Kansas coach Bill Self, whose team has won the Big 12 title for 13 consecutive seasons, said TCU — which has never won more than six games in a league season — has a chance to win the conference.
“I mean, they’re good,” he said Tuesday during the Big 12’s basketball Media Day at the Sprint Center. “They were really good last year on how they finished, and winning the NIT obviously gives them unbelievable momentum going forward.”
Self said TCU has long been considered a “sleeping giant” by coaches because of its location in prime recruiting territory, and will remain a force as long as Jamie Dixon is coach. TCU hired Dixon in March 2016 out of Pittsburgh.
“Jamie and his staff, they did an unbelievable job at Pittsburgh, so him doing well isn’t a surprise to anybody that coaches in our league,” Self said. “We expect him to do well.”
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The league coaches voted TCU third in the preseason poll. The AP Top 25 poll is due next week. TCU has appeared only once in a preseason AP poll, at No. 25 in 1998.
TCU won a school-record six Big 12 games last year. In its four previous seasons in the league, the Horned Frogs won eight games total.
TCU's postseason run a year ago included a quarterfinals victory against Kansas in the Big 12 tournament, giving the Frogs two wins in the league postseason event for the first time.
“You return all five starters and you recruit guys that are probably good enough to start? That’s a pretty nice start,” Self said, evaluating Dixon’s first season. “I don’t think TCU basketball is going to take a step backward. We all take steps sideways sometimes based on personnel and things that go on. But TCU is going to be a force in our league for as long as he’s there.”