Dec. 8, 2003
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The TCU Horned Frogs and Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks have not squared off on the hardwood in 54 years. The last time that the two Texas schools played was in 1949. TCU trails the all-time series by a 4-0 count and is 0-1 in Fort Worth against the Lumberjacks.
Nonconference vs. Texas Schools
The TCU Horned Frogs have won three straight games against nonconference opponents from the state of Texas dating back to last year. TCU picked up victories at Baylor (72-64) and at North Texas (87-80) in 2002-03 and defeated Texas-Arlington (87-58) in this year's season opener.
We're Here to Play
TCU is playing its fifth game in a stretch in which the team has seven games in 15 days. The tough period began with a game against Tulsa on Nov. 29 and ends with a clash with North Texas on Dec. 13. Tonight's contest is TCU's fifth game in the last 10 days.
Check Another One Off the List
On the recent trip to Washington State, the Horned Frogs stayed in Moscow, Idaho, which is just eight miles outside of Pullman, Wash., the home of the WSU Cougars. The trip was the first-ever to the state of Idaho for TCU assistant coach Rick Callahan, who has now been to 48 of the 50 United States. The only two left on his list are Montana and South Dakota.
Bon Jovi Voyage
When TCU traveled to Pullman, Wash., to play the Washington State Cougars, the team traveled on a charter plane previously used by legendary music star Bon Jovi.
Staying Close to Home
The Horned Frogs will play nine of their 11 nonconference tilts in the friendly confines of Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The lone road swing remaining during the nonleague season is to Texas Tech on Wednesday (Dec. 10). TCU will not travel again for more than a month when the team plays at Houston on Jan. 13. The next flight for the Horned Frogs is scheduled for Jan. 16, a day before TCU takes on Cincinnati.
Gimme a Break
The Horned Frogs continue their rigorous playing schedule with a game at Texas Tech on Wednesday, Dec. 10 and then return home for a game Saturday, Dec. 13 against North Texas. Following the game against the Mean Green, the Frogs will have more than a week off for final exams. After having seven games in 15 days from Nov. 29 until Dec. 13, TCU will play just one game (Dec. 22 vs. Arkansas State) in the next span of 15 days (Dec. 14-28).
Same Starters, Different First Scorers
TCU has started the same five players in each of the first five games of the year, and four different Frogs have lit the scoreboard first. The only starter who has not scored the first points of a game for TCU has been forward CoreyValsin.
Tightening Up the D
TCU is holding its opponents to just 72.6 points per game, which is the best figure for a Horned Frog team since 1991-92, when opponents averaged 66.3 points.
Struggles Against Cats
The 52 points scored against the Washington State Cougars were the fewest for the Horned Frogs since a 48-43 loss to the Princeton Tigers on Dec. 28, 1993, at the NDB Hoosier Classic in Indianapolis, Ind.
Time to Rebound
TCU averaged 43.5 rebounds per game over the first two games, but has posted just 25.7 boards over the last three contests.
Less Offensive on the Boards
TCU had 50 offensive rebounds in the first three games of the year, an average of more than 16 per game. However, in the last two games, the Horned Frogs have just nine offensive boards (4.5 per game). In the first three games, the glass work gave the Horned Frogs 41 more shots than their opponents (13.7 per game), while in the last two contests, TCU has had 18 fewer looks at the rim (-9.0 per game).
Scoring First Seems to Work
The team that has scored first has won four of the five games this year. The only time that the team scoring second won was Murray State in Game 4.
First Half Defense
Since holding the Texas-Arlington Mavericks to just 25 percent shooting in the first half of the season opener, TCU's next four opponents have opened the game shooting lights out, combining for 54.9 percent (62-for-113).
Opponent FG-FGA Pct.
Tulsa 17-32 .531
Kansas 16-23 .696
Murray State 13-30 .433
Washington State 16-28 .571
Totals 62-113 .549
Second Half Offense
TCU has scored just 111 points in the second half of their last four games, an average of 27.8 per game (Tulsa-32, Kansas-28, Murray State-29 and Washington State-23). Over that time the Frogs have been outscored 154-111.
Falling By 20
TCU's 28-point deficit in the Washington State game was the largest hole of the season for the Frogs, who had not been behind by more than 20 since dropping an 88-64 decision at Memphis on Feb. 26, 2003. TCU now has lost by 20 or more points just once each of the last four seasons. The 21-point loss was the largest margin of defeat since the Memphis contest.
Of the Horned Frogs' four losses, three came against teams with great basketball tradition. In the last 10 years, the three schools--Kansas (10), Tulsa (8) and Murray State (5)--have combined to make 23 NCAA Tournament appearances. Meanwhile, Washington State made one appearance in the past decade, and their head coach Dick Bennett took Wisconsin to the 2000 NCAA Final Four.
Bumps in the Road
The Horned Frogs have now lost 12 straight road games outside of Fort Worth. In addition, TCU has won just four of its last 20 road games, a .200 winning percentage. TCU's last win outside of the state of Texas came on Feb. 26, 2002 at Tulane (106-87).
Making News at 10
When Marcus Shropshire led the Horned Frogs in scoring with 10 points against Washington State on Dec. 6, it marked the lowest point total for a TCU high scorer in more than a decade. The last player to lead TCU with 10 or fewer points was Tim Chase on Jan. 9, 1988, in a 96-53 loss at Arkansas.
Looking For 20
TCU has not had a 20-point scorer in any of the first five games of the 2003-04 season. The last time TCU went five straight games in a season without a 20-point performer occurred from Nov. 25-Dec. 5, 1988.
Horned Frogs at Home
TCU has compiled a record of 349 wins and 205 losses (.630) in the 554 games at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum since 1961. Since the 1981-82 season, the Horned Frogs sport an overall home record of 232 wins and 85 losses (.732). TCU has lost three straight home games for the first time since the 1993-94 season, when they lost consecutive tilts to SMU, Texas A&M and Texas. That year, the Frogs also had a five-game home losing streak.
Countdowns to 1,000
TCU needs 11 victories to reach 1,000 all-time wins, while junior guard Corey Santee is 25 points shy of becoming the 27th Frog player ever to reach 1,000 career points.
He Can Dish It Out
Corey Santee has moved into sole possession of sixth place on TCU's all-time assist list with 344. He is on pace for more than 600 career assists. The school's all-time assist leader is Prince Fowler with 514.
The Charity Stripe Hasn't Been That Giving
TCU is shooting just 59.0 percent from the free-throw line this season (62-for-105), while their opponents are 75-for-102 (.735). In seven of the last nine years, TCU has shot better than 70 percent for the season from the charity stripe. The last time the Frogs shot less than 60 percent from the line in a season was 1992-93 (.595).
In Need of 70
The Horned Frogs have been held under 70 points in each of the last four games. The last time that TCU scored fewer than 70 points in four consecutive games occurred in the 1992-93 season (six straight games from Feb. 6 to Feb. 24, 1993).
80 is Enough
TCU is 2-20 (.091) under Dougherty when scoring fewer than 80 points and 8-3 (.727) when reaching the 80-point mark. TCU has scored 881 points (88.1 points per game) in his 10 victories and 1,557 points (67.7) in the 23 defeats.
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.
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. Ibikunle has started all five games thus far for TCU, while Santee opened the first 11 games in 2001-02.