No. 24 TCU men’s basketball reigns supreme over SMU in Texas showdown

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Guard Damion Baugh is helped up by teammates Emanuel Miller, Chuck O’Bannon Jr., and Mike Miles Jr. vs SMU on Dec. 10, 2022. (Photo courtesy of GoFrogs.com)

By Sederick Oliver, Executive Editor, Image Magazine

No. 24 TCU men’s basketball outlasted SMU 83-75 in a rivalry showdown at Dickies Arena on Saturday, winning its sixth straight and improving to 8-1.

The Frogs sent out another new lineup as the trend of different starters in each game continued.

Junior guard Mike Miles Jr. returned to action with senior guard Damion Baugh accompanying him the backcourt. Junior wingman Micah Peavy, redshirt-senior Chuck O’Bannon Jr. and sophomore big-man Eddie Lampkin Jr. rounded out the starting lineup.

This marked the ninth different group of starters in just nine games for TCU this season.

The lack of consistency didn’t seem to hinder performance, but head coach Jamie Dixon still sees room for improvement.

“Our depth is a positive, but we gotta get some good work in with these guys, conditioning wise,” Dixon said. “I do think that’s somewhere we’re not where we need to be with too many guys missing practices.”

Usual starter senior forward Emanuel Miller also returned to action after battling a back injury and sickness, albeit in a bench role.

DFW Battle

This battle of the metroplex was highlighted by a reunion between Peavy and SMU guard Zhuric Phelps, who were once teammates together at Duncanville High School.

As often the story is with TCU this season, the defense was ahead of the offense.

SMU looked flustered early on, struggling to find open looks and often settling for contested jumpers.

More specifically, TCU’s perimeter defense completely neutralized SMU on the outside causing the Mustangs to shoot just 2-of-14 from three.

“We pride ourselves on defense, [the] offense isn’t going to be there everyday,” said Miles Jr.

The off-ball movement and backdoor cutting from the Frogs proved beneficial as they worked to offset the ‘zone’ defensive strategy from the Mustangs.

The three-ball was gracious to TCU as they shot 40% with O’Bannon Jr. and Miles Jr. leading the team with two makes.

The victory wasn’t without its scares as Miles Jr. and Lampkin Jr. were both taken out of the game due to injury.

Despite the comfortable lead the Frogs enjoyed, both players were able to return to the game and ensure the Mustangs stayed down for the count.

However, SMU wouldn’t lose without a fight, as they exploited a couple of breakdowns defensively from the Frogs.

After being held to just 36% shooting from the field in the first half, the Mustangs turned it around and shot 50% in the second.

An 18-point advantage for TCU with five minutes to go was trimmed to eight with just under two minutes left.

Time wasn’t on the Mustangs’ side.

The Frogs were able to walk away with not only the victory, but bragging rights over a cross-town rival.

“[TCU vs. SMU] is obviously a rivalry, so we came here with that mindset of we can’t lose this game,” said Miles Jr.

Miles Jr. led the team with 18 points. Peavy, Miller, O’Bannon Jr. and Lampkin Jr. all joined Miles Jr. in double-figure scoring.

Lampkin Jr. also injected his usual dose of spirited leadership and on-court theatrics that electrified the crowd and his teammates.

Up next

Now winners of six in a row, No. 24 TCU has a week to rest as they set their sights on a struggling Mississippi Valley State team that has lost five straight on Dec. 18 at Schollmaier Arena.

The 8-1 Horned Frogs and the 1-9 Delta Devils will tip-off is at 5 p.m. on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.