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Coming off an NIT Championship big things were expected out of the experienced Horned Frogs. Now although they made their first tournament appearance in 20 years it didn’t quite feel like enough. Part of the reason for the let down was dropping four of their first five conference games. This included Jaylen Fisher in the lineup before he was lost for the season with a knee injury.
Losing Fisher hurt but it allowed Alex Robinson to grow into the lead role helping TCU recover from their 1-4 conference start to finish 9-9. They ultimately made their triumphant return to the tournament as a six seed but were upset in the first round by Syracuse. The Horned Frogs will look to build off that tournament appearance with a good core of players coming back for another run.
- Jaylen Fisher
- Alex Robinson
- Desmond Bane
The Horned Frogs are losing their top two scorers in Vlad Broziansky and Kenrich Williams but these three will make for a talented backcourt. Bane is an excellent three-point shooter and led the team with a 46% three-point percentage on the second most attempts. Fisher a former four-star recruit has been a major player for the Horned Frogs since he stepped on campus two years ago. Fisher and Robinson have formed a solid two-headed point guard combination over the past two years.
- Kenrich Williams
- Vlad Brodziansky
These two combined for 18 points and 14 rebounds a game last year making them the top two scorers and rebounders on the team last season. Williams will be missed for his all-around play as he was a swiss army knife for coach Jamie Dixon with his ability to pass rebound and score. During TCU’s NIT run two years ago Williams recorded a triple-double. Brodziansky led the team in scoring back-to-back years and his points will need to be replaced from somewhere now.
- Kaden Archie
- Russell Barlow
- Kendric Davis
- Angus McWilliam
Jamie Dixon continues to bring TCU back to relevance after securing the number 30 recruiting class in the country according to ESPN. Three of the four are four-star recruits with the fourth hailing from Australia in McWilliam. Kaden Archie is the headliner of the four-man class and is a scoring small forward who was just outside the top 100. Russell Barlow and McWilliam are both big men who may have a chance to play early following the departure of Williams and Brodziansky the Horned Frogs starting big men last year. Kendric Davis is a point guard who may find himself playing limited minutes behind the team’s current point guard duo.
Projected Starting Lineup
G Jaylen Fisher
G Alex Robinson
G Desmond Bane
F Kouat Noi
F JD Miller
Jamie Dixon is entering his third season in Fort Worth and expectations have continued to rise. Another tournament appearance is expected with the return of the team’s starting backcourt. TCU brings back a significant amount of experience including six players who averaged over 10 minutes a game, four of those averaging double-digit points.
They finished middle of the Big 12 last season and that should be the expectation again this season. If Fisher can stay healthy the Horned Frogs will boast of the best backcourt in the Big 12. They also most likely will trot out a starting lineup with all five guys threats to shoot the three. The ability to space the floor this year will make them hard to guard similar to what Villanova was like last year. TCU has the chance to make the tournament as another 6 or 7 seed and will look to actually win a game this time around. Guard play is what wins in March and this team should have plenty of it.
They finished 5th in the Big 12 last year and with a few teams above them taking a step back they should finish somewhere close to that again this year. I expect them to finish their nonconference either undefeated or with one loss tops. A .500 finish in the Big 12 would be a nice season for them after losing their two best players but gaining a healthy Jaylen Fisher back. Along with a tough game versus Florida in the Big 12/SEC Challenge and a nine and nine conference record should get them in the tournament especially if they can make it past the first game in the Big 12 tournament. Jamie Dixon is starting to get this thing rolling and more and more is certainly about to come.