adj. Efficiency: 112.5 (51)

Avg. Poss. Length: 113.5 (2)

Defense

Adj. Efficiency: 95.7 (27)

Avg. Poss. Length: 18.3 (325)

Tempo

Adj. Tempo: 73.8 (19)

Kenpom 4 Factors

() = National Ranking per Kenpom

Offense

Effective FG%: 58.6 (10)

Turnover %: 17 (132)

Off. Reb. %: 36.3 (28)

FTA/FGA: 32.2 (202)

Defense

Effective FG%: 47.3 (85)

Turnover %: 24.3 (5)

Off. Reb. %: 26.5 (87)

FTA/FGA: 30.6 (129)

Personnel

* Note: I usually have a nice table with more organized stats but the editor will not let me upload it and it’s either do it this way or throw my computer out the window.

Starters

PG - #4 - Jameer Nelson - Sr. - 6’2”, 205 - 11.7 PPG, 2.7 REB, 4.1 AST

SG - #2 - Emanuel Miller - Sr. 6’7”, 215 - 15.9 PPG, 5.3 REB, 1.9 AST

SF - #0 - Micah Peavy - Sr. - 6’8”, 215 - 12.1 PPG, 3.6 REB, 3 AST

PF - #21 - JaKobe Coles - Jr. - 6’8”, 215 - 15.7 PPG, 5.3 REB, 1.9 AST

C - #8 - Ernest Udeh - So. - 6’11”, 260 - 2.3 PPG, 4.4 REB, .3 AST

Bench

PG - #3 - Avery Anderson - Sr. - 6’2”, 170 - 10.4 PPG, 2.3 REB, 3.9 AST

SG - #11 - Trevian Tennyson - Sr. - 6’3”, 180 - 7.6 PPG, 1.6 REB, 1.7 AST

C - #44 - Essam Mostafa - Sr. 6’9”, 250 - 4.4 PPG, 4.1 REB, .7 AST

F - #5 - Chuck O’Bannon Jr. - Sr. - 6’7”, 220 - 5.7 PPG, 3.5 REB, 1.5 AST

Playing Style

Offense

TCU plays fast.

I’m talking warp speed.

In football terms, think Chad Morris trying to run 90+ plays a game.

Their first goal is to score in transition. As of the Georgetown game, they led the nation in fast break points with 30 a game. They run out early after shots. They gamble on defense for turnovers. If it gets you into the open court, TCU is going to try it. Jameer Nelson is going to push the ball, and he’s going to look for Miller, Peavy, or Coles to finish at the rim. If they’re not available, he’s going to take the ball himself.

When they can’t get into transition, they look to move the ball, find a gap in the defense and either penetrate to score or penetrate to kick out to shooters. The Tiger guards have to do the work up top and keep the TCU guards in front of them. They’re tough to beat if the guards are allowed to run their offense after getting a piece of the paint.

They’re not a prolific 3-point shooting team, which is surprising because most teams that like to run also like to gun from deep. TCU has shoots well from deep, but they don’t take many. JaKobe Coles is shooting an absurd 55%, but he’s only attempted 20 shots from behind the arc. Miller is shooting 41% but has only attempted 17. Trevian Tennyson comes off the bench and is shooting 45%, but has only attempted 20.

To put it in perspective, Joe Girard has attempted 55 3’s this season and PJ Hall has launched 36.

Generally speaking, 4 out 5 guys on the court are a threat from deep, but they only shoot when they’re wide open. TCU isn’t a team that will shoot themselves out of a game. Instead of relying on outside shooting, they use their hyper athletic wings to attack the basket. You’re going to see a couple nasty dunks in this game. PJ is going to jump with one of these guys at some point, and someone is ending up on a poster.

Defense

TCU’s defense is all about forcing turnovers and getting into transition.

Jameer Nelson is 4th in the nation in steal percentage, and Avery Anderson is 34th. They want to take the ball from you and then score it as quickly as possible.

While their guards excel at taking the ball away, the entire squad gets into the action. Show the ball to one of their Gumby wings, and they’ll take it from you as well. If you make a lazy auto pass, TCU won’t hesitate to jump in the passing lane and head the other direction.

The good news is they give up a bunch of 3’s because they gamble on steals and swarm players inside the arc. Their defense reminds me a good bit of Alabama, and hopefully, it reminds the Tigers of the Crimson Tide defense as well.

This is where the addition of Joe Girard pays dividends. Clemson essentially has 2 point guards on the floor at all times to handle pressure teams. Throw in PJ Hall’s ability to run the offense from the high post, and it’s tough to pressure the Tigers. They also have the shooters to punish anyone who tries.

If the outside shots are falling, I don’t think TCU can guard Clemson.

If the shots aren’t falling, there’s always money in the PJ Hall banana stand (also known as the paint).

Clemson needs to break 80 in this game to win, and I don’t anticipate that being an issue.

One Quick Note

This is all hypothetical. TCU hasn’t played a team inside the Kenpom top 100. Their best win involves a buzzer beater over 177th ranked Georgetown.

TCU AINT PLAYED NOBODY PAUL!

Prediction

KenPom

Clemson - 76

TCU - 75

Confidence: 54%

Drew

Clemson - 85

TCU - 81

The Tigers bully TCU in the paint, cash in at the free throw line, and hit enough 3’s to win.

If this goes the other way it’s because TCU turned Clemson over, got PJ Hall in foul trouble and scored most of their points in transition.