Last year, Coach Patterson kept telling us that the receivers weren’t catching the ball, but fans and media alike thought the unit was too deep and too talented to let that carry into the fall. Well...
This spring has been better, but the onus is on the group to produce come game time.
“You’ve got to have some wide receivers step up and say, ‘I’m the guy, you throw it to me, I’m going to find a way to catch it,’” Patterson said. “That’s what great throwing offenses do. If you’re going to throw it, then I’m going to catch it. Until you get to that point of being like that, that’s what you’ve got to get done. And so that’s what we’re striving to get done.”
Patterson doesn’t want to see what he saw last year. The memory of all those drops is not good.
But so far, he said, balls are being caught.
“Seems to be OK," he said. “If not, we won’t win very many ballgames. Because that’s what we do.”
The defense returns so much in 2017, and should be the linchpin of the program once again.
2. LB Travin Howard: The Horned Frogs’ lone returning first-team All-Big 12 selection, Howard led the league and ranked ninth nationally with 130 tackles as a junior last fall -- the third-highest total in 16 years under coach Gary Patterson. He was the MVP of the Valero Alamo Bowl as a sophomore. And with a year left to play, he’s already the first TCU player to post consecutive 100-tackle seasons since 2004.
Celebrating the NIT Championship was amazing this season. But now the goal becomes to never go back there.
“Winning postseason games is important to future success. But also, it motivates you to say, ‘I don’t really want to be back in the NIT next year. I want to be in the NCAA Tournament,’” Fraschilla said. “And that’s what this tournament does for teams like TCU. It springboards them on to bigger and better things. This opportunity for those six [high-profile returnees], their workouts this spring, summer and fall are going to be even more lively knowing what they’ve tasted this year.”
Jamie Dixon may look to follow Patterson’s lead, and build a fence around DFW.
Alex Robinson (Mansfield Timberview): The transfer from Texas A&M had 10 points and 11 assists in the NIT championship game. For the season, he averaged 11.2 points, which ranked third on the team. He led TCU in assists, averaging 5.8 per game.
TCU hasn’t allowed a run in their last 27 innings, going back to Wednesday’s contest against UTRGV. Now, if the bats can find a way to get rolling a little earlier...
“Pitching staff is doing a tremendous job,” head coach Brad Hill said. “They are really pitching well and we are playing good defense behind them; pitching in tough situations, too. Guys are pitching tough and made the pitches we had to.
“Offensively, we’re just thinking too much … We’re not free and easy at the plate, a lot of guys are pressing. We’re not hitting the pitches we want to hit when we are up in the count.”
K-State (15-12, 0-5) got its first hit in the fifth inning – a single from Will Brennan – and had just three hits in the game.
Jared Janczak and Nick Lodolo combined for 16 scoreless innings. Your move, Brian Howard.
Cam Warner and Evan Skoug opened the 10th with singles and Baker followed with a line single to right to score Warner.
TCU’s Durbin Feltman registered his seventh save of the season with a 1-2-3 10th. K-State (15-12, 0-5) managed three hits off four Frogs pitchers.
Frogs freshman Nick Lodolo allowed two hits and no walks in a career-high seven innings.
At some point, this program will break through, and bring home a title. But first, they have to get back to Omaha for a fourth straight season.
However, a sport that finds itself closer and closer each season to a national title is TCU baseball. For three consecutive seasons, TCU baseball has advanced to Omaha for the College World Series. In 2014, the Frogs made it to game 3 before being eliminated by Ole Miss. TCU found itself in the semifinals in 2015 before being eliminated by Vanderbilt and last season the Frogs once again were one loss away from the championship series. The Frogs lost to Coastal Carolina who went on to win it all.