TCU Plays Host to Eagles in Season Opener

The fourth year of head coach Jim Christian's TCU tenure begins Friday against Florida Gulf Coast.

Nov. 9, 2011

GAME #1 - FLORIDA GULF COAST (0-0) at TCU (0-0)


Friday, Nov. 11, 2011 // 7 p.m. CST // Fort Worth, Texas // Daniel-Meyer Coliseum (7,201)
Radio: 1460 AM (KCLE), 88.7 FM (KTCU)  //  Talent: Jeff Williams (pxp)
Television: None  //  Talent: N/A
Internet: (radio, GameTracker)
Series Record: First Meeting  //  Last Meeting: None
TCU Head Coach: Jim Christian (Rhode Island, ‘88)    
      Record at TCU: 38-58 (.396) in 4th season //  Overall: 176-116 (.603) in10th season
FGCU Head Coach: Andy Enfield (Johns HopKins, '91)     
      Record at FGCU: 0-0 (.000) in 1st season  //  Overall: 0-0 (.000) in 1st season

TCU men’s basketball tips off the 101st season in program history Friday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m., when it plays host to Florida Gulf Coast at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The matchup begins a season-opening two-game homestand for the Horned Frogs.
Friday’s contest marks the start of Jim Christian’s fourth season as TCU head coach. The Frogs will feature a mix of familiar faces and newcomers in 2011-12. Eight letterwinners return, highlighted by senior guard Hank Thorns, a 2011 third-team All-Mountain West selection, junior guard/forward Garlon Green, the team’s leading scorer from a year ago, and senior guard J.R. Cadot, the Frogs’ leading rebounder.
The matchup will be TCU’s first all-time against the Eagles and only its second ever against a team from the Atlantic Sun Conference. The Frogs are 1-0 against A-Sun member Campbell.
Following the opener against FGCU, the Frogs next return to the floor Monday, Nov. 14, when they play host to Austin College in the second half of a TCU men’s-women’s doubleheader at the DMC. The men’s contest is scheduled to begin 30 minutes following theconclusion of the Frog women’s game, which is set for a 6 p.m. tip-off.
TCU’s matchup against FGCU can be heard live on the radio throughout the Metroplex on both 1460 AM KCLE and 88.7 FM KTCU with Jeff Williams serving as the play-by-play man. Live stats and a link to an Internet radio feed will be available via TCU’s official athletics website,

