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Frogs in the Pros: Desmond Bane catching fire in Memphis

The former Horned Frog shooting guard is playing like an All-Star early in the NBA season.

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Memphis Grizzlies Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022-23 NBA season is well underway and former TCU standout Desmond Bane is off to a scorching start for the Memphis Grizzlies. Entering his third NBA season, Bane has been a go-to scorer on the hardwood, averaging 22.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 5.6 assists while shooting 46.8 percent from 3-point range and 43.2 percent from the field. The former first-rounder is a huge reason the Grizzlies are off to a 4-1 start and lead the Southwest Division.

Bane has been dominant over each of his last two games, scoring 31 points on 11-of-18 shooting against the Sacramento Kings after torching the Brooklyn Nets for 38 points on 14-of-21 shooting and 8-of-11 shooting from beyond the arc. The 24-year-old Bane has elevated his game each year since his rookie season in 2020, with his most noticeable growth coming on the offensive end, where his isolation scoring ability has improved dramatically.

Having shot at least 43 percent from 3-point land in each of his first two seasons, Bane’s elite perimeter shooting helped him carve out a role with the starting lineup in Memphis. Now a much more lethal scorer, Bane has become a complementary star opposite Ja Morant and could potentially earn an All-Star nomination if he continues to play at this level. Bane is one of three TCU basketball products currently in the NBA. Kenrich Williams (Oklahoma City) is in his fifth season and R.J. Nembhard (Cleveland Cavaliers) was signed to a two-way deal and will begin his second professional season with the G League affiliate.

Williams is averaging 7.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game for the Thunder this season. The former TCU forward is shooting 48.5 percent from the field and has earned two starts in five games. Nembhard averaged 24.5 points, 8.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game for the Cleveland Charge in the G League during the 2021-22 campaign.