Men’s basketball secures ‘ugly win’ in season opener against Louisiana Monroe, 83-73

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Jamie Dixon received two birthday presents Friday at Schollmaier Arena as the Horned Frogs were given their NIT championship rings and defeated Louisiana Monroe in a game that was a little close for comfort, 83-73.

“A lot of fun before the game as far as getting the rings, well deserved, but we are moving on, getting back to the game, Lousiana Monroe shot well, 12 three’s,” TCU head coach Jamie Dixon said.

For a team that won nine games last season, the Warhawks kept themselves within striking distance with their performance behind the arc, hitting on 44.4 percent of its three-pointers, 12-27 on three-point shooting.

“I thought we could’ve done a better job defending, but hopefully this was a good learning lesson for us in that regard,” Dixon said.

The Horned Frog defense played well, blocking four shots and winning the battle down low by out-scoring ULM in the paint 46-22 as well as out-rebounding the Warhawks 40-35, but Dixon said ball pressure must improve.

“Getting into the basketball, our ball pressure was the disappointing part, and that’s what we’ve been preaching recently,” Dixon said. “We knew it wasn’t good enough and they may believe it now.”

Offensively, Kenrich Williams picked up right where he left off last season, notching a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds, while also pacing the Horned Frogs with seven assists. It was Williams’ sixth-straight double-double dating back to last season when he had a double-double in each of the five NIT games to conclude the season.

“It was an ugly win, but we got the job done,” guard Kenrich Williams said.”I’ll do what I do.”

Senior forward Vladimir Brodziansky led the Horned Frogs in scoring with 16 points. It was the 22nd time in his career that he’s paced TCU in scoring.

Vladimir Brodziansky dunks home two of his team-high 16 points against ULM. Photo by Carolina Olivares

Friday also marked the highly-awaited debut of redshirt freshman forward Kouat Noi, who finished with 12 points and eight rebounds.

“Kouat gives us the ability to space the floor offensively, and defensively he’ll continue to improve,” Dixon said.

Down the stretch, Dixon said the team sees junior forward JD Miller as the better defender for now at the power forward slot.

Ahmed Homdy, RJ Nembhard, Kouat Noi and Shawn Olden also made their TCU debuts, each coming off the bench

Overall, Dixon said he was happy with the way the offense flowed, but his team left much to be desired at the charity-stripe, missing 11 of its 28 free throws.

“That was disappointing down the stretch,” Dixon said. “We had our best free throw shooters missing free throws with Desmond missing two, but that’s going to happen.”

All in all, the Horned Frogs accomplished what they wanted out of their season-opener: leaving with a 1-0 record.

TCU head coach Jamie Dixon and SuperFrog celebrate the 83-73 victory over ULM in TCU’s season opener. Photo by Carolina Olivares

“We just came out real lackadaisical for the first game: we weren’t getting stops, but it feels good to get a win, so we’re 1-0,” Williams said.

TCU returns to action Monday, Nov. 13 against Tennessee Tech. Tip off is set for 8 p.m.