We are going to try something a little different with links and make it more “discussion” based. The thought is to pick a couple of the big stories a couple times a week and get your thoughts as well as offering our opinions. Let us know if there is anything we can do to make the experience more fun and interactive!
Kevin Samuel’s journey with TCU Basketball was often one of “what could have been”. The old-school center had the talent — starting every game of the season for the last three seasons, collecting 16 double-doubles, and regularly finding himself among the league-leaders in blocked shots, rebounds, and field goal percentage.
But he never quite developed into the dominating post presence fans were expecting, often disappearing on that end of the floor despite having a significant size advantage in many of the games he played. His limited range made him a bad fit in the high-flying Big 12, and though he excelled in the pick and roll, he never quite fit in Jamie Dixon’s guard-oriented motion offense and his historically bad free throw percentage often made him a late-game liability.
Now, he joins the long line of former Frogs to pursue greener pastures a step down in competition, announcing his intention to transfer to Florida Gulf Coast after briefly flirting with an early-entry to the NBA Draft. One of the most delightful humans to suit up for TCU Basketball, Kevin’s emphatic smile was a staple on the court, seen as often as his thunderous dunks. “Kevin will bring a wealth of experience and on-the-court productivity to our program,” said FGCU head coach Michael Fly. “As a someone who has played nearly 100 career games in the Big 12, holds a program record for blocked shots, and has averaged nearly a double-double for his career, Kevin will make an immediate impact on our program next season.”
How will the Frogs replace their big man next season? The new-look Frogs have just two players over 6’9” on the roster — Eddie Lampkin, one of just four returning scholarship players — and juco transfer Soulemayne Doumbia. TCU recently announced that their final scholarship slot would go to Butler transfer JaKobe Coles, a Duncanville native who played AAU ball with Mike Miles. Coles averaged 6.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and shot 63% from the field playing 18 minutes a game before a knee injury ended his freshman season.
Kirk Saarloos isn’t looking to make waves.
Well, maybe that’s not entirely true.
The Horned Frogs newly-minted skipper has made it clear that he’s going to build on the foundation that took his program to five College World Series tournaments in Omaha, but also intends to firmly put his stamp on the program in the process.
But his first move has been to not make too many moves, locking up Associate Head Coach Bill Mosiello, retaining graduate assistant Matthew Purke, first base coach John DiLaura, and strength and conditioning guru Zach Dechant. But he did two big things: promoting DiLaura to recruiting coordinator and luring pitching guru Kyle Winkler home from Incarnate Word, where the former TCU All American was serving as pitching coach.
What does this mean for the future of TCU Baseball, especially from a pitching perspective? Let’s check in with Matt Purke:
Can’t wait to be together with my long time teammate and friend @kmwink8. 3 All-Americans collaborating to perfect the craft for the TCU pitching staff. Find me another program that has that. #GoFrogs #blessed #Punchies https://t.co/JF3rvEMg2l— Matthew Purke (@mattpurke47) June 27, 2021
Yeah, three All-American pitchers on staff. That seems pretty good.
Coming off of a season in which they tied for the regular season conference championship and won the conference tournament outright, not changing things too much seems like a good choice. But, for fans that are still steaming over the way the Frogs went out on their home field in the Regional round, Gary Patterson’s famous quote may come to mind: “the good news is, everybody is coming back. The bad news is, everybody is coming back.” Will the same guys be able to flip the script on a season that was both outstanding and frustrating as hell?
I guess we will know about 12 months from now, right?