Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Is THIS the Frogs' Year? version 20.11

Perhaps you should teach them how to handle ONE basketball first, Jimbo...

Alright kids, it's that time again - time to completely blow TCU's earl;y season record against terrible, terrible competition out of proportion!!! This year's victims to date are Florida-Gulf Coast of Atlantic Sun Conference fame, as well as our pals up in Sherman, the Austin College Kangaroos. Just in case you were wondering, they are Division III, or, "Probably would finish middle of the pack in most UIL 5A Conferences." So you see what we're working with here. But, completely ignoring those facts, as well as the one showing TCU only beating Gulf Coast by UNO points, let's get the hype machine rolling.

Easily the biggest story heading into this season, pre Big 12, was the dividends our then acceptance into the Big East had paid us in recruiting. More notably, the dividends said invite had paid us in recruiting SIZE. With the additions of Checik Cone, Aldrick McKinney, Craig Williams and, the basketball teams' version of Dwight Smith, Ryan Rhoomes, the Frogs have 5 players who stand 6'8" or taller. If you include Connell Crossland, that numbers jumps to 7 at 6'7" or more. For the four of you who followed TCU basketball these past few years, you understand how big of a deal this is. Our tallest returning players from last year is Sophomore Amric Fields at 6'9" which is great, except he weighs 210 pounds and has the game of the poorest man in the entire world's dog's Kevin Durant. Keep in mind, Durant tips the scales at least 25 pounds more than Fields, and you know how skinny Durant looks on the floor.

So, theoretically, shouldn't this size and length advantage make the Frogs more aggressive on the boards and in the passing lanes? At least through two teams, the answer is YES as TCU has out-rebounded their opponents 72-64 and forced a staggering 64 turnovers. The Frogs have also blocked 8 shots. TCU has always been a high flying to the point of recklessness team, but that's been mostly rosters of undersized players with outstanding leaping ability and only marginal basketball sense. We still have those guys, most notably JR Cadot and his team leading 8 boards per contest, but don't underestimate how having a guy like McKinney down low will open things up for everyone else. Hank Thorns is clearly loving it having already dished out 13 assists. Expect him to compete for the league crown once again this year.

Looking closer at the games, the one point victory over Florida Gulf Coast is pretty hollow, but the Frogs jumped out to a comfortable lead before giving it back, so at least we know they're capable of generating said lead, which is something past squads have not been able to. But last night's win could turn out to be at least semi-significant. Ignoring the level of competition - especially when you consider the Frogs have almost lost to Mid-American Christian and HAVE lost to Lousiana Tech under Christian, so realize that no game is truly a given - you could make the argument that the 103-45 spanking of was one of the most complete efforts any of Christian's TCU teams have given. Every player on the team scored, including 4 in double figures, and the team shot nearly 60% from the field. It was TCU's first 100 point regulation game under Christian and the 45 points the Kangaroos scored was, at least to my cursory glance, the lowest output by an opposing team. Again, I must reiterate, Austin College would arguably lose by double digits to Fort Worth Dunbar and Flower Mound Marcus may actually cause the scoreboard to be switched off. Of course, the games weren't without their drawbacks as TCU has been sloppy to the tune of 38 turnovers, but you have to take the bad with the good and learn from it. As Lestor Freamon told us, we're building something here, and all the pieces matter.

The good news about this year is that BYU and Utah are no longer with us in Conference play and picking up Boise is addition by subtraction because their basketball team is the opposite of their football team on the good scale. Further good news is that, other than New Mexico and UNLV, the rest of the Conference is pretty wide open. The bad news is, of course, we still have absolutely no idea what kind of team TCU is capable of becoming. I think Jim Christian would honestly tell you he doesn't either, but I think he'd also privately tell you he thinks he finally has a group of players he can work with. Gone are team cancers like Ronnie Moss and Sammy Yeager, players who never put the team on anywhere near the pedestals they placed themselves. The team finally some consistency with JR Cadot, Hank Thorns and Garlon Green, a one year older Amric Fields, plus the new, talented additions mentioned above. However, I think finally having a size advantage, or at least COMPARABLE size to leagues foes is going to set the tone for this season going forward.

Probably more so than most of you, I really would love for TCU to have a competitive basketball program, a sentiment I've stated in many a post before this. I'm not crazy enough to want to sacrifice football success for that of basketball, but at least COMPETING for a Conference championship ever 2-3 years would suffice. This pertains even more to my interests now that the NBA season is in SERIOUS jeopardy. And while things haven't quite come together as the school hoped when they hired Jim Christian, could this be the year they finally do? We'll get a really good look at their chances this weekend in the Virgin Islands. Heck, we might even do a preview, that's how excited we are!

18 comments:

FrogHorn07 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FrogHorn07 said...

I have been a big follower of TCU Basketball, and other than the 04-05 NIT run it has been pretty bad. But I am optimistic, I think Christian can turn the team around, and I hope he gets atleast one more year after this one.

I think we can take 3rd or win the losers bracket in the islands, and that would be a big step for this team.

EdK said...

I agree. I think Christian will get it together ... but he's going to need three years (including this one) to do it.

Unless the bottom drops out, I think the AD will keep Christian around until at least the 2013-2014season. I hope so, at least.

Lyle Lanley said...

I really believe Jim Christian can get this thing turned in the right direction. No disrespect to the deceased, but I think a lot of people underestimate just how bad of shape the TCU basketball program was in when Dougherty left.

Can't wait for the day when the basketball Frogs have Daniel-Meyer rocking once again.

killabytemusic said...

i would advise that sir wesley (no disrespect, i love your football posts) never post about basketball again. i agree with alot of your main points, but you have a very obvious lack of knowledge about the roster and who can play ball.

Lyle Lanley said...

@ killabyte-

I think the whole point was that we don't know a lot about this current team so far. As was the case with this year's football team.

killabytemusic said...

I completely understand that. But at least you guys spell the football players names right

shortnkerley's said...

That's not necessarily true- I've misspelled Ross Evans's name as "fucking lousy piece of shit" before I think...

EdK said...

Good one, snk. Even I can't defend him anymore.

killabytemusic said...

HAHA amen @snk!

Sir Wesley Willis said...

hey, we're learning here.

Also, point out my inaccuracies. I'm not denying them, but it will help in the future because I like to hear myself talk/type and I'm probably going to say more stuff about the BBALL team going forward. Especially since no one else really cares.

Sir Wesley Willis said...

and I would NEVER make the mistake of insinuating that anyone on our roster can "play ball" until proven otherwise.

killabytemusic said...

I hear ya. I have a tcu basketball encyclopedia in my left brain so if u have any questions feel free.

Sir Wesley Willis said...

So you're really crucifying my post because I misspelled Cheick, the most common name of 2011? Give me a fucking break, man.

killabytemusic said...

And adrick

Sir Wesley Willis said...

There's an L in there.

killabytemusic said...

Nope there's not. But it's ok I'll live.

Sir Wesley Willis said...

well, there SHOULD be an L in there.