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TCU Men’s Basketball 2022-23 Season Recap

The last two seasons of TCU Basketball have been the best two-year run in program history.

The last two seasons of TCU Basketball have been the best two-year run in program history.

I think that’s safe to say.

Two NCAA Tournament appearances and being competitive in the Big 12 for the first time since entering the conference is a good barometer for where this program is headed.

But still – the Horned Frogs can’t get over the hump that is the Round of 32. After finishing the season in late March by a loss to Gonzaga in the Round of 32, the bright lights of the Sweet 16 still await the Frogs.

The wait could end next season – the Frogs have the 3rd-ranked transfer class in the nation. We’ll have a post coming soon summarizing those transfers…

But, before that, let’s rehash what went down with TCU Basketball this season.

November 2022 (6-1)

The Frogs tripped on the starting line to begin the season.

Three games, to three of the worst basketball programs in the country, saw the Frogs outscore those opponents by only 11 points.

After escaping what would’ve been the one of the largest upsets in college basketball history in a one-point win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, the Frogs didn’t improve much in the second game of the season, beating Lamar by only 11.

In the third game of the season, negativity had surrounded the program after losing 64–63 to Northwestern State – at the time, a bottom-10 team in KenPom rankings. The Frogs looked flat, lazy and far from the team we saw step off the court after last season’s loss to Arizona.

Luckily, Coach Jamie Dixon turned the squad around quickly, rebounding in a 35-point win over UL-Monroe, and finishing out the month without another loss.

Double-digit wins over California, #25-ranked Iowa and Providence restored fans’ confidence in this club pretty quickly. With Mike Miles and Damion Baugh playing fantastic basketball this month – and Emanuel Miller taking a step-up in play, the Frogs were rolling into December on a high.

Notable Player Stats in November:

Mike Miles: 18.2, 3.8, 3.2

Damion Baugh: 10.0, 4.0, 5.0

Emanuel Miller: 12.6, 5.4, 2.0

JaKobe Coles: 5.7, 4.4, 1.4

Chuck O’Bannon: 9.7, 4.0, 0.9

December 2022 (6-0) (12-1 Overall)

The Frogs spent December unbeaten – and began climbing on the AP rankings. Beginning Dec. 5, TCU was ranked #24, and ended the month #18.

Granted, the schedule was fairly easy, including Jackson State, SMU, Mississippi Valley State and Central Arkansas. But – wins over Utah and in-conference Texas Tech (which did have a below-average season), were quality enough to push the Frogs a few spots ahead in the rankings.

And – Miles and Baugh both had a tremendous month, don’t get me wrong, but this month was about other players on the team stepping up and showing Dixon they can be used in critical moments.

Emanuel Miller and JaKobe Coles both had multiple breakout games this month, and it was in December fans started warming up to Shahada Wells, who gave great defensive minutes whenever Mike got some time on the bench.

Don’t forget Micah Peavy, who started to give glimpses of his defensive lockdown ability this month. He showed, foreshadowing the conference season, that he could guard the Big 12’s best players.

Though an easy month, the Frogs began looking like the team we expected.

Notable Player Stats in December:

Mike Miles: 19.0, 2.4, 3.2

Damion Baugh: 12.0, 4.5, 4.7

Emanuel Miller: 15.8, 7.0, 2.0

JaKobe Coles: 10.0, 5.2, 0.8

Chuck O’Bannon: 7.5, 4.5, 1.8

January 2023 (5-4) (17-5 Overall)

The woes began in January – and it didn’t get any better when Mike Miles went down with a knee injury four minutes into the Big 12/SEC Challenge versus Mississippi State. But – it was also the month we saw the highest of highs for TCU.

If there was a theme for this month, it would be something surrounding the term ‘bounce-back’.

The month started great with a 88-87 win against #19 Baylor in Waco. Offensively, the Frogs learned they could get any bucket they wanted, even in the usually-defensively stalwart Big 12. A clutch Chuck O’Bannon jumper and a massive Xavier Cork block as time expired allowed TCU to walk out of Waco with a 2-0 Big 12 record. (Miles had 33 points this game).

But – the losses started rolling in after this. A home loss to #25 Iowa State and a loss in Austin to #10 Texas were both concerning, yet the bounce-back was upon the Frogs in one of Schollmaier’s most exciting games of the season.

#11 Kansas State came to town – with all the hype surrounding Markquis Nowell and Keyontae Johnson…

The Frogs wiped the floor with them in an 82-68 beatdown in which Emanuel Miller had 23 points. I think this is the game that showed everyone: when the Frogs are at their best, they can beat any team in the country.

