Men’s basketball loss highlights leadership problems

The men’s basketball team almost upset Arizona State last night in Tempe but fell just short in the last minute by the final score of 52-49. Despite how good this might sound, I feel it will be a recurring theme throughout the rest of the season.

This is a game the Horned Frogs should have won, plain and simple. They were up toward the end of the second half, but let the Sun Devils take back the lead on a 12-1 run in the last 3:54 of the game. The run started off with three turnovers in a row; the worst was a pass over the head of point guard Ronnie Moss and into the back court. Even more frustrating than the physical mistakes made to give the game away was the lack of leadership and downright intestinal fortitude from the senior leadership of the team.

Most obvious of these seniors was forward Zvonko Buljan, who made it clear that he was not finding offensive success while on the floor by arguing every call and hanging his head in almost every timeout huddle, even when his team was up. One would think that the maturity a senior starter has would tell him that he has the ability to make an impact on the game despite not showing up on the score sheet, especially if his team is already winning.

One big defensive stop from Buljan with just over 20 seconds left in the match would have made more of an impact than even one free throw because the Horned Frogs would have won. Winning is the ultimate goal of basketball, correct? Last time I checked, a stat line didn’t win a team an at-large bid into the big dance in March.

Throughout the past few seasons, the team has proved it can hang with some big competition but is completely unable to finish. Before, the argument was that the team was young, lacking experience and maturity. Now with three seniors, this team needs to grow up fast, especially since the Horned Frogs lack a true center. They will be faced with tall feats throughout the season that will cause this squad to fall apart at the seams if they don’t play as a unit.

Seniors, step up and take responsibility because the only way to be remembered for basketball on the TCU campus is to win.

Sports editor Travis L. Brown is a senior news-editorial journalism major from Dallas