No. 15 TCU still has plenty of things to sharpen as it prepares to host Northwestern State on Monday night in Fort Worth, Texas.
The Big 12’s Horned Frogs (2-0) are coming off a 77-66 home victory against Lamar on Friday night, when they shot 43.5 percent overall and just 8 of 32 (25 percent) from 3-point territory.
“We’ve become pretty reliant on 3-point shooting right now and not shooting it well,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said. “We’re not clicking offensively, no question about it.”
TCU’s offense likely would be boosted by the return of Damion Baugh, who’s serving an undisclosed NCAA suspension for signing with an uncertified agent during the offseason.
“We’re getting closer,” Dixon said of Baugh’s return. “The news has gotten better as we’ve gone, but he’s still not playing, so it ain’t that good.”
Baugh’s absence has given other Horned Frogs players opportunities to perform and grow. The results have been mixed.
“We’re not converting in transition. Obviously, Damion is a part of that, but we should be better,” said Dixon, who also expects his team to rebound better.
“I just don’t know why we haven’t rebounded at the numbers we should be.”
TCU has outrebounded opponents 41.5-35.5 through the first two games and averaged just 1.5 fewer turnovers (13.0-14.5) than it forced.
Mike Miles Jr. leads the way, averaging 20.5 points after scoring 26 against Lamar.
Emanuel Miller, averaging 15.5 points and 6.0 rebounds, said one particular word summed up what he and his teammates needed to focus on.
“Discipline in execution. Discipline the way we communicate. Discipline, just overall,” Miller said. “I think we’re still far away from where we want to be and the goals we want to reach.”
The Southland Conference’s Demons (1-2) suffered a 69-67 home loss against Illinois State on Saturday night.
Demarcus Sharp, who scored a total of six points through the Demons’ first two games, sank all three shots from behind the arc and finished with a team-high 15 points against the Redbirds.
Isaac Haney was held to seven points on Saturday night but still leads Northwestern State with a 14.0 scoring average.
“Haney is the glue. The same way Haney plays in the game, he plays the same way in practice,” first-year coach Corey Gipson said recently. “You never have to worry about what you’re going to get from Isaac Haney.
“We got to have more guys that look to Haney and take the same approach and that will help expedite the growth of our team going forward.”
Offensively, the Demons are shooting just 38.1 percent overall. They’re also being outrebounded by an average of 37.0 to 29.3.
Northwestern State’s defense, though, is forcing 21.3 turnovers per game while committing 13.3. That’s helping the Demons score 20.3 points per game off turnovers.
TCU has won all five previous meetings, including the most recent game in December 2020.
–Field Level Media