No. 15 TCU plans to find a consistent, winning formula and get back on track when it hosts Louisiana-Monroe on Thursday in Fort Worth, Texas.
The first order of business is making shots, an aspect that’s hampered the Horned Frogs (2-1) through their first three games.
TCU dropped one spot in this week’s poll. Two wins out of the gate were followed by a 64-63 home loss to Northwestern State on Monday.
TCU played without star guard Mike Miles, the preseason Big 12 player of the year, due to a foot injury. The Frogs missed their first 11 3-point attempts and finished 2 of 21 from beyond the arc. They have made only 18.9 percent of their 3-pointers through the first three game, among the worst marks in the country.
“We’ve got too reliant on 3-point shooting,” coach Jamie Dixon said after the loss. “We’re going to work harder at it, we’re going to put more time in on it. I think some of it has to do with shot selection — our offense has to get us better shots.”
Chuck O’Bannon led TCU with 12 points while Micah Peavy added 10 in a game that feature seven ties and 16 lead changes. The Horned Frogs are also without guard Damion Baugh, who is serving a six-game suspension for signing with an NBA-certified agent after last season.
The Horned Frogs led by two at halftime and used a 15-4 run early in the second half to go up 49-37. Northwestern State responded with five 3-pointers but TCU was still up 61-56 with 4:44 to play. That’s when the wheels fell off for the Frogs, who made just one of their six shots the rest of the game. O’Bannon missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have allowed TCU to escape.
The Warhawks (2-1) head to Texas on the heels of a dominating 105-56 home win over Central Baptist (an NAIA program) on Monday. ULM placed seven players in double figures for the second straight game, led by Nika Metskhvarishvili’s 15 points and 14 from Victor Bafutto on 6-of-6 shooting from the floor.
Savion Gallion and Tyreke Locure added 13 points each in the win, with Thomas Howell and Langston Powell hitting for 12 points apiece and Devon Hancock contributing 11 points.
“It was a great all-around effort,” coach Keith Richard said. “Anytime you have seven guys in double figures, no matter who you play, that’s a good thing. We did a good job of scoring the ball at the rim, inside the 3-point line. We only shot 18 3s in the game.”
The Warhawks shot 63 percent from the floor in the first half, after which they led 53-30.
Louisiana-Monroe limited Central Baptist to just 30.8 percent shooting, including 21.4 percent (6 of 28) from beyond the arc. The Warhawks dominated the glass, forging a 51-23 advantage.
“The games don’t go perfect, even when you’re doing well or playing a lower-division team, so to speak,” Richard said. “It doesn’t always go perfect, and it gives us a chance to coach them and gives us a chance to sub and work with different groups and get a lot of positives on the night.”
–Field Level Media