Things to know before TCU men’s basketball starts season on Sunday

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The student section cheers during the men’s basketball game against Oklahoma State. (Micah Pearce/Staff Writer)

By Sederick Oliver, Executive Editor, Image Magazine

Over the summer, the TCU basketball team retained its top player and added a pair of transfers, building a roster that is expected to compete for a Big 12 Championship.

After a crushing defeat in overtime to Arizona in the second round of the NCAA Tournament marred by a controversial no-call at the end of regulation, questions of “What’s next?” began to arise.

The summer saw Mike Miles Jr. formally declare for the 2022 NBA Draft, then decide to renounce that decision weeks later and return for his junior season. Miles led the Horned Frogs with 15.4 points per game during the 2021-22 campaign and was a member of the All-Big 12 Second Team. 

Nearly every key player from last season returned, including all of the starters, with the exception of guard Francisco Farabello, who departed for Creighton. There are also a few additions to the roster as well, with Oklahoma State transfer Rondel Walker and Tyler Lundblade, a redshirt freshman from SMU. In 30 games for the Cowboys, Walker averaged 4.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 22 minutes per contest. 

With the recent development of starting guard Damion Baugh’s indefinite suspension, the team awaits the NCAA’s decision regarding his appeal or the number of games he’ll miss.

Baugh proved an integral piece to the Frogs’ roster, averaging 10.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 31 games.

For a team that never won more than two games in a row during the last three months of last season, consistency will be key in finding success in 2022-23. Despite being a team that defeated Kansas, Texas Tech, Texas and Iowa State and took the top-seeded Arizona Wildcats to overtime, TCU still ranked near the bottom of Division I in turnovers, 3-point shooting and free throw shooting. 

However, with more experience, camaraderie and roster depth, TCU looks to replicate and improve on its previous March Madness run. The Frogs are ranked 14th in the AP Top 25 Preseason Poll and are primed for another exciting, successful and potentially historic season.

“We’re not hiding from what we can be. Someone said, ‘Underpromise, overdeliver,’ ” said head coach Jamie Dixon on the College Hoops Today podcast. “We should be good, we better be good. If we aren’t good, we did something wrong.”

Fans will have their first opportunity to see the Frogs compete in an exhibition game against Paul Quinn on Sunday at Schollmaier Arena.