TCU men’s basketball team will travel over the Thanksgiving holiday to play two games in the Las Vegas Invitational. The team will play Oklahoma State on Friday and Boston College or Drake on Saturday, depending on who wins or loses.
“The most important thing about this tournament is the chance to play extra games,” TCU head coach Neil Dougherty said.
Dougherty said playing extra games will help his young players gain experience.
“When you play good teams, problem areas are going to be exposed,” Dougherty said. “For some teams, those problems don’t get exposed until conference play.”
Dougherty said his goal for the games this week is to have the team play better and build confidence.
“There are a lot of people in new roles and it is not always easy,” Dougherty said. “We are trying to get ideas of consistency such as with the lineup, substitution patterns and things that we do well.”
Dougherty said he is happy the team will have the opportunity to do them against good basketball teams.
Senior forward Chudi Chinweze said he is looking forward to playing Oklahoma State because it gives TCU a chance to make a statement.
“TCU is a force to be reckoned with,” Chinweze said.
Chinweze said playing good teams would give the team a better mind-set.
“To be the best, you have to play the best,” Chinweze said.
Chinweze said if the team does not play well, there is a chance they might get humiliated.
“It is a lot tougher from some people to bounce back from tough losses,” Chinweze said.
Dougherty said the main thing the team had to improve on is finishing.
“We have to finish possessions on defense,” Dougherty said. “Offensively, we had the shots, but too many times we did not finish strong at the rim.”
Sophomore guard Brent Hackett said the team must improve defensively.
“Our main goal this week is to come out with the victory and play hard,” Hackett said.
Dougherty said win, lose or draw, it is important the players maintain a high confidence level.
“We are playing a difficult schedule away from Daniel-Meyer Coliseum with a very young team,” Dougherty said. “We want to throw them into the fire without having them burn up.”