BYU Basketball Renews Old MWC Rivalry With TCU In Big 12 Play

Mar 1, 2024, 6:02 PM

BYU Basketball, TCU Preview, Jaxson Robinson, Dallin Hall

PROVO, Utah – BYU basketball is riding high after pulling off a historic victory over Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse earlier this week.

The win is one of the best victories in program history.

But it’s time to turn the page forward–especially with the calendar flipping over to March.

BYU welcomes the TCU Horned Frogs to the Marriott Center in the penultimate home game of the regular season. It’s the first meeting between the two programs since they were in the Mountain West Conference in 2011.

When they were in the Mountain West Conference together, BYU was a perfect 15-0 against the Horned Frogs.

It’s the first meeting between the programs as Big 12 Conference foes. Both are 8-7 overall in conference play this season.

One day after BYU’s win over Kansas, fans gobbled up the tickets for the TCU game. So, Saturday’s contest between BYU and TCU is expected to be a sellout.

BYU vs. TCU: How To Watch, Listen

Date: Saturday, March 2, 2024

Location: Marriott Center

Tip-Off: 7 p.m. (MT)/8 p.m. (CT)

TV: Big 12 Now on ESPN+

Radio: KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM, 1160 AM – Pregame begins at 6 p.m.)

What you need to know about BYU basketball

The big question everyone is asking after the Kansas win is, will there be a letdown heading into the TCU game?

Mark Pope isn’t worried about that at all from his team.

“This TCU team is incredible, actually. They’re so good,” said BYU coach Mark Pope. “It’s not surprising. So why do I say that? What is there not to turn the page on? We’ve got an unbelievable TCU team coming here in a crucial moment. … It’s just never-ending.”

The worries of a letdown can be put to rest if guards Dallin Hall and Jaxson Robinson perform the way they did against Kansas.

Both players performed at a high level against the Jayhawks, scoring 18 points each and knocking down big shots in the second half to come away with a win.

Fousseyni Traore gave BYU valuable minutes off the bench and was a force on the glass. It was one of the highest-graded performances he has put together in his three years at BYU.

Entering the matchup with TCU, Pope feels BYU is still capable of its best basketball.

“I think we have the potential to continue to be way better; I think our ceiling is higher. But it’s hard to get your ceiling,” said Pope. “How intentional we’re going to be and how focused we’re going to be is key to us continuing to get better.”

Continuing to knock down the three-point shot will help BYU reach its ceiling. In the win over Kansas, BYU hit 13 threes. The math seems pretty straightforward for BYU: if they hit 10 or more threes, they are going to be a hard team to take down. But they are vulnerable to a potential upset if they get under that double-digit threshold.

BYU is number one in Big 12 games, averaging 10.2 made threes per game. TCU is ninth in the conference at 7.0 threes.

Getting to know the TCU Horned Frogs

TCU is one of the most experienced teams in college basketball. The Horned Frogs rank third nationally in KenPom’s experience ratings.

TCU has eight 10 seniors on their roster, eight in their rotation. The entire starting five are senior players. So head coach Jamie Dixon’s squad probably won’t be fazed by the hostile environment at the Marriott Center.

TCU is 5-4 this season in road games. It’s the most wins on the road for TCU since the 2004-2005 season. That’s when they were a member of Conference USA.

Like BYU, TCU has an explosive offense. In Big 12 games, TCU is second behind BYU in points per game at 75.5. Also similar to BYU, the Horned Frogs give up a lot of points, ranking 11th in the league at 74 points allowed.

TCU’s leader is Emmanuel Miller. The fifth-year senior is averaging 15.9 points per game in Big 12 action. He’s scored double figures in every game since the calendar turned to 2024.

A big question entering Saturday for TCU is the status of center Ernest Udeh. The former Kansas transfer has missed the last three games due to a lower leg injury. Dixon has said that it remains Udeh’s decision to play “when he’s ready.”

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and hosts the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU Basketball Renews Old MWC Rivalry With TCU In Big 12 Play