Editor’s note: This story was edited at 4 p.m. Wednesday for accuracy.
It’s official; the men’s basketball team will be heading to the Indiana University to play in a game broadcast nationally on ESPN2 on Dec. 10, the team’s sports information director said.
Basketball SID Joe Monaco said basketball schedules, unlike football schedules, are set on a year-to-year basis, which allows the team to schedule schools like Indiana. Head coach Jim Christian, who left Kent State for TCU in March, coached alongside Hoosiers head coach Tom Crean when the two were assistants at Western Kentucky in the early 1990s. The game will mark the teams’ first meeting since 1993 and the first time in 57 years the Horned Frogs will play the Hoosiers in Bloomington.
While national exposure may be on some minds, it hits home with Chancellor Victor Boschini, who received his doctorate in higher education administration from Indiana in 1989 and is a former faculty member.
“It’s so cool to have one school that I love, TCU, and one that I graduated from,” Boschini said. “I am very excited and I will be going [to the game].”
Boschini worked at his alma mater for eight years after he graduated and said it is a special feeling to be apart of the connection.
“It’s a real credit to head coach Jim Christian that we got this game because it’s a big deal,” Boschini said. “It will be wonderful exposure for TCU, and I think it will be a fun and good experience for our players. Of course if we win, it will be even better.”
Scott Kull, associate athletics director for external operations, said this game was made possible most likely because of the friendship Christian and Crean share.
“A lot of times coaches talk it’s usually an informal process [of scheduling games] that becomes more formalized through a contract,” Kull said.
Kull or Monaco would not confirm if Christian had talked or will talk to other coaches about possible games in the future.
Logistics aside, Kull said this is great exposure for TCU.
“Certainly being on ESPN and playing an opponent like Indiana in an atmosphere like [Indiana’s] is something our kids will look forward to,” Kull said.
Kull said for more TCU exposure in the future, he hopes TCU will play good name-recognition opponents that will attract a crowd, are beatable and are played here at TCU.
“There’s a scheduling philosophy out there, a plus-minus system,” Kull said. “If you get a plus-plus game, say Nebraska, you know Big 12, good name-recognition, but also somebody we could potentially beat. A plus-minus might be a North Carolina or a Duke. Very good opponent name-recognition, but maybe not a game we could win.”
Kull said it was too early to tell what kind of game Indiana will be for the Horned Frogs.
Andrew Ryan Wong, a junior from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., said a game of this magnitude is overdue.
“I will be telling my family and friends back home that [TCU will] be on [ESPN],” Wong said. “I’m not sure what my homework situation will be at that time, but I will be watching the game.”
Wong said he is looking forward to this season.
“I think we’ll make it to the NIT tournament,” Wong said. “However, I am fully open to being proven wrong and making it to the NCAA tournament.”
Christian’s first contest as head coach is against Lithuania Christian University in an exhibition game Nov. 3 at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.e.