Rhode Island next up for TCU men’s basketball at Cancun Challenge

Vladimir Brodziansky (10) has given TCU an early spark by averaging 14.3 points per game.
Vladimir Brodziansky (10) has given TCU an early spark by averaging 14.3 points per game. Special to the S-T

The TCU men’s basketball team is spending the first part of Thanksgiving break on the beaches of the Caribbean Sea, finishing out the four-game Cancun Challenge on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Horned Frogs (2-1) first meet Rhode Island (2-1) looking to bounce back from their first loss in nonconference in 21 games after a setback Saturday against South Dakota State.

Up next for TCU will be Maryland or Illinois State on Wednesday.

Jared Terrell leads Rhode Island’s offense with 13 points a game. Hassan Martin, whose 16 points led all scorers in the Rams’ 28-point victory over Cleveland State on Saturday, has averaged 12 points and 58 percent shooting from the field.

The Frogs’ task is clean up the unforgivable sins of turnovers, poor defense and a lack of intensity for a full 40 minutes.

It’s part of the assimilation process of new young players in key roles.

One is Vladimir Brodziansky, who has been a reliable offensive presence, but needs to be better on the other end, coach Trent Johnson said.

Another is Malique Trent, a sophomore transfer who was the offensive spark that got TCU back in the game on Saturday with 18 points, including 15 in the second half.

The downside to his effort was shooting 6 for 23, mirroring TCU’s struggles as a team. The Frogs finished at 33 percent.

Trent took some bad shots down the stretch, Johnson said, but that’s the very forgivable sin of a young player just competing and trying to make plays.

TCU men (2-1) vs. Rhode Island (2-1)

5 p.m. Tuesday, Cancun Challenge