March 5, 2009
Game Notes - Utah
The Horned Frogs will travel to Salt Lake City, Utah, for their final regular-season game of the 2008-09 as TCU squares-off against Utah at the Huntsman Center on Saturday. Game time is slated for 5:00 p.m. Central Time.
This will be the 15th meeting between the Frogs and Runnin' Utes as Utah holds a 10-4 overall margin on the Purple and White. Utah has claimed six of eight games against the Horned Frogs on its home floor.
The Frogs and Runnin' Utes can be heard over the airwaves via Big Country 1460 AM with Brian Estridge (play-by-play) and John Denton (analyst). The game can be seen on The Mtn. Network with Bill Riley (play-by-play) and Joe Cravens (analyst) and can be heard over the Internet via www.GoFrogs.com.
In Their Last Meeting
In their last meeting, the Runnin' Utes posted a 62-54 victory over the Frogs at the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum on February 4th. The Frogs held the lead at halftime by a 32-27 margin, but were out-scored 35-22 over the final 20 minutes of action. Carlon Brown led Utah with 14 points and 12 rebounds while Kevin Langford collected 22 points and Ronnie Moss finished with 14 points to lead the Frogs.
Line of Defense
The Frogs will enter the contest against the Runnin' Utes ranked 81st in the nation in scoring defense as TCU is allowing opponents to score 63.6 points per game. TCU is ranked third in the Mountain West Conference in scoring defense behind San Diego State (60.3 P-G) and Air Force (62.6 P-G).
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.
A mainstay in the TCU rotation in his three seasons, Kevin Langford has been a starter in 89 consecutive games and has posted a double-digit scoring performance in 65 of those contests (19 - Sr. | 24 - Jr. | 22 - So.). The TCU forward is ranked seventh in the Frogs' record books for career games started.
Langford collected a career-high 36 points on 13-of-19 shooting, including 10-of-11 from the charity stripe, to go along with eight rebounds, two assists, two blocked shots (including the game winner) and one steal in 36 minutes in TCU's 79-78 overtime victory over Wyoming on January 21st.
For his career, Langford has scored 1,276 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 became the 15th player in program history to post over 1,200 career points for the Frogs on February 28th and now ranks 15th in the all-time rankings at 1,210 points. The 6-8 forward needs 10 points to surpass Marquise Gainous for 14th place in the career points standings.
Langford ranks third on the all-time free throws made (411) and free throw attempts (592) in the TCU record books. The Fort Worth native is only the third player in program to surpass the 400 free throws made for his career.
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 only the fourth freshman this decade to earn a spot in the starting rotation in his debut game with the Frogs joining Mike Scott (2007-08), Femi Ibikunle (2003-04) and Corey Santee (2001-02). The Fort Worth product became the first freshman since Chudi Chinweze in 2002-03 to score 20 or more points in a conference game after he collected a career-high 22 points at home versus San Diego State on February 28th.
The Fort Worth standout has proven to be an offensive threat for the Frogs this season as Moss is ranked fourth on the team in scoring average (9.9 P-G). The 6-2 guard has posted 16 double-digit scoring performances this season - which are the most for a TCU freshman since Corey Santee posted 25 during the 2001-02 campaign.
Good Things Come in Three's
The Frogs have made at least one three-pointer in 339 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 556 of their last 557 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 409th Victory at DMC
With a victory over Air Force on February 18th, the Frogs notched their 409th triumph at the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. In the 48-year history of the DMC, the Frogs have posted a record of 409-239 (.631) on their home court. Over the past 11 seasons, the Frogs have posted a 149-64 (.702) overall record at home with a 10-5 mark this season. The Frogs have also recorded at least 10 victories on their home court for the eighth time in the last 11 seasons.
Non-Conference - No Problem at Home
The Frogs have captured 17 of their last 20 games at home against non-conference opponents. In their last 10 games, the Frogs have 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 third in the Mountain West Conference in three-point field goal percentage defense as opponents have only connected on 33.0 percent (162-of-491) of their trey attempts.
This is the best three-point field goal defense for the Frogs since the 1998-99 campaign when TCU allowed opponents to connect on 31.5 percent (224-of-710) of their attempts. This is also only the second time in the last 10 seasons that the Frogs have held opponents to less than 34.0 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Following a 79-78 overtime triumph over Wyoming on January 21st, the Frogs recorded their ninth consecutive victory at the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The nine-game home winning streak for the Frogs was the longest for the program since the 1998-99 campaign when TCU began the season with a 9-0 mark.
