Jan. 12, 2004
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TCU trails the all-time series with Houston 45-20. Houston has won two straight and six of the last seven meetings. Houston won 20 of the first 22 meetings from 1955 to 1979. TCU was on the short end of a 75-57 score last year in Houston. TCU's last victory in the Space City came on Feb. 11, 1995, when the Frogs cruised to a 106-95 win over the Cougars.
In Need of a Fast Start
The Horned Frogs currently own a league record of .500 for the first time since joining C-USA. In 2001-02, TCU started out 0-6 in conference play, and opened 0-4 last year. For the second straight year, TCU's first Conference USA victory came at the hands of the Tulane Green Wave.
Some Tough Competition
The current combined record of TCU's 11 nonconference opponents is 92-52 (.639). Vanderbilt was the third top-25 RPI team that the Frogs have played this year. Texas Tech is currently No. 8, Kansas is 13th and Vanderbilt is rated 18th. TCU's next opponent, Cincinnati is No. 21 in the RPI.
Houston, We Have Players
Today is a homecoming for the following Houston natives: junior Marcus Sloan (Eisenhower), sophomore Chudi Chinweze (Hightower) and freshman Blake Adams (Nimitz). In last year's two meetings, Chinweze averaged just 1.0 points and 1.5 rebounds against the Cougars, while Sloan had a career-high nine rebounds in last year's meeting in Houston.
TCU has held 11 of its first 13 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.
TCU Phone Home
This is the first of a two-game road trip 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 80.4 points per game in the team's five 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.
The Frogs' losses have come against schools and/or coaches with great basketball success. In the last 10 years, the seven schools--Kansas (10), Tulsa (8), Murray State (5), Saint Louis (4), Texas Tech (2), Vanderbilt (1), Washington State (1) and Arkansas State (1)--have combined to make 32 NCAA Tournament appearances. In addition, Washington State coach Dick Bennett took eighth-seeded Wisconsin to the 2000 NCAA Final Four, Kansas coach Bill Self led underdog Tulsa to the Elite Eight (2000), and Texas Tech coach Bob Knight previously directed Indiana to three NCAA Titles (1976, 1981, and 1987) and Final Fours in 1973 and 1992.
Tightening Up the D
TCU is holding its opponents to just 69.6 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 43.7 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 10 contests, TCU has had 63 fewer attempts at the rim (-6.3 per game) than the opposition. The Frogs have not had more shot attempts than their opponents in any of those 10 games.
You Don't Think Defense Matters?
In TCU's five victories, its opponents have shot just 36.1 percent (103-for-285), while in the eight losses, the teams have made 48.4 percent of their attempts (218-for-450).
Off the Bench and Into the Bucket
TCU's nonstarters have accounted for 380 of the team's 877 points this year (43.3 percent). In addition, the TCU bench has outscored the opponents' subs by a combined 380-251 total (9.9 points per game). However, after getting 32.7 points from the bench in the first 10 games, TCU's subs production has been just 17.7 over the last three.
Game TCU Opp
Texas-Arlington 49 21
Tulsa 26 19
Kansas 24 33
Murray State 35 16
Washington State 25 29
Stephen F. Austin 37 15
Texas Tech 22 0
North Texas 37 35
Arkansas State 37 10
Grambling State 35 7
Vanderbilt 25 48
Saint Louis 9 11
Tulane 19 7
Totals 380 251
TCU has played at least 10 players in each of the first 13 games of the season. In other note, 10 Horned Frogs are currently averaging more than 10 minutes of playing time per game.
Bumps in the Road
Following a 67-60 loss in Lubbock to Texas Tech, the Horned Frogs have lost 13 straight road games outside of Fort Worth. TCU's last road win came more than a year ago, on Dec. 10, 2002 against North Texas. In addition, the Frogs have won just four of their last 21 road games, a .190 winning percentage. TCU's last win outside of the state of Texas came on Feb. 26, 2002 at Tulane (106-87).
Santee Joins Elite Group
TCU junior guard Corey Santee became the 27th player in TCU history to reach the 1,000-point plateau when he scored 16 on Dec. 10 in Lubbock. The native of Flint, Mich., now has 1,079 career points, which ranks 21st. He is on pace for 1,730 points, a figure that would rank second in school annals behind only Darrell Browder (1,886). If Santee continues at his career scoring pace, he would rank 11th all-time heading into his senior season. He needs just three points to reach the top 20.
Femi Ibikunle has started all 13 games thus far for TCU, making him the first true freshman to start the first 13 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 in a season (Damion Walker-27, Jeff Jacobs-27 and Bragg-26).
Shropshire on Fire
Junior transfer Marcus Shropshire has led TCU in scoring a team-best seven times through 13 games and has reached double figures in eight of the last nine games. On Dec. 10 he drained a then-career-best 18 points against his former team, the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Sixteen of his team-high total came following intermission. He smashed his career-best performance with a 26-point outburst against Grambling on Dec. 29.