Nov. 25, 2008
Game Notes - SMU in PDF Format
The TCU men's basketball team will return to the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum for its third of four consecutive games set to be played on the home court of the Horned Frogs. The Frogs will square-off in the 184th meeting between TCU and SMU as part of the State Farm DFW Duel.
The Mustangs own a 101-82 series lead over the Frogs and are winners in four of the last five games - including three consecutive contests. Last season - SMU posted a 71-65 victory over TCU at the Moody Coliseum.
The Frogs and Mustangs can also be heard over the airwaves via ESPN Radio 103.3 FM and KTCU 88.7 FM with Brian Estridge (play-by-play) and John Denton (analyst). The game will be televised courtesy of The Mtn. Network with Tim Neverett (play-by-play) and Bob Donewald (analyst). Faithful of the Purple and White can listen to the game or view online statistics via GameTracker on www.GoFrogs.com
Christian Wins Debut Game for Frogs
In his first game as head coach of the TCU men's basketball program - Jim Christian became the 12th coach in program history to capture his first game with the Purple and White. The TCU head coach led the Frogs to a 67-63 victory over Western Michigan - which was their eighth season-opening triumph over the last decade. Christian improved his record to 5-2 in season-opening victories as a head coach.
Frogs Strong at Home Against Non-Conference Foes
The Horned Frogs have captured 17 of their last 20 games at home against non-conference opponents. In their last 10 games - TCU has posted victories in eight of them with setback coming against a pair of Big 12 Conference-foes in Oklahoma and Nebraska. The other non-conference foe to defeat TCU was SMU on December 21, 2006.
Frogs Ink One on Signing Day
The Frogs signed Garlon Green (Missouri City, Texas | Hightower High School) to a National Letter of Intent on November 12th. The 6-7 wing enters his senior season as the 19th-ranked prospect in the State of Texas and is the younger brother of Gerald Green, Jr. - who plays for the Dallas Mavericks.
In his three seasons with the Purple and White - Kevin Langford has not only been a mainstay in the Frogs' starting lineup, but has also been one of their most productive players. A starter in 65 consecutive games - the TCU senior has recorded 10 or more points in 49 of those games (3 as a senior | 24 as a junior | 22 as a sophomore).
Langford has an opportunity to become the 29th player in TCU history to eclipse the 1,000-point milestone in a Purple and White jersey. Sitting at 877 career points for the Frogs - Langford needs only 123 points to reach 1,000 points and become the 15th player in program history to reach the feat in under full three seasons.
The TCU forward has scored 943 points during his collegiate career as he collected 66 points during his freshman season at the University of California before transferring to TCU prior to the 2005-06 season.
In his last three games - Langford has converted on 33-of-41 (80.4 percent) of his free throw attempts. On the season - the TCU forward has connected on 34-of-45 free throw attempts (75.6 percent), which are all team-highs.
Point of Order
Jason Ebie has started all five games for the Frogs at the point guard position and is averaging 6.4 points per game - including a pair of nine-point scoring performances against Western Michigan and Clemson. Last season - the TCU guard ranked 78th among all NCAA Division I players in steals per game.
Ebie is currently ranked 10th in the Mountain West Conference in assists per game (3.40 A-G) and is one of two Frogs (Edvinas Ruzgas) to average over 30.0 minutes per game - sitting at 30.2 minutes per evening.
New Faces, New Team
Faithful of the Purple and White will have plenty of new faces to learn in the TCU lineup this season as the Frogs have added seven new players for the upcoming 2008-09 campaign.
A key ingredient for Christian in signing players during the spring was finding players from successful basketball programs. In three junior college transfers - Christian found players that helped their programs post a collective record of 137-50 (.733 winning percentage)
Good Things Come in Three's
The Frogs have made at least one three-pointer in 315 consecutive games dating back to the 1997-98 season. The last time that the Purple and White failed to connect on a trey came against LIU-Brooklyn on November 22, 1997.
The Frogs have recorded at least one three-pointer in 532 of their last 533 games. Prior to that failed connection against LIU-Brooklyn - TCU made at least one three-pointer in 217 straight games dating back to the 1989-90 season when the University of Texas stopped the Frogs behind the arc on February 11, 1990.
Frogs Record 400th Victory at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum
With a victory over McNeese State on November 22nd - the Frogs notched their 400th victory at the DMC.
