Jan. 9, 2009
Game Notes - UNLV in PDF Format
The Horned Frogs will return to the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum for their second game in Mountain West Conference action as TCU welcomes UNLV on Saturday (Jan. 10) for a 4:30 p.m. Central Time tip.
This will be the 13th meeting between the Frogs and Runnin' Rebels as UNLV holds an 11-1 all-time advantage over the Purple and White. UNLV won all three games during the 2007-08 campaign and TCU has not defeated the Runnin' Rebels since February 22, 1999, following a 76-72 victory in Las Vegas.
The Frogs and Runnin' Rebels can be heard over the airwaves via ESPN Radio 103.3 FM with Brian Estridge (play-by-play) and John Denton (analyst). The game can be seen on The Mtn. Network with James Bates (play-by-play) and Bob Donewald (analyst) as well as viewed on GameTracker via www.GoFrogs.com.
Stellar Defense Equals Victories
The Frogs will enter the contest against the Runnin' Rebels ranked 20th in the nation in scoring defense as TCU is allowing opponents to score 59.7 points per game. This is the first time that the Frogs have allowed less than 60.0 points per game over the first 15 games since the 1985-86 season when TCU gave up 58.7 points per game.
During a three-game stretch - the Frogs held SMU, St. Gregory's and Colorado to 46 or fewer points, which marked the first time since the 1951-52 season that TCU held three consecutive opponents to less than 46 points after achieving the feat against Rice (30), Texas (43) and SMU (43).
The Frogs have held two opponents to 39 or fewer points this season in St. Gregory's (38) and Colgate (37). This is the first time since the 1986-87 campaign that TCU has held at least two opponents to 38 or fewer points in a game. That season - TCU held Texas (37) and Rice (38) to 38 or fewer points in a game.
The Frogs are ranked third in the Mountain West Conference this season in scoring defense at 59.7 points per game behind San Diego State (55.1 P-G) and Air Force (58.2 P-G). This season - the Frogs have held 12 of their 15 opponents to a score lower than their season average coming into the game.
In his three seasons with the Purple and White - Kevin Langford has not only been a maintstay in the Frogs' starting lineup, but has also been one of their top players. A starter in 75 consecutive games - the TCU senior has posted a double-digit scoring performance in 56 of those contests (10 - Sr. | 24 - Jr. | 22 So.).
The Fort Worth product has an opportunity to become the 29th player in TCU history to reach the 1000-point milestone as Langford currently sits at 999 career points with the Frogs. Langford only needs one point to reach the 1,000-point milestone and become the 16th player in TCU history to reach the mark in under three full seasons.
For his career - Langford has scored 1,065 points after collecting 66 points during his freshman campaign at the University of California. The TCU senior notched his first double-double of the season with a 20-point, 11-rebound performance against Colgate - which was his second career double-double.
Langford continues to move up the rankings in the TCU all-time record books as the TCU senior is ranked fifth in free throw attempts (488) and seventh in free throws made (327). The 6-8 forward needs to make two free throws to pass Wayne Kreis (328) and collect 13 free throw attempts to pass Kurt Thomas (500) in free throw tries.
TCU newcomer Ronnie "Tuffy" Moss originally signed with Kent State, but was granted his release and signed with the Frogs after Christian was announced as the new head men's basketball coach for the Purple and White.
Moss became the first freshman since Femi Ibikunle in 2003-04 to start his collegiate debut for the Frogs and only the third freshman this decade to earn a spot in the starting lineup in his first game (Corey Santee | 2001-02).
The TCU freshman has proven to be an offensive threat for the Frogs as Moss is ranked fourth on the team in scoring (9.6 P-G) and ranked third in double-digit scoring performances (8). Moss became the first freshman since Chudi Chinweze in 2002-03 to score 20 or more points in a game after the TCU guard collected a career-high 20 points on the road at Louisiana Tech.
Good Things Come in Three's
The Frogs have made at least one three-pointer in 325 consecutive games dating back to the 1997-98 season. The last time that the Purple and White failed to connect on a trey came against LIU-Brooklyn on November 22, 1997.
The Frogs have recorded at least one three-pointer in 542 of their last 543 games. Prior to that failed connection against LIU-Brooklyn - TCU made at least one three-pointer in 217 straight games dating back to the 1989-90 season when the University of Texas stopped the Frogs behind the arc on February 11, 1990.
Frogs Record 406th Victory at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum
With a victory over Colorado State on January 3rd - the Frogs notched their 406th victory at the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. In the 48-year history of the DMC - the Frogs have posted a record of 406-236 (.632) on their home court. Over the past 11 seasons - the Frogs have posted a 146-61 (.705) overall record at home.
