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TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

TCU alumni connect with each other at Guy Fieri’s Dive & Taco Joint in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. on Friday Oct. 7, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Tristen Smith)
How TCU's alumni chapters keep the Horned Frog spirit alive post-grad
By Addison Thummel, Staff Writer
Published May 11, 2024
TCU graduates can stay connected with the Horned Frog community with alumni chapters across the nation.

TCU Men’s Basketball looks to build on consecutive successful seasons

Despite some new faces, the Frogs still think they can carry over the success they’ve had from the last couple of seasons.
Esau Rodriguez Olvera
TCU forward Chuck O’Bannon (5) pulls up for three in a home win over West Virginia on Feb. 21, 2022. (Esau Rodriguez Olvera/Staff Photographer)

After their second consecutive appearance in the round of 32 of the NCAA tournament last season, the Frogs are expecting big things this fall.

TCU starts the season unranked, but Director of Basketball Operations Thomas Montigel believes the basketball program is in a perfect spot to take off.

Small school, big expectations

TCU is a big-time school, but it’s a smaller school in a big-time conference,” Montigel said when asked how the team expects to compete year after year in the best basketball conference in the country.

Assistant coach Jamie McNeilly said TCU is in a great position for the future.

“Our past is what is unique for us. We went from being in a mid-major, good conference to what is now the best conference in college basketball. The level that we’re at right now — being in the best conference in the Big 12 — the fact that we’re a team that’s growing at that level puts us in a real good spot going forward.”

Montigel and McNeilly stressed how important it is for the program to be consistent in competing within the top half of the Big 12. Citing the advantages it provides for recruiting, player retention and overall roster construction.  

Despite the shift in production that is expected when a team loses three of its five starters, the coaches remain uniform in their sentiments that the 2023-24 rendition of TCU basketball is poised to be just as exciting as the previous two years.

Unlike last year, the team has had to reload with an almost entirely new roster. Mike Miles Jr., Eddie Lampkin, Damion Baugh, Shahada Wells, Rondel Walker and Souleymane Doumbia all won’t be returning. 

Head coach Jamie Dixon and his staff looked to the transfer portal to shore up the roster.

Newcomers include: guard Trey Tennyson from Texas A&M Corpus-Christi, guard Avery Anderson III from Oklahoma State, forward/center Essam Mostafa from Coastal Carolina, center Ernest Udeh from Kansas, and guard Jameer Nelson Jr. from Delaware.

Also returning alongside an exciting transfer class are familiar faces from the previous two seasons.

Who’s back?

Emanuel Miller (photo courtesy of gofrogs.com)
  • Senior forward Emanuel Miller, a transfer from Texas A&M before the 2021-22 season, has become a focal point of TCU’s offensive and defensive identities. He has averaged 11.3 points and 6.4 rebounds across 66 games in his Horned Frogs career.
Chuck O’Bannon Jr. (photo courtesy of gofrogs.com)
  • Chuck O’Bannon Jr. also returns for his seventh year of college basketball and fourth season at TCU. Averaging 8.1 points and 3.8 rebounds across 94 games, O’Bannon has provided three-point shooting and defensive versatility to the Horned Frogs’ rotation throughout his time with the program.
Micah Peavy (photo courtesy of gofrogs.com)
  • Senior forward Micah Peavy also returns as an athletic, defensive stalwart that can also work on the offensive side of the ball this year. A transfer from Texas Tech before the 2021-22 season, Peavy has seen his role on the squad steadily increase, as he has averaged 6.4 points and 3.6 rebounds across 64 games played for TCU.
JaKobe Coles (photo courtesy of gofrogs.com)
  • Senior forward JaKobe Coles is back and should have a larger offensive load with the aforementioned Mike Miles and Damion Baugh pursuing professional careers. A transfer from Butler before the 2021-22 season, Coles is a strong-bodied forward that can shoot the ball and play multiple positions at a high level. Averaging 5.7 points to go with 3 rebounds over 69 games played with the Frogs, Coles looks to be a reliable option for the Frogs at either forward spot.
JaKobe Coles (photo courtesy of gofrogs.com)
  • Finally, Xavier Cork returns for his third year at TCU to bolster the frontcourt. After spending his first two years at Western Carolina, Cork stepped up in a big way for the Frogs last year when starting center Eddie Lampkin was away from the team. Starting at center down the stretch of last season and into March Madness, Cork has 68 games of experience at TCU in which he averaged 3.9 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. The returning cast aims to pick up where they left off and complement the incoming transfer class.

Early adjustments

As it does in most cases, widespread change facilitates an adjustment period. As a result, there will inevitably be an acclamation process for the new-look Frogs early in the season. 

However, Montigel said the program’s recent success has encouraged the players throughout the highs and lows of a college basketball season.

I think it gives them a little taste of how good they can be,” said Montigel. “Once you go to March Madness and win some big games, that becomes contagious. Getting that experience from last year just carries over to this year.”

The buzz around TCU is at an all-time high with the success athletics has seen over the past year. Montigel and staff hope the 2023-24 Horned Frog squad can continue its rise and add to those successes.  

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