Jan. 11, 2005
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Tulane owns a slim 6-5 advantage through the series' 11-game history. Five of the 11 games between the two schools have been decided by five points or less, and six of the last seven contests have been determined by fewer than 10 points. TCU and Tulane have met twice each season since the Horned Frogs joined Conference USA for the 2001-02 campaign. Last year, the teams split the two contests, with each team holding serve on its home court. TCU's 70-65 victory over Tulane on Jan. 10, 2004 was the Horned Frogs' first C-USA victory of the year. It was the second straight year that the Green Wave became the Frogs' first league victim. However, Tulane avoided a season sweep by erasing a 15-point second half deficit last Valentine's Day to earn a 67-66 win last year at Tulane's Fogelman Arena. The Horned Frogs are 3-1 at home vs. Tulane all time.
The Most Recent Meeting
Vytas Tatarunas' hook shot in the closing seconds lifted Tulane to a 67-66 victory over TCU on Feb. 14, 2004. TCU (9-12, 5-5 Conference USA) took a 66-65 lead with 35 seconds to go on a Marcus Shropshire 3-pointer. Tulane (10-11, 3-7) came back with a 3-point attempt by Tatarunas from the corner which missed the mark but was knocked out of bounds by TCU. The Green Wave capitalized on the second opportunity as freshman Dan Fitzgerald found fellow freshman Tatarunas who hit the game-winner with 5.7 seconds remaining. The Horned Frogs had a final chance and Shropshire had a split second of daylight but the 16-footer hit rim and bounced away as time expired. TCU was led by Corey Santee, who scored 19 points to go with eight rebounds and six assists. However, Santee did not score over the final 12:25 of the game. Nucleus Smith added 12 points and Shropshire had 10. Tulane trailed by 15 with 15 minutes remaining in the second half. TCU led 33-24 at halftime.
TCU Individuals vs. Tulane
Corey Santee has averaged 18.3 points and 4.8 assists per game in six previous meetings with the Green Wave. After scoring just four points in his first-ever game against Tulane, he then scored 20+ points in the next three contests. Marcus Shropshire is averaging 12.5 points over his two games, despite just 9-for-29 shooting (.310) from the floor. Marcus Sloan averaged 4.5 points and 5.5 boards per game during the two meetings in 2004 and has played five career games against Tulane. Corey Valsin had a pair of double-figure scoring efforts against Tulane during his freshman season and had nine points, three shy of his season high, last year. Femi Ibikunle is averaging 3.0 points and 4.5 rebounds in two career games against the C-USA foe.
Time to Party Like It's 1979
Tonight's game is being televised live nationally on ESPN Classic as a Turn Back the Clock broadcast. As a tribute to the start of the ESPN network in 1979, the game is being broadcast as it would have been during that time period in terms of graphics, announcers (including original ESPN commentator Jim Simpson) and camera shots. In addition, TCU is encouraging fans to wear 1970s clothing, will be throwing tie-dye t-shirts into the crowd and will be hosting a dance contest. It is the first of two games that TCU will play on ESPN Classic, as the Jan. 26 game at Charlotte will be part of the same tribute. Here's a quick look at what was going on in the world and at TCU in 1979.
* TCU head coach Neil Dougherty graduated from Leavenworth (Kan.) High School and started his collegiate playing career at Army for Mike Krzyzewski.
* One of the most popular basketball coaches in school history, Jim Killingsworth, began his TCU career. He went on to post a 130-106 record in eight seasons and won two Southwest Conference titles (1986 and 1987).
* Guard Darrell Browder, the school's all-time leading scorer with 1,886 points, began his playing career.
* The Frogs had compiled just a 112-113 (.498) record in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum from its opening in 1961 through the 1979 season. Since that time, TCU has gone 252-99 in the building, a .718 winning percentage.
* Jimmy Carter was the President of the United States.
* The Three Mile Island nuclear accident occurred in the U.S.
* The Pittsburgh Steelers downed the Dallas Cowboys 35-31 in Super Bowl XIII.
* "Superman" was the most popular movie and "Too Much Heaven" by the Bee Gees was the No. 1 song.
* Basketball broadcasting legend Bill Raftery had not yet called his first game as an analyst. He was serving as the head basketball coach at Seton Hall.
TCU has now lost four consecutive and five of its last six conference openers. Since joining Conference USA, the Horned Frogs had to start the league season on the road three out of four times. The Frogs are now 37-45 (.451) in conference openers all time, including 13-26 (.333) when beginning on the road.
Some Tough Losses
TCU's five losses on the season have come to teams that own a combined record of 57-13 (.814) to date. Kansas (11-0), Louisville (12-3), Vanderbilt (11-4), Old Dominion (13-2) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (10-4). In addition, four of the five losses were on the road to those teams, with the lone home game coming against Old Dominion.
All-Time Against the Top 25
The TCU Horned Frogs are now 11-84 (.116) all time against teams ranked in the nation's top 25 and 0-1 this season after an 86-61 loss at No. 17 Louisville on Jan. 8. 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 11 straight against nationally-rated teams on the road, most recently to Kansas. In all, TCU is now 1-45 (.022) against top-25 teams outside of Fort Worth.
Have Ball, Will Play
Louisville was 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 competed against 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.
10 Wins In
TCU already has recorded 10 victories on the season at the start of conference play. The Horned Frogs did not earn their 10th win of the campaign last year until the team defeated 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 completed the nonconference portion of the 2004-05 campaign with a 10-4 record, the team's best nonleague record since 2001-02. 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. The four road teams are against Louisville, Memphis, Saint Louis and Charlotte, teams that combined to go 51-8 at home last season, good for an .864 winning percentage.
You Gotta Know When to Hold `Em
TCU is holding opponents to 69.3 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 43.5 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 68th according to Collegiate Basketball News (as of Jan. 9). The Frogs' strength of schedule is currently rated 83rd in the nation. Current RPI top 50 teams on the TCU schedule include: No. 1 Kansas, No. 22 Cincinnati, No. 25 Vanderbilt, No. 28 DePaul, No. 32 Marquette and No. 43 Houston. TCU is the seventh-highest rated team in Conference USA.
We the Three Kings
Over the past 10 games, the Horned Frogs are 99-for-255 (.388) 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 last 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 (5 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 seven 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).
What Have You Done For Me Lately?
Since starting out the 2003-04 season with a 4-8 record, the Horned Frogs have gone 18-14 (.563) in a little more than 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 81.7 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 six 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. 49.4 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' five losses, teams have shot 50.9 percent (147-for-289). The Horned Frogs are scoring 14.0 points per game higher when the team wins (80.2 vs. 66.2) and are allowing 18.7 more points per game in losses (81.7 vs. 63.1).
A Lot on the Line
The TCU Horned Frogs have been to the charity stripe 393 times in 15 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 58.0 percent (228-for-393). TCU has gone to the line an average of 27.8 times in its victories compared to 23.0 trips in defeats.
More on the Line
TCU has made just 40-of-81 free throw attempts (.494) over the past three games after going 19-for-25 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. TCU's free throw percentage of .580 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 170-for-327 (.520).