TCU men's basketball preview - Part V
Nov. 9, 2007
This will be the fifth and final installment of the TCU men's basketball preview for the upcoming 2007-08 season with this edition focusing on the opponents of the Horned Frogs.
With the Frogs set to play their season opener on November 10th against Angelo State University at the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, 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; those to keep an eye on for the Purple and White; and the foes and opponents for the Frogs during the 2007-08 campaign.
The 2007-08 schedule for the TCU men's basketball program brings a little bit of every flavor to the table for the Horned Frogs. In the mix, you'll find some bitter rivals, conference opponents, nationally-ranked foes, up-and-coming programs, and those coming into the game looking for an opportunity to knock off the big man on the mountain.
Every new season brings new opportunities, new challenges and new belief that this is going to be the season that everything comes together for the betterment of the program. TCU head men's basketball coach Neil Dougherty believes that the Frogs have an opportunity to do some great things this season with the schedule that has been assembled for the 2007-08 campaign.
Below is a summary of the Frogs' opponents this upcoming season.
BYU (Feb. 6 / Mar. 8) - The Cougars were picked to finish at the top of the Mountain West Conference in the pre-season rankings and have one of the top low-post players in the conference in junior Trent Plaisted, who was selected to the pre-season first team for the MWC. The Cougars should get a big boost from freshman Jimmer Fredette, who was selected as the pre-season Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year after averaging 28.8 points per game at Glen Falls High School in Glen Falls, NY.
Colorado State (Jan. 19 / Feb. 20) - Tim Miles had tremendous success as head men's basketball coach at North Dakota State, and now he will look to try to duplicate that formula at Colorado State. The Rams will have 10 new players on the roster during the 2007-08 season, but will return a pair of seven-footers in senior Stuart Creason and sophomore Ronnie Aguilar.
University of New Mexico (Jan. 15 / Feb. 16) - There will be a new general at the helm for the Lobos, but one that is extremely familiar in the world of collegiate basketball as Steve Alford begins his first season wandering the sidelines of The Pit. The Lobos return four starters from a season ago - including J.R. Giddens and Tony Danridge - who averaged 15.8 points and 12.5 points per game, respectively.
San Diego State (Jan. 5 / Feb. 9) - San Diego State will suffer a big loss in the scoring department this season with the graduation of Brandon Heath, who recorded 3,359 career points - which is both the career record for the Aztecs as well as the Mountain West Conference. The Aztecs will return two starters from last season's team, and head men's basketball Steve Fisher has guided the program to 46 victories over the last two seasons.
UNLV (Jan. 30 / Mar. 1) - The Runnin' Rebels are the reigning Mountain West Conference champions as UNLV advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament. UNLV head men's basketball coach Lon Kruger guided the Runnin' Rebels to 30 victories last season and will return several key players from last season's squad, including guard Wink Adams and forward Curtis Terry.
University of Utah (Jan. 26 / Feb. 27) - Jim Boylen begins his first season as head men's basketball coach at the University of Utah after serving as the top assistant at Michigan State last season. The Utes were one of the top three-point shooting teams in the country after finishing sixth in the nation in three-point field goal percentage (41.4 percent) last season, and return center Luke Nevill, who was ranked ninth in the nation in field goal percentage (63.7 percent).
University of Wyoming (Jan. 12 / Feb. 13) - Heath Shroyer returns to Laramie as the program's head men's basketball coach and will have one of the best backcourts in the Mountain West Conference in the duo of Brandon Ewing and Brad Jones. Ewing was selected as the pre-season Mountain West Conference Player of the Year after averaging 19.9 points per game last season.
Rice University (Nov. 13 / Dec. 29) - The Owls suffered a huge loss in their lineup with the departure of Morris Almond, who averaged 26.4 points per game and was a first round draft pick by the Utah Jazz in the NBA Draft. Rice returns three starters and eight lettermen from a team that finished 16-16 last season.
Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Nov. 17) - Arkansas Pine-Bluff returns one of the best players in the Southwestern Athletic Conference in 6-7 senior William Byrd, who was selected as the pre-season SWAC Player of the Year. The Lions finished fifth overall in the conference last season, but were predicted to finish second during the 2007-08 season.
Grambling State (Nov. 21) - Grambling State was predicted to finish third in the pre-season Southwestern Athletic Conference standings and returns one of the conference's top guards in all-conference selection Andre Ratliff, who averaged 16.4 points and 3.9 assists per game.
Texas Tech (Nov. 28) - Bobby Knight's program is coming off of a 21-13 record last season and a setback in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Boston College. The Red Raiders return one of the top players in the country in Martin Zeno, who was selected to the Wooden Award Top-50 Candidate List.
Oklahoma (Dec. 2) - In his first season, head men's basketball coach Jeff Capel guided the Sooners to a 16-15 overall record, who missed the post-season tournament for the first time since the 1980-81 season. The Sooners, who were predicted ninth in the Big XII Conference, landed one of the biggest recruits in McDonald's All-American Blake Griffin, who should help Oklahoma get back on the right track.
SMU (Dec. 5) - Matt Doherty will have to replace four solid seniors from a season ago that helped the Mustangs rank as high as 24th in the nation. Derrick Roberts and Jon Killen return as the Mustangs' top scorers as the duo averaged 8.5 and 8.0 points per game, respectively.
Texas Southern (Dec. 8) - Texas Southern was predicted to finish ninth in the pre-season Southwestern Athletic Conference standings. The Tigers return one of the best big-men in the SWAC in 6-8 forward Jacques Jones, who averaged 14.3 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
Texas-Arlington (Dec. 17) - Scott Cross returns all five starters from the 2006-07 season for the Mavericks, including 6-9 center Jermaine Griffin - who averaged a team-high 13.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. All five returning starters for UTA averaged over 8.0 points per game last season.
Jackson State (Dec. 27) - Jackson State is fresh off of a 21-14 campaign during the 2006-07 season, including a berth in the NCAA Tournament after defeating Mississippi Valley State for the SWAC Tournament title. Grant Maxey, a 6-7 forward, is the top returning scorer for the Jaguars as he averaged 8.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per game last season.
Texas (Jan. 2) - After losing Kevin Durant last season to the NBA Draft, the Longhorns still return an outstanding core as the University of Texas will look to build upon its 25-10 record from a season ago. D.J. Augustin is considered one of the top point guards in the nation, and the Longhorns return 66.6 percent of their scoring from a season ago.
TCU Athletic Media Relations