Non-Conference - No Problem at Home
The Horned Frogs have captured 17 of their last 20 games at home against non-conference opponents. In their last 10 games - TCU has posted victories in nine of them with their lone setback coming against Big 12 Conference-foe Nebraska in the home opener of the 2008-09 campaign.
No Three for You
This season - the Frogs are ranked first in the Mountain West Conference in three-point field goal percentage defense as opponents have only connected on 28.7 percent (73-of-254) of their trey attempts. The Frogs are currently ranked 10th in the country in three-point field goal percentage defense and have held opponents to an average of 4.9 three-point field goals made per game this season.
The Frogs have held 10 of 15 opponents to less than 40.0 percent from behind the three-point line this season - including three opponents to less than 16.0 percent (Western Michigan, SMU and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi).
Scouting the Runnin' Rebels
UNLV will enter the contest with a 13-2 overall record and a 1-0 mark in Mountain West Conference action. The Rebels won their last eight games and have not suffered a setback since dropping a 67-65 decision to Cincinnati on November 29th.
Wink Adams is the top offensive scoring threat for the Runnin' Rebels as the UNLV guard is averaging 13.1 points per game to go along with 4.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. Adams has played big for the Runnin' Rebels in some of their biggest games as he scored 25 points - including seven three-pointers - in a 78-66 triumph over Arizona.
Rene Rougeau is one of the top all-around players in the Mountain West Conference as the UNLV forward is averaging 11.3 points to go along with 7.9 rebounds, 2.3 blocked shots, 1.9 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Over the last five games - Rougeau has averaged 13.9 points per game while connecting on 71.1 percent (32-of-45) of his field goal attempts.
The Runnin' Rebels have six players that are averaging 7.0 points per game or higher in Adams (13.1 P-G), Rougeau (11.3), Tre'Von Willis (11.0 P-G), Joe Darger (8.5 P-G), Darris Santee (7.3 P-G) and Oscar Bellfield (7.1 P-G).
One of the top all-around teams in the Mountain West Conference - the Runnin' Rebels are ranked in the top-three in only four statistical categories, but are listed first in turnover margin (+4.33) and second in three-point field goals made (7.4 3FGM-G).
The Man Known as "Z"
Zvonko "Z" Buljan has played a big role for the Frogs in the low post as the TCU forward is averaging 11.9 points per game to go along with a team-high 6.6 rebound per contests. The 6-9 forward is ranked sixth in the Mountain West Conference in rebounds per game (6.6 R-G) and field goal percentage (73-of-130 | .562) and 15th in scoring (11.9 P-G).
After coming off of the bench during a three-game stretch - Buljan returned to the starting lineup against Colorado where he recorded the first double-double of his Frogs' career with a 15-point, 10-board performance. The TCU forward has recorded a double-digit scoring performance in seven of the last nine games - including a career-high 19 points against Indiana.
Buljan is tied for second on the Frogs in double-digit scoring games (9) and has posted two double-doubles this season (Colorado | Wichita State). Over the last six games - the TCU forward is averaging 15.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game while connecting on 62.2 percent (38-of-61) of his field goal tries and 52.9 percent (9-of-17) of his three-point field goal tries.
The Frogs have four international players on the roster in John Ortiz (Colombia), Zvonko Buljan (Croatia), Edvinas Ruzgas (Lithuania) and Marin Bavcevic (Croatia). TCU has never had more than two international players on their roster at any one time during their history. There have been at least two international players on the TCU roster in each of the last five seasons.
Bigger in Texas
The Frogs have six players that reside from the State of Texas - including four players from the Dallas/Fort Worth area in Kevin Langford (Fort Worth), Ronnie Moss (Fort Worth), Kevin Butler (Duncanville) and A.J. Siebert (Southlake).
Second Generation Stars
The Frogs have two players on their roster who have parents who played collegiate athletics in Kevin Langford (Father - basketball at UT Arlington | Mother - basketball at UT Arlington) and A.J. Siebert (Father - football at Northern Arizona).
Charity Stripe Highs
The Frogs connected on 27 free throws against Nebraska - which was their highest talley since a 27-free throw performance against Colorado State on February 20, 2008. Last season - the Frogs finished seventh in the Mountain West Conference in free throw percentage, but are currently ranked second this season in that statistical category after connecting on 73.8 percent (200-of-271) of their charity stripe attempts.
Frogs Ink One on Signing Day
The Frogs signed Garlon Green (Missouri City, Texas | Hightower High School) to a National Letter of Intent on November 12th. The 6-7 wing enters his senior season as the 19th-ranked prospect in the State of Texas and is the younger brother of Gerald Green, Jr. - who plays for the Dallas Mavericks.
