Senior guard Nile Murry said the TCU Horned Frogs (6-24, 2-14) are beginning an entirely new season tonight when they take on the Colorado State Rams in the first round of the Mountain West Conference tournament. “Oh, this is definitely a brand-new season,” Murry said. “The regular season records really don’t mean anything now.”
The Frogs are coming off of a regular season that saw only two wins in conference play; one of the only bright points about that is one of those wins came against the Rams in an 85-72 home victory Jan. 21.
Head coach Neil Dougherty said the team has to focus on defending the post against the Rams.
“We have to focus on guarding their size inside and not allow them to get the ball into the low post easily,” Dougherty said. “We also have to make sure we get our transition offense going.”
Despite the Frogs’ dismal record this year, Dougherty said, this team is not short on confidence going into the tournament.
“The team’s confidence level is pretty good,” Dougherty said. “We haven’t won the number of games this season that we wanted to, but we have been playing good basketball of late.”
Senior forward Judson Stubbs said the team must take its recent efforts in the past couple games and duplicate that tonight.
“We have been playing real well lately, especially against Utah and UNLV,” Stubbs said. “Hopefully we can keep gelling and stay consistent with our rebounding and defensive stops.”
The team has also suffered from health problems. Guards Neil P. Dougherty and Brent Hackett have both been plagued by injuries as of late. Murry said it will not be an issue.
“Everyone is a little banged up, but who isn’t at this point of the season?” Murry said. “No one will feel the pain until after the game.”
Murry said the Frogs are ready for the competition they will face.
“We definitely feel we can run the table in this tournament,” Murry said. “Lots of teams are afraid of us because they don’t know which team they will get that night.