Monday, November 29, 2010

Getting to Know the Horned Frogs

Texas Christian University (TCU) is now officially entering the Big East, effective July 2012. Football is the reason, and the only reason, that TCU is being added to the conference, and short term the decision is wise, though I think long term other solutions may have been more prudent. Whether or not the Big East could have lasted until ‘long term’ came into fruition is a debate for another day, another time.

What does TCU bring to the table for Big East basketball? The TCU Horned Frogs have been playing basketball since 1908-1909, and have an overall record of 1091-1250 (entering the 2010-2011 season). Football clearly has been a focus for TCU over the years, not basketball. It is in Texas, so that focus is not a surprise. The Big East did have to make a move to bolster its football presence, and it was inevitable that whatever team they brought it was likely going to not include a solid basketball program.

TCU has been to the NCAA tournament seven times and only twice in the last 25 years: 1952, 1953, 1959, 1968, 1971, 1987 and 1998. They have not had a winning record since the 2004-2005 season when they went 21-14. Their record in each of the past nine seasons has been:

2001-02: 16-15
2002-03: 9-19
2003-04: 12-17
2005-06: 21-14
2005-06: 6-25
2006-07: 13-17
2007-08: 14-16
2008-09: 14-17
2009-10: 13-19

Current coach Jim Christian is now entering this third year with the program. Syracuse is 4-0 all time against TCU.

Notable athletes who are alumni of TCU include: Sammy Baugh, Jamie Dixon (Pitt’s current basketball coach), Bob Lilly, Mike Renfro, and LaDainian Tomlinson. TCU has had 8 All-Americans play basketball for their program: Ad Dietzel (1931), Wallace Myers (1934), George McLeod (1952), Dick O’Neal (1955, 1956, 1957), H.E. Kirchner (1959), Kurt Thomas (1995), Lee Nailon (1998) and Mike Jones (1998).

If you would like more information about TCU’s basketball program, here’s a link to their program guide.

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