It was one of 18, but the opener of the Big 12 basketball schedule carried a lot of weight for TCU.
Because it may have been against the best team in the league.
Oklahoma is the country’s highest-scoring team, led by the country’s highest-scoring player. The Sooners got 39 points from Trae Young to eke out a 90-89 victory in Fort Worth last week.
The Horned Frogs matched the Sooners in firepower.
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They mave have to again in a matter of days with a schedule that includes two meetings against Oklahoma and one against 13-time defending league champion Kansas in the first five games.
“We’ll see,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said, asked if it is an advantage or disadvantage to see the Sooners again so soon. “There’s too many other things happening in these next two weeks.”
Before the Frogs get to their next meeting against OU, in Norman on Jan. 13, they first have to travel to Waco for a Tuesday night game against Baylor, then a Saturday night game against Kansas.
After that, it’s a Jan. 10 trip to Austin against Texas.
Then on to Norman for the rematch.
“It’s going to be a long season, and there are going to be tough games like this, so we’ve got to be ready to play every night,” TCU guard Kenrich Williams said.
It is a tough five-game opening set. OU begins the week ranked third in RPI. Kansas is 16th. Texas is 59th, and Baylor is 125th. Combined, their records are 41-10.
Kansas, led by All-America guard candidate Devonte’ Graham, ranks fifth in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio and third in shooting. Texas is eighth in blocked shots behind freshman Mohamed Bamba’s 4.6 per game. Baylor is shooting over 50 percent, and 7-foot senior forward Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. is 20th in the country at 10.0 rebounds per game.
TCU has lost 11 straight meetings against Baylor, all since the teams have been in the Big 12. The last TCU win came on Dec. 2, 2002, in Waco.
Last season, in Dixon’s first year, TCU scored 53 and 52 points in two games against the Bears.
“That was the main point,” Dixon said of his postgame talk to the team following the OU loss. “We didn’t talk long, we never do after a game. But it’s moving on. ... Yeah it’s a tough loss. But it can’t turn into two. We’ve got to get ready for Baylor.”
No. 10 TCU at Baylor
6 Tuesday, ESPNEWS