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TCU puts improved defense up against Texas A&M-Commerce

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TCU and Texas A&M-Commerce will open 2024 on the basketball court with a New Year’s Day matchup on Monday in Fort Worth, Texas.

Host TCU (10-2) comes off a 2-1 performance at the Diamond Head Classic, where the Horned Frogs bounced back from an 88-75 loss to Nevada by defeating Hawaii in the third-place game, 65-51.

Texas A&M-Commerce (6-6) holds a two-game win streak entering Monday’s nonconference tilt but has not played since Dec. 18, in a 130-53 win over NCCAA member Arlington Baptist.

For the Horned Frogs, who are 6-0 at home, Monday’s matchup provides one final tune-up before Big 12 play tips off Saturday at No. 2 Kansas. TCU is seeking an unbeaten home nonconference record for just the third season under head coach Jamie Dixon.

“We have to build on this,” Dixon said on The Varsity Network radio broadcast following TCU’s win over Hawaii. “And I do believe we will. This was good.”

Defense continues to be a point of emphasis for the Horned Frogs, who allowed over 80 points in each of their first two games at the Diamond Head Classic. Against Hawaii, however, the Rainbow Warriors shot just 33.3 percent and scored 51 points, the fewest TCU has surrendered in a game this season.

“They responded, simply put,” Dixon said of the defense against Hawaii. “That might have been the worst defensive performance we’ve had, against Nevada. And this might have been the best.”

Texas A&M-Commerce’s offense averages 76.9 points per game with three scorers in double figures. Jerome Brewer Jr. leads the Lions at 14.6 points per game and Kalen Williams averages 14.2 for a squad that is shooting 45 percent from the field and 33.4 percent from 3-point range.

That offensive execution stems from efficient ball movement, which was seen through the Lions’ 36 assists against Arlington Baptist.

“When you have 36 assists, you’re really sharing the basketball,” Texas A&M-Commerce head coach Jaret von Rosenberg said. “You’re making the right play, and playing how we want to play.”

Emanuel Miller is TCU’s leading scorer (16.5 ppg) and rebounder (6.1 per game). JaKobe Coles (11.4 ppg), Micah Peavy (11.4 ppg), and Jameer Nelson Jr. (11.3 ppg) all average double-figure scoring.

–Field Level Media

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