In their regular season debut, the TCU men’s basketball team lost to the SMU Mustangs 69-61 at American Airlines Center.
“Tough loss,” TCU head coach Trent Johnson said.
Despite hanging with the Mustangs for most of the night, the Frogs ultimately couldn’t overcome a poor shooting night, making only 35.4 percent of their shots.
“We’re not in excuse mode,” Johnson said. “They did a good job.”
TCU made only two of its first 12 shots and was outmuscled down low for most of the game. SMU outrebounded the Frogs 39-49 and outscored them in the paint 30-10.
Despite the loss, the Frogs had solid debuts from many of their freshmen. Freshman forward Brandon Parrish tied for a game-high with 13 points in the loss.
“They’re gonna be good,” SMU head coach Larry Brown said.
Alongside Parrish, two other freshmen started for the Frogs in center Karviar Shepherd and forward Hudson Price.
Shepherd, the highest rated prospect to ever sign with TCU, finished the game with eight points and eight rebounds
“I thought Karviar did a great job,” Brown said. “Our big guys didn’t take advantage of their lack of size.”
Freshman guard Michael Williams also contributed six points off the bench.
“Michael Williams attacked the basket,” Johnson said. “He missed some shots he’s been making.”
The Mustangs started the game on a 9-0 run, capped by a Nick Russell and-one layup. Russell, a redshirt senior guard from Duncanville, Texas, finished the game with eight points.
After trailing 21-8 about halfway through the first half, a trio of TCU three-pointers brought the SMU lead down to four. Unfortunately for the Frogs, the Mustangs responded with another 9-0 run.
The Frogs ended the half with an 8-2 run, making it 30-29 SMU at halftime.
“They controlled the tempo and did a phenomenal job of getting back in the game,” Brown said.
They then opened the second half with 7-0 run to put the game at 36-30 TCU early. The 6-point lead wouldn’t last for long.
“We had a lot of opportunities to take the game,” senior guard Jarvis Ray said.
The Mustangs responded with a strong 22-9 run. With 7:37 left in the game, SMU led the Frogs 52-47.
TCU continued to fight back, keeping the game in striking distance, but ultimately couldn’t overcome a strong outing from SMU guard Nic Moore. Moore finished the game with 13 points and eight rebounds.
“I couldn’t ask for a better coach to play for,” Moore said.
With 3:41 left in the contest, TCU sophomore guard Charles Hill Jr. nailed a pair of free throws to bring the SMU lead back down to only 3.
A 7-0 Mustangs run put the game at 67-57 with 1:21 left in the contest and derailed most of the Frogs’ hopes for a comeback.
With the clock winding down, the Frogs couldn’t muster up a final big run when needed and lost 69-61.
“Bottom line, we lost the basketball game,” Johnson said.
Much like last Friday’s exhibition against UAFS, fouls came early and often. A total of 40 fouls were called in the game, including five by Ray.
“I have no clue what’s going on [with the fouls],” Brown said.
As expected, Amric Fields was also ruled out for tonight’s game. Fields is still recovering from the ACL injury he suffered in last year’s loss against the Mustangs.
“I’m not ecstatic, to be honest with you,” Brown said. “I feel for Trent. He had a lot of guys on the bench.”
Trent Johnson said he still hasn’t heard on the status of sophomore forward Chris Washburn, who transferred from UTEP earlier this year. The NCAA is still deciding on the eligibility of Washburn but Brown thinks he’ll be allowed to play.
“They give everybody a waiver, shoot,” Brown said.
The Frogs will try to bring their record to 1-1 next Tuesday when they face the Longwood Lancers.