Presence of family aids forward’s play

Twice he slammed it home – hard. His parents were in the stands watching their son play for the first time in his college career, and he wanted to make them proud.

Senior power forward Alvarado Parker played his best conference game of the season Saturday against San Diego State University and was a major factor in the Horned Frogs’ win that ended a four-game losing streak.

But the high point of the night for him was his parents, who made the trip from Turks and Caicos to watch their son play.

If only they could make it to every game.

Parker was key in the win, often filling in for the team’s leading scorer, junior forward Kevin Langford, whose play time was limited due to foul trouble.

The low post force those two players were able to provide helped TCU break out of a losing funk, which featured four straight loses with sub 40 percent shooting.

High percentage shots come in the post, as well as opened up the perimeter for the shooters.

In the win over SDSU, TCU abandoned its three-point barrage tactics and took the smart shot strategy.

Instead of shooting 35 percent, which TCU averaged during the losing streak, the team shot 48 percent.

Instead of launching 20 threes, which TCU averaged during the losing streak, the team shot 10.

Instead of losing, the team won against the third place Aztecs, who beat TCU in its conference opener.

The problem with the post strategy is that Parker has not been showing up consistently this season. In fact, he has not really shone up at all during conference play until now.

In non-conference matches during the start of the season Parker had four double-digit scoring games. Since conference play started, Parker has been off his game, averaging only 2.7 points a game and scoring more than two points only twice, including his last game.

In the last win, not only did Parker provide consistent post play with 10 points on 5-6 shooting, he gave the Horned Frogs second chance opportunities with five offensive rebounds.

Two of those rebounds led to his monster put-back jams that brought the house down.

There’s an intimidation factor that comes with a player who can throw down a powerful dunk, especially because one of Parker’s dunks came against SDSU’s best player, Lorrenzo Wade.

Wade averages 14.8 points a game, but was held to eight points on 2-13 shooting thanks in large part to Parker’s defense.

TCU is starting the second half of conference play with a 4-5 record, and it still has an opportunity to make its mark in conference play while gathering momentum and confidence for the Mountain West Championships.

If Parker and Langford continue to work in the post, and if TCU’s shooters take advantage of the extra space, then all signs point up for the Horned Frogs.

If not, expect more sub 40 percent shooting nights.

So please Parker parents, stay in Fort Worth and cheer your son on.