For TCU hoops, defense starts with a rarely used statistic

It’s not the flashiest statistic. In fact, it’s a number that few teams even keep.

Deflections, which aren’t necessarily steals, can be a disruptive force against a team’s offensive flow. They’re also a good indicator of defensive intensity.

“It was something we thought was part of our defensive shortcomings,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said.

The Horned Frogs (16-6, 5-6 in the Big 12), who host No. 10 Texas Tech (18-4, 6-3) at 1 p.m. Saturday at Schollmaier Arena, have been tracking their deflections this season.

“The games we’ve won we reached or came near the goal and the games we lost we fell short,” TCU guard Desmond Bane said. “Those deflections are a good way to track our energy on defense and our aggression.”

The Frogs aim for 40 deflections a game, which seemed like a high number to Bane at first. But it’s a part of defense, while often overlooked, that can lead to steals, which can lead to easy transition baskets.

“Defense has been one of the things we’ve been really emphasizing in practice the last couple of weeks,” Bane said. “We really feel like if we can improve and become a better team defensively then we can do some special things.”

It comes down to turning up the intensity and aggressiveness.

“What you emphasize is generally what you’re good at,” Dixon said. “You can only emphasize so many things. We felt that loose balls have often turned into baskets for the other team. Those 50-50 balls we have to come up with.”

Stefan Stevenson: 817-390-7760, @StevensonFWST

TCU vs. Texas Tech

1 p.m. Saturday, Schollmaier Arena