Jan. 9, 2004
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TCU trails the all-time series with Tulane by a 5-4 margin after suffering an 84-78 defeat at the hands of the Green Wave on Feb. 15, 2003. The Horned Frogs had won two straight and four of the last five meetings prior to that loss. Three of the nine games have been decided by five points or less, and four of the last five games have been determined by fewer than 10 points.
In Conference Openers
After falling 60-50 to Saint Louis on Wednesday night, TCU is now 37-42 all time in conference openers and 0-3 in C-USA lidlifters. TCU previously opened C-USA play by suffering defeats at USF (117-108) on Jan. 5, 2002 and at Southern Miss (72-64) on Jan. 8, 2003.
In Need of a Fast Start
The Horned Frogs have never had a league record of .500 or better at any point since joining C-USA. In 2001-02, TCU started out 0-6 in conference play, and opened 0-4 last year. Last year's first Conference USA victory came at the hands of the Green Wave as TCU earned a 93-84 triumph on Jan. 27, 2003 in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.
You Pick 'Em
TCU was predicted to place 11th in Conference USA based on a preseason vote by the 14 C-USA head coaches. Meanwhile, Tulane was picked to place 12th in the league.
Some Tough Competition
The current combined record of TCU's 11 nonconference opponents is 81-43 (.653). Vanderbilt was the third top-25 RPI team that the Frogs have played this year. Texas Tech is currently No. 7, Kansas is 15th and Vanderbilt is rated 23rd.
TCU has held 10 of its first 12 opponents under the 80-point mark this year. Last year, the Frogs allowed fewer than 80 points just 10 times in 28 games. Prior to allowing 95 to Vanderbilt on Jan. 3, TCU had allowed fewer than 80 points nine times in a 10-game stretch for the first time since the 1992-93 season (Dec. 11, 1992-Jan. 23, 1993). In addition, TCU has held three opponents to 60 or fewer opponents three times already this season. In the past 12 years, the Horned Frogs accomplished that in just two other full seasons. The last time that TCU held more than three teams to 60 or fewer points was in 1991-92.
Against the Top 25
The TCU Horned Frogs are now 10-80 (.111) all time against teams ranked in the nation's top 25. TCU's last victory over a ranked opponent came on Feb. 15, 2001, when the team downed No. 20 Fresno State 102-88 in Daniel-Meyer. Since that time, the Frogs have lost eight straight to top-25 squads. The Frogs are 5-18 (.217) at home against top-25 teams.
Have Ball, Will Play
TCU has already played seven games against ranked teams under Coach D. Prior to his arrival, the Horned Frogs played just seven ranked teams from the 1998-99 season through the 2001-02 campaign. While TCU is 0-7 against top-25 teams under Dougherty, TCU had second-half leads at No. 10 Creighton (L, 79-89) and home against No. 11 Marquette (L, 68-79) in 2002-03 and this season led No. 1 Kansas after intermission before falling 85-66 in Daniel-Meyer.
TCU Phone Home
This is the sixth and final game of a six-game homestand for TCU. The Horned Frogs, who played nine of their 11 nonconference tilts in the friendly confines of Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, did not have a road game on the slate from Dec. 11 through Jan. 12.
TCU is averaging 83.0 points per game in the team's four victories, topping the 80-point mark three times. In the seven losses, the Frogs are averaging 59.3 points per game and have not broken 70 in any of those contests.
Tightening Up the D
Despite allowing a 95 points to Vanderbilt last Saturday, TCU is holding its opponents to just 70.0 points per game, which is the best figure for a Horned Frog team since 1991-92, when opponents averaged 66.3 points. TCU allowed 80.4 points per game last year as opponents shot 47.4 percent from the floor. This year, TCU is limiting opponents to 43.8 percent.
Reversal of Fortune
In the first three games of the year, the Horned Frogs attempted 41 more shots than their opponents (13.7 per game), while in the last nine contests, TCU has had 63 fewer attempts at the rim (-7.0 per game) than the opposition.
You Don't Think Defense Matters?
In TCU's four victories, its opponents have shot just 34.6 percent (80-for-231), while in the seven losses, the teams have made 48.4 percent of their attempts (218-for-450).
Committee on the Boards
TCU currently does not have a player averaging more than 5.0 rebounds per game this season, as Femi Ibikunle leads the squad with an average of 4.4. Since the 1955-56 season, no player has ever led the Frogs with fewer than 5.0 boards per game. The lowest average over that time was in the 1983-84 season when Paul Kapturkiewicz had a team-best 123 rebounds in 24 games (5.1 per contest).
TCU played at least 11 players in each of the first 11 games of the season, but just 10 players saw action against Saint Louis. In other note, 10 Horned Frogs are currently averaging more than 10 minutes of playing time per game.
50 Wasn't So Nifty
The 50 points scored against the Saint Louis Billikens were the fewest for the Horned Frogs since a 48-43 loss to the Princeton Tigers on Dec. 28, 1993, at the NDB Hoosier Classic in Indianapolis, Ind.
Femi Ibikunle, who jumped center, became the first TCU true freshman since Corey Santee to start a season opener. Santee was the starting point guard against Northwestern State on Nov. 16, 2001. Ibikunle has started all 12 games thus far for TCU, making him the first true freshman to start the first 12 games of a season since Juan Bragg in 1994-95. Bragg, who started all 26 games, was the Southwest Conference Newcomer of the Year. Since 1990, just three true freshmen have started at least 26 games (Damion Walker-27, Jeff Jacobs-27 and Bragg-26).