The Horned Frogs were swept out of the Las Vegas Invitational over Thanksgiving weekend with losses to Oklahoma State and Drake, but head coach Neil Dougherty insists the team has a brighter future than its 1-3 start.”We don’t have a win to show for the weekend, but I think we grew up a lot,” Dougherty said. “I don’t like the fact that we’re losing, but I can see a silver lining in our cloud.”
The silver lining may be senior guard Nile Murry, who scored 38 points over the two games and was named to the all-tournament team.
“I think he did very well this weekend,” Dougherty said. “He kept beating. He was the pulse of this team.”
Murry, who told reporters in the preseason that he felt the team is his to lead now, said Monday that he will still try to guide this team.
“I’m going to continue to lead and place things on my back,” Murry said. “But all the guys have to step up. It doesn’t matter who has the most individual points in the end, only which team comes out ahead.”
Dougherty said Murry was not the only player who shined for the Frogs: Junior forward Blake Adams scored in double digits in consecutive games for the first time in his TCU career, and several players had to fulfill unfamiliar positions as the front court ran into injury problems.
“We could move all the way down the roster with stories like that,” Dougherty said.
The Frogs performed far better in the tournament than in their two opening home games, Dougherty said.
“We were much more active, more alert,” Dougherty said. “There were some very good basketball teams up there, so maybe you can’t measure progress on whether or not you win those games.”
TCU kept it close and threatened in the waning minutes of both games, losing 66-58 to OSU and 86-79 to Drake. Senior forward Judson Stubbs said the team is on the cusp of being successful.
“We played pretty well, and we gelled as a team, but we still lost the game(s),” Stubbs said. “We just have to keep the intensity up and put a little more effort into it.”
Murry said that even though the Frogs have lost three of their first four, the fact that they competed against high-level teams at the tournament convinced the players that they have the potential.
“We saw the things we were capable of doing,” Murry said. “We looked like a totally different team. We just have to put things together.”
The Frogs play the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Wednesday at United Spirit Arena in Lubbock.