Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of articles previewing the 2013-14 Big 12 men’s basketball season and looking at each of the 10 conference teams.
TCU is hoping to rebound from a highly disappointiung debut season in the Big 12 a year ago in which it won 11 and lost 21 overall, but just two of 18 against conference teams. Both league wins came at home, however, and against two of the Big 12’s five NCAA Tournament teams. One of the two Big 12 wins was over then No.5-ranked Kansas; the other, a three point victory against an Oklahoma team that had beaten TCU by 27 points earlier in the season in Norman.
The Horned Frogs have not been to the NCAA Tournament since the 1997-98 season, when former Oklahoma coach Billy Tubbs was at TCU. The Horned Frogs went 27-6 that season, but lost to Florida State in the first round of the NCAA Championship. Their last postseason appearance was in 2005 in the National Invitation Tournament.
No. 9 TCU Horned Frogs
The Horned Frogs had an inauspicious debut season in the Big 12, winning just two of 18 gamews against conference opponents. This year’s TCU squad is far from being able to compete at a high level with the rest of he league, but it is expected to be better than a year ago. This year’s team has only two seniors on the roster and nine first- or second-year players. The Horned Frogs should be better this season, but with all of the youth and inexperience on the roster, they are still very much a work in progress.
The team’s leading scorer from a year ago, junior guard Kyan Anderson (12 points per game and 3.4 assists), returns as the team leader. “He did a good job of managing the team and a good job of holding up physically,” head coach Trent Johnson told reporters earlier this year. “Now he needs to make better decisions.”
Devonta Abron is the most experienced returning inside player, and Johnson is hoping fror an added contribution down low from 6-9 junior Amric Fields, who sat out last season with a knee injury. Fields was named Sixth Man of the Year two seasons ago when the Horned Frogs were members of the Mountain West Conference.
Karviar Shepherd, a 6-10 post man, is a newcomer to keep an eye on. He was a top-50 recruit who also was on the radar screen of Kansas and Baylor.
Next up: the Texas Longhorns