Frogs aim for Conference title; leaders propel squad to 2-1 start

Frogs aim for Conference title; leaders propel squad to 2-1 start

The Horned Frogs have bounced back from a disappointing 6-25 season last year with new leaders and big goals for conference play, said a junior guard.The Frogs have started the second half of regular-season play with a 2-1 conference record from wins during winter break over the New Mexico Lobos and Utah Utes.

Brent Hackett, a junior guard, said the team is determined to prove it can be a contender in the Mountain West Conference.

“We have worked hard, and we now have a more balanced offense and more threats in Kevin Langford and Alvardo Parker,” Hackett said.

There is a newfound sense of stability and confidence with this year’s team, and the team has already surpassed its win total from last year with 10 victories and with 13 conference games remaining, Hackett said.

Some of the scoring burden has been alleviated from the Horned Frogs by the arrival of sophomore forward Kevin Langford, a transfer student from California, Hackett said.

Langford is the leading scorer for the team, averaging 11.5 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, and he said the transition between the schools has been relatively smooth.

“I worked to improve my shooting, speed and strength last year, as well as getting to know my teammates,” Langford said.

Langford and Hackett play important roles on the team in trying to build on the success of this season, but the team as a whole has risen to the occasion.

“Everyone is doing a good job of fulfilling their roles and responsibilities,” Hackett said. “We all have the same goal; we want to be No. 1 in the conference, win the conference tournament and do well in the (NCAA) Tournament.”

This season, Hackett said, he has stepped up by leading by example on and off the court.

“I never would have thought of myself as a leader, but I try to do anything I can to help my teammates stay focused and motivated,” Hackett said.

Hackett, who is averaging 10.7 points and 3.2 rebounds this season, earned Mountain West Conference Player of the Week Honors after wins over the Lobos and Utes. Guard Corey Santee was the only other TCU player to receive a weekly conference award, which he won in 2001, according to gofrogs.com.

“It’s nice to be recognized with this award, but I’m more focused on the success of the team,” Hackett said.

The Frogs’ next matchup will be 7 p.m. Wednesday in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum against conference opponent Colorado State.