In the 48-year history of the DMC - the Frogs have posted a record of 400-236 (.629) on their home court. Over the past 11 seasons - the Frogs have posted a 140-61 (.697) overall record at home and have won at least 10 games in seven of those campaigns.
Consistency in the Starting Lineup
The Frogs have had three players earn a spot in the starting lineup in all five games this season in Kevin Langford, Edvinas Ruzgas and Jason Ebie while Kavon Rose and John Ortiz earned their first starts against McNeese State.
Starters Dominate Scoring Department
The top five scorers for the Frogs have dominated the scoring department as they have collected 251 of the team's 318 points (78.9 percent) this season. The top five scoring threats for the Purple and White are all averaging at least 6.0 points per game while nine of the 10 players to see action for the Frogs have scored this season.
Greg Richardson will miss his sixth consecutive game with a hip injury.
Scouting the Mustangs
SMU will enter the State Farm DFW Duel with a 2-2 overall record during the 2008-09 campaign - including triumphs in two of its last three games. The Mustangs had their two game-winning streak snapped to Illinois State on their home floor.
Paul McCoy was selected as the Conference USA Rookie of the Week for his efforts at the SMU Tip-Off Classic where he was selected to the All-Tournament Team. For the weekend - he connected on 20-of-29 field goal attempts (69.0 percent) and scored team-highs of 22 points versus Illinois State and 18 points against Alabama State.
Derek Williams is the second leading scorer for the Mustangs as the SMU guard is averaging 13.0 points per game after connecting on 19-of-50 (38.0 percent) of his field goal attempts through four games.
Bamba Fall is averaging 7.3 points per game for the Mustangs and has grabbed a team-high 8.5 rebounds per game. The SMU center has swatted a team-high eight shots through four games - including four against Alabama State.
Matt Doherty begins his third season as head coach of the Mustangs where he has recorded a 26-39 overall record.
The Frogs have three international players on the roster in John Ortiz (Colombia), Zvonko Buljan (Croatia) and Edvinas Ruzgas (Lithuania). The Frogs have never had more than two international players on their roster at any one time during their history. There have been at least two international players on the TCU roster in each of the last five seasons.
Bigger in Texas
The Frogs have six players that reside from the State of Texas - including four players from the Dallas/Fort Worth area in Kevin Langford (Fort Worth), Ronnie Moss (Fort Worth), Kevin Butler (Duncanville) and A.J. Siebert (Southlake).
Ties to the Mustangs
TCU assistant coach Anthony Anderson served as an assistant coach with the Mustangs for a pair of seasons under former SMU head coach Jimmy Tubbs from 2004-06.
The Man Known as "Z"
Zvonko "Z" Buljan has played a big role for the Frogs in his first season donning the Purple and White as the TCU forward is averaging 8.4 points to go along with a team-high 5.0 rebounds per game. The 6-9 forward scored a career-high 15 points against McNeese State and has posted a double-digit scoring performance in two games this season.
Buljan came to the United States without speaking a word of English and played two seasons at Vincennes University in Vincennes, Indiana, where he helped his team to a spot at the NJCAA National Championships as a sophomore.
Second Generation Stars
The Frogs have two players on their roster who have parents who played collegiate athletics in Kevin Langford (Father - basketball at UT Arlington | Mother - basketball at UT Arlington) and A.J. Siebert (Father - football at Northern Arizona).
The Frogs will play 13 of their final 25 games at the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum following the conclusion of the Charleston Classic. TCU will continue its four-game homestand at the DMC with games against SMU and St. Gregory's (Okla.).
Aside from the Charleston Classic - the Frogs will not play more than two consecutive games on the road and only one time in the non-conference slate (Indiana on December 10th | Louisiana Tech on December 22nd) during the 2008-09 season.
The TCU starting five in Ebie, Moss, Ruzgas, Langford and Buljan have played in 681 of the team's 1,000 total minutes this season or 68.1 percent of all court time.
The Frogs came into the season with only four lettermen returning in Langford, Mitchem, Ortiz and Ebie - who accounted for 41.6 percent of all minutes played during the 2007-08 campaign or 2,505 combined minutes of action.
Freshman Make Immediate Impact
Three freshmen have made an immediate impact on the Frogs this season in Ronnie Moss, Kevin Butler and Kavon Rose. Moss has started four games while Butler has become one of the team's top players off of the bench. Rose has given the Frogs' quality minutes off of the bench averaging 4.0 points per game.
