Can Horned Frogs Find Rhythm?

ULM vs TCU odds

Hope is high among the Horned Frogs entering this season after their impressive tournament appearance last year.

TCU crushed Seton Hall by 27 points in the opening round, then the Horned Frogs followed that up by defeating the no. 1 seed Arizona to the brink of elimination, eventually losing in overtime.

But with the top six players from last season’s roster returning, those hopes are appropriately placed. However, it has been a rough stretch for the program through only three games this season.

The Horned Frogs outlasted 356th-ranked Arkansas Pine Bluff, defeating them by just one point in the season opener. Then they defeated 357th-redged Lamar by 11 points, but the offensive struggles caught up to TCU last time out in a 64-63 loss to 342nd-ranked Northwestern State.

Can the Horned Frogs reverse the early season struggles in this matchup with Louisiana Monroe?

The Warhawks entered full rebuild mode after finishing outside the top 10 in the Sun Belt in offensive and defensive efficiency.

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Last season, Louisiana Monroe was especially crazy about defending the paint and cleaning up defensive rebounds. The program ranked 343rd in the nation in allowing offensive rebounds and sending opponents to the free throw line at the 285.the-course.

That struggle was on full display in the season opener against Texas A&M. ULM was outscored by 33 points and allowed the Aggies to shoot 56% from 2-point range and 46% from beyond the arc.

Louisiana Monroe’s shooting was also awful, hitting just 2-of-20 (10%) from the perimeter. The Warhawks weren’t much better from 2-point range, hitting just 44%.

The backcourt consists of Nika Metskvarishvili and Thomas Howell. The duo shot a combined 3-for-14 in the opener against the Aggies and will have their hands full in this matchup against the sheer size of the Horned Frogs.

A TCU loss felt almost inevitable after its struggles against two of the worst teams in the country, but no one expected it to come at the hands of Northwestern State.

In TCU’s defense, the program was without Mike Miles Jr. as he missed the game with a leg contusion. They were also without Damion Baugh, who is now halfway through a six-game suspension imposed by the NCAA for signing with an NBA-certified agent.

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But even without those two, the show still shouldn’t have had a problem with the Demons. So what went wrong?

The offense had no answers for the Northwestern State defense. The group shot just 31% in the first half. The Horned Frogs missed their first 11 3-pointers of the game and went just 2-for-21 in the game.

The outside shooting was a problem for TCU last season as it shot just 30% from outside, ranking 321.St national. Through three games, the program has hit just 14-of-79 from beyond the arc (19%), which is 347st.

Emanuel Miller and Eddie Lampkin should dominate the paint in this game with a huge advantage against a ULM program in the midst of a rebuild.

ULM vs. TCU Betting Pick

TCU is poised for a big bounce back after its embarrassing loss against Northwestern State that took the internet by storm.

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But I’m not sure that will come without its leading scorer in Mike Miles Jr. on the court as he will probably still be out for this game with a leg bruise. With fellow senior guard Damion Baugh sidelined with a suspension, the offense wasn’t the same.

The TCU frontcourt will certainly have a big advantage and should dominate the paint in this game, but it’s hard for me to get close to 20 points with an offense that’s missing two of its key pieces and has struggled through its three games .

I also don’t trust the Louisiana Monroe offense. The Warhawks were horrendous against the Aggies, hitting just 10% from 3-point range. The Horned Frogs’ tough, physical defense will likely shut down the Warhawks in this game.

With two offenses that have shot poorly and struggled to find their identity early in the season, this game screams bottom.

Pick: Under 139.5 (Play to 137)

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