Wednesday in Austin, Jamie Dixon ignored all coaching convention.
He heaped pressure on his players when he told them it had been 30 years since a TCU basketball team had won at Texas and that they were going to change it that night.
He got the reaction he wanted.
“Most people, especially the dudes from Texas, were in shock that it’s been 30 years since TCU won at Texas,” forward Kenrich Williams said. “I think the guys really bought in. They figured it out that we needed to win this game.”
That the Horned Frogs did, rallying with a 12-0 run in the second half to pull out a 64-61 victory, their first in Austin in men’s basketball since Feb. 18, 1987 — a 70-54 game that their coach played in.
“Ironic, I guess,” Dixon told reporters Thursday in Fort Worth before practice. He joked: “That’s why I didn’t tell them that I was on that team 30 years ago, because I didn’t want them to realize how old I was.”
Dixon and the Frogs smiled all the way back to Fort Worth, the victory resonating in their wake.
“That did bring back some memories,” Dixon said. “And brought back some phone calls from some guys on that team, former teammates, that remembered that game, that were texting me and talking about the bus ride home from that one.”
Sophomore guard Alex Robinson said: “It was great winning it for the seniors, like Brandon Parrish. He was ecstatic that we won.”
We were excited, there was no question. I’m not going to hide from that fact.
TCU coach Jamie Dixon, on the significance of the victory at Texas
The win put the Frogs (13-3, 2-2) back at .500 in the Big 12 heading into Saturday’s home game against Iowa State. They have a chance for a winning conference record for the first time in their five seasons in the Big 12.
“We were excited, there was no question. I’m not going to hide from that fact,” Dixon said of Wednesday night’s victory, just the second Big 12 road victory all-time for TCU. “I think what was good about it is we were pretty much in the same situation three days prior against West Virginia, on the road, down, tight game, but we fought back, did what we needed to do. Got it done defensively. It wasn’t like we knocked down shots all of a sudden.”
TCU rallied from a 53-46 deficit with 8:48 left, starting a run of 12 consecutive points with Karviar Shepherd’s dunk and ending it with Vlad Brodziansky’s jumper for a 58-53 lead with 3:33 left.
Another Brodziansky score put the Frogs ahead for good with 50 seconds left.
TCU coach Jamie Dixon scored 18 points and had nine assists in the school’s previous victory at Texas, a 70-54 win in 1987.
“The West Virginia loss, we were there, tied with seven minutes left, needed to make a play, we didn’t; needed to come up with a loose ball, we didn’t,” Dixon said. “In this game, we seemed to come up with the loose balls down the stretch. Combine that with it being Texas — obviously I had made it clear to them that we hadn’t won there in 30 years and we were getting that fixed tonight, last night — I think that combination of things was what made it a special win for us.”
Then Dixon got back to coaching convention.
“There can’t be any hangover effect,” the first-year Frogs coach said. “We’ve got to move on to Iowa State, and that’s what we’re going to get across today.”
Another message to deliver.
TCU men vs. Iowa State
4:30 p.m. Saturday, FSSW