* TCU is 63-36 all-time in season openers. The Frogs have won 10 of their last 11, including five straight.
* TCU head coach Jim Christian is 7-2 during his career in season openers, including 3-0 with the Frogs.
* Florida Gulf Coast will be TCU’s first opponent from the state of Florida since the Frogs joined the Mountain West. The squad previously faced South Florida each year as a member of Conference USA (2001-05).
* Eight Frog letterwinners, including three starters, return from last season’s squad. TCU is one of four teams in the Mountain West to return at least three starters.
* TCU’s returning players accounted for 55.8% of scoring, 54.3% of rebounds, 67.5% of assists, 54.3% of steals and 64.9% of blocked shots last season.
* Hank Thorns enters his second and final season at TCU just 96 assists shy of entering the program’s career top-10 list.
* Thorns, a Preseason All-MW selection, is No. 3 among the nation’s top returning assist men (7.0 apg) from a year ago and No. 9 among the leaders in assist/turnover ratio (2.71)
* Garlon Green enters his junior season leading TCU in career games played (64), starts (34), points (501) and rebounds (227) as a Frog.
* J.R. Cadot shot 65.9% from the floor last season, which ranked No. 2 on TCU’s single-season charts. He shot 75.3% in home games.
* TCU added two new assistant coaches to the bench in the offseason: Reggie Brown and Rob Evans.
Florida Gulf Coast, led by first-year head coach Andy Enfield, posted a 10-20 record in 2010-11 and tied for seventh place in the Atlantic Sun with a 7-13 league mark. The squad, in its first season of NCAA Postseason Eligibility after a four-year transition period from Division II, was picked to finish eighth this season in the A-Sun Preseason Poll.
Eight lettermen return from last season’s squad, including two starters in sophomore guard Christophe Varidel and senior center Kevin Cantinol. Three of the Eagles top-five scorers from last season return, led by Varidel (11.5), junior guard Sherwood Brown(7.0) and Cantinol (6.5). Cantinol led the team in field-goal percentage at.520, while Varidel’s mark of 2.6 3-pointers made per contest was best on the team.
FGCU played one home exhibition game against an NCAA Div. II opponent during the preseason, defeating St. Leo University in Fort Meyers, Fla., 78-59.
TCU took to its home court for the first time this season Saturday night, posting a 68-46 exhibition victory over Cameron University at the DMC. Five of the 11 Frogs to see action are newcomers to the program this season.
A pair of seniors led TCU in the scorebook in J.R. Cadot and Craig Williams, as both players scored 11 points. Williams, among the contingent of new players who played Saturday, went 4-for-9 from the field and pulled down a game-best nine rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench. Cadot, who shot over 65% last season as a junior, made 4-of-5 field-goal attempts.
Garlon Green, the Frogs’ leading scorer from a season ago, totaled nine points and eight boards, while Connell Crossland also netted nine points. Hank Thorns scored eight with six boards and a game-best seven assists.
TCU showed off an improved defensive determination throughout the game, holding the Aggies to only 25.4% shooting from the field, including only 17% from 3-point range. The Frogs also won the rebounding battle, 49-41, and dished out 18 assists to only five for Cameron.
Eight letterwinners and three starters who accounted for 95 of 155 starts from a season ago return for TCU in 2010-11.
Among the returnees is senior guard Hank Thorns, who earned All-Mountain West Third-Team honors as a junior after posting the third-best single-season assist total in program history (225). Thorns also averaged scoring in double figures with 10.7 ppg.
Junior forward Garlon Green, who led last season’s team in total points (369 points, 11.2 ppg), also is back, as is the team’s top rebounder in senior guard J.R. Cadot (6.0 rpg).
Overall, TCU returned 56 percent of scoring, 55 percent of rebounding and 68 percent of assist totals from last year’s team.
While some experience returns, TCU will count heavily on production from newcomers this season, as six of the 14 players on the roster are new to the program. The fresh facesinclude: senior Craig Williams; juniors Nate Butler, Connell Crossland and Adrick McKinney; sophomore Chris Zurcher; and freshman Kyan Anderson.
Jim Christian is entering his fourth season since taking over the reigns of the Horned Frog program prior to the 2008-09 season. This season marks Christian’s 10th year overall as a college head coach.
Christian is 176-116 overall in his previous nine seasons, including a 38-58 record with TCU. He has helped guide five players to four All-Mountain West honors in his previous three seasons with the Frogs, including Hank Thorns, a third-team All-MW in 2010-11.
Hank Thorns experienced a breakout season in his first year on the court for TCU in 2010-11 after transferring from Virginia Tech. His performance ranked him among the nation’s top handles at the point guard position.
* Hank Thorns enters his second and final season at TCU just 96 assists shy of entering the program’s career top-10 list.
* A Preseason All-Mountain West pick, Thorns is No. 3 among the nation’s top returning assist men (7.0 apg) from a year ago and No. 9 among the leaders in assist/turnover ratio (2.71). He led the MW in both categories and ranked No. 4 nationally in assists and No. 12 in assist/turnover ratio.
* He was the only player to rank among the nation’s top-12 players in both assists and assist/turnover ratio.
* Thorns does more than just dish the rock. He also led the team in steals (1.19 spg), was third in scoring average (10.5 ppg) and fifth in total rebounding (3.5 rpg).
* His 225 total assists ranked as the second-best single-season total in MW history and the most by a non-senior.
* Thorns dished out 10 or more assists nine times, seven more than any other MW player. He was third nationally in the category.
* Thorns was named Third-Team All-Mountain West and also was a nominee for the Bob Cousy Award as the nation’s top point guard.
Garlon Green is looking to continue his development following a breakthrough sophomore season in 2010-11.
* Green led TCU last season in total points (369), 3-pointers (49) and 3-point percentage (47.6%). He was second in rebounding (4.6 rpg) and overall field-goal percentage (48.4%).
* His 3-point rate would have led the Mountain West, but he fell one made shot short of qualifying for the category.
* TCU saw Green’s contributions jump significantly from his freshman to sophomore seasons. Heaveraged only 4.3 points and 2.4 boards per contest in 2009-10 and shot only 40.6%, including 18.9% beyond the arc.
* Forty-two of Green’s 56 career made 3-pointers came in the final 25 contests of last season. He equaled his career high of three treys eight times during the stretch.
* Green shot at least 50.0% overall from the field 20 times in TCU’s 33 contests.
* Green enters his junior year as TCU’s active career leader in games played (64), starts (34), points (501) and rebounds (227) as a Frog.
J.R. Cadot, who provided TCU with an aggressive edge around the basket from his guard spot in his first season on campus last year, concluded his junior season on a roll.
* Cadot scored at least 12 points in seven of the last eight contests, leading TCU three times in the stretch. He previously had not reached double figures since the Dec. 28 home win over Chicago State.
* Cadot’s scoring average of 11.9 ppg over the stretch was second on the squad only to former Frog Greg Hill.
* Cadot led TCU last season in both overall field-goal percentage (65.9%) and rebounding (6.0 rpg). He ranked sixth in the MW in boards and third in offensive rebounds (2.5 rpg).
* Cadot final field-goal rate ranked No. 2 in TCU single-season history among players with at least 150 attempts.
* Cadot shot 75.3% (58-of-77) from the field at home. He was perfect from the field seven times overall in 2010-11.
* Cadot led TCU in rebounding 13 times and owned three of TCU’s nine double-doubles.

