UL Monroe vs. TCU Odds, Picks: Can Horned Frogs Find Rhythm?
Eddie Lampkin #4 of the TCU Horned Frogs celebrates after dunking the ball during the second half against the Arizona Wildcats in the second round game of the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Viejas Arena at San Diego State University on March 20, 2022 in San Diego, California.
ULM vs. TCU Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Hopes are high among the Horned Frogs entering this season after their impressive tournament appearance last year.
But with the top-six players from last season's roster returning, that hope was appropriately placed. However, it’s been a rough stretch for the program through just three games this season.
The Horned Frogs survived 356th-ranked Arkansas Pine Bluff, defeating them by just one point in the season opener. Then they defeated 357th-ranked Lamar by 11 points, but the offensive struggles caught up to TCU last time out when it lost 64-63 to 342nd-ranked Northwestern State.
Can the Horned Frogs turn the early season struggles around in this matchup with Louisiana Monroe?
The Warhawks have entered full rebuild mode after finishing outside the top 10 in the Sun Belt in Offensive and Defensive Efficiency.
Last season Louisiana Monroe was particularly putrid at defending the paint and cleaning up defensive rebounds. The program ranked 343rd in the country in allowing offensive rebounds and sent opponents to the free-throw line at the 285th-rate.
Those struggles were on full display in the season-opener against Texas A&M. ULM was defeated by 33 points and allowed the Aggies to hit 56% from 2-point territory and 46% from beyond the arc.
Louisiana Monroe’s shooting was also horrid, hitting just 2-of-20 (10%) from the perimeter. The Warhawks weren’t much better from 2-point range, hitting just 44%.
The backcourt is composed of Nika Metskhvarishvili 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 versus the pure 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 by the hands of Northwestern State.
NORTHWESTERN STATE STUNS TCU[ pic.twitter.com/CtqphDjYtH
— Mr Matthew CFB (@MrMatthewCFB) November 15, 2022
In TCU's defense, the program was without Mike Miles Jr. as he missed the game with a bone bruise. They also were without Damion Baugh, who is now halfway through a six-game suspension imposed by the NCAA for signing with an NBA-certified agent.
But even without those two, the program still shouldn’t have had a problem with the Demons. So what went wrong?
The offense had no answers for the Northwestern State zone defense. The group shot just 31% in the first half. The Horned Frogs missed their first 11 3-pointers in the game and made just 2-of-21 in the contest.
The outside shooting was an issue for TCU last season as it hit just 30% from outside, which ranked 321st nationally. Through three games, the program has hit just 14-of-79 from beyond the arc (19%), which ranks 347th.
Emanuel Miller and Eddie Lampkin should dominate the paint in this matchup with a huge size advantage against a ULM program that is amid a rebuild.
ULM vs. TCU Betting Pick
TCU is poised for a big-time bounce back after its embarrassing loss to Northwestern State that took the internet by storm.
But I’m not sure if that will come without its leading scorer in Mike Miles Jr. on the court as he will likely still be out for this matchup with a bone bruise. With fellow senior guard Damion Baugh remaining sidelined with a suspension, the offense hasn’t been the same.
The TCU frontcourt will certainly have a massive advantage and should dominate the paint in this matchup, but it’s hard for me to lay nearly 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 either. The Warhawks were horrid against the Aggies, hitting just 10% from 3-point territory. The Horned Frogs' hard-nosed, physical defense will likely lock down the Warhawks in this game.
With two offenses that have shot poorly and struggled to find their identity early in the season, this matchup screams under.