TCU Basketball has never won in Norman.
It doesn’t seem possible, but here we are, staring an 0-11 record at Lloyd Nobles Center straight in the face.
And they’ve found a bunch of different ways to do it, too, though few felt as disappointing as Tuesday night’s effort on the road. Down two key players in Brady Manek and Jalen Hill, the Sooners didn’t slow down, starting strong on offense and suffocating the Frogs throughout the contest.
The Horned Frogs ran off the first four points of the evening, but it was all Oklahoma from there, as the Sooners dominated the first 20 minutes of play on their way to a 34-22 first half lead. The worst part of it? They did all (mostly) without Frog killer Austin Reaves, who was just 2-6 from the field for six total points in his first 19 minutes of court time. Instead, it was De’Vion Harmon (10 points, 2-5 from three) and Umoja Gipson (two first half threes) that got the offense going for OU and spurred on a double digit lead early.
TCU missed all eight of their three point attempts in the first half and went just 2-6 from the free throw line, while adding seven turnovers leading to 12 Sooner points. Jamie Dixon spoke of the pacing being bad, and referred to the offensive end of the floor as “troubling”, after the game.
Things only went downhill from there.
Through the first five minutes of play after the halftime intermission, the Frogs were 1-8 from the field, 0-2 from the three point line, and 0-3 from the charity stripe. They were out-rebounded 12-3, looking completely disinterested as the Sooners ran up the score on a series of transition buckets and three pointers. The OU run stretched all the way to 14-0 — in just under four minutes, until RJ Nembhard broke the streak with a free throw. Kevin Easley followed that with TCU’s first made three pointer of the game, breaking an 0-10 streak, but by that point Oklahoma had more than doubled up the Horned Frogs and the Sooners were rolling.
Dixon is trying to let the margin go and focus on what’s next. “It’s a big loss, big margin, but it’s one loss,” he said. “We were not ready to go for a variety of reasons — our health being a main part of it — but that’s just the situation that we are in. No excuses; we have to regroup. We just won five games in a row, but we weren’t good enough to beat Kansas, Baylor, and now Oklahoma.”
The highlight of the second half was an Eddie Lampkin appearance — always a bright light in the darkness. But even that couldn’t take the sting out of a 36 point loss, the worst of a week that started with #6 Kansas and sandwiched #2 Baylor in the middle.
RJ Nembhard led the Frogs with 10 points, adding five rebounds and a pair of assists. Mike Miles and Kevin Samuel had eight points apiece, with the former adding a career-high nine rebounds and the latter chipping in seven. The Sooners had four players in double-figures on the evening, finished with seven more rebounds and 13 more assists than TCU, and turned 16 Frog turnovers into 25 points.
TCU shot just 35% from the field, 21% from three, and 35% from the free throw line.
After a three game stretch that is amongst the worst of the Jamie Dixon era, the Horned Frogs get rewarded with four straight games against ranked opponents. “We’ve got to regroup, we’ve got to find ourselves, and we’ve got some time to do it.,” Dixon said. After the delay of Saturday’s scheduled matchup at #13 West Virginia — leaving the Frogs with an eight day break between games — TCU Basketball gets #15 Texas Tech at home next Wednesday, followed by #4 Texas Saturday, at #6 Kansas on the 26th, and at #17 Missouri on the 30th. They will hope to get Francisco Farabello back, who missed Tuesday night’s game due to a calf injury and has been in and out of the lineup for much of the last month. They also hope to get guys healthy, with Farabello, PJ Fuller, and others banged up, and multiple players dealing with non-COVID illness as well, according to Dixon.
With players banged up, guys under the weather, and a myriad of excuses as to why, Jamie Dixon just had one thing to say about Tuesday’s game. “We can look at it as one loss, but we didn't have the fight, didn't have the energy we needed to have. We need to get to work.”
January has not been kind to TCU, but hopefully they can turn the tide and get off of the schneid.