The Frogs have brought in a ton of big time offensive talent over the last few years, so it’s nice to see a top defensive prospect in the fold. It’s doubly nice when he was a one-time Bear pledge.
“Big recruiting win for TCU,” said Billy Wessels, publisher of PurpleMenace.com on the Rivals scouting network. “He picked the Frogs over Oklahoma and Arkansas. He’s a big body that can cover the tougher receivers you’ll see in the Big 12 and isn’t missing any speed.”
It’s pretty clear in early analysis that TCU needs to run the ball and play with tempo if they want to beat Georgia in Memphis.
The final thing to note is TCU’s pace of play. The SEC doesn’t have many teams that play at tempo. Georgia has only played one team that ranks above TCU in pace, and that’s Missouri. Ole Miss is the only other opponent in the top 30. So, we really don’t have a great idea of how Georgia does against tempo. If the Mizzou and Ole Miss games are any indication, on some occasions Georgia’s defense might get tired from no substitutions for a stretch or get confused by a couple plays in quick succession. Expect to give up a few big plays to TCU.
It’s very rare that the Frogs have put together back-to-back disappointing seasons under Gary Patterson. So for all the internet geniuses that think he was over-matched this season, I simply say, slow your roll.
“But we’re not stopping,” Patterson said. “We never stop. We were 5-6 in 2004 and you guys laughed at me when I told you we were going to be in BCS games. You guys thought I should have been done when we were 4-8 in 2013, and then we came back and won 23 and lost three.”
It was far from pretty, but the Frogs bounced back from their first loss of the season to upend a feisty Wofford team and get win number nine. JD Miller, Kenrich Williams, and Vlad all had exceptional games. But, oh... the free throws.
“We’ve got to make free throws. Those are killing us,” Dixon said. “We got beat at the line the other night and we beat them at the line tonight. That was the difference. But it’s like (a rash of turnovers) when you go 24-for-41. We’ve got to do a better job in that area or you’re hurting yourself.”
Jaylen Fisher has been as good as advertised through the early goings for Jamie Dixon and the Frogs, as the true freshman point guard continues to establish himself as one of the top young floor generals in the country. But with conference play looming, he, and the rest of the Frogs, have to be more consistent on the offensive end.
Dixon isn't ready to start thinking about the difficult Big 12 season. He sees an offense that strays from the plan too often, but has the promise to be competitive in one of the nation's most difficult conferences.
After a tough home loss to Texas A&M, the Frogs mounted a furious second half comeback, despite the loss of freshman star Amber Ramirez, who is out for an undisclosed period of time due to a lower leg injury.
In Ramirez’s absence, Kianna Ray, TCU’s other starting freshman guard, had her best game, hitting big shot after big shot on her way to 16 points and five assists. Her baseline 3-pointer with four minutes to play gave TCU its first lead at 65-62, and then she drove baseline for the game-winning bucket with 35 seconds left that put the Horned Frogs up 72-70.
While much of the attention has focused on the men’s resurgence, Raegan Pebley has quietly assembled a dangerous team herself. Expectations for this group are quite possibly higher than what Jamie Dixon is facing, though the team is very young as well.
“It’s going to happen sometimes, that six-minute stretch. Against some opponents, it doesn’t hurt you much,” TCU coach Raegan Pebley said after the loss. “With our team and how young we are, we’re still learning how to elevate our play in key moments of the game.”