It has not been the greatest start for TCU Basketball.
Not much has come easy, and not much has led fans to come away happy.
If it’s any beacon to how the Frogs have performed early in this 2022-23 season, the team started the season ranked #14 in the AP Poll, dropped to #15 a week later, and after the loss to Northwestern State on Nov. 14, have dropped out of the AP Poll completely.
BUT - the team had a very strong bounce-back performance in the 1st Round of the Emerald Coast Classic, a campus game against UL Monroe.
A performance so strong, it may have just led fans to believe the success of last season’s team could reach this season’s squad.
The team tallied 10 blocks in last Thursday’s contest, Jakobe Coles with three himself, and the Frogs held the Warhawks to 30% shooting, their best defensive performance so far this season.
With a convincing performance against California, TCU Basketball could make their way back into the AP Poll. (The Frogs had 82 votes in the AP Poll released on Nov. 21, good for #26, right on the outside looking in).
Ultimately, though wins haven’t come easy, and performances haven’t been pretty, statistics show it isn’t the end of the world (if analytics are your thing).
TCU still ranks #42 in ESPN’s BPI, and is still in the top 65 in offensive efficiency, and the top 40 in the country in defensive efficiency, leading me to believe there’s still promise when they reach full potential.
Can full potential be reached against the California Golden Bears?? There’s plenty of reason to think so…
Nov. 25 vs. California (Played in Niceville, Florida)
After winning the campus game versus UL Monroe 95-60, the Frogs move on in the Emerald Coast Classic, and head to Niceville, Florida on the state’s panhandle to play California in the 2nd Round.
The Golden Bears have been quite horrible this season, starting 0-5, and doing so by losing to teams like UC Davis, UC San Diego, Southern, and Texas State.
This is the worst start for California basketball in over a century. They legitimately look like one of the worst teams in the country.
They’re ranked #210 in the country by kenpom.com, behind teams like Winthrop and Detroit Mercy. The only bright spot on the team’s stat sheet is that they’re top 50 in the country in blocks per game, but truly how impactful of a stat is that?
Cal is one of the slowest teams in the nation, ranked 343rd in the country in adjusted tempo according to kenpom.com, and that’s led to the Golden Bears ranking bottom 50 in assists per game and shooting at only a 41% clip.
They also foul a lot, fouling 18.6 times per game. If the Frogs can hit free throws (which has improved from last season), they should score a lot from the foul stripe.
Ultimately, the Frogs have so, so many advantages in this matchup and a win should come with ease, rolling over the success that came in the game versus UL Monroe.
Eddie Lampkin, Xavier Cork, and Jakobe Coles should eat on the boards, as the Frogs rank #21 in the country with 42.5 rebounds per game, while the Golden Bears only rank 302nd, grabbing a menial 32.8 rebounds per game.
If the Frogs can play fast, which they’ve done throughout the early portion of the season, and continue to crash the boards, this should be a dominating win.
I see the dominance from the UL Monroe game to roll over in this Emerald Coast Classic, and for the Frogs to handle the Golden Bears with ease.
TCU 74, California 53