TCU seeks to avoid unwanted milestone against Oklahoma

03/07/2014 3:49 PM

11/12/2014 4:11 PM

The euphemisms are plentiful: goose egg, doughnut, oh-fer.

All of them mean winless records, a designation TCU hopes to avoid when it comes to Big 12 play in its final men’s basketball game of the regular season Saturday at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum (3 p.m., KTXA/Ch. 21).

The Horned Frogs (9-20, 0-17 Big 12) will celebrate senior day against No. 23 Oklahoma (22-8, 11-6), a team that can secure the No. 2 seed in next week’s conference tournament with a victory in Fort Worth.

But a surprising thing happened to the Sooners in their last trip to Daniel-Meyer. An Oklahoma team headed to the NCAA Tournament fell to the Horned Frogs 70-67 in last year’s regular-season finale.

TCU guard Kyan Anderson, a junior from North Crowley who leads the team in scoring (17.0 points per game), plans to draw on positive memories from that upset and thinks his teammates should do likewise.

“Yeah,” Anderson said. “It’s going to be a big night for us, especially with senior night. And, basically, our last opportunity to try to get a win before the conference tournament. We should have a lot of intensity going into that game. I feel like we match up pretty well with Oklahoma. So, we’ll see.”

TCU coach Trent Johnson downplays the significance of anything that happened last season — good or bad — when it applies to the Frogs’ efforts to end their 17-game losing streak.

“We don’t bring up last year,” Johnson said. “I worry about what’s in front of us. I would just like to see us break through here against somebody and have a chance to get a win.”

That has been a challenge in a season marked by multiple injuries. TCU has seen 10 players miss at least one game because of injury, and a handful are out for the season. Only four Frogs have played in every game (Anderson, Jarvis Ray, Brandon Parrish, Christian Gore).

Although his rotation options are limited, Johnson said his players have continued to play hard.

“I can’t fault our effort,” Johnson said. “They’re pretty resilient. ... It’s my responsibility to do a better job of finding a way for them to break through. They pay me well to do this and I’m not doing a very good job of it. That’s it in a nutshell.”

If the Frogs fall to Oklahoma, TCU would become only the third team in the Big 12’s 18 seasons to finish winless in league play. The others were Texas A&M (0-16 in 2003-04) and Baylor (0-16 in 1998-99).

TCU, with a loss, would be the first to post an 0-18 mark on its way to a winless conference campaign. That is a distinction Anderson and his teammates seek to avoid in the final home appearance for Ray and fellow senior Thomas Montigel.

“I feel like this team has done a good job of just fighting through everything,” Anderson said. “At this point, that’s all we can do.”

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