The wild offseason for TCU Basketball continued Monday, as the Frogs (potentially) lost two players and gained one.
The biggest announcement came from fourth year junior Kevin Samuel, who to the surprise of pretty much nobody, announced that he would be testing the NBA Draft waters, but retaining his final year of eligibility:
Samuel put up the best numbers of his career in 2019-2020, starting all 32 games while averaging 10 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. He took a step back last season, with his averages dropping to 8.8 ppg and 7.8 rpg. He is a career 39.8% free throw shooter, something that has hindered his development and ability to be on the floor in late game situations, but has shot nearly 65% from the field across 95 career games/starts. What’s interesting is his usage: despite starting every single game he’s ever played in, he’s averaged just 26 minutes per contest.
If I were to guess, my gut says Samuel returns to TCU. Though he will already have his degree in hand, Big Kev is more of a throwback player and a bit of an anomaly in today’s NBA game. Unless he develops the ability to shoot from 15’ out, Samuel is more of a defensive presence than offensive force in a style of play that demands its bigs do both. He will certainly have a long professional career, but an additional year of refining his game wouldn’t be the worst decision in the world, and if he ends up overseas, starting that journey post pandemic is probably a lot more appealing.
The surprise defection today came from first year forward Terren Frank, a highly-touted prospect who became a fan favorite down the stretch last season. Even before the rash of defections, Frank’s role was expected to increase exponentially next fall, as the 6’8” freshman out of Sierra Canyon showcased a nice outside shot, solid ball handling, and improving defense in limited action in his first collegiate season. More than once, Jamie Dixon remarked post game that he “should be playing Terren more”.
Frank is rumored to be returning closer to home for family reasons.
The relationships and bonds built this past year will forever hold a special place in my heart. While I have decided to enter the transfer portal, I will always be appreciative for coaches, staff, faculty and all that have given support. Thank you TCU— Terren Frank (@TerrenFrank) April 12, 2021
On a positive note, though, the Frogs picked up a quality player Monday when former Memphis guard Damion Baugh announced his commitment to TCU. Baugh was a critical member of the Tigers’ NIT Championship team this season, playing nearly 20 mpg and starting four. He started 25/31 games as a true freshman as well.
☔️ COMMITTED ☔️ Congrats to #TTN Alumni who will be making it rain in Texas, Damion Baugh (@_swaggyd2_) on making the decision to become a Horned Frog at TCU! #HornedFrogs #TheBrotherhood pic.twitter.com/eJfa7fP3B5— Team Thad (@TeamThad21) April 12, 2021
Though Baugh’s career numbers aren’t going to wow anyone (3.8 ppg/2.4 apg/3.2 rpg, 42.8% from the field and 27.8% from three), there is a reason that he was one of the most highly-recruited players in Tennessee coming out of high school. #115 nationally and a top 20 player at his position, Baugh had 23 offers — including Auburn, Texas Tech, Georgetown, Texas, Houston, LSU, and TCU — coming out of Tennessee Prep in Memphis, and just needs someone to unlock his potential. Already a defensive stalwart, Baugh has playmaking bonafides and should be an instant upgrade over — well, whoever is left on the roster, I guess. He’s also only a (COVID) sophomore, so in theory, could play in Fort Worth for three more seasons. Which is massive for Jamie Dixon.
TCU Basketball’s roster for the 2021-2022 season now looks like this:
Guards: Mike Miles, PJ Fuller, Chuck O’Bannon, Francisco Farabello, Damion Baugh (transfer), Shadada Wells (transfer), Maxwell Evans (transfer)
Forwards: Eddie Lampkin, Souleymane Doumbia (signee), Harrison Young (walk-on)
Declaring for NBA Draft but have eligibility remaining: RJ Nembhard, Kevin Samuel
At most, the Frogs currently have 11 scholarship players, a number that could go as low as 9 depending on what Nembhard and Samuel decide.
Good thing the portal is apparently open for business.