Nov. 26, 2003
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The Last Time Out
It took the TCU Horned Frogs just six seconds to score their first points of the 2003-04 season, and the Frogs never lost that lead in cruising to an 87-58 victory over the Texas-Arlington Mavericks on Saturday night at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The win was the Frogs' 23rd straight home-opening victory and moved TCU to 1-0 on the season, while UTA, the preseason Southland Conference favorite, fell to 0-1.
TCU raced out to a 44-27 lead at intermission. Junior transfer Marcus Shropshire led the Frogs with 13 first-half points on 5-of-6 shooting. Shropshire was 3-for-4 from three-point range and added six of his team-high eight assists in the stanza. Of TCU's 44 points in the first half, 26 came via players off the bench. The Horned Frogs sizzled from the field in the game's opening 20 minutes, shooting 54.8 percent (17-for-31) from the field, including 54.5 percent (6-for-11) from beyond the arc.
For the game, TCU held UTA to just 29.8 percent shooting (15-for-51) and 58 points, both lows in the Neil Dougherty coaching era. In addition, the Horned Frogs forced the Mavericks into 24 turnovers. TCU scored twice as many points than the Mavericks did in the paint (44-22).
On the evening, four Horned Frogs reached double figures, led by Shropshire and Chudi Chinweze, who each tallied 14 points. Corey Santee added 12 points, while Corey Valsin chipped in with 10. Chinweze and Marcus Sloan led the team with six rebounds apiece, as the Frogs won the battle on the boards 40-36.
Eleven different Frogs saw action in the game's first seven minutes, and six Frogs made their official debuts. Junior Aaron Curtis (Grand Prairie, Texas) and freshman Femi Ibikunle (Lagos, Nigeria) received started nods, while Shropshire (Grand Prairie, Texas) and freshmen Neil P. Dougherty (Fort Worth, Texas), Blake Adams (Houston, Texas) and Art Pierce (Tyler, Texas) provided minutes off the bench.
About the Series
The Horned Frogs trail the all-time series against the Golden Hurricane 17-10. The Golden Hurricane have been to eight of the last 10 NCAA Tournaments and have controlled the recent series, claiming seven of the last eight contests. Over those eight games, TCU scored just 68.8 points per game in the losses and 93 in the lone victory. Tulsa earned a hard-fought 78-65 win in the last tilt on Dec. 23, 2002, in Tulsa, Okla.
Late Night With the Frogs
Tonight's 8:05 starting time is nothing compared to the Midnight Madness game in TCU's next contest. The Big Monday ESPN2 home matchup with No. 6 Kansas will tip at 10:05 (CT) at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.
Horned Frogs at Home
TCU has compiled a record of 349 wins and 202 losses (.633) in the 551 games at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum since 1961. Since the 1981-82 season, the Horned Frogs have an overall home record of 232 wins and 82 losses (.739).
Head Coach Neil Dougherty is entering his second year as head coach at TCU and overall. Among Dougherty's legendary coaching mentors are Roy Williams (North Carolina) and Mike Krzyzewski (Duke). Williams entered the season 418-101 (.805) all-time as a head coach, while Krzyzewski was 637-227 (.737). Dougherty was an assistant coach under Williams at Kansas for seven years and was recruited by and played college ball for Coach K at Army.
Countdowns to 1,000
TCU needs 11 victories to reach 1,000 all-time wins, while junior guard Corey Santee needs 77 points to become the 27th Frog player ever to reach 1,000 career points.
Some Help Has Arrived
TCU point guard Corey Santee played just 27 minutes in the season opener. Last year, he played at least 30 minutes in 26 of the 28 contests and saw at least 35 minutes in 10 games. For the year, he averaged 33.9 minutes of action after seeing 31.1 as a true freshman. The last time he played fewer than 27 minutes was on Feb. 16, 2002, against USF (25).
Can't Stop Shrop
TCU junior transfer Marcus Shropshire scored 14 points, tying for the team lead, and added a team-best and career-high eight assists in the season opener. After having to sit out in accordance with the NCAA transfer policy, it was the first regular-season game for Shropshire since March of 2002. His point total was just one shy of his career high of 15 set when he played for Texas Tech.
There's a Need to Be Defensive
TCU held Texas-Arlington to just 58 points and 29 percent shooting from the field in the season opener. Both were TCU bests under Head Coach Neil Dougherty. In addition, the defensive pressure was turned up a notch, as the Horned Frogs recorded 10 steals. Last year, the Frogs has a season-high 10 steals just twice. The seven blocked shots recorded were the second-most by a Dougherty team, just one behind the mark of eight set last year against Centenary.
