Feb. 20, 2004
TCU owns a 2-1 advantage in the all-time series, with the Horned Frogs winning the last two. The two teams have played just once since becoming Conference USA partners in the 2001-02 season. That game was won by TCU, 66-63, in Fort Worth on March 2, 2002. TCU has made the trip to Greenville, N.C., just once ever, losing an 80-74 decision in 1988.
Turnover of a Different Kind
Just two TCU players, Corey Santee and Corey Valsin, have ever faced the East Carolina Pirates, despite the fact that the most recent game was less than two years ago. Santee had 15 points and eight assists in the most recent game against ECU, while Valsin had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Super Tuesday? I Don't Think That Does It Justice
In front of a national television audience as part of the "Super Tuesday" action on ESPN2, TCU recorded a monumental victory over the 10th-ranked Louisville Cardinals to improve to 6-5 in conference play. 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.
That Win Makes Our Top 10
TCU is now 5-34 (.128) all time against top-10 teams, with the first two wins coming at neutral sites and the last three in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. 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 Horned Frogs have beaten a No. 6, No. 8, No. 9 and two No. 10 teams in the school's history. Until the 25-point thrashing of Louisville, each of the previous 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.
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
Feb. 17, 2004 #10 Louisville W 71-46
Stopping Them Cold
TCU held Louisville to just 46 points on Tuesday night, 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 were the fewest by Louisville since a 76-46 loss to Kentucky on Dec. 18, 1999.
You Got to Know When to Hold 'Em
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. In addition to the Tigers' loss in 2000, Princeton picked up a 48-43 victory over TCU on Dec. 28, 1993.
Out of the Blocks
The Horned Frogs are 6-5 in conference play, which is easily the best 11-game start in their brief C-USA history. TCU started out 3-8 in conference play in 2001-02 and 2-9 in 2002-03. A TCU victory would push the Frogs to 7-5, which would match the best league start in the last five years and would equal the program's second-best start since 1992-93. The only time TCU had a better 12-game league record than 7-5 was in 1997-98, when the Frogs began 12-0 en route to a 14-0 Western Athletic Conference mark.
Recent Conference Starts
Year Conference Thru 11 Game 12 Final
1992-93 SWC 2-9 L (2-10) 2-12
1993-94 SWC 3-8 L (3-9) 3-11
1994-95 SWC 6-5 W (7-5) 8-6
1995-96 SWC 3-8 W (4-8) 6-8
1996-97 WAC 5-6 W (6-6) 7-9
1997-98 WAC 11-0 W (12-0) 14-0
1998-99 WAC 5-6 W (6-6) 7-7
1999-00 WAC 6-5 L (6-6) 8-6
2000-01 WAC 6-5 W (7-5) 9-7
2001-02 C-USA 3-8 W (4-8) 6-10
2002-03 C-USA 2-9 L (2-10) 3-13
2003-04 C-USA 6-5 ??? ???
Where Are We?
The Horned Frogs are playing their fourth road game in the team's last five contests. TCU was at home on Tuesday for the first time in February. Saturday will be the Frogs' fourth road games in 19 days after the team played four road contests in the season's first 73 days.
Closing In On 1,000
TCU is just two victories shy of the 1,000th in the program's 93-year history. The Horned Frogs currently own a 998-1135 all-time record.
Winnin' and Grinnin'
TCU has already recorded twice as many conference wins (6) this season than the team did in all of the 2003 league season (3). With five games left to play, TCU has already tied the Frogs' best Conference USA season. TCU had six league victories (6-10 record) in its first C-USA season of 2001-02. In addition, TCU surpassed its win total from last year in the 22nd game. The 2002-03 team finished 9-19, earning its final victory in the last game of the season.
Against the Best
After beating the No. 10 Louisville Cardinals by a 71-46 final on Feb. 17, the TCU Horned Frogs are now 11-81 (.120) all time against teams ranked in the nation's top 25. TCU's previous victory over a ranked opponent came more than three years ago on Feb. 15, 2001, when the team downed No. 20 Fresno State 102-88 in Daniel-Meyer. TCU had lost nine straight against top 25s until Tuesday.
Taking the High Road
Prior to a one-point loss at Tulane, TCU had won two straight conference road games in the same season for the first time since 1998, when the Frogs went 7-0 away from home in the Western Athletic Conference. The three-game road trip was a nailbiter, as the three games were decided by a total of just 10 points.
If You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It
TCU, 3-2 this year in league road matchups, has already surpassed the number of Conference USA away wins that the program had in its first two years combined. TCU is now 5-16 (.238) all time in Conference USA road contests. The team went 2-6 in 2001-02 and 0-8 in 2002-03. TCU's victories are over UAB and Tulane in 2002 and Houston, Marquette and USF in 2004. With one more away victory, TCU would ensure itself of just its second .500 or better league road record in the past 12 seasons. The three league wins already match the second-most wins by a TCU team over that stretch.
Conference Home and Road Records
Year Conference Road Home Overall
1992-93 SWC 0-7 2-5 2-12
1993-94 SWC 2-5 1-6 3-11
1994-95 SWC 3-4 5-2 8-6
1995-96 SWC 2-5 4-3 6-8
1996-97 WAC 2-6 5-3 7-9
1997-98 WAC 7-0 7-0 14-0
1998-99 WAC 3-4 4-3 7-7
1999-00 WAC 3-4 5-2 8-6
2000-01 WAC 2-6 7-1 9-7
2001-02 C-USA 2-6 4-4 6-10
2002-03 C-USA 0-8 3-5 3-13
2003-04* C-USA 3-2 2-3 5-5
Close Encounters Of the Conference Kind
Excluding TCU's 28-point loss at Cincinnati and 25-point win over Louisville, TCU's remaining nine league games have been decided by just 51 points, an average of 5.7 per game. TCU's five conference wins are by a total of 27 points, an average of 5.4 per game. Figured in are four wins by six points or less (Tulane 70-65, Houston 55-54, Marquette 85-79 and USF 54-51). The Frogs were 1-4 in their first five regular-season games decided by 10 points or less. Since then, TCU is 4-3 in the close contests.
