TCU Basketball Picked Ninth Among 14 Conference USA Teams
Oct. 26, 2004
FORT WORTH, Texas - Conference USA announced today that the TCU men's basketball team has been predicted for a ninth-place finish in the 14-team league according to a vote by C-USA's head coaches. TCU returns four starters from last year's squad, and has more than 85 percent of its scoring and rebounding back in Fort Worth.
In 2003-04, TCU went 12-17 overall and 7-9 in league play to place ninth in the conference. TCU blossomed late in the season, recording a 25-point victory over 10th-rated Louisville and becoming just the third team in three years to defeat Marquette in Milwaukee. TCU also upended Marquette in the 2004 Conference USA Tournament for the Horned Frogs' first league tourney win since 2000.
Led by the Conference USA Preseason Player of the Year selection Francisco Garcia, Louisville is the favorite for the second straight year to win the 2004-05 C-USA regular-season crown. Garcia, a 2003-04 All-Conference USA First Team selection and the 2002-03 C-USA Freshman of the Year, is Louisville's top returning scorer (16.4 ppg) and assist man (4.7 apg).
Garcia makes his second consecutive appearance on the preseason squad, along with senior guard Travis Diener of Marquette. Diener was a first-team all-conference pick last season after averaging a conference-best 18.8 points and 6.0 assists per game, while shooting 88 percent from the charity stripe and 45 percent from three-point range.
Two other 2003-04 All-Conference USA First Team selections, Memphis sophomore Sean Banks and Charlotte junior Curtis Withers, also received a nod on the preseason team. Banks was the 2003-04 C-USA Freshman of the Year after ranking second in the league with 17.4 points per game and first in conference game scoring with a 20.3 average. Withers is the conference's top returning rebounder, averaging 9.5 per game, and posted 16 double-doubles (the NCAA's fourth-best total).
Rounding out the 2004-05 Conference USA Preseason All-Conference Team is Cincinnati's Jason Maxiell, who led the Bearcats in scoring (13.6) and rebounding (6.9) last season, while shooting 50 percent from the field. This is the 6-7 forward's third consecutive selection to the preseason all-league team. All five members of the C-USA Preseason All-Conference team are also on the preseason watch list for the 2005 John R. Wooden Award.
Each of C-USA's 2004 NCAA Tournament teams comprised the first six spots in the poll. Memphis and Cincinnati ranked second and third, respectively, Charlotte came in fourth, followed by UAB and DePaul. Marquette and Saint Louis, who both earned postseason bids to the NIT, rated seventh and eighth, ahead of TCU, who was selected ninth by the coaches. Southern Miss was picked 10th, followed by East Carolina, Tulane, Houston and USF.
Last season, Conference USA produced a league-record six NCAA Tournament teams, with UAB advancing to the Sweet Sixteen. Additionally, two teams participated in the National Invitation Tournament.
Memphis will serve as host city for the 2005 Conference USA Tournament, March 9-12, at the new state-of-the-art FedExForum. The first round and quarterfinal games will be carried on ESPN2 and ESPN Plus, while the semifinals will be carried on ESPN. The championship game is slated for Saturday, March 12 at 11:45 a.m. EST on CBS.
2004-05 C-USA Coaches Poll
Preseason All-Conference Team