TCU men’s basketball reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 20 years this year, and though they fell in the first round to Syracuse, the Horned Frogs’ national brand is still on the rise.
It’s commonplace these days for people to release “way-too-early” rankings immediately following a national championship, and several websites have already done that following Villanova’s blowout of Michigan for their second title in three seasons.
Normally, TCU fans look forward to these pre-pre-preseason rankings for football, but now the Frogs can look ahead with hope to next year’s basketball season as well. The Frogs are in the preseason Top 25 across five rankings.
The early rankings for next season are in and people like the Frogs.#GoFrogs pic.twitter.com/INeOw4gjUR— TCU Basketball (@TCUBasketball) April 3, 2018
Let’s take a look at what each site has to say.
Projected Starting Five:
PG: Alex Robinson
SG: Jaylen Fisher
SF: Kouat Noi
PF: JD Miller
C: Kevin Samuel
Projected Bench: Desmond Bane, RJ Nembhard, Angus McWilliam, Kaden Archie, Russell Barlow, Yuat Atok
Key Losses: Kenrich Williams, Vladimir Brodziansky, Ahmed Hamdy
Key Newcomers: Kevin Samuel, Kaden Archie, Angus McWilliam, Russell Barlow, Yuat Atok
NBC Sports | TCU Ranked No. 20
20. TCU HORNED FROGS
Who’s gone: Kenrich Williams, Vlad Brodziansky, Ahmed Hamdy
Who do they add: Kendric Davis, Kaden Archie, Angus McWilliam, Yuat Alok, Russel Barlow Jr.
Projected starting lineup: Alex Robinson, Jaylen Fisher, Desmond Bane, Kouat Noi, Kevin Samuel
Losing Williams and Brodziansky is going to be a blow, but there are still plenty of pieces. Bane and Noi should be in line for breakout seasons, and Jamie Dixon going small-ball with a two-point guard look should be fun to watch.
21. TCU Horned Frogs
With Jaylen Fisher sidelined by a season-ending knee injury, the Horned Frogs finished 8-8 over the final 16 games of the season. They reached the tournament but never their potential without the 6-2 point guard. He’s back for 2018-19, along with Alex Robinson, Kouat Noi, JD Miller and Desmond Bane. Coach Jamie Dixon will also add a top-30 class with three four-star recruits. This TCU squad could compete for the Big 12 crown in Dixon’s third season.
CBS Sports | TCU Ranked No. 21
Coach: Jamie Dixon
2017-18 record: 21-12
Notable players definitely gone: Vladimir Brodziansky, Kenrich Williams, Ahmed Hamdy
Other expected departures: None
Notable players expected to return: Desmond Bane, Jaylen Fisher, Kouat Noi, Alex Robinson, JD Miller, Shawn Olden, RJ Nembhard
Expected additions: Kevin Samuel, Kaden Archie, Kendric Davis, Russell Barlow, Yuat Alok, Angus McWilliam, Lat Mayen
Why the Horned Frogs are ranked here: Jamie Dixon guided TCU to the NCAA Tournament in just his second season, and he should do it again in this third even though he’s losing his top two scorers. Either Desmond Bayne or Jaylen Fisher will emerge as TCU’s new leading scorer. Both averaged more than 12 points this season as sophomores.
The Athletic | TCU Ranked No. 22
I’m not going to pull text from behind a paywall, but the general thoughts from Sam Vecenie are that Kevin Samuel and Lat Mayen will be major impact players for the Frogs in 2018, as will Kaden Archie.