Doing Double Time
TCU has played at least 10 players in each of the first 22 games of the season. All 10 of those Horned Frogs are averaging more than 10 minutes per game.
Fort Worth: Where the Best Begins
TCU has hosted then-No. 1 Kansas, No. 22 Vanderbilt and No. 10 Louisville in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. It is the first time that the Horned Frogs have played at least two top-25 teams at home in the same season since the 1982-83 campaign and it is the first time that TCU has ever hosted three top-25 teams in the same campaign.
Have Ball, Will Play
Louisville was the ninth ranked opponent that TCU has played in Coach Dougherty's 50 games at the helm of the program. 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. TCU is 1-8 against top-25 teams under Dougherty.
Tightening Up the D
TCU is holding its opponents to just 67.7 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 teams shot 47.4 percent from the floor. This year, TCU is limiting opponents to 42.7 percent.
TCU has kept 19 of its first 22 opponents under the 80-point mark. Last year, the Frogs allowed fewer than 80 points just 10 times in 28 games. In addition, TCU has held six teams to 60 or fewer points already this year. The last time TCU held at least six teams to 60 or under was in 1991-92.
What Have You Done For Me Lately?
Since opening the season 1-4, the Horned Frogs have played better than .500 basketball, having been victorious in nine of the last 17 games. In addition, TCU has won three of its last four and four of its last six games.
Different Strokes For Different Folks
TCU is averaging 74.6 points per game in the team's 10 victories, topping the 70-point mark in seven of those games. In the Frogs' 12 losses this year, the team is averaging 60.2 points per game and has not broken 70 in any contest.
Defense Wins Championships
In TCU's 10 victories, its opponents have shot just 37.8 percent (205-for-543) from the field, while in the Frogs' 12 losses the opposition has made 46.6 percent of its attempts (323-for-693).
It's 80s Night
TCU is now 8-28 (.222) under Coach Dougherty when scoring fewer than 80 points and 11-3 (.786) when reaching the 80-point mark. TCU has scored 1,540 points (81.1 points per game) in Coach D's 19 victories and 1,965 points (65.5) in the 31 losses.
Showing Improvement When Getting to 70
TCU was winless (0-9) when scoring fewer than 70 points in the 2002-03 campaign, but this season, the team is 3-12. When the Frogs reached 70 points last season, the team went 9-10. This year's squad is a perfect 7-0 when getting to the 70-point plateau.
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 13 games ago, TCU has averaged just 15.3 points from the substitutes and have been outscored by a 249-199 margin.
Femi Ibikunle has started all 22 games thus far for TCU, making him the first true freshman to start the first 22 games of a season since Juan Bragg in 1994-95. Bragg, who opened 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 for TCU (Damion Walker-27, Jeff Jacobs-27 and Bragg-26).
Here's Something to Chudi On
Chudi Chinweze currently ranks second in Conference USA in field goal percentage at .566 (86-for-152). He had a season-high 18 points and added 12 rebounds at Houston, and also put back a Marcus Shropshire miss with no time remaining to give the Horned Frogs a thrilling 55-54 victory. In TCU's upset of Louisville, he had his second double-double of the season with 13 points, while matching his career high with 13 rebounds. He owns both of TCU's double-doubles this season.
The Team's Nucleus
Nucleus Smith has been a vital player for the Frogs in his senior season. He is averaging 24.7 minutes per game, six more than his previous career best. The 6-2 guard is grabbing 4.1 rebounds per game, the third most on the team. In addition, Smith has scored when called upon, reaching double figures in six of his last eight contests. Included was a 17-point outburst against Louisville, his best total since his freshman year.
Here Comes Santee Claus
TCU junior guard Corey Santee became the 27th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point plateau when he scored 16 on Dec. 10 in Lubbock. The native of Flint, Mich., now has 1,229 career points, which ranks 12th. He is on pace for 1,745 points, a figure that would rank second in school annals behind only Darrell Browder (1,886). Carven Holcombe (1,734) and Dick O'Neal (1,723) are currently second and third respectively. Santee poured in a season-high 25 points at USF and has averaged 20.0 points per game over the last six games, going 42-for-81 from the field (.519).
Stepping It Up a Notch
Corey Santee ranks 12th among C-USA players in scoring in all games at 14.5 per contest, while Marcus Shropshire is 16th at 13.0. However, in conference games, Santee sits in fifth place (16.2), while Shropshire rates tied for eighth (14.5 ppg). In league games, the two starting guards are contributing 47.5 percent of the team's points (337 of 710).
And This Backcourt Will Be Back
In their first year as backcourt running mates, juniors Corey Santee and Marcus Shropshire have become one of the most prolific scoring backcourts in Conference USA. Here is how the duo has performed against fellow starting backcourts in C-USA play.
Opponent (Players) TCU Opp
Saint Louis (Fisher, Bryant) 29 22
Tulane (Camper, Kinzer) 31 18
Houston (Oliver, Owens) 18 25
Cincinnati (N. Williams, F. Williams) 18 20
DePaul (D. Diener, Mejia) 27 21
Southern Miss (Haygood, Stiggers) 48 2
Memphis (Burks, Rice) 38 21
Marquette (T. Diener, Mason) 36 35
USF (Graham, Swift) 34 17
Tulane (Camper, Kinzer) 29 10
Louisville (Dean, Jenkins) 29 8
Total 337 199