TCU has to fight through fatigue against Baylor

01/25/2013 11:47 PM

06/01/2014 12:40 AM

TCU could use a break.

Time to regroup, refocus and re-energize. The Horned Frogs have a midweek bye after today's 3 p.m. game with Baylor at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

It couldn't have come at a better time.

The Frogs' thin roster, which has just eight scholarship players among the 11 available to coach Trent Johnson, has been run ragged during much of its first jaunt through the Big 12, which resumes Feb. 2 at Texas.

None more than point guard Kyan Anderson, a sophomore from North Crowley High School who has had little room to take a breath since league play began.

"I was tired, but I just have to fight through it," Anderson said after Wednesday's 71-50 loss at West Virginia. "It's something I've been working on in practice; going consistently, preparing for days like this. I'm still trying to get better at it."

Defenses have smothered Anderson, the Frogs' lone sturdy ballhandler, knowing that -- to use Johnson's analogy from a month ago -- if they cut the head off the snake, the rest will die.

TCU's offense is squirming to stay alive. Last rites were nearly in order Wednesday at West Virginia when the Frogs were held to 22 first-half points.

But that's been the norm while Johnson tries to find ways to make up for the lost scoring with Amric Fields, Aaron Durley and Jarvis Ray out with injuries.

TCU has scored fewer than 30 points n 23 halves this season, including 11 of 12 in Big 12 play.

The exception was 31 points in the second half in the Big 12 opener against Texas Tech, which beat TCU 62-53.

"It's very similar to our previous three games against good teams," Johnson said after the West Virginia loss. "There would be periods where a team would make a run on us, and we can't play from behind right now."

TCU played one of its better games in a losing effort Jan. 12 at Baylor. It started a three-game streak of losses when Johnson could at least be happy with his team's execution of the game plan.

More shots -- many more shots -- needed to fall for the Frogs. But their defensive intensity and focus were there, which kept them in those games longer with a legitimate chance at victory with better offensive showings.

One bright spot at West Virginia was the play of Connell Crossland, who scored 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting and had seven rebounds and three blocks.

"I thought he was active," Johnson said. "Connell is a guy who needs to be close and have an angle to finish plays. It's good for him to play well, but he's a guy who can play in space."

TCU needs others to make shots, however.

At West Virginia, Anderson led the way with 19. Besides Crossland's 11, Adrick McKinney was the only other Frog to score at least 10. The rest of the team was 3-of-17 from the field.

Devonta Abron finished with just two points in 15 minutes. Garlon Green scored four in 30 minutes. Charles Hill Jr., from Fort Worth Trimble Tech, who led the Frogs with 12 points in his first-career start in the first Baylor game, was 0-for-4 with no points in his fourth start Wednesday.

Stefan Stevenson

817-390-7760

Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs

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