Sooner Basketball Men Looking to Snap Four-Game Losing Skid

Sooner basketball travels to Ft. Worth on Tuesday looking for its first Big 12 win against a TCU team that is much more formidable than any of the predecessor Horned Frog teams since joining the Big 12.

Mar 5, 2016; Fort Worth, TX, USA; TCU Horned Frogs forward Chris Washburn (33) looks to pass as Oklahoma Sooners center Akolda Manyang (30) defends during the first half at Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma owns an 18-2 record against TCU all-time, and the Sooners have won the last six times the two teams have met on the hardwood. Since the Horned Frogs became members of the Big 12 in 2012, OU is 7-1 vs. TCU.

But don’t let that Sooner domination fool you. This season, the two teams find themselves in very different places heading into game two in the Big 12 season. Oklahoma is 6-6 through a dozen games and in the midst of a four-game losing skid, while TCU is off to an 11-2 start and receiving votes in both the Associated Press and Coaches polls.

This sounds almost like the reverse of where the same two teams stood at this stage a year ago.

The young Sooners are having a difficult time finding consistency and the right on-floor combinations, as evidenced by the fact that coach Lon Kruger has tried five different starting lineups already this season.

The Sooners have been without four-year starter Jordan Woodard and his team-leading 17.6 scoring average the last two games. It is not known whether he will play Tuesday night or not, but without Woodard on the floor, Oklahoma loses its top scorer and team leader, and the impact has been significant in losses to Auburn and Baylor.

TCU is coming off an excellent effort in a conference-opening six-point loss at home on Friday to 12-time defending Big 12 champion Kansas. Junior big man Vladmir Brodziansky scored a career-high 28 points against the Jayhawks. Brodziansky is one of four Horned Frogs scoring in double digits so far this season.

Brodziansky is the Horned Frogs’ leading points producer, averaging 11.8 points a game, and he is closely followed in the scoring column by Alex Robinson, Kenrich Williams and Jaylen Fisher, all averaging right at 10 points a game. Williams also has five double-doubles this season.

The Sooners have just two players averaging in double figures in scoring. Along with Woodard, sophomore Christian James is averaging 12.3 points per game and is OU’s best three-point threat, hitting 56 percent of his three-ball attempts.

Turnovers could play a big factor in the Tuesday night contest between the Sooners and the Horned Frogs. Oklahoma ranks 228th in the NCAA in turnovers per game. TCU, meanwhile, is No. 40 in college basketball in turnovers forced and 34th in the country in turnover margin.

Former Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon is the new head coach at TCU. He replaced Trent Johnson, who served as the Horned Frogs’ head coach for four seasons, compiling an overall record of 50-79, but just 8-64 in the Big 12.

The Sooners are one of four Big 12 schools Dixon has never coached against.

One other factor going against the Oklahoma men at TCU is the Horned Frogs’ record at home this season. They are 9-1 (the only loss coming against Kansas last Friday) and are averaging 80 points a game at home at newly renovated Schollmaier Arena.

Game prediction: TCU 76, Oklahoma 69

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