Dec. 12, 2003
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TCU leads the all-time series by a 41-31 count in a series that dates back to 1914. The Horned Frogs have won five of the last six meetings overall and seven of the past eight clashes with the Mean Green in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The lone loss over that time was a 92-85 decision on Dec. 23, 2001.
Against the State
Prior to a tough 67-60 loss to Texas Tech in Lubbock on Wednesday night, the TCU Horned Frogs had won four 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) and Stephen F. Austin (84-62) this season.
About the Last Meeting
The TCU Horned Frogs picked up an 87-80 victory over the North Texas Mean Green on Dec. 10, 2002, a win which remains TCU's most recent road victory. TCU had three players reach the 20-point mark as Junior Blount (24), Corey Santee (22) and Bingo Merriex (20) accounted for 76 percent of the Horned Frogs' scoring. It was a tale of two halves, as the first stanza ended with a 29-29 score, while the two teams each scored more than 50 points in the second half.
About North Texas
The Mean Green enter the game with a 3-2 record after a narrow 73-69 victory over the Baylor Bears on Tuesday night in Denton. Senior Michael DeGrate leads an extremely balanced scoring attack at 10.2 points per game. Seven players are averaging at least 7.0 points per game. Of the 10 players who have played for UNT, all have attempted no fewer than 15 and no more than 50 shots.
Gimme a Break
Following the matchup with the Mean Green, the Frogs will take 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).
Staying Close to Home
The Horned Frogs, who will play nine of their 11 nonconference tilts in the friendly confines of Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, will not travel again for more than a month (at Houston on Jan. 13). This is the start of a six-game homestand for TCU. A 35-day span between road games also occurred two seasons ago.
Santee Joins Elite Group
TCU junior guard Corey Santee became the 27th player in TCU history to reach the 1,000-point plateau when he scored 16 on Wednesday night in Lubbock. The native of Flint, Mich., now has 1,001 career points. He is on pace for 1,748 points, a figure that would rank second in school annals behind only Darrell Browder (1,886). If Santee continues at his career scoring pace of 15.2 points per game, he would rank 11th all-time heading into his senior season.
Most people know that TCU had a showdown with then-No. 1 Kansas this year, but few realize that the Horned Frogs have played a pair of teams that are currently ranked in CollegeInsider.com's Mid-Major Top 25. The Murray State Racers (6-0) are 15th in that poll, while the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (4-1) sit 17th. In addition, Kansas is rated 11th in the RPI ratings, while Texas Tech is No. 22.
Head Coach Neil Dougherty is in his second year as head coach at TCU and overall. He owns an 11-24 (.314) record thus far. 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.
Come On Baby Light My Scoreboard
TCU has started the same five players in each of the first seven games of the year, and all five Frogs have lit the scoreboard first. Forward Corey Valsin was the final TCU player to achieve the feat, as he scored to start off the Stephen F. Austin game.
Tightening Up the D
TCU is holding its opponents to just 70.3 points per game, which is the best figure for a Horned Frog team since 1991-92, when opponents averaged 66.3 points.
TCU has held six of its first seven opponents under the 80-point mark this year. Last year, the Frogs allowed fewer than 80 points just 10 times in 28 games. The last time TCU allowed fewer than 80 points six times in any seven-game stretch was from Feb. 14-Mar. 6, 1998. The last time that TCU allowed fewer than 80 points seven times in any eight-game stretch spanned the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons (Mar. 2, 1996-Dec. 7, 1996).
Of the Horned Frogs' five losses, all have come against schools and/or coaches with great basketball tradition and success. In the last 10 years, the five schools--Kansas (10), Tulsa (8), Murray State (5), Texas Tech (2) and Washington State (1)--have combined to make 26 NCAA Tournament appearances. In addition, Washington State coach Dick Bennett took eighth-seeded Wisconsin to the 2000 NCAA Final Four, Kansas coach Bill Self led underdog Tulsa to the Elite Eight (2000), and Texas Tech coach Bob Knight previously led Indiana to three NCAA Titles (1976, 1981, and 1987) and two other Final Fours (1973 and 1992).
Time to Rebound
TCU had 87 rebounds over the first two games (43.5 per contest), but has dragged down just 144 boards over the last five games (28.8 average). TCU had been outrebounded in each of the last four games until edging Texas Tech 40-37 on the glass.
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 four games, the Horned Frogs have just 29 offensive caroms (7.3 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 four contests, TCU has had 31 fewer attempts at the rim (-7.8 per game) than the opposition.
