No. 15 TCU men’s basketball showcases depth in routing of West Virginia

TCU fans celebrating vs West Virginia on Jan. 31, 2023. (Photo courtesy of

By Sederick Oliver, Executive Editor, Image Magazine

Revenge is a dish best served cold.

For the Frogs, last night’s victory was the chilliest of the season.

No. 15 TCU men’s basketball (17-5, 6-3) exacted revenge on West Virginia, defeating the Mountaineers, 76-72, last night inside of Ed & Rae Schollmaier Arena.

Despite the weather conditions, the Frog Army came in full force, proving that support is unwavering through rain, sleet and snow.

“I thought it was a great atmosphere,” said head coach Jamie Dixon in response to fans packing Schollmaier to support their top 25 team.

The announced attendance of 7,444, including 2,506 students, was the fifth-largest crowd to ever see a TCU home game.

No Miles, no problem

While junior guard Mike Miles Jr. was sidelined due to a hyperextended knee, redshirt junior Shahada Wells started in his place.

Filling in for the leading scorer, who was also recently named to the John R. Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 Watch List, could be a daunting task.

Yet Wells and senior guard Damion Baugh played exceptional on both ends, proving the moment wasn’t too big.

Baugh, acting as the primary ball-handler, orchestrated TCU’s offense ensuring every single possession ended with an efficient look at the basket.

Miles Jr.’s absence didn’t influence Baugh to play a different game or get out of character.

“I feel like if I try to do too much I’ll have more turnovers, I just have to stick to what I do,” said Baugh after posting his second career double-double, 16 points and 10 assists.

After making his sixth-career start, Wells contributed with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting with five dimes.

Sophomore big man Eddie Lampkin Jr. made his return to action in limited minutes off the bench as junior forward Xavier Cork got the starting nod.

Speaking of Cork…

Cork did a great job rolling to the basket, finishing at the rim and being efficient.

Cork was so efficient that he was literally perfect from the field, going 6-of-6 from the floor for 15 points, the most in his two seasons as a Horned Frog.

Highlighted by 10 different lineups in the first 10 games, TCU has experienced many untimely injuries that causes shifts in the rotations.

Yet TCU has been able to remain steady and consistent, and Dixon’s coaching philosophy highlights why.

“No one has to do anything different, some guys are going to play more minutes but you don’t have to change your game overnight because guys are out,” said Dixon.

Mainly a back-and-forth affair that saw West Virginia bring the game to within a possession or two, the Frogs led at the half, 36-32.

Once the second half started, TCU made sure that West Virginia never got to within less than four points.

The Frogs outscored West Virginia in the paint, 48-30 and took care of the ball with 20 assists on a season-low seven turnovers.

Although the Frogs shot well all game, 51.7%, it was their defense and toughness that shined the most.

In typical TCU fashion, their grit and hustle on defense led to many transition buckets that ignited the crowd and deflated the Mountaineers all at once.

“Last game they [West Virginia] out rebounded us by 13, and we couldn’t let that happen again,” said sophomore forward JaKobe Coles.

“We just had come in, focus on rebounding, hitting guys, being strong and playing physical, and if we do that there’s no team that can beat us.”

Coles led the team in scoring with 17 points off the bench that included many acrobatic rim finishes.

Up next

After handling business at home, TCU travels to Stillwater to face off against Oklahoma State on Saturday in Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Tip-off is at 1 p.m. on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.