Just playing the season itself seems like a victory.
Asked what he was most thankful for this Thanksgiving, TCU football coach Gary Patterson started off his answer with family, friends and, of course, grandchildren.
But Patterson is also thankful for a football season amid the coronavirus pandemic. He praised fellow coaches, players and conference officials who have made a season possible even with a handful of disruptions.
“Everybody who has gone through this, it’s been a learning experience,” Patterson said. “You get to where you appreciate people a lot more. Across the conference, I’ve appreciated all the coaches and players we’ve played against and everybody else for the simple reason of understanding everything they’ve had to go through to get to this point.
We know better than to sleep on Kansas.
“You’ve only won three ballgames. There’s no overlooking,” Patterson said on the Big 12 coaches teleconference Monday. “They’re the next ballgame. If you watch Kansas, they played everybody close early so we’ve got to get ready to play.”
TCU has had the edge on KU since joining the Big 12 in 2012. The Frogs are 7-1 in those eight games, although the road games have been close.
KU actually won in 2018, a 27-26 victory in Lawrence. Former TCU running back Darius Anderson had a costly fumble late in that game.
TCU’s other trips to Lawrence resulted in victories of 24-23 in 2016, 34-30 in 2014 and 20-6 in 2012. Again, not the most impressive final scores but this is a new year for both teams.
A nice way to start the season for the Frogs.
Freshman Mike Miles scored 13 points and Chuck O’Bannon had 11 points, nine rebounds and two steals to help TCU beat Houston Baptist 69-45 on Wednesday night in the season opener for both teams.
Junior center Kevin Samuel had six points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. He has 165 career blocks and needs just six more to break the program record of 171 held by Vladimir Brodziansky (2015-18) and James Penny (1995-98). Samuel is one behind Kurt Thomas, who played 18 NBA seasons and was the No. 10 overall selection in the 1995 NBA draft.
Lauren Heard and Yummy Morris are quite the inside-outside duo.
“We definitely played like a team that is pretty new to each other,” she said. “I have to do a good job of staying patient and continuing to help them form and gel together and build that chemistry. I thought the second half was much improved as far as effort goes on the defensive end and it became a lot easier to score once when we did that.”
Indeed, the Frogs’ defensive pressure in the second half helped turn a three-point lead into a 14-point lead after three quarters. TCU scored 33 points off of 29 turnovers.
Lauren Heard, who had 22 points, five assists and five steals, said first-game issues were to be expected, especially considering the circumstances. Yummy Morris led TCU with 26 points on 12 of 17 shooting.
“We also knew that it was going to be a learning experience about each other. You want to get the win but you also want to build that chemistry and that relationship on the team for what’s coming next,” Heard said.
Beach Volleyball gets better!
The Fort Worth metroplex will be the destination next fall for Hays High senior volleyball player Brooke Sheely after she signed to continue her playing career at the collegiate level. On Nov. 19, Sheely signed her letter of intent to compete with the Texas Christian University (TCU) Women’s Beach Volleyball program, a Division I-level team that plays in the Big XII conference. Joining Sheely during her signing at Hays High were friends and family, as well as teammates from the Hays High volleyball team and the coaching staff led by head coach Ashley Davis. During her three-year varsity level high school indoor volleyball career, Sheely finished with 133 aces, 635 points on serves and 1,048 total digs over the course of 331 sets played. Sheely earned numerous postseason accolades, including being named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) 2020 All Region team. In addition, Sheely will graduate 20th in the Hays High Class of 2021. Sheely is the sixth Hays High student athlete to sign their letter of intent this month and the fourth to sign with a Division I program.