TCU Men's Basketball Season Preview - Part I
Oct. 29, 2007
This will be the first of five installments of the TCU men's basketball preview for the upcoming 2007-08 season with the opening edition focusing on the senior leadership for the Horned Frogs.
With the Horned Frogs set to play their first exhibition game of the season on November 6th against LCC International University, the TCU men's basketball preview will feature the players who bring experience and leadership to the court; those looking to make a name for themselves; and those to keep an eye for the Purple and White in the upcoming campaign.
Senior Leadership to Play Big Role for Horned Frogs in 2007-08
Senior Leadership - What a coach expects of his most experienced players when times are tough, and it's time to right the ship.
Senior Leadership - How do you want YOUR career to end? A statement very familiar to every coach in the country that wants to make a point to the players who are going to be wearing their school colors for their very last ride as a collegiate athlete.
In the upcoming 2007-08 campaign, TCU head men's basketball coach Neil Dougherty will have four players who he will rely on to bring those very same qualities and answer those very same questions to a Horned Frogs' squad on the verge of a breakout season.
Brent Hackett (Fort Worth, TX/Southwest High School), Neiman Owens (Channelview, TX/Channelview H.S.), Alvardo Parker (South Caicos, Turks & Caicos Islands/Frank Phillips J.C.) and Ryan Wall (Coppell, TX/University of New Mexico)... the four Horned Frogs who will be looked upon to provide the senior leadership necessary for the Purple and White to have a successful 2007-08 campaign.
A product of Fort Worth, TX, Hackett recorded a banner year for the Horned Frogs last season as he reached career-highs in 12 statistical categories en route to earning honorable mention All-Mountain West Conference laurels for the first time in his career.
The TCU guard concluded his junior campaign ranked first on the team in three-point field goals made (66), three-point field goal attempts (185), three-point field goal percentage (.357) and free throw percentage (.792) while ranked second in minutes played (882), field goal attempts (286), steals (29), points (337) and scoring average (11.2). Hackett posted a career-high 24 points in the Horned Frogs' victory over New Mexico in the first round of the Mountain West Conference Tournament, which was one of four contests in which he recorded 20-plus points in an evening.
Known for his toughness and explosive scoring ability, Hackett had his first spring of full conditioning in preparation for his final year after spending the previous two off-seasons on a surgeon's table. Now - Hackett will enter his final campaign healthier and stronger that he's ever been since donning the Purple and White, which could spell big things for the local talent.
"Brent is a two-year starter," said Dougherty. "I think physically he's probably as prepared to play his senior year as he's been in any of the previous seasons. I expect him to be a leader on the court and be very aggressive on offense. If we can get good scoring out of him then I really believe we'll be very good this season."
Owens is the most experienced player on the squad (by a slim 93 to 92 margin over Hackett in career games played), and has been a starter in 60 of the last 61 games for the Horned Frogs. The TCU guard/forward had a tremendous junior campaign in which he set career-highs in 16 statistical categories, including points (191), scoring average (6.4), total rebounds (177), rebounding average (5.9) and field goal percentage (.500).
The TCU senior connected on exactly 50.0 percent of his field goal attempts (75-of-150) while averaging 29.2 minutes per game. Considered one of the best on-the-ball defenders for the Horned Frogs, the 6-3 product of Channelview, TX, found himself ranked 12th among all Mountain West Conference players in rebounds per game.
Owens has made tremendous strides in his all-around performance on the basketball court since he first stepped onto the court for the Horned Frogs three seasons ago. In every single season, the TCU senior has improved in his statistical categories, and once again, he will be looked upon to continue that trend in order for the Horned Frogs to be successful this season.
"I think that Neiman will once again continue to be our best defender or one of our best defenders. He rebounds the ball extremely well out of the three-position so if he continues to handle and shoot the ball with improvement then he'll have a very good year. We need him to make open shots and go more towards the basket this season," added Dougherty.
Parker is one of the most athletic and raw players on the Horned Frogs' roster, who has the potential to record a double-double (points-rebounds) in every game this season. As he enters his second season with the Horned Frogs, Parker only begins his fourth season of organized basketball after spending a pair of campaigns at Frank Phillips Junior College.
A shot-blocking specialist, the 6-8 Parker led the Horned Frogs in that category last season as he recorded 61 rejections (2.0 blocks per game) en route to finishing third among all Mountain West Conference players and notching the seventh-most in single-season program history. Last season, Parker showed his dominance on both ends of the court against UNLV when he collected his first career double-double with a 20-point, 13-rebound performance.
Parker concluded his first season with the Horned Frogs by averaging 8.8 points per game, connecting on a staggering 54.6 percent (118-of-216) of his field goal attempts. A force in the paint whenever he touches the ball, Parker could easily average double digits this season, especially if he improves on his free throw shooting after connecting on 49.2 percent (29-of-59) of his attempts at the charity stripe.
"Alvardo is healthier that he was all of last season, especially after coming off of knee surgery. He rehabbed pretty hard, and a year after being here, his understanding of what we expect is much better. He should be hover around a double-double every game, and he just changes things defensively with his shot-blocking ability," Dougherty said.
Also in his second season with the Horned Frogs, but his fourth year playing in Mountain West Conference (spending two seasons with the University of New Mexico), Wall has the ability to score in bunches from anywhere on the court.
Wall enjoyed a nice first season with the Horned Frogs as he ranked fourth on the team in points (214) and scoring average (7.1) while appearing in all 30 games at both the point guard and shooting guard positions. Wall scored a career-high 27 points against Southland Conference-opponent University of Texas-Arlington after he connected on 19-of-22 free throw attempts, which were the second-most free throws made in single-game history.
The TCU senior will be looked upon to do several things this season as Dougherty will ask him to continue to stretch the floor with his outside shooting ability, pressure the ball defensively and get to the free throw line. A very good shooter from the charity stripe, Wall ranked second on the Horned Frogs in free throws made (82), free throw attempts (105) and free throw percentage (.781).
"Last season, we asked Ryan to play both the one- and two-spots, but this season, we just want him focusing on the two-spot. I want to get him back healthy since he's the one guy who's not with us right now, but when he does come back then shooting the ball and pressure defense are what his two main duties will be," said Dougherty.
Those four players will have a lot of questions to answer to when the clock strikes zero for the final time in March.
After spending all four seasons under Dougherty and with the Horned Frogs, how will Hackett and Owens leave the program? After watching TCU senior after TCU senior after TCU senior concluding their careers with the Purple and White, what statement and legacy will these two four-year lettermen leave on the program?
How much improvement will Parker make from his first to second season in the Horned Frogs' lineup, and will he continue to become the dominant force needed in the paint? Is Wall up to the task that will be set upon him by Dougherty and how will he use his knowledge of the Mountain West Conference to his advantage?
All of these questions will be answered in five short months, but the most important question that Hackett, Owens, Parker and Wall will need to answer will be "How do you want YOUR career to end?"
TCU Athletic Media Relations