The first two weeks of March signal the beginning of NCAA postseason play, but they also mark the end of a career for six seniors on the TCU men’s and women’s basketball teams.Wednesday night was the last game played at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum for senior guards Nile Murry and David Markley and senior forwards Chudi Chinweze and Judson Stubbs of the TCU men’s basketball team.
This weekend’s home game against the University of Nevada at Las Vegas will also be the last game played at the coliseum for two seniors on the TCU women’s basketball team: forward Vanessa Clementino and guard Stephanie Thiel.
Attitudes for both teams’ seniors were similar on multiple aspects of their impending graduation.
All four seniors on the men’s team said they would miss their teammates the most.
“We have been through a lot together,” Stubbs said. “We are like a family.”
Even players who did not play many minutes over the years said they will miss the trials the team had been through together. Markley, who got his first collegiate start Wednesday, said his fondest memories came last season during the Frogs’ postseason run.
“Our NIT run last year was my favorite moment,” Markley said. “We had two tough wins and also played at Maryland.”
Although some players – like Chinweze, who wishes he had not hurt his knee against Kansas last season – looked to the past regretfully. All four men’s seniors agreed they would sooner change this season.
“I would definitely change this year,” Murry said. “More wins would be a great change.”
Despite the men’s team’s dismal 6-23 record and slim chances of reaching the NCAA tournament, Stubbs said, he has optimism about the remainder of the season.
“We have to keep going hard and not give up,” Stubbs said. “We need to finish the regular season with two wins before the conference tournament.”
Though the women’s team (15-10) is enjoying a more successful season than the men and has less impact players graduating at the end of the year, the Lady Frogs’ two seniors expressed similar sentiments about leaving in May.
Clementino said she will not only miss her teammates but also her coaching staff.
“They are not just coaches but more like friends,” Clementino said.
Whereas the men’s regrets focused on their poor play this year, Clementino said, she was disappointed that she had taken basketball too seriously.
“I wish I would have shot the ball more confidently,” Clementino said. “I also wish I wasn’t so concerned about my mistakes and that I would just go out there and have fun.”
Thiel said that despite the fact that the months are dwindling before the players take their leave, she’s just trying to let her last experiences sink in.
“I want to take advantage and cherish everything,” Thiel said.