Pregame: TCU vs. SMU

Pregame: TCU Horned Frogs vs. SMU Mustangs

Tuesday, December 6th, 7:00 PM ET, Fox Sports Southwest

The TCU Horned Frogs are off to an 8-0 start for the second year in a row, but lost to rival SMU last year to end their unbeaten run. However, this year SMU comes to Schollmaier Arena, and the Frogs are riding a nation-leading 13-game winning streak. TCU gets set for a pair of notable out-of-conference matchups beginning with SMU, and then Nevada on Friday night.

Meanwhile, the SMU Mustangs are 7-2, but have marquee wins over then No. 2 Arizona and No. 14 USC this past Saturday. SMU holds the nation’s longest unbeaten streak at home, having won 28 in a row, but now head to Fort Worth for their first true road game this season. The Mustangs will be looking for their unprecedented third win over an AP Top 25.

TCU is led by second-year coach Jamie Dixon and he has an experienced group that returned its top 6 leading scorers from a year ago. Seniors Vladimir Broadziansky (14.4 points per game) and Kenrich Williams (12.4 points and 10.1 rebounds per game) have led the Frogs early on. However, the biggest surprise for TCU has been the play of sophomore Desmond Bane, who is seventh in country in 3-point percentage.

SMU may have lost Semi Ojeleye from a tournament team a year ago, but the Mustangs haven’t skipped a beat. Junior guard Shake Milton is fifth in the American in scoring, averaging 18.7 points per game. But, the Mustangs pride themselves on the defensive end. SMU allows an average of 56.3 points per game, which ranks third in all of college basketball. Head coach Tim Jankovic has a long, athletic group that causes all sorts of problems for opponents.

Players to Watch:

TCU: #0 Jaylen Fisher

The sophomore guard was TCU’s highest-ranked recruit in program history, and has improved across the board in his second season. He leads the Frogs in assists, averaging 5.8 per game. Fisher was held to 10 points on 4 of 11 shooting in this matchup last year, while having just 1 assist to 4 turnovers. Now, with a season under his belt, Fisher is the catalyst for this Horned Frogs offense that will be tested against SMU’s defense.

SMU: #21 Ben Emelogu II

SMU’s senior guard has been the epitome of a “big time player” so far this season. Emelogu averages 10.7 points per game, but scored 16 points on 4 of 5 shooting from 3-point range in their last outing against USC. Then, in the Mustangs’ win over Arizona, Emelogu posted a season-high 20 points on 5 of 7 shooting from beyond the arc. Emelogu provides a lot of experience, and when he shoots well, gives this SMU offense a much-needed boost.

Prediction:

TCU 68 – 64 SMU