SMU isn’t off the table... yet.
“Our first preference is with SMU. They understand that,” Donati said. “However, there may be difficulty in doing that. We can’t wait too long ‘cause we won’t have any options, but we don’t want to pull the trigger too early if we could play SMU.”
A 10th game would likely be played on Dec. 12 at TCU, as long as it wouldn’t conflict with the men’s basketball game against Texas A&M at Dickies Arena the same day. But the Dec. 12 date is flexible and could be pushed back to Dec. 16, 17 or 18. The Frogs would not want to play on Dec. 19 and coincide with the Big 12 championship game that day at AT&T Stadium.
Donati did not mention which other schools TCU could consider outside of SMU.
Among options, though, would seem to include Louisiana Tech, which had a nonconference game against Baylor canceled. A couple Southland Conference schools could make sense, too, in Stephen F. Austin and Central Arkansas.
Billy with a big score!
“It’s harder for these guys now to be truthful. It’s hard to compare my generation to these kids now. The rules are against them,” Brown said. “I think these guys are a lot more athletic, their talented and some of the length with guys at 6-2, 6-3, so I think these guys are a lot more athletic as a group overall than when I played.”
Another thing working against the Frogs right now at that position is the injury bug. TCU is without Noah Daniels and Kee’yon Stewart for the rest of the season and are now leaning on Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson and C.J. Ceasar II. Despite the injuries, Brown sees that as an area of strength for the Frogs.
“They’re tough, they tackle, they cover and they can get after you,” Brown said of the current Frog corners. “They are extremely well coached and that’s the style your’e going to see in a Gary Patterson defense. Some guys cover, but can’t tackle. TCU guys can do it all.”
The Horned Frogs are erring on the side of caution, and that’s the right things to do.
“I think the college basketball seasons will look a lot like football,” Donati told the Star-Telegram last week. “I think there will be a season played. I think there will be games canceled. I think there will be games rescheduled as we’re seeing now. It’s just going to be continuing to fight through it.”
For now, TCU plans for basketball home games to be played in front of a limited capacity crowd at 25%. The 6,800-seat Schollmaier Arena should be able to accommodate approximately 1,600 each game.
Donati has no plans to increase that number for the foreseeable future. In fact, TCU is planning for spring sports such as baseball and tennis to have a similar capacity limit.
“It’ll be a while, frankly, [before capacity increases],” Donati said. “We probably need the vaccine to be distributed before we go higher. It’s going to be what it’s going to be this year. I still think we can offer a good home-court advantage for our teams, but we are still anxious for better days.”
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see this team play tomorrow. It could be a high-flying affair, too.
Samuel is a tantalizing presence at 6-foot-11, 255 pounds with a level of athleticism that allowed him to block 85 shots to go with 10.0 points and 8.4 rebounds a game.
“He’s improved each year gradually and that’s a lot coming from where he came from when he got here,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said. “We hope his conditioning is a little better, talked to him about his body and trying to become an elite-level athlete, an elite-level physicality, and that’s where I think he’s going.”
As much as the Frogs will lean on Nembhard and Samuel, intriguing newcomers will need to emerge.
TCU features four freshmen who redshirted last season, three true freshmen who were rated as four-star recruits, and transfer Chuck O’Bannon Jr., a former five-star player who spent the past three seasons at Southern California.
Houston Baptist is coming off a particularly nightmarish campaign when it staggered to a 4-25 record. Scoring wasn’t a problem for the Huskies; they averaged 80.1 points a game. But HBU gave up 93.9 points per game, the worst mark in Division I.
Another summer in Omaha sounds just fine to me!
TCU might have been the biggest beneficiary of the season shutdown, but head coach Jim Schlossnagle believes it’s important to be cautious.
Sure, the Horned Frogs welcome back a plethora of players who were seniors last season and decided to return to the program for another year. But this is also a group, that while improved in 2020, didn’t finish the season. Therefore, Schlossnagle believes the Frogs still have plenty of unfinished business.