With TCU basketball finishing up an incredible run to what should have been at least the Sweet 16 (#mikewasfouled), the offseason is here presenting an opportunity for the Frogs to regroup and focus on a few key areas of improvement. Head Coach Jamie Dixon did an excellent job last offseason in the transfer portal, replacing a majority of the roster leading to arguably the best season in program history. Hopefully, this success in the portal will transfer over and help the Frogs address areas of need along with high school recruits and the further development of players within the program. This article describes a few goals for TCU basketball to hopefully achieve this offseason that could lead to another deep run in March.
Goal 1: Keep Mike Miles at TCU for another year
The top priority for Dixon this offseason is to keep his best player from going to the NBA Draft for at least one more year. Miles was one of the top players in the Big 12, being named All-Big 12 Second Team, and has the opportunity to enter the NBA Draft this summer. Most experts have Miles projected as a mid to late second-round pick as of now. Even though he could improve his stock through offseason workouts with teams and at the combine, Miles has the talent to return to school for another year and launch himself into solidified first-round pick territory. The benefits for TCU would be obvious if Miles stays. Miles put on a show on the national stage in both the NCAA and Big 12 tournaments, being named to the All-Big 12 Tournament Team and scoring at least 20 points in both games in the NCAA tournament. Miles helped showcase what this program was capable of for a national audience, and him staying for another year would be a large draw for both high school recruits and potential transfers.
Goal 2: Add another shot creator
TCU excelled this season on both the defensive end of the floor and in crashing the glass, ranking near the top of the national leaderboard for offensive rebounding percentage. The offense, while by no means was bad, was the weak spot for the Frogs and they desperately needed another ball handler to take pressure off of Miles and fellow guard Damion Baugh. TCU struggled all year against aggressive on-ball pressure. Whether it was trying to beat the press or double teams off of on-ball screens, traps and aggressive defense gave the Frogs fits and contributed to high turnover rates. One potential high school recruit that could fill this void is Anthony Black, a 5-star guard from Duncanville high school, in the DFW area. The head coach at Duncanville is David Peavy, father of current TCU basketball player Micah Peavy. Black is set to commit today, March 28th, at the McDonald’s All-American game and if he chooses TCU, he would solve the ball-handling problem and then some. Ranked as the number one point guard in his class by 247 sports, Black has drawn comparisons to former number one overall pick Cade Cunningham as a tall point guard with good vision, shot-making ability, and rebounding skills to go along with natural athleticism. He would be a dream addition for the Frogs.
Goal 3: Free Throws
As a team, TCU has struggled with free throws for what seems like all of eternity and needs to address this weakness in the offseason. The Frogs are incredibly athletic as a team that provides opportunities to draw fouls off of offensive rebounds or getting into the paint, but they need to be able to convert at the line. TCU as a team shot only 66 percent from the line this season and only had one player hit over 80 percent of their free throws (Francisco Farabello at 90 percent). The Big 12 is the best basketball conference in the country, and it is inevitable that the Frogs will have close games decided by free throws next year. The next step for many players in the program needs to be improving free throw shooting to make sure those close games go the Frogs' way next year.
Goal 4: Add a two-way wing
Micah Peavy, Emmanuel Miller, and Xavier Cork were some of the most important pieces of TCU’s defense this year as lengthy, versatile defenders who could switch onto any opposing player and hold their own on defense. The problem arose when these players would get into foul trouble and TCU would be left without a true stopper on the defensive end. Although other players on the roster were more than capable on the defensive end, the frogs needed another player that could guard the opposing team’s best offensive weapon and slow them down. Additionally, the frogs did not shoot the three ball well this year, often leading to a clogged paint that left little room for the TCU guards to attack. The Frogs need more shooters to go along with Chuck O’Bannon and Francisco Farabello to try and improve spacing on the offensive end. Ideally, Dixon will be able to find a player that alleviates both of these potential problems in a 3 and D player that has become immensely valuable at both the NBA and collegiate levels.
Goal 5: Developing Micah Peavy’s offensive game
Micah Peavy was one of the best on-ball defenders in all of college basketball this year as he was given the assignment of guarding the best players in the Big 12 and more than held his own. Most notably, he was a huge factor in TCU’s upset win over Kansas as he held Naismith player of the year award finalist Ochai Agbaji to just 13 points on 4-17 shooting and 3 turnovers. On the offensive side of the floor, Peavy showcased his ability to grab offensive rebounds as well as showing flashes of mid-range accuracy and ball-handling skills. As one of the best athletes on TCU’s roster, Peavy has the tools to become an explosive shot creator with the ability to blow by defenders using his speed and finish over and around big men in the paint. Developing Peavy’s game should be high on the to-do list for Dixon and his staff as he has the potential to be a star on offense to go along with his already elite defensive skills.
If Dixon is able to check through this list over the offseason, TCU has the chance to make a run at the top of the Big 12 and not only make the tournament next season but also earn a high seed with a chance to make a deep run.