TCU Might Have A Problem

The air was filled with excitement in Fort Worth coming into the season. The Horned Frogs received their highest preseason rankings in program history. They return all five of their starters and seven of their top eight scorers from last year’s team that took number one seed Arizona to overtime in the NCAA Tournament. Their rotation includes four seniors, four juniors, and just two underclassmen. They were ready to make a statement early and often this season. Well, let’s just take a look at the statement they have made in their first three games.

Season Opener Versus Arkansas-Pine Bluff

This was ugly from the jump. TCU found themselves down 17 at the midway point of the first half and trailed by 11 at the break. They managed to pull even at the 14 minute mark and the two teams went back and forth for the rest of the game. With just two minutes left, AKPB led the Frogs by four. TCU would claw back and score seven straight points to survive their season opener. Not a great look, but I gave them the first game benefit of the doubt.

Game Two Versus Lamar

Just for a reference on Lamar, they won their opener over *checks notes* St. Thomas University by a whole two points. In other words, Lamar will likely not be very good, even for their own standards. That makes the 11 point win for TCU look that much more worrisome. The lead was never more than 14 and was only in the double digits for about eight minutes the entire game. This was when my worry for the Horned Frogs actually started to show.

Where My Worry Has Piqued (For Now)

TCU followed up two, let’s be honest, bad performances with a third on Monday night. Again for reference, Northwestern State had a 24 point loss to Texas Tech and a loss to Illinois State on its record coming into this game. After a dogfight in the first half, TCU jumped out to a 12 point lead just seven minutes into the second half. All seems well, they’ll coast to a 20+ point win and the course will be corrected. Not so fast. NWSU fought back and took the lead with a minute left and never let it go. The Horned Frogs fell to the team projected to finish sixth in the Southern Conference.

The Numbers Behind The Struggle

The Horned Frogs currently sit at 310th in field goal percentage, 360th in three point percentage and 231st in turnovers. Those are three stats that are crucial in winning games at a high level. Not only that, they don’t rank higher than 40th in any major offensive stat category. To say they are struggling is one of the biggest understatements of the year. They have about a month and a half to figure it out before the gauntlet that is the Big 12 schedule starts. Their next chance to get right is Thursday night against Louisiana-Monroe.

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