Sophomore Amric Fields returns this season looking to build off an impressive true freshman campaign that saw him play in all 33 games and finish No. 2 among all MW freshman inscoring.
* Fields was fifth among Frogs with a 6.8 ppg scoring average, while he led the team in blocked shots (0.6 bpg).
* In addition to making nine starts, Fields scored eight or more points 13 times and had seven double-figure performances.
TCU addressed the team’s biggest need in the offseason with the recruitment of big men Adrick McKinney (6-8, 260) and Craig Williams (6-8, 265). In addition to bringing the two five-men into the mix, forward Connell Crossland (6-7, 195) and guard Nate Butler (6-6, 200) give the Frogs additional length and athleticism.
* Williams, a senior, was a transfer from Temple who was not required to spend a redshirt year after earning his bachelor’s degree last spring. He played in 61 career games with 13 starts over four seasons with the Owls.
* McKinney, who played prep ball at Fort Worth’s Trimble Tech High School, was ranked as the nation’s No. 45 junior college player by He posted averages of 15.1 points and 8.4 boards for Angelina College in Lufkin, Texas.
* Butler and Crossland joined the Frogs after playing together at John A. Logan College in Carterville, Ill., both ranked among the nation’s top-125 junior college players as sophomores.
* Crossland led the Volunteers in scoring (17.0 ppg), rebounding (12.3 rpg) and shots blocked (1.7 bpg), while Butler totaled averages of 13.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 2.1 steals and 2.1 blocked shots.
Kyan Anderson provided the TCU program with a big lift last spring when he signed on to play with the Frogs out of North Crowley High School.
* Anderson was one of the nation’s top point guard prospects last season. The No. 18 player overall in the state of Texas according to and the No. 3 point guard, Anderson led all Class 5A players in assists as a senior and was No. 8 in scoring average.
* A first-team all-state pick as a junior, Anderson was named the area Player of the Year by both the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Dallas Morning News as a junior in 2009-10
Newcomers Kyan Anderson and Adrick McKinney join sophomore Thomas Montigel as Fort Worth natives playing for the Frogs. It marks the largest number of local products on TCU’s roster since 2007-08, when Brent Hackett, Kevin Langford and Luke Tauscher all played with the Frogs. The last season TCU did not have a Fort Worth native on theroster was 2002-03.
TCU features three international players on its roster, a figure that ranks tied for the Mountain West lead with UNLV.  The foreign states represented include Croatia (Marin Bavcevic), the Bahamas (J.R. Cadot) and Mali (Cheick Kone).
TCU also has two players from United States territories on its roster in Nate Butler (Puerto Rico) and Craig Williams (U.S. Virgin Islands).
TCU has notched 426 triumphs in the 49-year history of Daniel-Meyer Coliseum and has posted a winning percentage of .625 (426-256) on its home court.
Over the past 15 seasons, the Frogs have accumulated a 178-84 (.679) overall record at the DMC while posting at least 10 home victories on 11 occasions.
* Last season, TCU was 0-16 when failing to shoot 45.0% or better from the field and 0-13 when either matching or scoring fewer points in the paint than the opponent.
* TCU has connected on at least one 3-pointer in 405 consecutive games dating back to the 1997-98 campaign. The last time the Frogs failed to connect on a trey came against LIU-Brooklyn on November 22, 1997.
* TCU has connected on at least one 3-pointer in 621 of its last 622 games. Prior to a failed connection against LIU-Brooklyn, TCU made at least one trey in 217 consecutive games dating back to Feb. 11, 1990, when Texas held the Frogs without one.
* The Frogs have posted an all-time record of 44-60 (.423) in overtime games and 33-28 (.541) in overtime games at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. TCU is a combined 4-0 in games that last past two overtimes in its history. The Frogs lost their only overtime battle this season Jan. 29 at home vs. Air Force, 66-65.
* Since Jim Christian took over the reigns of the program, TCU is 31-6 overall when holding the lead at halftime. The Frogs were 10-4 in the category in 2010-11.
Jim Christian added two new assistant coaches to his staff for 2011-12 in veterans Reggie Brown and RobEvans.
Brown spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach at SMU and helped lead the Mustangs to the semifinals of the 2011 Tournament (CIT). Prior to his time at SMU, he served seven years as an assistant at UT Arlington, where he waspromoted to associate head coach prior to the 2008-09 season.
A graduate of UTA, Brown starred for the Mavericks from 1993-97, averaging 16.0 points, 3.0 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game during his career.
Evans is a former head coach with more than 40 years of experience overall at the Division I level. He was the head coach at Ole Miss from 1993 to 1998 and Arizona State from 1999 through 2006. He led Ole Miss to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances and ASU to three postseason tournament bids in his final five seasons.
Evans arrived at TCU from Arkansas, where he was an assistant on former Razorback head coach John Pelphrey’s staff since 2007.
While one Horned Frog will be playing his final season as a graduate student (Craig Williams), four others are on track to earn their TCU degrees before the start of next season.
* Williams is playing this season with his degree in hand after earning a bachelor’s in psychology from Temple in May 2011. He is currently working towards a master’s in liberal arts at TCU.
* Both senior Marin Bavcevic (business) and junior Cheick Kone (communications) are on track to earn degrees this December.
* Seniors Hank Thorns (May) and J.R. Cadot (next summer) also are on track to earn communications degrees in the next calendar year.

