At least the road part of the Big 12 season is over.
For TCU, that could mean a big difference in the way the regular season closes Saturday.
The Horned Frogs get to play the finale against Iowa State at the Fort Worth school district’s Wilkerson
-Greines Activity Center, which has been their home court this season while their own building is being renovated.
Daniel-Meyer Coliseum will be ready and waiting next fall.
But for one more game, the Horned Frogs will suit up at “The Wilk,” as TCU people have come to call Wilkerson-Greines. “The Wilk” hasn’t been bad to the Horned Frogs — they are 14-5 there, counting an exhibition game, and have won three straight.
“I think the people here have done a really, really good job accommodating us, and we’re playing better basketball, which is good,” TCU coach Trent Johnson said after the Feb. 25 win against Texas Tech. “Now we’ve got one more game at home. There’s three guys here that when we play Iowa State, it’s going to be their last time. Hopefully this place will be full, and they will get a sendoff like they deserve.”
Point guard Kyan Anderson, guard/forward Trey Zeigler and forward Amric Fields are the only seniors on the roster. They propelled a modest late-season push for the Horned Frogs (17-13, 4-13 Big 12), who had won three of four a week ago.
“We’re not going to stop playing until it’s officially done,” Anderson said Wednesday after scoring 23 second-half points in a loss at Oklahoma State. “We’ve just got to get back to practice and try to get this next one at home.”
Fields scored 14 points Wednesday to go over 1,000 points at TCU. He has been in double figures in four of the past five games.
Zeigler delivered his fourth consecutive double-double Wednesday night.
Saturday night, they and the other Horned Frogs will try to make up for a disappointing game the first time they faced Iowa State (21-8, 11-6), a 58-53 loss in Ames in January. Zeigler had 19 points, but the offense hardly threatened.
It was one of eight road losses in Big 12 play for the Horned Frogs, who have won only once on the road in their three seasons in the conference. Their other four Big 12 wins have been at home — three this season at The Wilk.
There have been some stirring moments on the Robert Hughes Court. The Frogs closed the first half with a 19-0 run in their win against Kansas State. They electrified the crowd with some showy dunks and Fields’ reverse layup for a three-point play to close a tight win against Oklahoma State. They dominated against Texas Tech.
Next week, there’s at least one more game, but it will be on a neutral court at the Big 12 tournament. The Frogs will play Texas, Kansas State or Oklahoma State in a first-round game Wednesday at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.
“It’s tough, it’s really tough,” Anderson said, asked about playing on the road in the Big 12. “The momentum that different arenas and crowds have — teams play better at home, especially in this league. It’s just tough to get one on the road here in the Big 12.”
Maybe they’ll say that about “The Wilk” one more time after today.
Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7760
TCU men vs. Iowa State
7:30 p.m. Saturday, ESPNews