Jan. 15, 2004
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TCU trails the all-time series with Cincinnati 3-0, but all three games have been decided by fewer than 12 points. Last year's 83-72 decision was the first game in the series determined by more than four points. The Frogs' only other trip to Cincinnati resulted in an 89-88 overtime victory by UC on Dec. 22, 1966.
Heavyweights Collided in 1959
TCU and Cincinnati squared off at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan. in the first round of the 1959 NCAA Tournament. The 16th-ranked Horned Frogs dropped a tough 77-73 final to the fifth-rated Bearcats. UC basketball legend Oscar Robertson drained 34 points to lead Cincinnati, while TCU was led by All-Southwest Conference center H.E. Kirchner, who scored 25. Coincidentally, the loss forced TCU to face another future C-USA foe in the consolation round of the Midwest Regional, as the Frogs defeated DePaul 71-65.
Out of the Blocks
The Horned Frogs currently own a league record of better than .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.
3...2...1...Liftoff in Houston
The Horned Frogs picked up a 55-54 buzzer beater win over Houston on Jan. 13 in the Space City. Down one with 5.0 seconds to play, TCU inbounded the ball to Marcus Shropshire, who dribbled past midcourt and fired up a contested, offbalance runner from 17 feet. The shot bounded off the rim to Chudi Chinweze, whose putback narrowly beat the red light.
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, Cincinnati was picked to place second in the league.
Some Tough Competition
The current combined record of TCU's 11 nonconference opponents is 94-53 (.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. Cincinnati is No. 21 in the RPI rankings.
And Many Happy Returns
A pair of Houston natives, sophomore Chudi Chinweze (Hightower H.S.) and junior Marcus Sloan (Eisenhower H.S.), contributed mightily to the Horned Frogs' victory at Houston on Jan. 13. Chinweze posted TCU's first double-double of the season with 18 points (including the game-winner at the buzzer) and 12 rebounds, while Sloan contributed seven boards, two blocked shots and a key tip-in with 1:11 left to play in the contest.
Fans Should Run to DMC
TCU has already hosted then-No. 1 Kansas and 22nd-ranked Vanderbilt this year. It is the first time that the Horned Frogs have played two top-25 teams at home in the same season since the 1982-83 campaign. That year, TCU hosted 16th-ranked Houston on Jan. 12, 1983, and No. 7 Arkansas on Feb. 19, 1983. In addition, fans should be treated to at least one more top-25 team, as Louisville, currently rated eighth, comes to Fort Worth on Feb. 17.
Playing the Best of the Rest at DMC
The Horned Frogs have also played three teams that are currently ranked in CollegeInsider.com's Mid-Major Top 25. The Murray State Racers (12-2) are eighth in the most recent poll (Jan. 5), the Arkansas State Indians (11-3) are 13th and the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (9-3) sit 17th.
Against the Top 25
The TCU Horned Frogs are 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.
Against the Top 10
TCU has won four games against top-10 teams in the school's history, with the first two coming at neutral sites and the last two in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The Horned Frogs have beaten a No. 6, No. 8, No. 9 and a No. 10 team in the program's history. Current TCU assistant coach Kevin Lewis was on the SMU team that was defeated by TCU in 1985. Overall, the Frogs are 4-33 (.108) against top-10 squads.
Date Opponent Result Score
Mar. 14, 1953 vs. #10 Oklahoma City W 58-56
Mar. 11, 1983 vs. #6 Arkansas W 61-59
Feb. 20, 1985 #9 SMU W 72-64
Feb. 14, 1990 #8 Arkansas W 81-79
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 has held 12 of its first 14 opponents under the 80-point mark this year. Last year, the Frogs allowed fewer than 80 points just 10 times in 28 games. In addition, TCU has held four opponents to 60 or fewer opponents three times already this season. The last time that TCU held as many as four teams to 60 or fewer points was in 1991-92.