Big Victory over Buffs
With a 62-46 victory over Colorado on December 3rd - the Frogs recorded their first triumph over a Big 12 Conference-opponent since November 23, 2004, when TCU posted an 83-68 win over Texas Tech. The victory over the Buffs also gave TCU its first road win over a Big 12 Conference-foe since December 7, 2002, when the Frogs defeated Baylor by a 72-64 count.
Prior to a setback against Indiana - the Frogs were enjoying a six-game winning streak which was their longest winning streak since the 1998-99 campaign when TCU won eight straight contests. That season - the Frogs advanced to the quarterfinals of the NIT Tournament, which was their last post-season appearance.
Edvinas Ruzgas has made a tremendous impact for the Frogs in his first season as the former Weatherford College standout ranks first on the team in three-point field goals made (34) and three-point field goal attempts (86) while standing third in field goals made (58). The 6-6 guard has connected on 48.7 percent (58-of-119) of his field goal attempts and 76.9 percent (20-of-26) of his free throw tries.
Ruzgas has notched seven double-digit scoring performances - including a career-high 24 points on 8-of-13 shooting and 5-of-9 from behind the three-point line against Texas Tech. The TCU guard also added 19 points against Clemson and a 16-point effort in his TCU debut against Western Michigan at the Charleston Classic.
In the MWC standings - Ruzgas is ranked fourth in minutes played per game (32.6 MP-G), sixth in three-point field goals made per game (2.27 3FGM-G), eighth in three-point percentage (.395) and 15th in scoring (11.3 P-G).
After earning a spot in the starting lineup over the last 10 games - Keion Mitchem has put up solid numbers as the TCU junior is averaging 7.8 points, 1.8 assists and 1.4 rebounds per game while connecting on 48.2 percent (27-of-56) of his field goal attempts and 52.9 percent (18-of-34) of his three-point field goal tries during that stretch.
Mitchem scored a career-high 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting - including five three-pointers - in an 81-67 victory over Colorado State in the Mountain West Conference opener for the Frogs. The TCU guard has recorded five double-digit scoring performances this season and TCU is 4-1 when Mitchem scores 10 or more points.
On the season - Mitchem is ranked first on the Frogs in three-point field goal percentage (.475) and fifth in scoring average (6.1 P-G) and points (92) . He is also ranked fifth on the team in double-digit scoring performances (5).
Point of Order
Jason Ebie has started 14 of 15 games for the Frogs at the point guard position where he ranks fourth in the Mountain West Conference in assists per game (4.20 A-G) and ninth in the conference standings in assist-to-turnover radio (1.66:1). The TCU point guard dished out a career-high nine assists at home versus St. Gregory's.
Ebie has dished out three or more assists in 13 of 15 games and scored six or more points in eight of 15 contests during his junior campaign. The Houston native is ranked second on the team in steals (19), free throws made (28) and free throw attempts (41) and third in minutes played per game (28.2 MP-G).
Duncanville standout Kevin Butler has provided the Frogs with plenty of energy and production off of the bench in his first season as the 6-6 forward is averaging 4.3 points per game in 18.6 minutes of court time. Butler has played in at least 15 minutes in 10 of 15 games and has scored at least six points in six of those contests.
Butler had a tremendous performance against ACC-opponent Clemson as he posted a career-high nine points - including 2-of-2 from behind the three-point line - to go along with six steals, four rebounds and two assists. His six-steal effort against the Tigers is the highest single-game tally in the Mountain West Conference this season.
The TCU rookie is ranked first on the team in steals (22) and steals per game (1.47 S-G) - which is ranked fifth in the conference standings. Butler is ranked third among all freshmen in the MWC in rebounds per game (4.1 R-G).
John Ortiz has appeared in 12 games for TCU in his senior campaign while earning a spot in the starting lineup on three occasions. The Frogs are 3-0 when Ortiz appears in the starting lineup as the TCU senior is averaging 2.2 points and 2.3 rebounds per game in his final campaign.
Overhaul on the Boards
One of the areas of improvement that Christian has stressed to the Frogs has been their presence on the glass. The Frogs have out-rebounded their opponents in nine of 15 games this season (+66 in those games).
Frogs Post Victory in Conference Opener
For the second time in the last eight seasons - the Frogs have notched a victory in their conference opener as TCU recorded an 81-67 triumph over Colorado State on January 3rd. The Frogs are 2-2 in Mountain West Conference openers since joining the conference during the 2005-06 campaign.
