Let me start by saying Karviar Shepherd is absolutely amazing. Love his game, love his effort, love his willingness to take a charge.
With that out of the way, man, this team is hard to watch. The Frogs were lucky to be in this one at all, as they started an unfathomable 0-8, going 1-19 until about the four minute mark. And yet... TCU led at the half by one, thanks to some stellar defense by the Frogs. Things didn't go so well in the second half, as Tech retook the lead after a slow TCU start and the Frogs could never fully close the gap before needing to foul late, which caused a four point game to balloon into an 11 point loss. This one was definitely closer than the final score indicated, but the outcome is the same in any case. Let's check how the Frogs did in the keys for the game posted earlier today.
1. Don't be afraid to penetrate- Sadly, until late in the game Kyan Anderson was far too content to dribble around outside and not test the Tech defense inside. When he did it late he had success drawing contact and getting to the free throw line, but couldn't make both free throws in a crucial possession that would have cut the lead to three and postponed the Frogs need to foul. Fail.
2. Don't fall in love with the three if you're behind- the Frogs played from behind for most of the game, and yes, sadly, jacked up far too many threes early in the shot clock, making just three of 21 attempts. Fail.
3. Come out hot- The Frogs started 0-8 and 1-19 from the floor, trailing by 14 early in the first half. Fail.
4. Don't allow more than six offensive rebounds- I'll admit this was a bit of a pipe dream, but Tech collected 13 offensive boards in outrebounding the Frogs by 5. Not a decisive loss on the boards for the Frogs, so I'll give them credit for this one- they weren't outrebounded by six, at the least. Contested Pass.
Player of the match is the aforementioned Karviar Shepherd, taking it over Amric Fields because he stayed out of foul trouble, balanced out his one turnover with a steal and three blocks and took two charges. Throw in an amazing 9-9 performance from the free throw line, and it's clear that Shepherd is growing into a beast right before our eyes.
Goat of the match has a bit of competition, but compared with expectations it could only be Kyan Anderson. Always a streaky shooter from deep, Anderson didn't flow to the basket to create some easy looks and build momentum, instead settling for deep shots and finishing a woeful 1-13 from the floor. Throw in his late miss at the free throw line that made TCU have to start fouling early, and Anderson really was a hindrance tonight. We really need to get him going if we're going to have a chance on the road in Oklahoma this week, as well as extending our total dominance of the Kansas Jayhawks next Saturday.
All in all there were several good things to take from this game, as the defense was spectacular and the rebounding was better than expected, but too many Frogs went cold from the field. This is a learning experience with a very young team, but I'd like to see the effort pay off with a win, and the sooner the better.