Scouting the Runnin' Utes
The University of Utah enters the contest with a 20-9 overall record and an 11-4 mark in Mountain West Conference action. The Runnin' Utes have posted a 12-2 mark at the Huntsman Center this season, including a 7-0 record in conference action.
Luke Nevill continues to make a push for MWC Player of the Year as the 7-2 center is averaging 17.0 P-G (second in MWC) and 8.6 R-G (first in MWC). Nevill is the program's all-time single-season blocks leader at 80 during the 2008-09 season.
Lawrence Borha has been a starter in all 29 games this season for the Runnin' Utes as the 6-3 guard is averaging 11.9 points to go along with 3.2 rebounds per game. He has connected on 46.7 percent (112-of-240) of his field goal attempts this year.
The Runnin' Utes have six players that are averaging 8.0 or more points per game in Nevill (17.0 P-G), Borha (11.9 P-G), Tyler Kepkay (10.9 P-G), Shaun Green (10.3 P-G), Carlon Brown (9.3 P-G) and Luka Drca (8.1 P-G). As a team, Utah is ranked fourth in the country in free throw percentage (.785) and 23rd in field goal percentage (.482).
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 12.2 points per game to go along with a team-high 8.0 rebounds per contest. The 6-9 forward is ranked second in the Mountain West Conference in rebounds per game (8.0 R-G), ninth in field goal percentage (136-of-271 | .502) and 15th in scoring average (12.2 P-G).
The TCU forward was selected as the Mountain West Conference Player of the Week on January 12th after averaging 16.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 2.0 assists per game in victories over Texas Tech and UNLV. In Mountain West Conference games, Buljan is averaging 13.0 points to go along with 9.3 boards per game - which ranks first in the league.
Buljan is ranked first on the Frogs in double-digit scoring games (20) and has notched nine double-doubles - which are the most for a Frog since Jamal Brown (9) during the 2001-02 campaign. The 6-9 forward is also ranked 76th in the country in rebounds per game at 8.0 boards per evening.
Off the Bench
This season, the Frogs are averaging 15.7 points per game (456 total points) from their bench and 13.6 points per game (204 total points) during Mountain West Conference action. The most points in a game for the Frogs off of the bench came against St. Gregory's (Okla.) when TCU garnered 47 points.
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 its roster at any one time during its 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 73.3 percent (407-of-555) of their charity stripe attempts.
This is the highest free throw shooting percentage for the Frogs since TCU connected on 74.7 percent (698-of-934) during the 2000-01 campaign. In addition to the 2008-09 campaign, the Frogs have connected on 73.0 percent or higher on their free throw attempts on three occasions (2000-01 | 74.7 percent and 1999-00 | 76.5 percent) over the last 10 campaigns.
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.
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.
Shoot `Em Up
Edvinas Ruzgas has made an 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 (58) and three-point field goal attempts (168) while standing third in field goals made (100). The 6-6 guard has connected on 43.1 percent (100-of-232) of his field goal attempts and 77.4 percent (41-of-53) of his free throw tries.
Ruzgas has notched 15 double-digit scoring performances with nine of those games coming on the road and nine coming in Mountain West Conference action. The 6-6 guard connected on a career-high 24 points on 8-of-13 shooting, including 5-of-9 from behind the three-point line, in a road victory against Texas Tech.
In the MWC standings, Ruzgas is ranked ninth in minutes played per game (31.79 MP-G) and three-point field goal percentage (58-of-168 | .345) and 10th in three-point field goals made per game (2.00 3FGM-G).
A starter in 17 of 29 games this season, Keion Mitchem has posted solid numbers as the TCU junior is averaging 5.7 points per game to go along with 1.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. The 5-10 shooting guard has connected on 40.1 percent (57-of-142) of his field goal attempts, including 39.2 percent (29-of-74) of his three-point field goal tries and 76.7 percent (23-of-30) of his attempts at the charity stripe.
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 seven double-digit scoring performances this season, and TCU is 5-2 when Mitchem scores 10 or more points.
