NCAA Men's Basketball

Lipscomb-TCU Preview

No. 18 TCU will be at near-full strength for the first time this season and will likely need the return of two of its presumptive starters when it hosts Lipscomb on Tuesday at Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Horned Frogs (3-0) climbed three spots from 21st in the ranking on the strength of 77-69 win over Fresno State on Thursday behind 23 points from Desmond Bane and 13 points and 14 assists from Alex Robinson. Kevin Samuel had his second-straight double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds to go with a TCU freshman record six blocked shots in the win as the starters accounted for all but two of the Horned Frogs' points.

Guard Jaylen Fisher and Kouat Noi, who have been nursing respective knee injuries, are expected to return against Lipscomb. It will be Fisher's first action of the year while Noi played in the Horned Frogs' season-opening win.

"We're feeling really good about Jaylen as far as playing on Tuesday," TCU coach Jamie Dixon said. "He's practiced well the last couple of days and he's been practicing for the last ten days now, and same thing with Kouat. I anticipate both of those guys playing."

Fisher and Noi are huge "additions" to TCU's current rotation and getting both players back will be huge from an offensive perspective. The Horned Frogs' offense has done well in spurts through the first three games, with TCU shooting 49.7 percent from the floor and 36.2 percent from 3-point range while scoring 74 points per contest.

"We've got Kouat coming back and you know he's a scorer, and Jaylen he's also a scorer and a distributor, so it brings back a lot of scoring to us that we've been missing in the first couple of games," Samuel said.

TCU will look for a 4-0 start to a season for the fourth straight year. The Horned Frogs own an 18-game win streak in the month of November, the second-longest among NCAA Division I programs. Only Virginia's 21-game win streak is longer. TCU's streak dates back to the final November game in 2015.

Through three games, seven of the Horned Frogs' nine newcomers have made their TCU debuts. Overall, 35 percent of TCU's total minutes have gone to newcomers. The only TCU players who have played this season that saw action last season are Bane, Robinson, R.J. Nembhard (six games last year) and JD Miller.

Lipscomb men's basketball team started off their Lone Star State road trip the right way on Saturday, forging a 79-73 win over SMU on the eastern side of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

Post players Rob Marberry and Eli Pepper poured in a team-high 16 points each while shooting a combined 11-of-14 from the field. Garrison Mathews, the ASUN preseason player of the year, led the Bison (3-1) with 15 points, a team-high seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

"We have to be an inside-out team, that's when we are at our best," Lipscomb coach Casey Alexander said after Saturday's win. "We had a lot of really good possessions where his (Rob) positioning was better. We also got him the ball in more ideal spots on the floor which led to a better game from him.

"The guys played with great toughness, competitiveness and character throughout the game (Saturday). I hope it says a lot about our team."

Lipscomb went 23-10 overall last year, wining the ASUN Conference Championship before falling to North Carolina in the first round of the NCAA Tournament as a No. 14 seed.

This year, the Bison have averaged more than 86 points per game over its first four outings while snatching 10.5 steals per outing, more than double the Horned Frogs' average for steals.

Updated November 20, 2018