The Frogs have six players with family ties to professional and collegiate backgrounds in Hank Thorns,Garlon Green, Marin Bavcevic, Thomas Montigel, Connell Crossland and Nate Butler.
* Thorns’ father, Henry, was a standout on the football field for UNLV before playing professionally in the Canadian Football League.
* Thorns’ cousin, C.J. Watson, played four seasons at the University of Tennessee where he graduated ranked second in program history in assists and steals. Currently, Watson is a member of the Chicago Bulls.
* Green’s brother, Gerald Jr., went directly from high school to the NBA and was drafted by the Boston Celtics with the 18th overall selection in the 2005 NBA Draft. Currently, Green is playing professionally in Russia.
* Bavcevic’s father, Niksa, is the head coach for TROGIR ZP, which is one of the best teams in Croatia’s A-1 League.
* Montigel’s father, Bill, is in his 23rd season as TCU’s men’s golf coach. Prior to his current role, he served eight seasons as an assistant basketball coach and top recruiter at TCU under legendary former head coach Jim Killingsworth.
* Several of Bill Montigel’s recruits were key performers on the Frogs’ back-to-back Southwest Conference championship teams in 1986 and 1987, including TCU Hall of Famer Jaime Dixon, who is now the head coach at Pitt.
* Crossland’s cousin is 12-year NBA veteran Larry Hughes, who played college ball one year for St. Louis before being taken No. 8 overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1998 NBA Draft. Hughes most recently played for the Charlotte Bobcats.
* Butler’s sister, Jessica, played college basketball for Canisius from 1998 through 2003.
The Frogs face a challenging schedule featuring more than half of their games against teams that advanced to postseason play a year ago.
* In all, at least 16 of TCU’s 30 games will be against squads that reached the 2011 postseason:

  • NCAA Tournament: Marquette, San Diego State, UNLV, USC
  • National Invitational Tournament: Colorado State, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ole Miss
  • CBI Tournament: Boise State, Evansville
  • Tournament: Air Force, SMU

* Depending on its draw at the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam in mid-November, TCU could face at least one team from seven of the top-eight rated conferences in the final 2010-11 RPI rankings:

  • Big East: Marquette in the Paradise Jam (possible)
  • Big Ten: Nebraska
  • Big 12: Texas Tech
  • Mountain West: seven opponents; 14 games
  • ACC: Virginia in the Paradise Jam
  • SEC: Ole Miss in the Paradise Jam (possible)
  • Pac-12: USC
  • Conference USA: Houston, Rice, SMU, Tulsa

TCU will play on television at least 17 times in 2011-12, including each of its 14 Mountain West contests.
Three games will appear on CBS Sports Network: Dec. 6 vs. Texas Tech and Dec. 31 vs. Tulsa. In addition to each of its 14 conference games being carried on The MountainWest Sports Network (The Mtn.), the Dec. 10 home game vs. Nebraska will also appear on the network.
Each game from the 2012 Conoco MW Championship will be carried by either The Mtn., CBS Sports or NBC Sports.
TCU was selected to finish seventh in the Mountain West preseason media poll, which was announced at the league’s media day held Oct. 12 in Denver.
The Frogs received 64 points to finish one point ahead of Boise State (63) and four behind Wyoming (68). New Mexico totaled 203 points and 22 first-place votes while being tabbed the preseason league favorite.
Hank Thorns was one of five choices for the Preseason All-MW Team. He was Third-Team All-MW selection following the 2010-11 season.
A panel of conference media made the preseason selections.

On Oct. 10, 2011, TCU’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved an invitation from the Big 12 to join the conference in all sports effective July 1, 2012. TCU will join Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas Tech and West Virginia.

The Big 12 sponsors all of the sports TCU currently fields in the Mountain West in addition to equestrian.

The Big 12’s television package will bring unprecedented exposure for TCU basketball. The conference owns a long-standing relationship with the ESPN family of networks, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and In addition, Big 12 games are provided to CBS through the partnership with ESPN.



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