Unexpected injuries prepare men’s basketball for postseason play


TCU’s JD Miller (15) dunks on Iowa State during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Scott Morgan)

By Robbie Vaglio

Injuries have placed the Horned Frogs in turmoil early into the start of conference play.

Starting point guard Jaylen Fisher suffered a knee injury in early January, sidelining him for the remainder of his sophomore season.

TCU guard Jaylen Fisher leaves the court at the end of a basketball game against Iowa State  Jan. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

With only one true point guard in Alex Robinson, injuries continued to pile up and place the Horned Frogs in a difficult situation. Forward Ahmed Hamdy suffered an injury and guard Shawn Olden was forced to watch a few games from the sidelines due to a concussion.

Hamdy missed TCU’s last January contest in Nashville against Vanderbilt and Olden missed two games including most of TCU’s contest against Kansas.

Jamie Dixon looked at the issues optimistically during Thursday’s weekly press conference and said the turmoil has given the team a new opportunity to shine.

“It’s allowed us to do things we haven’t done before,” Dixon said. “We played Kouat at the wing and used it as an opportunity for us. It got Shawn and other guys playing a lot of minutes. Every opportunity is a chance to get better and it puts us in position.”

By giving bench players more minutes down the stretch, Dixon continues to build their confidence and believes it will translate to wins in postseason play.

“We’ve had the opportunity to play guys and some guys have gotten to play more minutes than they expected because of the situation,” Dixon said. “It’s put us in a situation where we’ve had to make so many lineups where we can do so much with the eight players that we have.”

Dixon’s experiment will be tested in the final stretch of the season, but the Horned Frogs faithful have reason to be optimistic.

TCU’s versatility has translated into recent success. The Horned Frogs are riding a two-game win streak with wins over Oklahoma State and Iowa State into Saturday morning’s contest against Baylor. Tipoff is scheduled for 11 a.m.