Back to Back Jack
TCU, who defeated Tulane 70-65 at home on Jan. 10 and Houston 55-54 on the road on Jan. 13, has garnered wins in consecutive games for the first time since defeating Grambling State 103-84 on Dec. 30, 2002 and Centenary 102-89 on Jan. 4, 2003. It is the first time TCU has won two straight conference games since 2002 wins at Tulane 106-87 on Feb. 26, and against East Carolina 66-63 on Mar. 1.
TCU Phone Home
This is the second game 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.
Beginning to Rebound
TCU has dominated its last two opponents on the glass, outrebounding Tulane 42-29 and owning a 46-33 advantage against Houston. In the three C-USA games, the Horned Frogs own a 124-96 margin on the boards (41.3 rpg to 32.0 rpg.)
TCU is averaging 76.2 points per game in the team's five victories, topping the 80-point mark three times. However, TCU is averaging just 62.5 points per conference win. In the Frogs' eight losses this year, the team is averaging 59.3 points per game and has not broken 70 in any of those contests.
Tightening Up the D
TCU is holding its opponents to just 68.5 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 43.0 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 11 contests, TCU has had 69 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 11 games.
You Don't Think Defense Matters?
In TCU's six victories, its opponents have shot just 35.9 percent (123-for-343), while in the eight losses the teams have made 48.4 percent of their attempts (218-for-450).
Making It Tough on The No. 1 Guy
TCU has done a great job in its first three conference games of making things difficult for the opponent's top scorer. Saint Louis' Reggie Bryant, who is averaging 17.9 points per game on the year, was held to nine; Tulane's Vytas Tatarunus, who scores 11.9 per game, scored 14; and Houston's Andre Owens, a 17.8 per game scorer, tallied just 11. Bryant (3-of-11), Tatarunas (5-of-13) and Owens (3-of-14) combined to make just 11 of 38 attempts from the field, which is 28.9 percent.
Subs Point Production Sinking
Since Chudi Chinweze and Marcus Shropshire joined the starting lineup, the TCU bench has not been as potent on the scoring end. With the duo coming off the bench in the first nine games of the season, TCU averaged 32.4 bench points per game and outstcored its opponents 292-178. Since they cracked the starting lineup, TCU has averaged just 19.2 points from the substitutes and have outscored its opponents by just a 96-89 margin.
80 is Enough
TCU is now 5-24 (.172) under Dougherty when scoring fewer than 80 points and 10-3 (.769) when reaching the 80-point mark. TCU has scored 1,251 points (83.4 points per game) in Coach D's 15 victories and 1,785 points (66.1) in the 27 losses. However, TCU has scored 70 and 55 points in its last two wins.
Bumps in the Road
TCU's last-second thriller over Houston on Jan. 13 snapped the Frogs' 13-game road road losing streak. TCU's previous road win came more than a year ago, on Dec. 10, 2002 at North Texas. The Frogs have won just five of their last 22 road games, a .227 winning percentage. TCU's last win outside of the state of Texas came on Feb. 26, 2002 at Tulane (106-87).
Big Game Santee...
Corey Santee has shown up against the Horned Frogs' nationally-ranked foes this season, posting a season-high 19 points against then-No. 1 Kansas and matching that total against 22nd-ranked Vanderbilt.
...And Second Half Santee
Corey Santee scored all 16 of his points in the second half against Tulane and eight of his 11 points against Houston after intermission. In both games, the Horned Frogs rallied back from halftime deficits to earn victories.
Something to Chudi On
Chudi Chinweze is currently second in Conference USA in field goal percentage at .628 (54-for-86). He had season highs in points (18) and rebounds (12) at Houston, recording the Frogs' first double-double of the season in the process. He also put back a Marcus Shropshire miss with no time remaining to give the Horned Frogs a thrilling 55-54 victory.
TCU's 55-54 victory over Houston on Jan. 13 was the Horned Frogs' lowest point total in a victory since a 55-48 win over Eastern Kentucky in San Juan, P.R. on Dec. 1, 1991. The previous low winning total for TCU under Neil Dougherty was 62 earlier this year against North Texas.
Femi Ibikunle has started all 14 games thus far for TCU, making him the first true freshman to start the first 14 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 14 games and has reached double figures in eight of the last 10 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 performance with a 26-point outburst against Grambling on Dec. 29.