TCU will be without one of their most important players in today’s second round NIT matchup with Iowa, and his season is over, even if the Frogs keep playing.
Freshman point guard Jaylen Fisher, the highest rated player to sign with TCU Basketball, is out for the year after breaking his left wrist during preparation for Sunday’s game in Iowa City. Fisher, who averages just under 30 minutes per game for the Frogs, has been a revelation during his freshman campaign, wowing the crowd with his ball-handling and vision during their improbably run to the post-season. Per Jimmy Birch and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
TCU officials said Fisher sustained the injury during a fall in the second half of Wednesday’s game against Fresno but continued playing. X-rays takenThursday revealed a crack in the bone and TCU had Fisher accompany the Frogs on the trip in hope that he might be able to play with the cast.
But when he reported pain during Sunday’s shoot-around, the decision was made to shut him down for the remainder of the season.
Averaging 10 points and five assists per game, Fish hit a three pointer in 21 of his last 22 games and upped his defensive pressure down the stretch, finishing the year with a steal per game to prove it. Fisher was TCU’s best three point shooter on the season, averaging 39% from deep, and while he struggled with turnovers in the second half of Big 12 play (2.7 per contest), he was a key cog in the TCU offense, an exceptional distributor, and a problem for opposing defenses with his ability to break opponents down and get to the rim. Alex Robinson will likely take over primary point guard duties, and the Frogs’ second-leading scorer will need to give TCU even more production as a passer and scorer with his back court mate out.
In his absence, expect to see more of fellow freshman Desmond Bane, who had his best game of the year in TCU’s upset of #1 Kansas in the Big 12 Tournament, and senior Michael Williams - who Jamie Dixon has trusted in big spots down the stretch, especially against teams that like to pressure the ball. The Frogs will need to find additional scoring from the bench, a unit that has provided 26.7 points per game over the course of the year, as well. Dixon will call on his seniors - Williams, Brandon Parrish, Karviar Shepherd, and Chris Washburn to step up once again. They have met the challenge throughout the post-season.
Obviously hugely disappointing news for a TCU team that felt confident about their chances to upset one-seed Iowa on their home court, the Frogs will do what they have done all season - keep fighting, keep believing, and keep playing hard. These seniors don’t want to be done yet.
TCU and Iowa tip off in round two of the NIT Sunday afternoon at 4:00pm on ESPN2.