Dec. 20, 2004
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TCU and Maryland-Eastern Shore have never met. This is the fourth and final time this year that the Horned Frogs are squaring off against an opponent for the first time in school history. The other schools that TCU had never faced previously were Shawnee State, Old Dominion and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Cap and Gown Time
In a special ceremony prior to the TCU-Maryland Eastern Shore game, two TCU senior basketball players will be awarded their diplomas from TCU Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr. in the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum Lettermen's Lounge. The two players missed the large ceremony, which was held on Saturday, due to the Horned Frogs' game at Vanderbilt. Shropshire (Grand Prairie, Texas) earned a Bachelor's degree in General Studies and is currently pursuing a Master's in Liberal Arts, while Sloan (Houston, Texas) is being awarded his Bachelor's in Speech Communication.
I Think I Know You
TCU assistant coach David Cason is a native of Baltimore, Md., and played his prep basketball for current Maryland-Eastern Shore assistant coach Meredith Smith. Smith ranks second in Baltimore City Public School history with 414 wins at Southern High School. It is another player-coach reunion for Cason, who faced Kevin Stallings, his former college coach at Illinois State, when TCU played Vanderbilt.
It's Good To Be Back
TCU is playing its first game of a four-game homestand tonight against Maryland-Eastern Shore. The Horned Frogs have played five of their last six contests away from home since opening the campaign with four straight in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. Between Nov. 26 and Dec. 20, TCU played just one home game (Sunday, Dec. 12 vs. SMU). Last year, TCU did not play its fifth game outside Fort Worth until Feb. 3 at Marquette. The Horned Frogs have not allowed an opponent to score more than 70 points in game at DMC yet this year.
TCU will play on back-to-back days for the second time already this season when the team returns to the floor to take on Arkansas-Pine Bluff at 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 22. Earlier this year TCU played on consecutive days as part of the Corpus Christi Challenge. After falling to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on a Saturday night, the Horned Frogs bounced back to defeat Florida State on Sunday evening.
Wrapping Up the Vanderbilt Game
The Horned Frogs suffered their most lopsided loss of the season on Saturday night in Nashville, as Vanderbilt dropped the Frogs by a 78-55 final. TCU was held to a season-low point total and shot a season-low 34.5 percent from the floor in the ball game. The victory was the 18th straight over a nonconference foe at home for the Commodores. TCU was down by as many as 34 in the contest after trailing by 15, 41-26, at intermission. Nile Murry (12) was the only TCU player to reach double figures.
TCU's student-athletes finished the fall semester last week and will not start back to class under January. On Friday, sophomore David Markley had the last final exam on the team, which he completed at 1 p.m., just prior to departing to Vanderbilt on Friday afternoon.
Taking A Look at the Early RPIs
TCU's challenging schedule has helped the Horned Frogs to an RPI ranking of 23rd according to RealTime RPI (as of Dec. 19). The Frogs' strength of schedule is currently rated 18th in the nation. Current RPI top 25 teams on the TCU schedule include: No. 2 Kansas, No. 19 Cincinnati and No. 21 Marquette.
Tracking the Frogs' Opponents
TCU's first nine opponents (excluding non-Division I Shawnee State) are a combined 51-22 (.699) on the season and none have a record of under .500 at this point in the season: Texas-Arlington (4-3, Texas Tech (5-2), Old Dominion (9-1), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (7-1), Florida State (5-5), North Texas (5-3), Kansas (7-0), SMU (4-3) and Vanderbilt (5-4). Florida State suffered a two-point loss in overtime at top-25 Maryland on Sunday. Maryland-Eastern Shore (1-6) is the first sub-.500 squad faced by TCU this season.
We Must Protect This House
TCU is giving up 80.8 points per away contest as compared to just 61.4 points per home game. No team has broken the 70-point plateau against the Horned Frogs in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum this season, but all five teams have scored at least 70 on the Frogs in games played outside Fort Worth.
The Line Between Winning and Losing
In TCU's six victories, the opposition is just 136-for-358 (.380) from the field, but in the Frogs' four losses, teams have shot 50.6 percent (120-for-237). The Horned Frogs are scoring 11 points per game higher when the team wins (78.5 vs. 67.5) and is allowing 16 more points per game in losses (80.8 vs. 64.7).