Charity Stripe Highs
The Frogs connected on 27 free throws against Nebraska - which was their highest talley since a 27-free throw performance against Colorado State on February 20, 2008.
In their last three games - the Frogs have connected on 66-of-84 (78.6 percent) of their attempts from the charity stripe.
Edvinas Ruzgas has made a tremendous impact for the Frogs from behind the three-point line as the former Weatherford College standout has connected on a TCU-best 10 three-pointers through five games. The 6-6 guard has also been solid at the free throw line connecting on 83.3 percent (10-of-12) - which ranks 10th in the MWC.
In his debut with the Frogs - Ruzgas collected a team-high 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including 4-of-6 from behind the three-point line. The TCU guard scored in double figures in three of the team's first five games with a career-high 19 points against Clemson to go along with six rebounds in 34 minutes of action.
Ruzgas currently ranks first on the team in minutes played per game (34.6 MP-G) and field goal percentage (.512) and second in scoring average (12.4). The TCU junior ranks second in the MWC in minutes and 17th in scoring.
John Ortiz has appeared in all five games for the Frogs and earned his first start of the season against McNeese State. The 6-8 forward competed in a season-high 14 minutes against Western Michigan and scored a season-high six points at the ESPN Charleston Classic against the host-team College of Charleston.
Overhaul on the Boards
One of the areas of improvement that Christian has stressed to the Frogs have been their presence on the glass. Prior to their game against McNeese State - the Frogs held a +13 advantage over their last three opponents in Clemson, College of Charleston and Nebraska. Against McNeese State - TCU was a -18 on the glass.
TCU newcomer Ronnie "Tuffy" Moss originally signed with Kent State, but was granted his release and signed with the Frogs after Christian was announced as the new head men's basketball coach for the Purple and White.
Moss became the first freshman since Femi Ibikunle in 2003-04 to start his collegiate debut for the Frogs and only the third freshman this decade to earn a spot in the starting lineup in his first game (Corey Santee | 2001-02).
One of the team's best on-ball defenders - Moss ranks fourth on the Frogs in scoring average (7.0 P-G) and fifth in minutes played per game (23.3 MP-G). The Fort Worth native has started four of five games this season.
Duncanville standout Kevin Butler has provided the Frogs with plenty of energy and production coming off of the bench in his first season as the 6-6 forward has averaged 21.6 minutes per game in addition to 4.8 points per game. The TCU newcomer has seen at least 25 minutes of court time in three of the last four games.
Butler had a tremendous performance against ACC-opponent Clemson as he posted a career-high nine points - including 2-of-2 from behind the three-point line - to go along with six steals, four rebounds and two assists.
The TCU rookie is ranked first in the Mountain West Conference in steals per game at 2.4 picks per evening and has the highest-steal tally in a game this season with six against Clemson.
Smells Like Roses
Kavon Rose was the final freshman to commit to the Frogs during the summer months after he was released from his National Letter of Intent from Oregon State.
In his first season with the Frogs - Rose has averaged 4.0 points per game to go along with 2.2 rebounds per contest. The 6-2 guard has appeared in all five games and earned his first collegiate start against McNeese State.
Key of the Season
Keion Mitchem will provide the Frogs' with quality minutes off of the bench this season as he returns as one of four lettermen for the Frogs. Mitchem has appeared in all five games this season where he is averaging 10.6 minutes.
Mitchem recorded two games of 10 or more points a season ago - which both of them coming against Air Force. He posted a career-high 16 points on the Falcons' home floor and 10 points in his first collegiate start at the DMC.
Plenty of Minutes to Share
Of the 10 players to see action this season - seven of them are averaging at least 10.0 minutes per game. Ruzgas and Ebie are both averaging over 30.0 minutes per game while Langford, Buljan, Moss and Butler are all averaging over 20.0 minutes per game.
In 2008-09 campaign, the Frogs have three freshmen from the State of Texas that were ranked in the top-40 of their recruiting class last season - Ronnie Moss (12th), Kevin Butler (16th) and Logan Lancon (43rd).
The Scoring Touch
Nine of the 10 players to see action for the Frogs this season have scored at least nine points through five games.
TCU Athletic Media Relations