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TCU News: Pebley’s squad faces tough challenge, injuries shaping Big 12 race

It’s a big day for TCU Basketball.

Links O' War
Links O’ War
Danny Mourning

Basketball:

Injuries are shaping the face of the Big 12 basketball title race; can Texas Tech, others adjust and capitalize? | Sports Day

It seems like every contender is missing a top player already.

The Texas Tech coach has watched prized freshman Khavon Moore rehab a broken leg. He’s shaken hands and chatted with two more sidelined standouts, Kansas State’s Dean Wade -- who may be returning soon -- and West Virginia’s Sagaba Konate, before games this season. Both were first-team all-Big 12 preseason selections.

He’ll have plenty of opportunities for more talks. The injury list in the Big 12 isn’t getting any shorter. Kansas 7-footer Udoka Azubuike is out for the season with a torn ligament in his right hand. TCU guard Jaylen Fisher has missed the Horned Frogs’ last two games with swelling in his knee. Texas forward Jericho Sims and Oklahoma center Jamuni McNeace are working their way back from ankle sprains.

Baylor’s women’s team is coming to town. That hasn’t been good news for TCU in decades. | The Star-Telegram

The Bears are coming off an upset of UCONN... maybe TCU catches them napping?

The Frogs have lost two straight, and are facing a team ranked No. 4 in the country. Plus, history is sharply on Baylor’s side in this series.

The Bears have won 25 consecutive games over the Frogs, and lead the all-time series 35-5. The last time TCU knocked off Baylor in women’s basketball was Feb. 28, 1990, an 83-76 win in Fort Worth. In the last meeting between the two schools in the Big 12 championship semifinals last spring, Baylor almost doubled TCU’s point total in a dominant 94-48 victory.

Football:

Jalen Hurts tracker: Former Alabama QB reportedly visiting Maryland; OU, Miami linked too | The Star-Telegram

It’s looking less and less likely that the Frogs will land Hurts, but if they can get him on campus, anything is possible.

But Miami is bringing on Dan Enos to serve as offensive coordinator. Enos was Alabama’s quarterbacks coach last year and built a good rapport with Hurts. According to Miami’s Rivals site, CaneSport.com, Hurts is expected to visit Sunday.

And add Oklahoma as another program now linked to Hurts. OU’s quarterback-in-waiting, Austin Kendall, has reportedly entered his name in the NCAA transfer portal. Kendall is expected to explore options – he’s graduated from OU so would be eligible to play next fall – although returning to the Sooners isn’t out of the picture.

Oklahoma has to be intriguing to any quarterback such as Hurts considering Lincoln Riley’s system helped Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray each win the Heisman Trophy the past two seasons.

Florida State offers 2019 TCU RB pledge Darwin Barlow | 247 Sports

Barlow remains solid to the Frogs, but holding on to him for three more weeks isn’t going to be easy.

Florida State extended an offer to Newton (Texas) three-star running back Darwin Barlow on Thursday evening. Barlow is a long-time TCU commitment who opted not to sign during the Early Signing Period.

FSU did not appear to be in the market for a running back in the 2019 class, but in recent days the Seminoles have begun to show interest in available 2019 prospects at the position. The development could correspond to the possibility of a departure from the current roster, most likely Amir Rasul who has entered his name into the transfer portal (as reported here).

TCU OL Lucas Niang returning | 247 Sports

Cannot overstate how crucial this is for the Frogs’ O in 2019.

With Niang returning the Frogs will have one of the top offensive linemen in the Big 12. It also means the Frogs will return five linemen next season who started multiple games in 2018. The Frogs had an up and down season up front but finished the season strong in the final two games of the season. Against Oklahoma State the Frogs rushed for a season-high 243 yards against the Cowboys. In the Cheez-It Bowl against Cal, the nation’s No. 16 total defense, they upped that total with 262 yards. The Frogs ran the ball a season-high 59 times in the 10-7 win.

Niang, a native of Connecticut, has seen action in the past three seasons for the Frogs. He appeared in 12 games as a true freshman and again played in 12 games as a sophomore making 8 starts. In 2018 Niang played and started all 13 games for the Frogs at right tackle to make his consecutive game starts at 21. Niang was named second-team All Big 12 in 2018. Niang was regarded by Pro Football Focus as one of the top offensive linemen in the nation. The website focuses on grading players by watching them every play of every game. The grades range from 0-100; Niang had a grade of 83.5 early in the season.