Miles’ career night propels No. 17 TCU in comeback against No. 19 Baylor

TCU players celebrate on the court vs Baylor on Jan. 4, 2022. (Photo courtesy of

By Sederick Oliver, Executive Editor, Image Magazine

Different game, same story.

Like its football counterpart, No. 17 TCU men’s basketball (13-1, 2-0) saved its best for last in a furious 88-87 comeback victory against Big 12 rival No. 19 Baylor Bears last night in Ferrell Center.

Similar to last game, the Frogs struggled defensively early in the first half, finding themselves in a 17-point hole.

The Bears caught fire from three, shooting 9-of-13 and 62% from the field overall. They were led by projected top-10 draft pick freshman guard Keyonte George, who scored a career-high 27 points.

On the other side, TCU quickly fell behind due to Baylor’s shotmaking ability. While the Bears lit it up from 3-point land, TCU managed just 1-of-8 in the first half.

However, despite the deficit and the intense roaring from Baylor fans, the Frogs remained poised and defiant.

“Being down 17, I think every person’s mind down the bench and on the court was calm, smooth and collected,” said senior forward Emanuel Miller.

Miller attributes this maturity and perseverance to playing other games with their backs against the wall.

“We’ve been in this situation so many times, like the last game versus [Texas] Tech going into halftime and that challenge that we had to overcome,” he said.

After trailing 48-31 with three minutes left to play in the half, the Frogs were able to cut it to 49-39 at halftime.

The second half saw contributions from many Horned Frogs but last night was about Mike Miles Jr.

The junior guard scored the first 13 points of the second half and 21 total for the period.

After becoming the 39th TCU player to score 1,000 points, Miles Jr. poured in a career-high 33 points on 12-of-21 shooting as an encore.

It was the fifth time he scored 20 or more points this season, and the most points scored by a TCU player since Desmond Bane’s 34 at Texas on March 9, 2019.

Miles Jr. was relentless as he drove to the basket, knocked down mid-range looks and hit the occasional timely 3-pointer.

“His growth this year in defense and shot selection has been impressive,” said head coach Jamie Dixon.

Miles Jr. said that once he saw the ball going in early that he wanted to remain aggressive.

“Everybody was telling [me] to keep shooting, and I know I had to shoot more if we wanted to get back in the game and win,” said Miles Jr.

The team’s defense was impenetrable: Movements and closeouts were sharper, allowing for long misses that resulted in fast-break opportunities.

After shooting 62% from the field and 69% from three in the first half, TCU neutralized Baylor’s offense in the second half, causing them to shoot 29% from the field and go 2-of-11 from three.

As the nation’s leader in fast-break points, TCU raced down the court seemingly every possession to find an open lane or an open player who cut to the basket.

The ball movement resulted in efficient looks and the momentum shifted.

The air came out of the building in a collective hush as fans watched the Bears tire themselves out attempting to keep up with the Frogs’ pace in transition.

For the game, TCU outscored Baylor 23-2 in transition scoring.

With 48 seconds left remaining in the game, Baylor led 87-83 after a pair of free throws from George.

Miles Jr. then came down to hit his third 3-pointer of the game to cut it to a 1-point game.

After a huge defensive stop, Miles Jr. brought the ball up the court with 11 seconds remaining.

In their best Michael Jordan-Steve Kerr impression, Miles Jr. sacrificed the game-winning shot and trusted redshirt senior forward Chuck O’Bannon Jr. with the game on the line.

Despite making the last 3-pointer and having a career-high 33 points, Miles Jr. elected to pass the ball to O’Bannon Jr. who pump-faked his way into a tough jumper in the corner.

Celebration ensued.

However, there were four seconds remaining on the clock and Baylor had the opportunity to go back in front.

Junior forward Xavier Cork made sure that didn’t happen as he blocked George’s layup attempt, securing TCU’s 11th-straight victory.

“Everybody in the gym knew that Mike [Miles Jr.] was supposed to shoot the ball, but Baylor threw two guys at him, and he told me, ‘if they throw two [players] at me, I’m throwing it to you,” said O’Bannon Jr.

George, who traded buckets with Miles Jr. all game, was complimentary of the TCU’s guard play. The two guards, who grew up in Dallas together, were only able to recently bond during their time at Damian Lillard’s summer camp.

“That [camp] was our first time being able to talk and bond. I’ve been watching him since high school, I watched him in college before me, and it was fun to go up against a high-level player like that,” said George.

Miles Jr.’s career night and O’Bannon Jr.’s heroics were joined by 13 points and eight rebounds from Miller, 15 points and seven assists from senior guard Damion Baugh and 15 points and nine boards for sophomore big man Eddie Lampkin Jr.

No. 17 TCU will return home to Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena to face No. 25 Iowa State (11-2) on Jan. 7 as the team continues its Big 12 Conference play. Tip-off is at 1 p.m. on ESPNU.