Cuse’s rotation is even shorter than the Frogs. TCU will need to push the pace and take advantage.
The Orange’s 60-56 victory over Arizona State in the final First Four game in Dayton, Ohio, was not particularly pretty, but points — not style points — are what matter from this time of the season forward
Despite shooting 40.8 percent from the field and missing 10 free throws, Syracuse (21-13) and its iron five advanced to meet sixth-seeded TCU (21-11) in a first-round game of the Midwest Region in Detroit on Friday.
Always interesting to hear from the other side. It appears Syracuse fans aren’t excited about a rematch with Jamie Dixon.
There are few coaches Syracuse fans are less excited to see on the other sideline than Jamie Dixon, who prepares his team as well as any coach in the country for Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone. Dixon, the former Pittsburgh coach, joined Texas Christian two years ago.
He left behind a five-game winning streak against Syracuse and compiled a 15-6 record that came without an overwhelming talent advantage, a remarkably rare feat. Along with a good plan of attack in the high-post against the zone, Dixon’s teams have generally been physical and strong rebounding teams, skills frequently needed to beat the Orange.
This is a long, athletic group.
Between the choice of Syracuse and Arizona State, TCU definitely earned the tougher physical matchup. Syracuse is the tallest team in the nation based on average height -- 80.1 inches, or just over 6-5. The average height of players who actually receive minutes is more like 6-9. TCU is the 29th tallest team in the nation, measuring in at 78.1 inches. That two inch difference may not mean much now, but considering the Frogs only faced a taller opponent once this season (Nevada; 78.3), overcoming a size disadvantage isn’t something TCU has practiced very much in-game.
Good to know Patrick will be around for the tourney run.
TCU assistant basketball coach David Patrick is leaving for the head job at UC Riverside.
ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reported that Patrick had agreed to a deal with Riverside Wednesday afternoon.
This is huge for Pebley’s squad, much like it was for Dixon’s a year ago.
“For a team that’s as young as us it’s a great learning opportunity,” said Pebley, who guided the Frogs to the WNIT in her first two seasons in 2015 and 2016. “We have women on our team that haven’t been to a postseason of any kind yet so they’re excited. Our staff is excited. The WNIT can be a great platform for a young program so we’re going to take full advantage of that.”
TCU (19-12) will be tested against Southland Conference regular-season champion Lamar (22-7) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Schollmaier Arena.
”You have to learn how to win in the postseason. That’s another element of how else we can make this season extra special,” Pebley said. “Let’s go win. Let’s go learn how to win in March and deep into March. The way you do that is one game at a time.”