TCU

TCU braces for step up in competition against Alabama State

TCU defeated St. Thomas 82-64 on Friday in coach Jamie Dixon’s season debut. The Horned Frogs host Alabama State on Monday at Schollmaier Arena.
TCU defeated St. Thomas 82-64 on Friday in coach Jamie Dixon’s season debut. The Horned Frogs host Alabama State on Monday at Schollmaier Arena. Special to the Star-Telegram

TCU seeks to build on its opening success to the Jamie Dixon era in the men’s basketball program by stepping up to face a Division I opponent Monday against Alabama State (8 p.m., Schollmaier Arena).

The Horned Frogs (1-0) posted an 82-64 victory over St. Thomas, an NAIA opponent, in Dixon’s coaching debut at his alma mater Friday in Fort Worth. TCU’s next challenge is against a team that competes in Division I of the NCAA when the Hornets (0-1) head to Fort Worth after falling to Western Kentucky 79-66 in their season opener.

Alabama State is a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC).

The Horned Frogs head into the contest with momentum behind several newcomers. Freshman point guard Jaylen Fisher, the highest-ranked recruit in TCU history, scored 13 points, made four steals and posted an assists-to-turnover ratio of 7-1 in his college debut.

Fellow freshman starter Desmond Bane added 12 points and Texas A&M transfer Alex Robinson, a Mansfield Timberview graduate, came off the bench to score a team-high 16 points on a night when six Horned Frogs scored in double digits.

Dixon said he liked the team’s balance in the opener. Dixon, who spent the last 13 seasons at Pittsburgh, used 10 players for at least 13 minutes each in the opener while getting a feel for how the Horned Frogs would respond to one another under game conditions.

He indicated that he is encouraged by what lies ahead this season.

“We know we can get better. We have to get better,” Dixon said. “We had a lot of freshmen out there, a lot of guys who hadn’t played in a long time. But I liked the energy. I liked the effort. We’re certainly going to continue to improve. I said that to them afterward.”

Jimmy Burch: 817-390-7760, @Jimmy_Burch

TCU men vs. Alabama State

8 p.m., Monday, FSSW Plus

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