Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nebraska 62, TCU 50

For those who don't know (and judging by the attendance nobody knew), tonight was the home opener of the Jim Christian era at the DMC. Unfortunately for TCU basketball fans, the team is still tough to watch at this point. The Frogs shot 27% from the field and a rotten 16% from the 3 point line. Maybe the 1 ft that the NCAA moved back the 3 point line really effected our shooting, or maybe we still don't have any shooters.

Defense looked pretty solid down low against a smaller Nebraska team, but the perimeter defense gave them too many good looks from beyond the arc. The Frogs kept it close for most of the game and never let the Huskers pull away, thanks mostly in part to Kevin Langford's play in the paint (the guy is a beast and appears to be the only offensive option we have). The guards continually fed him down low, and despite double teams the whole game, which he will see all season unless we develop some form of an outside game, he got shots off and got to the line where he was 13-18, to go with 3-7 from the field with 19 total points.

I was really looking forward to seeing the European big men shooters Ruzgas and Buljan that I had heard so much about from radio broadcasts and from people who watched the exhibition game. The two combined for 6 total points on 1-5 from the field, including 1 Ruzgas 3 ptr. Hopefully this was just an off night for the 2 of them and they will emerge as effective pick and pop shooters, but they seemed to be a little lost out there tonight.

On the bright side, this coaching staff looks like an obvious upgrade from the Neil Dougherty regime. First of all, the offense looked fluid and got open looks despite shooting so poorly. The game play seemed to be much more crisp and not as much of a mess as it used to be. Ebie, Moss, Mitchem, and Rose all seem to be capable ball handlers, and I cant remember a time when we had that many guards who were able to handle pressure and good defense. I know I sound like a broken record, but if those guys can knock down perimeter shots when Langford kicks it out for wide open looks like he did many times, we can be a player in the MWC this season.

Highlight of the night has to be the group of football players and their relentless heckling of Nebraska's 5'7 point guard and their Center who had a strong resemblance to DeSagana Diop, or Blood Diamond as they called him. Then once the game was sealed for Nebraska, hearing them yell at their bench about how badly we would kick their ass in football made me proud and excited about Saturday.

I hope we start to knock down open looks before conference play starts and the team keeps working hard to get better, because after what we have suffered through for the last few years, all I want to see right now is improvement and a team that can compete. If you are in Fort Worth, try to make it out and support the team this season, although missing Saturday night's home game may be excusable for college football reasons. Go Frogs!


TCU -19.5

O/U 45

Sick Catch

Sorry, I couldn't embed it.

Morning Dump

New-look TCU Horned Frogs take intensity to new level ~FWST

Air Force faces top defense in TCU ~Colorado Springs Gazette

TCU vs. Air Force ~CBS Sports

TCU defense takes aim on Air Force ~FWST

TCU should be treated as a 'football school' ~TCU Daily Skiff

Basketball Home Opener Tonight

The men's basketball team tips off for the first time at home tonight when they play host to Nebraska at 7:00pm. The game is on CBS-College Sports for those of you unable to attend.

The Frogs are fresh off a trip to Charleston, where they finished the weekend 1-2. The win came in the opener against Western Michigan, a 20-win team last year (including a win over Davidson). It seems as if so far (my analysis is based on listening to half of a game on the radio), Coach Christian has the team playing tough on defense and is employing a healthy mix of returning players and newcomers. Familiar faces in the rotation will be Langford, Ortiz, Mitchem and Ebie. Among the newcomers seeing significant PT will be freshmen Ronnie Moss, a Fort Worth native, and Kevin Buter, from Duncanville. Also playing and contributing a lot will be European-born junior transfers Zvonko Buljian (from Croatia) and Ed Ruzgas (pictured above, from Lithuania).

And how about the Lady Frogs taking down #5 Maryland the other night?

See Dick come to a TCU game. See Dick stay in the parking lot and not support the team. Don't be a Dick.