And – after a disappointing loss in Morgantown to West Virginia, TCU showed just that. In Lawrence, Kansas, at the world-famous Allen Fieldhouse, the Frogs played their most dominant game of the season.

Honestly, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say the most dominant game in program history. Kansas was #2 at the time – the Frogs had never won in Allen Fieldhouse, and Miles and Co. waltzed in there and dropped an 83-60 ass-whopping on the Jayhawks.

The ass-whopping continued back at Schollmaier, when the Frogs clobbered Oklahoma 79-52.

Yet, the month didn’t finish on a great note when four minutes into a meeting with Mississippi State Mike Miles went down with a hyperextended knee. The Frogs lost that game 81-74 in Starkville.

Yet, even without Mike, and with Shahada Wells starting his first game, the Frogs were able to bounce-back once again in a 76-72 win over West Virginia in Fort Worth.

Notable Player Stats in January:

Mike Miles: 17.4, 2.5, 2.8

Damion Baugh: 13.8, 3.8, 5.7

Emanuel Miller: 11.7, 6.9, 1.6

JaKobe Coles: 8.0, 3.2, 0.9

Chuck O’Bannon: 5.9, 2.8, 0.6

February 2023 (2-5) (19-10 Overall)

Easily the Frogs’ worst month of the season, the squad looked helpless without Mike Miles on the court.

The half-court offense went to absolute garbage – it became completely non-existent, and when the Frogs weren’t on the fastbreak there was almost no shot of scoring.

A four-game losing streak began the month, and though three-ranked opponents were on the docket, the Frogs played some lifeless, uninspiring basketball. Losing to Oklahoma State by six, Kansas State by 21, Baylor by four and Iowa State by 11, the loss streak put TCU on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament, a spot no one expected them to be in after December.

Luckily, Miles came back a day after and righted the ship. Though he played only six minutes in TCU’s 100-75 win over Oklahoma State, it was clear his presence alone comforted his teammates.

Though the Frogs lost by five to Kansas in Schollmaier the next game, we finally saw some inspiring basketball – TCU kept it close the whole game, and it was clear Mike still wasn’t 100%.

The Frogs closed out the month with an exhilarating win over Texas Tech in Lubbock. JaKobe Coles, who fans really started catching onto at this point, hit two free throws with a second left to give TCU the 83-82 win.

Notable Player Stats in February:

Mike Miles: 17.3, 2.3, 1.3

Damion Baugh: 11.9, 4.7, 7.6

Emanuel Miller: 12.0, 6.0, 2.4

JaKobe Coles: 11.4, 3.9, 1.6

Chuck O’Bannon: 5.6, 2.1, 1.0

March 2023 (3-3) (22-13 Overall)

The month in which champions are made.

Though the talent was there, and the roster was seemingly clicking, it just wasn’t TCU’s year – inconsistency plagued this team from the start.

Ending the regular season on both a high and low note, beating #9 Texas at Schollmaier, but then losing by 14 to Oklahoma in Norman, gave fans mixed signals heading into the Big 12 Conference Tournament.

After matching up against Kansas State in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament for what seems like the 80th time, the Frogs dusted the Wildcats off the floor in Kansas City, winning 80-67 and earning themselves a next round matchup against Texas.

But in that one – Texas got its lick back in the tournament’s semifinals, beating the Frogs 66-60 and stomping on the Frogs’ hope of winning their first Big 12 Championship.

With those couple of ranked wins to end the season though, the Frogs lifted themselves comfortably out of the bubble and earned themselves a six-seed on Selection Sunday.

And, unfortunately, we all know how 2023’s NCAA Tournament went down.

A thriller against Arizona State in the first round, made spectacular by JaKobe Coles’ late-game heroics and his magical touch on his floater, earned TCU a chance at three-seed Gonzaga in the Round of 32.

The Frogs beat Arizona State 72-70. Miles had 26 points. Baugh had 8 assists. Though it got too close for comfort at the end, there was no way the Frogs were losing that basketball game.

But – Gonzaga was too much, and though the Frogs clawed their way back at the end of the second half to give themselves a fighter’s chance, after the Bulldogs went on an early second-half run of their own, the Frogs’ season ended in a 84-81 loss.

Though Miles had 24, TCU couldn’t find a way to stop Drew Timme, who had 28 and dominated the whole game.

The loss was tough, of course, but it showed that the Frogs will hang with the blue bloods of basketball in the coming years.

That’s a very exciting thing.

Notable Player Stats in March:

Mike Miles: 17.5, 2.7, 2.3

Damion Baugh: 12.7, 6.5, 5.3

Emanuel Miller: 10.7, 7.2, 0.7

JaKobe Coles: 8.0, 3.7, 1.5

Chuck O’Bannon: 11.0, 3.8, 1.0