So that was way too much time between games, especially after a loss like that. Luckily, we can move on and look to today's game against the TCU Horned Frogs. I was able to chat with Andrew Felts from Frogs O' War who was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.
RCT: TCU finally has a winning streak in the Big 12! Given the state of the program when you joined the conference, how long did you expect that to take?
FOW: Realistically, I think that this was the season. A lot of people don't realize that TCU was a pretty mediocre Mountain West team before joining the Big 12. TCU fans understood that the Frogs would be at a significant competitive disadvantage for at least a couple of seasons before recruiting picked up and the program transitioned into a much, much better basketball conference. The Big 12 has been so good over the last few seasons that it would have been difficult for TCU to have done it at any point in the last two seasons. With the state of the program, it is all about taking steps forward every season. Getting to a Big 12 caliber level will take time and patience, so I think that the goal is to improve steadily each season.
RCT: While I guess it is still technically possible, this Horned Frogs team isn't likely to make the NCAA tournament. But with the big win streak in the nonconference, and some improvement in conference play recently, are you excited for the team to build on this season? Or are you expecting the loss of Kyan Anderson to graduation to be a huge setback next year?
FOW: Oh yeah, at this point the Frogs would have to win the Big 12 Tournament to get in the Big Dance. TCU has an outside shot at receiving an NIT bit, but it will probably take three or four more wins this season. Any postseason play for TCU is a building block for this program. I personally think that this program has a high ceiling. The Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex has a tremendous amount of high school talent, and as Trent Johnson continues to build recruiting trails, more and more of that talent will hopefully find its way to TCU. The Daniel-Meyer Coliseum is set to open this fall after $60 million in renovations, further adding to the improvements made by the TCU program over the last several years.
Losing Kyan Anderson will be a significant blow. He has been responsible for so much production on the offensive and defensive end of the court over the last four seasons. Anderson replaced another prolific TCU scorer in Hank Thorns three seasons ago, and I expect that Chauncey Collins will jump in next season and start to fill the void left by Anderson. Recruiting has been slow-going as of now, with just one signee for next season so far. Four-star small forward Jalon Miller signed in October out of Seagonville High School in Dallas. Miller is ranked as the 19th best small forward in the country by ESPN. I expect the Frogs to land some additional recruits in the coming weeks. There were several recruits in the house for TCU's upset win over #21 Oklahoma State, which will do nothing but help Trent Johnson's sales pitch. The recruiting classes should get stronger as Trent Johnson continues to build this program.
RCT: Of course even those thoughts are getting ahead of ourselves. What about the rest of this year? How do you see the team finishing out the season? What's your best case scenario for a send-off for Anderson?
FOW: I think that the Frogs have two or three more wins in them this season. TCU hosts Texas Tech on Wednesday, then has a chance to sweep Oklahoma State in Stillwater not long after. It is looking more and more like TCU will face Kansas State in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament, which I think favors the Frogs. This team certainly can finish with 18 or 19 wins on the season. The best case scenario - and one that is not all too unrealistic - is beating Texas Tech, knocking off Oklahoma or Oklahoma State on the road, and winning a game in the Big 12 tournament - that could be good enough for an NIT bid, which would be a nice way to see the seniors go out. Anderson played in the College Basketball Invitational his freshman year, so it would be great to see him play in a more prestigious postseason tournament before he graduates.
RCT: Obviously there is no way to expect a TCU win at Allen Fieldhouse, but Kansas hasn't exactly looked like themselves recently. If the Horned Frogs SOMEHOW managed to pull off a win, what would the game look like? What KU weaknesses would have to be exploited?
FOW: A lot would have to go right for TCU. Pretty much everything. I think that the trio of TCU transfers - Trey Zeigler, Chris Washburn, and Kenrich Williams - would have to each score in double-figures. Kyan Anderson would need to have another big night. He averages 18.0 points per game at Allen Fieldhouse, so he has proven the ability to produce on a big stage. One big key will be whether or not the Frogs can find success behind the arc. Guys like Amric Fields and Brandon Parrish will have to step up from deep this afternoon. In four of Kansas' five losses this season, their opponents have shot greater than 33.3% from long range. Finally, the Frogs are going to have to shoot well from the free throw line and limit turnovers.
Even on top of that, I think TCU will need Kansas to make some mistakes for the Frogs to have a shot. TCU needs to force turnovers, pull down rebounds, and hope that the Jayhawks have an off night on the offensive end. I think that a lot of it comes down to TCU executing nearly perfectly on offense and the Jayhawks giving the Frogs the opportunity to keep it close.
RCT: Ultimately, we've already established that KU probably wins this one, but I'm interested in how you think the game goes. Does Kansas let TCU hang around and drive their fans off the deep end? Who do you think the leading scorer in the game overall will be?
FOW: I have a hard time seeing Kansas perform as sloppily as they did in Fort Worth at home this afternoon. I think that the Frogs will hang around and annoy the Jayhawks for a bit, but Kansas will pull away midway through the second half. TCU's defense has been pretty good at containing individual scorers, so I imagine that KU will have a pretty balanced scoring attack, a lot like in the first game. I imagine that Kyan Anderson will probably lead all scorers in his final game at Allen Fieldhouse. I totally want to be the guy that picks TCU then does an "I told you so" if the Frogs somehow pull off a miracle, but I'm just not seeing it today. I think TCU will hang around, but KU takes it 70-58.
RCT: BONUS - Star Trek or Star Wars?
FOW: I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, only because those two franchises have been so dominant in popular culture over the last several decades, but I never really got into either. My dad and brother were big into the Star Wars movies. For the sake of answering the question, I flipped a coin with Star Trek being heads and Star Wars being tails. Tails won. Obviously, because tails never fails.
RCT: So even random chance can't find us another Trekkie....
A big thanks to Andrew for helping us out today. Don't forget to check out the questions I answered for him as well.