-- via

Well, it's been a pretty up and down season, to say the least. Mostly ups, but definitely a few downs. Knowing that this is the last game for me this year regardless of bowl (it's almost like the MWC went through my schedule and decided to screw me on all sides when it came to bowl scheduling), I guess it put me into a little bit of a reflective mode. Honestly, this is the most involved I've been with a TCU team in the now 7 seasons I've followed them. Growing up a fan of another team can make it hard to make the transition, not to mention the conference change makes you pretty much start all over and reset our hate meter in 2005, but despite all this, I think I went through the same cycle a lot of others went through. In early college, you've got so much junk going on, you're trying to adapt and are much more interested in chasing tail in the parking lot before, during, and after games that whatever is happening inside the stadium is secondary. Later in college you're focusing on getting out and you really do care about the game, but you're a lot more concerned about what you want to do after college and what you're going to tell your parents if you fail Managing the Emerging Venture because your professor is a dickhead who used to mow lawns, and have to stick around another semester to take 3 hours. Finally, after college you get a job and realize, "Holy crap, I've got SO much time to be on the internet and do nothing but obsess over football now!!" This definitely describes how it's happened for me and I'm sure a lot of you (except swap the class/dickhead professor with any other class/dickhead professor combination).
I got reeeeeeeeally into last year's team, despite the mediocre record, and I'd have to say it's partially because of writing on Spitblood. Not that anyone cares what I have to say, including my fiance who has only opened the site once, a fact which you all must shame her for this weekend, but it definitely made the whole experience a lot more fun. This year though, man. Like, I got down after the UT loss last year, pretty down during the AF loss last year, and grumpy with the BYU/Utah losses (I refuse to accept that we lost to Wyoming) but the ups and downs I've gone through with this team aren't even in the same league as those. Whether it be the seniors on this team, who are easily my favorite group since coming to school, the emergence of Jimmy Young and Jeremy Kerley, Dalton's transformation from running QB to passing QB, Aaron Brown coming back from an injured season and an early suspension to play huge for us (when Schultz realized he was a) on the team and b) our best offensive weapon in the backfield), the saltiest defense D-I has seen in a long time, an explosive offense, the Hurricane Game, Norman, the BYU massacre followed by the whiny Mormon backlash, jumping into the Top 25 after SMU, falling out after OU, then jumping 12 spots after BYU and, of course, the Utah tragedy followed by the Patterson rumors followed by the Patterson denials followed by silence (which is KILLING me). I know you all have your own thoughts and memories from this season and I doubt I've even broken the surface, but, I just wanted to demonstrate how this team has definitely provided the most heart attack inducing drama all season. Unfortunately for you guys, I'm probably going to come back next week and say these exact same things as a season recap! With elaboration, of course.
Alright, there's a message somewhere in this post, I promise. I'm writing this mostly because I really want everyone to come out and support this group of Seniors who are on pace to be tied for the most wins for a group of seniors ever at TCU, and who have been huge factors for most of their four years at TCU. The game starts at 2:30, but be there early to show these guys what thye've meant to us and the program over the course of their 4 years.
Mainly though, I guess I'm writing this because of the GP situation. Now, after all the initial "HOLY SHIT LET'S TAKE HIM OUT BACK AND SHOOT HIM JK I ALWAYS KNEW GP WAS COMMITTED" business, I figured things would kind of calm down and the school would come out and say how committed they were to GP and how they're going to talk about a new contract after the season and Patterson would do the same. This hasn't happened. The administration has been completely silent about it and do not look to be making any overt moves as far as extending Patterson's contract and making him THE coach. Now I realize that Patterson said we he said and has done a fine job convincing everyone that's he's not taking the KSU and he's happy in FW, but a lot of this was coachspeak and he by no means has slammed the door on these rumors. We could lose this guy. Seriously. Patterson is at kind of a crossroads. He has to look at the situation as, "Have I taken this team as far as I can take it?" or "There is still tons of work to be done and I want to see this through and end my career as a Frog." It really comes down to that. GP is either going to bail or be here for the long haul. There really isn't an in between.
I hate that this is happening at the expense of losing the best recruiting class we've ever seen, and, regardless of what happens, look for some guys to pull their verbals and take another look at some schools, but the blame solely lies on the administration and the fans. I'm not going to use this as a soapbox to lambast the fan support, because lots of others on this blog have done similar things, but I don't think the stakes are any higher than they are right now as far as getting some people in the stadium. Patterson, should he stay, will go down as the greatest coach to ever coach at TCU. I realize Dutch Meyer produced two national championship teams, but I don't think you can compare football in the 1930s to football now because, frankly, if our 38 team played this years team, at least 15 of their players would die. Seriously. Death. With the way the football landscape has changed in regards to facilities, recruiting, size, passion, etc, how can you really compare the two eras? Think about what Patterson has done: Top 10 in overall winning % in the nation for his career, consistently fields one of the best defenses in the country year in year out, built a state of the art indoor practice facility that is one of the finest in the country, had the end zone complex built and has the school committed to performing over $150 million worth of stadium renovations, and has done these things with 2 and 3 star athletes who he has played out of position and turned into all conference performers due to one of the best strength and conditioning programs in the NCAA.
Keep in mind we were probably a 6500 student school when GP came and are now somewhere around 8000 undergrad. Don't lie to yourself and say that's solely due to the academics. Once you get out of the Ivy Leagues, a major driving force in school enrollment is athletics, and most of this is football. Why do you think schools like UT, A&M (well...), Ohio State and Michigan have such huge enrollments? Sure, they're great schools and state schools, but Ohio State doesn't pack in 108,000 nerds each week... it's a bunch of people that love football and are at the school because they love football. Do you really think anyone would go to school in Norman Armpit Oklahoma if they didn't have a Top 5 football team?
With TCUs recent tuition hike, coupled with the roughly 1500-2000 additional students that have been pulled in since we came to school, how much money do you think they have made? What kind of school is able to increase enrollment and tuition and STILL have the highest number of applicants ever? They never would've been able to make the improvements they did on the main campus without this additonal boost. Isn't this worth more than $1.3 million annually? Now, I'm not going to pull a Latrell Sprewell and say GP is starving with that kind of a salary, but considering what he has done for the program and the University, and considering June Jones is getting paid $2 million per victory across town... well, yeah, he's starving on that.
However, GP isn't dumb and he isn't blind. He can look into the stands and see how no one comes into the games. He can hear the announcers pleading with the fans to come into the games. He can look at the rankings and see how there's a very, very slim chance for TCU to get into a BCS game, not to mention the national championship, especially with the increasing difficulty of the MWC. Honestly, there isn't much we can do for the administration other than buy our parking spots, season and bowl tickets, and give random donations, but we can do a lot to show Patterson how we all feel. This is a game that EVERYONE has to go inside. EVERYONE has to come out to the game, head in early for the seniors, come back after halftime, and, above all, be as absolutely loud as possible to let GP know how much we appreciate him. I don't care if we're up 50-0 or down 50-0, there is absolutely no excuse for anyone not to come into this game. If you have a wife or girlfriend, drag her inside. If you're walking into the stadium and you see some douche bags more interested in playing bean bag toss than heading into the game, stomp and break their game and tell the cops they're the TCU rapists which will force them to run inside for sanctuary. If you have a tailgate, shut it down by 2 to be inside for senior day. I'm not allowing anyone to stick around by my car while the game is going on. We have to do this. As dramatic as it sounds, the future of our program really could be at stake for this game. Don't contribute to the cause of running the best thing going for TCU at any level of faculty or adminstration out of town. Go Frogs.