Stronger at the Game Goes On
Despite their lack of depth - the Frogs have proven to be stronger on the court as the games moves into the final minutes. This season - TCU is averaging 29.6 points per game (444 points) in the first half of action, but increases their offensive output to 36.8 points (552) over the final 20 minutes. The increase of +7.2 points from the first to second halves of action is the highest among all teams in the Mountain West Conference.
Frogs Top Pair of Big 12 Conference Foes
Following an 85-80 victory on the road at Texas Tech - the Frogs recorded their second victory against a Big 12 Conference-foe away from the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. This is the first time in the 13-year existence of the Big 12 Conference that the Frogs have defeated not only two members in the same season, but also the first time that the Purple and White have defeated two members on the road.
The last time that the Frogs defeated two Big 12 Conference-opponents came during the 1991-92 season when TCU was a member of the Southwest Conference. That season - TCU defeated Texas A&M and Baylor on the road.
Christian Captures 10th Victory in First Season
In his first season as head coach of the Frogs - Jim Christian collected his 10th victory following an 85-80 victory over Texas Tech on January 6th. With his 10th victory - Christian moved into fourth place on the TCU all-time coaching list for most victories in his first season. The record for most triumphs in a coach's first season at TCU came during the 1994-95 season when Billy Tubbs collected 16 victories.
Only four coaches in program history have recorded a winning record in their first season with the Frogs in Tubbs (16-11 | 1994-95), Johnny Swaim (15-11 | 1967-68), Hub McQuillan (13-10 | 1941-42) and Matty Bell (16-4 | 1923-24). The average number of wins for a first-year coach at TCU is 7.1 triumphs.
Frogs Add One Player to Roster
At the beginning of the spring semester - the Frogs added one player to the 2008-09 roster in freshman Marin Bavcevic. A 6-2 guard from Split, Croatia - Bavcevic graduated from The Patterson School in Lenoir, N.C.
Five Frogs Reach Double Figures
In their 85-80 victory over Texas Tech - five Frogs posted a double-digit scoring evening in Edvinas Ruzgas (24), Ronnie Moss (15), Kevin Langford (14), Zvonko Buljan (12) and Keion Mitchem (12). This was the first time since December 27, 2007, that the Frogs have had five players in double figures as TCU defeated Jackson State at home by a 79-68 margin.
Keion vs. Colorado
Over the last two seasons - Keion Mitchem has played some of his biggest games against teams from the State of Colorado. The TCU guard is averaging 11.3 points per game while shooting 45.8 percent (22-of-48) from the field and 58.0 percent (18-of-31) from behind the three-point line in those games.
This season - Mitchem is averaging 17.0 points per game while connecting on 78.6 percent (11-of-14) from the field and 80.0 percent (8-of-10) from behind the three-point line in a pair of games against Colorado and Colorado State. The 5-10 guard collected a career-high 19 points against the Rams in the Mountain West Conference opener on January 3rd.
In his first season with the Frogs - Moss has posted a stellar rookie season as the 6-2 guard is ranked second in scoring average (9.6 P-G) among all freshmen, but the top scoring true freshman in the Mountain West Conference. Ajam Muojeke - a redshirt freshman from Wyoming - is averaging 15.3 points per game for the Cowboys.
The last time that a freshman averaged over 9.0 points per game for the Frogs came during the 2001-02 season when Corey Santee recorded a mark of 14.7 points per game. The last time a freshman averaged over 8.0 points per game came the following season when Chudi Chinweze averaged 8.4 points per game.
Score One for A.J
A.J. Siebert scored his first career points for the Frogs when the TCU walk-on recorded a two-point performance against St. Gregory's (Okla.). The TCU junior has appeared in two games and posted his first career steal in a victory over Colgate.
This season - the Frogs have recorded three double-doubles (points-rebounds) through the team's first 15 games. Zvonko Buljan has collected two double-doubles while Kevin Langford has posted one this season. This is the first time since the 2006-07 campaign that TCU has collected at least three double-doubles in the same season and the first time since Judson Stubbs (5) during the 2005-06 campaign that a Frog has collected at least two individual double-doubles.
TCU assistant coach Billy Wuczynski has strong ties to the Runnin' Rebels program as he graduated from UNLV in 1996 and spent five seasons at his alma mater as both an assistant coach and Director of Basketball Operations.
Following their contest against the Runnin' Rebels - TCU will take to the air for its next two games as the Frogs will first travel to Provo, Utah, for a showdown against reigning Mountain West Conference regular-season champions BYU on January 13th. The Frogs will square-off against the Air Force Academy in USAFA, Colo., next Saturday (Jan. 17).
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