Well, I was wrong. I’ll admit it.
On Monday, I predicted Arkansas-Pine Bluff to be the easiest game on the Frogs’ schedule. To put it bluntly, it wasn’t.
TCU barely avoided an embarrassing loss after being favored by 34.5 points to the Golden Lions. The #361st ranked Golden Lions. If the Frogs were to lose, it would’ve been the greatest ‘upset’ in college basketball history.
It was a horrendous prediction on my part, but one I’m sure many Frogs fans made right alongside with me. By halftime, we were sitting on our couches flabbergasted and bewildered by what we were watching. With the success our athletics have had the past few months, it may have knocked many of us out of oblivion, off of cloud nine, and into reality.
I’m sure it wasn’t a fun couple days in practice for the Frogs.
BUT - the squad has a chance to turn it around, and (potentially) run the score up on Lamar, who, at this point, should be the easiest game left on the Frogs’ schedule.
Let’s hope I’m not eating my words once again once the final buzzer sounds, though...
Nov. 11 vs. Lamar
Lamar didn’t win a single game against a Division I opponent last season.
27 opportunities. Not one win.
The Cardinals finished 2-27 last season. Those two wins came against Division II or III squads. If it takes the Frogs less than single-digits to defeat the Cardinals, it may be time to sound the alarms.
In the Cardinals’ first game of the season, Lamar continued its beatdown on Division II or III teams, and against NCAA Division III opponent St. Thomas (TX), Lamar sidestepped the Celts, in a close one, winning 63-61.
A two-point win against a Division III program.
Though Arkansas-Pine Bluff kept it within one against the Frogs, at least it’s a Division I school.
Lamar returns only three players for the 2022-23 season, the only two returning members of the Cardinals’ key rotation being G Brock McClure and C Valentin Catt, who may have the tough task of containing Eddie Lampkin.
But, Lamar did recruit a bundle of new players, who could provide the spark last year’s squad couldn’t. They picked up a bevy of freshmen, some who actually had some tremendous high school careers, and the roster they’ve compiled looks like they could beat a Division 1 opponent this season.
Though he won’t have the ball in his hands much, Look out for freshman F Jason Thirdkill, Jr. in this one, who was the 17th ranked prospect in the prospect-rich state of Michigan, and actually chose Lamar over TCU, and other Texas schools like A&M and UTA. He should get a decent amount of playing time early in the season, but he only scored 6 points, paired with 8 rebounds, in his 35 minutes against St. Thomas.
For who should have the ball in hands for the Cardinals, Lamar starts junior Chris Pryor, and sophomore Jakevion Buckley in the team’s backcourt. As the Cardinals aren’t a very deep team, playing just eight in the win over St. Thomas, expect Pryor and Buckley to spend a heavy majority of their time on the court.
Pryor, who played at McLennan Community College last season, and was named JTJCAC Player of the Year in his sophomore year, scored 23 points, on 6/13 from the floor and 3/8 from 3-pt range in his Lamar debut.
He’ll likely be matched up against Mike Miles for the length of this game.
Buckley, another Junior College transfer, played at Trinity Valley Community College last season, and averaged 18.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and led his conference with 7.8 assists per game. Buckley was an absolute box-score-stuffer in the NJCCA, and led TVCC to the NJCAA National Tournament his freshman year.
In his debut game with the Cardinals, Buckley scored 17, going 5/14 from the floor and 2/3 from 3. He added 5 rebounds, and 4 assists, in his 34 minutes.
Though Pryor and Buckley are talented prospects, and definitely prove to be Division I players, there’s just too little to make me believe that the Cardinals can put up the fight Arkansas-Pine Bluff did.
Lamar plays eight guys a game, and its best two players are straight of JUCO; they simply don’t match up talent-wise with the likes of Miles, O’Bannon, Miller, and Lampkin.
AND - I don’t see the Frogs coming out lazy and unmotivated, like they did against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Coach Dixon worked them hard in practice this week, and the squad will look to avoid another potential embarrassment tonight in the Schollmaier.
But, again, I could be wrong.
TCU, 81 - Lamar, 55
How To Watch
When: Friday at 7 p.m. CT
Where: Ed & Rae Schollmaier Arena
TV: ESPN Plus
Follow: Frogs O’ War Game Thread
Ticket Cost: $5.00