The Horned Frogs sport plenty of fire power heading into Jamie Dixon’s third season at the helm of the program, and should be as deep as they have been at any point in their history. Having made it to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 20 years last spring, expectations are higher than ever, not just in and around Fort Worth and the Big 12, but across the country.
One believer in what TCU Basketball is building is ESPN College Basketball Insider John Gasaway, who believes the Frogs will be one of the top offenses in the country in 2018-2019:
It might not have received the attention it merited, but TCU had the best offense in Big 12 play last season. That’s no small feat, considering the Big 12 was the consensus choice as the toughest league in the country from top to bottom. The Horned Frogs scored 1.14 points per trip in conference play, edging out West Virginia and Kansas (both at 1.13) for best-offense honors.
Assuming that Jaylen Fisher fully recovers from last season’s knee injury and that Desmond Bane and Kouat Noi continue to drain 3s, this offense should be able to weather losing both Vladimir Brodziansky and Kenrich Williams.
The Horned Frogs were indeed the best offense in the Big 12 by several metrics, including field goal percentage (49.6) and were second in points per game at 82.1 - which trailed OU’s 84.9 by less than a Trae Young long range bucket. The Frogs also led in points per possession in Big 12 play (1.14) - even without Jaylen Fisher - and return nearly 60% of those returners minutes.
While Kansas looks to be an unstoppable machine on paper, TCU has an intriguing mix of veteran experience and young talent, a recipe for success in the meat grinder that is conference play. The depth will be key - though they lose two talented big men in Vladimir Brodziansky and Kenrich Williams, adding size and athleticism in the way of Kevin Samuel, Lat Mayen, and Angue McWilliam - who all redshirted last season - and intriguing freshman Russell Barlow, along with a plethora of highly-touted guards, should make up for the losses. Desmond Bane and Kouat Noi should also be better players with another year under their belts, and if Fisher returns from his latest injury setback, and can stay healthy, that’s a potent scoring punch backed up by an athletic defense. TCU can, and really should, challenge for a top three seed heading into conference tournament time. And, for some, they are a trendy pick to finally unseat the Jayhawks from the captain’s perch.
But let’s not get tooooooo ahead of ourselves.
TCU Basketball opens their season at home on November 7th against Cal State Bakersfield, with conference play set to start on January 5th when Baylor comes to town.