Of the seven players who have played the most minutes for TCU (three guards, three forwards, one center), the Frog ball handlers have committed just 29 turnovers in 565 minutes, while the big men have made 58 in 525 minutes.
First Half Defense
Since holding the UTA Mavericks to just 25 percent shooting in the first half of the season opener, TCU's next six opponents have opened the game shooting lights out, combining for 53.3 percent (90-for-169).
Opponent FG-FGA Pct.
Tulsa 17-32 .531
Kansas 16-23 .696
Murray State 13-30 .433
Washington State 16-28 .571
Stephen F. Austin 13-27 .481
Texas Tech 15-29 .517
Totals 90-169 .533
TCU has scored just 181 points in the second half of their last six games, an average of 30.2 per game (Tulsa-32, Kansas-28, Murray State-29 and Washington State-23, Stephen F. Austin-37 and Texas Tech-33). Over that time the Frogs have been outscored 213-181. For the year, TCU has outscored its opponents by a 254-248 count in the first half, but have been outscored 244-224 in the second half.
Slow Out of Intermission
TCU has struggled coming out of the half three times this season. The Horned Frogs did not hit a field goal for the first:
7:02 vs. Murray State (6-point lead into tie)
4:36 at Washington State (9-point deficit into 21)
4:28 vs. Stephen F. Austin (12-point lead cut to 7)
Pouring It On at the End
Of TCU's seven games, the largest lead for the winning team has been the final score four times, including in both of the Horned Frogs' victories.
Bumps in the Road
Following a 67-60 loss in Lubbock to Texas Tech, the Horned Frogs have lost 13 straight road games outside of Fort Worth. TCU's last road win came more than a year ago, on Dec. 10, 2002 against North Texas. In addition, the Frogs have won just four of their last 21 road games, a .190 winning percentage. TCU's last win outside of the state of Texas came on Feb. 26, 2002 at Tulane (106-87).
Looking For 20
TCU has not had a 20-point scorer in any of the first seven games of the 2003-04 season plus the last game of 2002-03. The last time TCU went eight straight games without a 20-point performer occurred from Dec. 4, 1987 to Jan. 17, 1988 (13 straight games).
Horned Frogs at Home
TCU has compiled a record of 350 wins and 205 losses (.631) in the 555 games at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum since 1961. Since the 1981-82 season, the Horned Frogs sport an overall home record of 233 wins and 85 losses (.733). On Monday, TCU snapped its first three-game home losing streak since 1993-94.
He Can Dish It Out
Corey Santee has moved into sole possession of fifth place on TCU's all-time assist list with 354 after passing four-year letterwinner and current Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon (348). Santee is on pace for more than 600 career assists. The school's all-time assist leader is Prince Fowler with 514.
The Charity Stripe Has Been More Giving
After shooting just 59.0 percent from the free throw line in the first five games of the season (62-for-105), TCU is 36-for-45 (.800) over the last two games, raising its season percentage by more than six percent to 65.3. In seven of the last nine years, TCU has shot better than 70 percent for the season from the stripe.
80 is Enough
TCU is 2-21 (.087) under Dougherty when scoring fewer than 80 points and 9-3 (.750) when reaching the 80-point mark. TCU has scored 965 points (87.7 points per game) in Coach D's 11 victories and 1,617 points (67.4) in the 24 losses.
TCU's Shrop Shooter
TCU junior transfer Marcus Shropshire has led TCU in scoring a team-best four times through seven games, including three straight. He scored 14 points and added a team- and career-high eight assists in the season opener against Texas-Arlington on Nov. 22. On Monday, he netted a then-career-high 17 points against Stephen F. Austin. However, on Dec. 10 he drained a new career-best 18 points against his former team, the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Sixteen of his team-high total came following intermission.
A Little Chinweze Music
TCU sophomore Chudi Chinweze is 25-for-36 from the field, good for 69.4 percent shooting. Last year as a true freshman he topped TCU in shooting percentage at .565. He was the first player signed by Neil Dougherty's staff.
The Team's Nucleus
TCU senior guard Nucleus Smith is the lone three-year letterwinner on the TCU roster. He has been very solid in his starting role this year, averaging 9.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. His 13 points against Kansas were his most since he scored 14 against Grambling State on Dec. 30, 2002. He scored double figures in back-to-back games (Kansas, Murray State) for the first time since his freshman season (2000-01).
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 seven games thus far for TCU, while Santee opened the first 11 games in 2001-02.