TCU hosted the 2020-21 Southland Conference champions on November 18 as part of their early non-conference schedule, their last game in Fort Worth before heading to Southern California for the SoCal Challenge, a midseason tournament that features both TCU and Nicholls. TCU will face Santa Clara and Pepperdine in the Thanksgiving week midseason tournament.
In this game, two things stood out: from a draft perspective, Mike Miles had one of his first games as a Horned Frog that left a lot to be desired, and the other being Nicholls still being a favorite to come out of the Southland Conference to make noise in March.
Mike Miles struggled with turnovers and scoring outside of the paint, recording 8 turnovers, 6 of which came in the first half. He struggled getting power on some passes as well as ball security, and two turnovers went off of fingertips of teammates on good passes. Turnovers have plagued Miles early on, now averaging 5 turnovers per game after 3 games.
While Miles was 0-3 from 3, the 3 point shot wasn’t a focal point, and Miles has proven to be a reliable shooter in suggesting that tonight was closer to an outlier than the norm. Miles made an emphasis to get to the rim, with 10 of his 13 shots being 2 point shots, mostly at the rim. He also drew many fouls, shooting 7 free throws for the night and making 6 freebies. Tonight was the first night of his collegiate career where some physicality seemed to bother Miles, so tracking that going forward will be intriguing. Here are the 5 makes of Mike Miles vs Nicholls in 13 tries:
As for Nicholls, the Colonels shot 7-25 from 3, making a living inside the paint. Most of the damage inside came in the first half, but the 3 point shooting caused their offense to stagnate. In the first half, when Nicholls held a consistent 7-10 point lead for much of the half, the Colonels were comfortable driving and getting to the rim, thanks to star Ty Gordon’s 3-6 first half shooting and Latrell Jones’ 4-8 first half shooting. If the Colonels want to make damage like their Southland counterpart Abilene Christian did in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, the Colonels will need to play their game at their tempo for more than 20 minutes at a time.
Ty Gordon could make a summer league roster, depending on how well the Colonels play come March. He has a bulldog mentality, is fearless driving to the rim, and consistently forces turnovers despite his 6-1 frame. Look for Nicholls as an underdog option come March.