Blowout In Provo? – TCU at BYU

TCU Horned Frogs AT BYU Cougars
Jan 18th, 2011 at 10 PM EST
Opening Line: BYU -20.5
Current Line: BYU -20
Opening Total: 152
Current Total: 153
Moneyline:  BYU -5400 / TCU +1800

Fredette last battered TCU for 45 points in the Mountain West conference tournament last year

BYU’s Jimmer Fredette has been playing good ball — really good ball in fact — as he just took over the national scoring lead from Connecticut’s Kemba Walker with his season high 47 point effort in a 104-79 victory over the Utah Utes.  He scored 32 of those 47 points in the first half, closing the half with a 40 foot buzzer beater that more or less set the tone for the rest of the blowout game.   Fredette is now averaging 26.1 points per game.

“He’s a special player,” BYU coach Dave Rose said. “He’s on a roll and playing with a lot of confidence.”

TCU has been playing decent ball, but unfortunately for them, it will take much more than a decent effort to take down the ninth ranked Cougars.  They’re more than familiar with Fredette, who scored 45 last game against TCU in the Mountain West Conference tournament last year on March 11th.

“It’s difficult because we tried everything we could do,” TCU coach Jim Christian said following the March 11th loss, “You trap him. The other guys, they hit so many timely shots as a team, it’s hard to take out one guy, especially when he can pass the ball and the other guys can play.”

TCU will continue to search for a way to slow down Fredette, and keeping him off the free throw line will prove to be one of the keys to doing so.  Last game against TCU, Fredette shot an unacceptable 24 free throws, hitting 23 of them.

Some betting trends:

TCU is 0-5 SU in their last 5 road games and 0-5 SU in their last 5 road games at BYU.  The total has gone OVER in 5 of their last 7 road games against the Cougars.

BYU is 5-0 SU in their last 5 games and also 5-0 SU in their last 5 at home.  The total has gone OVER in 9 of the last 12 games between BYU and TCU.  BYU is 5-0 SU in their last 5 home games against TCU.

If TCU is to have any chance at all tonight, or even just to cover the spread, they are going to need big games from Ronnie Moss and Garlon Green.  The 6’2″ junior guard Ronnie Moss leads the Horned Frogs in minutes played (31.2 per game) and points per game (15.3), and also dishes out a team high 3.7 assists per game.  In the Horned Frogs’ blowout win against Wyoming, Moss went for 27 points, hitting 6 threes and grabbing 10 rebounds, as well.  He’ll need a game similar to that tonight for TCU to cover the spread.  He’s attempting over 5 threes a game and will have to catch fire from outside.  He’s shooting only 34% from three, though, so whether he can do that or not is rather dubious.  Garlon Green, a 6’7″ sophomore forward, is having more success, at least percentage wise, from behind the arc.  He’s hit 29 of 57 so far (50.9%) and he has scored in double figures in all but 4 of the Frogs’ games.  He’ll have to be careful to avoid foul trouble, as well.  He fouled out in 14 minutes in the loss last game to Colorado State, causing him to score but 6 points.  If the Cougars can get Green in foul trouble, it will spell certain doom for TCU.

Tonight’s game isn’t predicted to be close by vegas oddsmakers, but if Moss and Green can manage to have big nights, TCU could at least cover the spread.  They know they have no chance to contain Fredette, so perhaps letting him get his and stopping everyone else may be the way to go.


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