Oklahoma State at TCU Betting Preview: After both schools represented their programs well during the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, the TCU Horned Frogs will take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys in a battle of two teams trying to start alive as March approaches.
Freshman phenom Cade Cunningham returned to the lineup and the Cowboys picked up a great win over a good Arkansas team. The victory will be huge for Oklahoma State down the line, adding to a list of solid non-conference wins that includes Marquette and Wichita State.
Although they sit near the bottom of the Big 12, at 9-7 with No. 2 Baylor looming this weekend, there’s still time for them to regroup. The meltdown at Missouri could be cured by a second win over Oklahoma State.
TCU Needs to Regroup Fast
There’s reason for optimism now that head coach Jamie Dixon has returned to the sidelines. The team’s leading scorer is senior guard RJ Nembhard, who’s struggled as of late, but he had a game-high 21 points in the December win over the Cowboys . His backcourt mate, freshman Mike Miles, is coming off of a career-high 28 points in the near win over Missouri last weekend. He’s beginning to grow more as a player, and these two will do most of the scoring for the Horned Frogs.
Their junior center Kevin Samuel could have a big effect on this game too. The Cowboys rebound well as a team, but they lack a true mammoth in the middle. Samuel put a season-high 18 points in the first meeting, and if he can establish dominance down low, the Horned Frogs chances of a season sweep increase. USC transfer Chuck O’Brannon Jr. is coming off one of his finest performances of the year. TCU has the size to defend home court and win this game, but the Cowboys are skilled across the board.
Oklahoma State is Looking to Climb the Big 12
Cade Cunningham’s return was timely, among other things. The potential number one overall pick returned right in time for their clash against Arkansas and delivered with a game-high 21 points en route to a 81-77 victory. Cunningham leads the Big 12 in scoring, but in his absence, Kalib Boone began to break out a bit. The sophomore forward scored a career-high 21 against Baylor, and registered a double-double last weekend against the Razorbacks. After playing sparingly in the first meeting, look for him to match up with Kevin Samuel early. If Cunningham and Boone can develop a stronger rapport fast, they’ll have an inside-outside combo able to take on anyone.
This is a bit deeper than just those two though. Guards Isaac Likekele, Rondel Walker, and Avery Anderson III all average around 10 points per game, while Likekele leads the team in rebounding, three point percentage, and surprisingly assists. Him and Cunningham have both flirted with triple-doubles all year. Freshman forward Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe will be key. He’s recorded a block in each of the past four games, and they’ll need him to keep Boone clean and out of foul trouble.
Oklahoma State at TCU Betting Prediction & Pick
This rematch will be tough to call. TCU’s come so close in the past two contests, and they’ve slipped and dropped five straight. It feels like they’re due for one soon and they’re at home as well. This Oklahoma State team may just have the right combination of momentum and firepower to give them a sixth straight loss though. Look for Cade Cunningham and Oklahoma State to seize control of this one, but don’t count the Horned Frogs out.