New basketball practice facility gives programs boost, coaches say


    The new basketball practice facility will enable TCU to compete in recruiting top athletes to the university, men’s basketball coach Neil Dougherty said.

    Dougherty said the construction of The Ed and Rae Schollmaier Basketball Practice Complex is evidence of TCU’s growing support of both the men’s and women’s basketball programs.

    He said the new complex will be beneficial to the entire basketball program because other universities with up-to-date practice facilities will no longer have a competitive edge over TCU when it comes to proving the program has a great commitment to basketball.

    “When kids come here in the spring and in the summer, you have to show them what the program looks like when there is no game going on,” Dougherty said. “This type of facility can do that because there will constantly be people here working out and practicing, and kids can see what kind of attention they will be getting at TCU.”

    Dougherty said almost all the Conference USA schools have a practice facility, leaving TCU “trying to play catch-up.”

    Kenny Klein, an associate athletics director at the Louisville, said his school’s practice facility plays a significant role in recruiting athletes. He said when recruits can see where they will be spending most of their time for the next four years, they are attracted.

    Louisville’s practice facility, which opened in 1990 and is housed in the student activities center, has many of the same features that the Schollmaier complex will have, such as a practice court, a weight room, conference rooms and offices.

    Opinions on the practice facility’s ability to help recruiting vary among players on the men’s basketball team.

    Art Pierce, a freshman forward, said he does not know much about the new facility and that he did not decide to play for TCU because of it. Instead, he said he chose to play at TCU because Dougherty promised to rebuild the program starting with the freshman class.

    Marcus Sloan, a junior forward, said the new facility will be beneficial to the team.

    “The new facility will be a great asset to the program and will help with recruiting because it shows that TCU is serious about basketball,” Sloan said.

    Both players said they are looking forward to having their own practice space.

    Dougherty said this practice space is one of the biggest advantages of the new facility, which he recently dubbed “Gym 7-11,” because it will be open 24 hours a day for both teams.

    “The beauty of this facility is not just the recruiting advantage it will provide,” Dougherty said. “It’s our space and it’s private.”