TCU Basketball Braces For This Weekend's Corpus Christi Challenge

Nile Murry and the Horned Frogs play in Corpus Christi this weekend.

Nile Murry and the Horned Frogs play in Corpus Christi this weekend.

Nov. 26, 2004

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About Saturday's Game
TCU plays its third game of the Corpus Christi Challenge on Saturday against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The Frogs will play four games in the tournament, with the first two having taken place at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. TCU is 1-1 in the event after downing Shawnee State 74-60 and falling to Old Dominion 67-62. The Horned Frogs will wrap up the challenge Sunday night at 7:30 against Florida State. The modified round-robin exempt tournament allows the Frogs to play three additional games (30 total) in the regular season.

Let's Try It Out
The Corpus Christi Challenge is one certified event that is trying out experimental rules from the NCAA this season. The floor notes the following changes for these games:
1. Moving the three-point line 9 inches behind the current three-point line to create a new experimental distance of 20 feet, 6 inches.
2. Widening the free-throw lane by 1 1/2 feet on each side. (Note: The experimental lane serves as both the three-second lane and the free-throw lane.)
3. Placing a restricted area arc 2 feet from the center of the basket ring.

For Starters
The Horned Frogs are looking to improve to 4-1 for the first time since 1998-99. The Frogs have opened with a record of 4-1 or better just three times in the previous 12 years (1996-97, 1997-98 and 1998-99). Since the 1986-87 campaign, TCU has been at least 4-1 through five games on just five occasions. Last year, the squad opened up 1-4.

Another New Face
TCU and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi have never squared off in basketball. This is the third time in five games that the Horned Frogs are playing a team for the first time in school history. The Frogs had never faced Shawnee State or Old Dominion prior to this year's meetings.

Messing With Texas
After defeating Texas Tech on Tuesday night, TCU has now won seven of its last eight games against teams from the state of Texas, including five straight versus instate squads. The lone loss last season was a seven-point decision in Lubbock to Texas Tech, a team that went on to reach the second round of the NCAA Tournament. TCU will play eight games against teams from the Lone Star State this season. Of the Frogs' first nine opponents, five are instate foes.

You Gotta Know When to Hold `Em
TCU has held all four of its opponents under 70 points this season. The last time that a Horned Frog team accomplished that feat was Dec. 8-22 of last year. Prior to that, TCU had not kept four consecutive opponents under the 70-point plateau since Feb. 6-20, 1993. During that span, the Frogs limited five straight teams under 70. The last time a TCU team allowed an average of fewer than 70 points per game over an entire season was the 1992-93 season (66.3).

Some Early Bracketology
ESPN's guru on the field of 65, Joe Lunardi, has announced his preseason choices for teams that will play in the 2005 NCAA Tournament. Among the initial field of 65 picks are eight schools on the Horned Frogs' schedule. The teams and seeds include: (1) Kansas, (3) Louisville, (6) Charlotte, (7) Memphis, (7) Cincinnati, (9) DePaul, (12) Marquette and (13) Old Dominion. In addition, three of his next five near-miss teams (UAB, Florida State and Texas Tech) are on the TCU slate.

Early and Often
The TCU Horned Frogs are going full tilt already, as the team plays six games in the first 10 days of the regular season. TCU had just one day between each of the squad's first four games, which were Friday-Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday. Following an off day on Friday, the Frogs then play back-to-back games in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Nov. 27 and 28 against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Florida State. That means that 6 of the team's 30 regular-season games (20 percent) will already have been completed by the end of the weekend. The Frogs finally receive a six-day respite prior to traveling north on I-35 to Denton to take on the North Texas Mean Green on Saturday, Dec. 4. A trip to top-rated Kansas for a nationally-televised ESPN game awaits TCU on Dec. 9. The team will not return home until Dec. 12, when the Frogs take on Metroplex rival SMU.

We're Outta Here
The TCU Horned Frogs are beginning a season-long stretch of four straight games away from home. TCU has not played four consecutive games outside Fort Worth since Nov. 24-Dec. 2, 2000, when the team played three games in the Thanksgiving Classic in Las Vegas before traveling to UT-San Antonio. Prior to that, TCU last played four straight away from home in the 1997-98 season.



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