Jan. 6, 2005
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TCU picked up its first-ever victory over Louisville last Feb. 17, upsetting the 10th-ranked Cardinals by a 71-46 final. TCU had allowed 96.7 points per game over the first three meetings with U of L before stifling the Cardinals last year. The Frogs trail the all-time series by a 3 games to 1 margin and just one of the four games has been decided by single digits. The closest contest was a 93-85 Louisville win in the first meeting, on Jan. 12, 2002, in Louisville, Ky.
Last Year's Meeting
In front of a national television audience as part of "Super Tuesday" action on ESPN2, TCU recorded a monumental victory over the 10th-ranked Louisville Cardinals. TCU led the game from wire-to-wire and led by double figures nearly the entire second half. TCU enjoyed a 44-28 advantage on the glass and limited Louisville to 28.6 percent shooting on the night. It was TCU's fifth-ever victory over a top-10 team.
Stopping Them Cold
TCU held Louisville to just 46 points last year, the lowest output by a Rick Pitino-coached team since Pitino's Boston University team was defeated 48-46 by Canisius in 1982, his fourth year as a head coach. The 25-point defeat was the most lopsided loss for U of L since the Pitino-led Cardinals fell to Cincinnati 77-50 on Jan. 19, 2002. TCU limited Louisville to just 14 made field goals, the fewest by the program since prior to 1950. The 46 points for Louisville were the fewest by a TCU opponent since the Frogs defeated Princeton 76-45 on Dec. 18, 2000 in Fort Worth. Louisville became just the third squad (and first non-Princeton team) since 1992 to score fewer than 50 points against TCU.
That Win Made Our Top 10
TCU is 5-35 (.125) all time against top-10 teams, with the first two wins coming at neutral sites and the last three in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. Until a 71-46 thrashing of Louisville last season, TCU had not beaten a team rated as high as 10th in the AP poll since downing No. 8 Arkansas 81-79 on Feb. 14, 1990. The other four top-10 wins were by eight or fewer points. Current TCU assistant coach Kevin Lewis was on the SMU team that was defeated by TCU in 1985.
All-Time Against the Top 25
The TCU Horned Frogs are 11-83 (.117) all time against teams ranked in the nation's top 25 and 0-1 this season after a 93-74 loss to No. 2 Kansas on Dec. 9. TCU has just one victory over a ranked opponent on the road ever. That win came on Jan. 19, 1998, when TCU upended 24th-rated Hawaii, 83-76, in Honolulu. Since that time, the Frogs have lost 10 straight against nationally-rated teams on the road, most recently to Kansas. In all, TCU is 1-45 (.022) against top-25 teams outside of Fort Worth.
Have Ball, Will Play
Louisville will be the 12th ranked opponent that TCU has played in Coach Dougherty's 72nd game at the helm of the program (1 per every 6.0 games). Prior to his arrival, the Horned Frogs played just seven ranked teams from the 1998-99 season through the 2001-02 campaign, a span of 124 games (1 per every 17.7 games). During the entire decade of the 1990s, TCU played just 19 ranked teams in 303 games (1 per every 15.9 games). TCU is 1-10 against top-25 teams under Dougherty, but 1-4 against teams rated in the nation's top 10.
TCU's Top Individuals vs. Louisville
Point guard Corey Santee has averaged 17.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game over four career meetings with Louisville. He had a game-high 20 points in last year's victory over the Cardinals. Injured Frog Chudi Chinweze had a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds last year.
Lone Star Statement
After downing Texas State 64-52 in Fort Worth on Monday, TCU has now won seven of its last eight and 10 of its last 12 games against teams from the state of Texas. TCU has played six games against teams from the Lone Star State this season and will have two more against Houston during the Conference USA season.
Streaking Is Allowed
The TCU Horned Frogs are looking for their fifth straight victory today, something that has not happened since the Frogs earned five consecutive wins from Dec. 4 to Dec. 20, 2001. TCU is currently riding the first four-game winning streak of the Neil Dougherty era.
10 Wins In
TCU already has recorded 10 victories on the season heading into conference play. The Horned Frogs did not earn their 10th win of the campaign last year until defeating Louisville on Feb. 17. The 10 victories are more than the Frogs' entire win total from the 2002-03 season (9).
10-4 Over and Out
The Frogs have completed the nonconference portion of the 2004-05 campaign with a 10-4 record, the team's best nonleague record since 2001-02. TCU opens Conference USA competition on Saturday at 17th-ranked Louisville, the preseason favorite to win the 14-team league. TCU was picked to finish ninth in the standings, with all eight teams listed above the Frogs having played in the 2004 postseason. Four of TCU's first six league games are on the road.
Forcing the Issue
The Horned Frogs have forced a total of 95 turnovers over the past four games, an average of 23.8 per contest. Maryland-Eastern Shore was pressured into 29 miscues, which was the most by a Horned Frog opponent since Fresno State committed 30 on Feb. 15, 2001. For the season, TCU owns a turnover margin of +3.6, which is the fourth-best mark in Conference USA. In addition, TCU ranks 49th nationally in steals per game at 9.4.
You Gotta Know When to Hold `Em
TCU is holding opponents to 68.1 points per game, which is the lowest figure since the 1991-92 squad limited teams to 66.3 points per contest. In addition, the Horned Frogs are forcing opponents into just 43.0 percent shooting, which is the lowest percentage allowed since the 1989-90 team (42.2 percent).
