TCU’s first-round opponent in the NIT, Fresno State, heads to Fort Worth with an inconsistent resume that includes two victories over Nevada (28-6), an NCAA Tournament team, as well as a loss to Prairie View A&M (13-20), which is not headed to the postseason.
So which bunch of Bulldogs (20-12) will the Horned Frogs (19-15) face Wednesday in Schollmaier Arena (7 p.m., ESPN3)?
Coach Jamie Dixon expects Fresno State to be at its best, based on the team’s 6-1 record in its last seven outings.
“They’re obviously good and they’re playing their best basketball at the end of the year,” Dixon said before Monday’s practice. “They’re bigger than what we thought we’d see, coming from the Mountain West. More wide bodies.”
The Bulldogs have an offense that averages 74 points per game behind four double-digit scorers: Jaron Hopkins (13.2 avg.), Deshon Taylor (12.4), Paul Watson (11.5) and Jahmel Taylor (10.6). TCU guard Brandon Parrish said the Frogs are preparing to face a guard-heavy offense.
“I’ve heard they play four guards a lot of the time,” Parrish said. “So I feel like that kind of fits into what we do, the way we play offense. We probably match up well. And we play in the Big 12. We’ve been through the gauntlet. We believe that we’re ready for anybody.”
The Bulldogs have allowed 70.3 points per game and rank No. 182 nationally in rebounding (35.8). In its lone matchup against a Top 25 opponent, Fresno State fell to then-No. 20 Oregon, 75-63.
A fourth-place finisher in the Mountain West, the Bulldogs swept Nevada during the regular season before falling to the Wolfpack in the conference tournament. Nevada won the Mountain West tournament, earning a No. 12 seed in the NCAA’s Midwest Region.