Point of Order
Jason Ebie has started 23 of 29 games for the Frogs at the point guard position where he ranks fourth in the conference in assists per game (3.83 A-G) and seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.76:1). The Houston talent has dished out three or more assists in 23 of 29 games and scored six or more points in 17 of 29 contests.
The 6-1 guard scored a career-high 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including 2-of-4 from behind the three-point line, in TCU's road victory at the Air Force Academy. Ebie has collected a pair of double-digit scoring performances this season with both of them coming against conference foes on the road (12 - Air Force | 11 - Wyoming).
Kevin Butler has appeared in all 29 games in his first season with the Frogs and earned his first trip to the starting lineup on February 18th against the Air Force Academy. During his rookie campaign, the Duncanville, Texas, native is averaging 3.3 points and 3.2 rebounds per game while connecting on 41.7 percent (35-of-84) of his shots.
The TCU freshman 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 conference this season.
John Ortiz has appeared in 25 games for TCU in his senior campaign while earning a spot in the starting lineup on five occasions. Ortiz is averaging 1.8 points to go along with 2.0 rebounds per game while connecting on 40.0 percent (18-of-45) of his field goal attempts. The Frogs are 3-2 when the TCU senior appears in the starting lineup.
Stronger as the Game Goes On
This season, TCU is averaging 28.6 points per game (830 points) in the first half of action, but increases its offensive output to 35.4 points (1,026) over the final 20 minutes. The increase of +6.8 points from the first to second half of action is the highest among all teams in the Mountain West Conference this season.
Under 60 Crowd
This season, the Frogs have posted a perfect 8-0 record when holding opponents to less than 60 points in a game.
The Frog 250
This season, the Frogs have four players that have accumulated over 250 points in Langford (413), Buljan (355), Ruzgas (299) and Moss (279). This is the first time since the 2004-05 season that the Frogs have had four players post over 250 points. That season, the Frogs played a total of 35 games after advancing to the NIT.
Christian Moves into Fourth Place
In his first season as head coach of the Frogs, Jim Christian collected his 14th victory following a 62-50 victory over Air Force on February 18th. With his 14th victory, Christian took sole possession of fourth place on the TCU all-time coaching list for most victories in his first season. The TCU head coach surpassed Hub McQuillan (13 victories) for fourth place and is two triumphs shy of tying Billy Tubbs (16 wins) and Matty Bell (16 wins) for the all-time record.
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.
Buljan Recognized by The Sporting News
Zvonko Buljan was recognized by The Sporting News as the one of the top international players during the 2008-09 campaign as he was ranked 21st overall and second in the conference behind Utah's Luke Nevill - who was ranked fifth overall.
Buljan has played extremely well on the road this season as he has recorded five of his nine double-doubles away from the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The 6-9 forward has posted 11 of his 20 double-digit scoring performances on the road this season.
A key for the Frogs this season has been jumping on their opponents early in the first half of action. TCU has recorded a 10-1 record when holding the lead heading into intermission. The lone setback for the Frogs when leading at halftime came against Utah on February 4th when TCU held a 32-27 advantage, but fell 62-54 to the Runnin' Utes.
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 (9.9 P-G) among all freshmen, but is the top scoring true freshman in the Mountain West Conference. Ajam Muojeke, a redshirt freshman from Wyoming, is averaging 14.3 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.
Frogs in the RPI
In the last RPI rankings, the Frogs were listed 158th - which is their best RPI ranking since joining the Mountain West Conference prior to the beginning of the 2005-06 campaign. In their time in the MWC, the Frogs have only finished under 200th one time (182nd | 2006-07) and were listed 214th a season ago.
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.
TCU freshman Logan Lancon made his first collegiate start against New Mexico on January 24th where he played in 11 minutes of action. The 6-6 guard played an important role in the Frogs' 79-78 overtime victory over Wyoming on January 21st as he collected five points on 2-of-3 shooting, including a three-pointer, in 10 minutes of action.
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 a season, but also the first time that TCU has 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.
The Frogs will travel to Las Vegas, Nev., for the Mountain West Conference Tournament - which begins on March 11th.
TCU Basketball Coaches' Show
The TCU Basketball Coaches' Show will air on Thursday evenings beginning at 6:00 p.m. Jim Christian can be heard over the airwaves courtesy of KTCU (88.7 FM) and Big Country (1460 AM) beginning at 6:30 p.m. with Brian Estridge.
TCU Athletics Media Relations