The TCU men’s basketball team will look to continue its streak of 24 consecutive home-opening wins and five consecutive regular season-opening victories Saturday night against Tarleton State.”It is important to get the first win under your belt because teams get better as the season progresses,” assistant basketball coach Ken Lewis said. “The opener is the key. You don’t want to try to get your first win against Syracuse.”
Lewis said Tarleton State, the No. 1 team in Division II, is athletic and had a great win against Division I Lamar in an exhibition game.
“This will be a great test,” Lewis said. “They are a very good basketball team.”
Judson Stubbs, a senior forward, said the players have been preparing for the season and are not really focusing on Tarleton State.
“The coaches are giving us all the information we need,” Stubbs said.
Senior guard Nile Murry said the team was going to go over Tarleton State in Thursday’s practice; he said he heard Tarleton had good inside players as well as good guards.
Stubbs and Murry both said they agree that the team needs to improve its defense.
“We lacked defense this past weekend at our exhibition game,” Murry said. “We need to step it up defensively, and it will help us offensively.”
Lewis said the defense, as well as the team’s rebounding, is improving.
“The exhibition games opened our eyes up to certain things,” Lewis said. “We found out about some of our weaknesses, and it helps us get ready for the season opener.”
Stubbs said he is looking forward to a real game.
“Exhibition games help you to kind of see where you are at and help the coaches to see our weaknesses and strengths,” Stubbs said. “They also help us to gel as a team.”
Murry said it was important that the team got off to a great start.
“It helps build confidence for the team,” Murry said. “It is a step in the right direction.”
TCU plays Oklahoma State next week in the Las Vegas Invitational, but Murry said the team is not overlooking any opponents.
“We have to focus on each game,” Murry said. “We have to take one game at a time.