Taking A Look at the Early RPIs
TCU's current RPI ranking is 54 according to Collegiate Basketball News (as of Jan. 2). The Frogs' strength of schedule is currently rated 97th in the nation. Current RPI top 50 teams on the TCU schedule include: No. 1 Kansas, No. 19 Cincinnati, No. 22 Marquette, No. 31 DePaul, No. 38 Louisville, No. 44 Vanderbilt and No. 45 Texas Tech. TCU is the fifth-highest rated team in Conference USA.
We the Three Kings
Over the past 10 games, the Horned Frogs are 92-for-232 (.397) from three-point range. In their first four games of the season, the Frogs went 24-for-82 (.293) from beyond the arc. TCU drained a season-high 12 treys on Monday in a victory over Texas State. The Frogs currently rank 32nd nationally in three-pointers made per game (8.3).
In TCU's first 14 games of the season, the Horned Frogs have been led in scoring by five different players: Corey Santee (5 times), Nile Murry (4 times), Marcus Shropshire (2 times), Judson Stubbs (2 times) and Chudi Chinweze (1 time). TCU had just four players lead the team in scoring in the squad's 29 games all of last season: Shropshire (12 times), Santee (11 times), Chinweze (5 times) and Nucleus Smith (3 times).
Keeping the Speed Limit at 55
TCU has held four of its last six opponents to 55 or fewer points. Prior to this year, the Horned Frogs had limited just four of its last 110 opponents to that total dating back to the 2000-01 campaign. The last time TCU held at least four opponents to 55 or fewer in the same season was in the 1991-92 season (8 times).
Getting Things Iron Out
Since starting out the 2003-04 season with a 4-8 record, the Horned Frogs have gone 18-13 (.581) in essentially a full season since. Included in that mark are a pair of wins last year over Marquette and a 25-point upset victory over 10th-ranked Louisville during the 2004 Conference USA season. TCU went 7-9 in conference play last year in a league that received six NCAA Tournament bids and two NIT nods.
Enoying Home Cookin'
TCU is giving up 80.8 points per away contest as compared to just 61.1 points per home game. Grambling State is the only one of the nine visitors to break the 70-point plateau against the Horned Frogs in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum this season, while all five teams have scored at least 70 on the Frogs in games played outside Fort Worth. Opponents are shooting nearly 10 percent poorer against TCU at DMC this year (39.5 percent vs. 49.0 percent). The Horned Frogs are 8-1 at home this season, outscoring their opposition by 17.2 points per game.
The Line Between Winning and Losing
In TCU's 10 victories, the opposition is just 225-for-566 (.398) from the field, but in the Frogs' four losses, teams have shot 50.6 percent (120-for-237). The Horned Frogs are scoring 12.7 points per game higher when the team wins (80.2 vs. 67.5) and are allowing 17.7 more points per game in losses (80.8 vs. 63.1).
Not Really Starting at the Beginning
In addition to possessing players with multiple years of experience in the Neil Dougherty system, the Horned Frogs also boast a bevy of players who own collegiate starting experience. Here is a list of the nine Frogs who have started a total of 332 games at the Division I level: Corey Santee (93), Corey Valsin (54), Marcus Shropshire (44), Femi Ibikunle (42), Nile Murry (34), Chudi Chinweze (31), Marcus Sloan (24), Aaron Curtis (9) and Art Pierce (1).
A Lot on the Line
The TCU Horned Frogs have been to the charity stripe a league-high 367 times in 14 games and their trips per game average of 26.2 ranks second in the league, behind only Cincinnati. The bad news is that the Frogs have struggled converting the shots this season, shooting a league-low 58.9 percent (216-for-367). TCU has gone to the line an average of 27.8 times in its victories compared to 22.3 trips in defeats.
More on the Line
TCU has made just 28-of-55 free throw attempts over the past two games after going 19-for-25 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. TCU's free throw percentage of .589 is the lowest by a Horned Frog team since the 1967-68 squad went 415-for-810 (.512). TCU has not shot lower than 60 percent from the stripe since the 1992-93 season (.595). Excluding the Frogs' top two free throw shooters, Marcus Shropshire and Nile Murry, who are a combined 58-for-66 (.879), the rest of the team is just 158-for-301 (.525).
Here Comes Santee Claus
TCU senior point guard Corey Santee is moving up the career leaders list in two major categories. On Monday, Santee currently surpassed Ryan Carroll and Kurt Thomas to move into fifth place on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,517 points. He currently ranks second on the assists list with 507, just seven shy of the school record held by Prince Fowler (514). Santee is on pace to close his career as the third-highest scoring player in TCU history and to finish as the school's top assist man. In addition to his rankings in school history, he will finish his career among the top 10 in Conference USA history in both categories.
The Nile Is Not Just a River in Egypt
TCU junior transfer Nile Murry has started all 14 games for the Horned Frogs this season and currently ranks second on the team in scoring (12.3) and third in assists (1.9). Over the past eight games, the guard has gone 16-for-33 from three-point range (.485) and 22-for-25 from the free throw line (.880). He started the year 9-for-29 from beyond the arc (.310) and 13-for-17 from the charity stripe (.764). He poured in 26 points against Grambling State, a figure that matched the best individual game by a Frog player this season (Santee 26 vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi). His only bigger career game came his freshman season at Temple, when he scored 33 vs. Fordham.
TCU's Shrop Shooter
TCU senior guard Marcus Shropshire currently ranks third on the team in scoring at 11.5 points per game. He is shooting an impressive 46.4 percent from beyond the three-point circle, making 32-of-69 tries. In addition, he is 23-for-24 (.958) from the free throw line and has made 71 of his last 74 (.959) from the charity stripe dating back to last year.