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Sooners up against TCU's tempo in first road test

Jan. 9—This is a week that could open up many possibilities for No. 9 Oklahoma.

At the end of the week, No. 3 Kansas will be waiting for what could end up being a memorable final showdown with the Sooners at Phog Allen Fieldhouse. If Oklahoma falls in Lawrence, Kansas this season it will move on to the SEC having lost 30 straight at the historic venue.

Still, the Sooners will have their hands full before they can get to that moment.

Nothing about Oklahoma's game against TCU on Wednesday can change the fact that it'll be a matchup between two top 10 teams. Though, it could have a big effect on the excitement surrounding the game or even the Sooners' momentum heading into it.

The Sooners will face their first true road test of the season against a dangerous Horned Frogs team that's 11-3 overall and coming off a close loss to that same Kansas team.

TCU is undefeated in Schollmaier Arena and has won its last two meetings with the Sooners in Fort Worth.

The Sooners have played four games away from the Lloyd Noble Center this season at neutral sites and are 3-1 in those games.

Like the Sooners, the Horned Frogs have a balanced lineup with five different players that have scored 20 or points or more this season. Emmanuel Miller leads the team with four 20-point performances and has reached that mark in three of the last five games.

The 6-7 senior forward is shooting 36% from behind the arc, but is most when lethal driving into the paint. Miller will be a tough matchup for Oklahoma forward Jalon Moore, both on defense and on the glass.

Miller also leads the Horned Frogs in rebounding, averaging 5.9 per game.

The Horned Frogs will test the Sooners ability to get back in transition as they currently lead the nation in fastbreak points (24.5 points per game). When their opponents do manage to stop their fast break, the Horned Frogs' average possession lasts just 14.4 seconds.

Despite ranking eighth nationally in steals per game (10.9), TCU still has been far from a dominant defensive team, allowing opponents to shoot 42% from the field (13th in the conference) and 67.6 points per game (11th in the conference).

The Sooners rank 131 spots behind the Horned Frogs nationally in average possessions per game.

Their offensive identity enables them to find ways to shoot at a high clip (16th nationally) without a high number of shot attempts. The Horned Frogs will try to create pressure to force the Sooners to speed the game up.

Against North Carolina, the Sooners got away from their identity and it led to a season-high 18 turnovers and a season-low 69 points in their lone loss.

Tarik Masri is the sports editor for The Transcript covering OU athletics and area sports. You can reach him by emailing tarik@normantranscript.com