After defeating preseason Southland Conference favorite Texas-Arlington 87-58 on Nov. 22, TCU has now won 23 consecutive home openers dating back to the 1981-82 season. UT-Arlington has now been victimized three times during that streak. In addition, the Horned Frogs have now won four straight season openers. The last time TCU started 0-1 was the 1999-2000 season after a 91-83 loss to California. The last time TCU was 2-0 was the 2001-02 season.
New Horned Frogs on Display
Six TCU players made their official Horned Frog debuts against UTA. The following players saw their first game time: junior guard Marcus Shropshire, junior forward Aaron Curtis, freshman guard Neil P. Dougherty, freshman forward Blake Adams, freshman forward Art Pierce and freshman center Femi Ibikunle.
I Heard a Second
Femi Ibikunle, who jumped center, became the first TCU true freshman since Corey Santee to start a season opener. Santee was the starting point guard against Northwestern State on Nov. 16, 2001.
Where Have I Heard That Name Before?
Neil Dougherty is now coaching his son, Neil P. Dougherty, who is a freshman guard for the Horned Frogs. It is just the second father-son, coach-player duo in Conference USA history. The only other father-son duo in league history was when former Memphis coach Larry Finch, coached his son, Larry Finch, Jr., from 1995-97.
The TCU Horned Frogs have seven players on the team's roster who have started at least 10 games at the Division I level. Corey Santee (51 starts) leads the way. He is followed by Corey Valsin (46), Ronald Hobbs (21), Nucleus Smith (12), Chudi Chinweze (11), Marcus Shropshire (10) and Marcus Sloan (10). All of Hobbs' and Shropshire's starts came as members of the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The other players who have started for TCU are Aaron Curtis (1) and Femi Ibikunle (1).
Reunited and it Feels So Good
Former prep standout teammates at South Grand Prairie High School, Marcus Shropshire and Aaron Curtis are back together. Although Shropshire was one year ahead in high school, both players are juniors this season. Shropshire had to sit out one year at TCU after a previous two-year stint at Texas Tech. Curtis found Fort Worth after two years at Lon Morris Junior College. Curtis and Femi Ibikunle were two newcomers to start on opening night.
Free and Easy For Chinweze
TCU sophomore Chudi Chinweze tied for team highs in points (14) and rebounds (6) against Texas-Arlington. Last year against UAB, Chinweze erupted for 28 points and 13 rebounds to set career highs in both categories.
Just Like Texas in 1880
Fort Worth once again appears to be a stopping point on the north-south Midwest cattle drive. First, the season began with Texas-Arlington, then advanced north to Oklahoma and finally Kansas, currently the I-35 corridor.
What's Going on Outside?
The $6 million Ed & Rae Schollmaier Basketball Practice Facility is currently being constructed southwest of Daniel-Meyer Coliseum on the grounds formerly occupied by the baseball stadium. TCU broke ground on the project in July of 2003, and the complex is expected to be finished in March of 2004. When completed, the 22,000-square-foot complex will feature office space for both coaching staffs, two NCAA regulation practice courts, meeting rooms, weight room, a lobby and courtyard.
Staying Close to Home
The TCU basketball staff has made an imprint in the Lone Star State. Of TCU's 14 players on this year's roster, 11 hail from the state of Texas, which is up from six just last year. Of the eight players that the Horned Frogs have signed since Dougherty's arrival, seven come from the Lone Star State.
Staying Close to Home II
TCU is playing its second game of a four-game homestand. The Horned Frogs will play nine of their 11 nonconference games in the friendly confines of Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The lone road swings are to Washington State and Texas Tech.
TCU Head Coach Neil Dougherty has announced that the Horned Frog men's basketball program has secured the talents of a pair of high school standouts from the state of Texas for the 2004-05 season. Brent Hackett, a 6-3, 185-pound guard from Fort Worth (Southwest H.S.), and Neiman Owens, a 6-4, 180-pound guard from Channelview (Channelview H.S.), signed during the early period. Hackett, who can play both guard positions, was rated as the No. 13 prospect in Texas by Mike Kunstadt of the Texas Basketball Review. As a junior, he averaged 26.5 points, 8.5 assists and 4.3 steals per game for the Raiders. The state's third-leading scorer in Class 4A, Hackett was named second-team all-area by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Owens averaged 15 points, eight rebounds and five assists per game as a junior for the Channelview Falcons. The combo-guard was widely-regarded as one of Texas' top 20 prospects as a junior. In addition, Owens is currently rated 30th nationally among all shooting guards by Hoopmasters.com. At the 2003 adidas ABCD Camp, he was rated as the fifth-best high school shooting guard.