TCU men’s basketball gets its first Top 25 nod for next season

TCU coach Jamie Dixon returns five starters from the NIT championship team.
TCU coach Jamie Dixon returns five starters from the NIT championship team.

For the TCU men’s basketball program, a shiny NIT championship trophy has triggered a fresh round of national respect as pundits begin speculating about the nation’s top college teams for next season.

The Horned Frogs, who finished 24-15 under first-year coach Jamie Dixon, have received their first taste of Top 25 recognition under Dixon in a “Way-Too-Early” look at next year’s elite teams by Sports Illustrated writer Seth Davis, who also does analysis during CBS broadcasts of NCAA Tournament games.

On the website, Davis placed TCU at No. 24 in his early rankings of teams for the 2017-18 season. The Frogs, who return their top six scorers and all five starters for next season, are the only team from Texas included. TCU joins No. 11 Kansas and No. 15 West Virginia on Davis’ list.

In explaining his placement of TCU, Davis wrote: “The Horned Frogs ended their season by winning the NIT, and their top six scorers will return for Jamie Dixon’s second season.”

Members of the NIT championship team will join TCU football players in signing autographs in conjunction with Saturday’s spring football game (11 a.m., Amon Carter Stadium). The game is free to the public.

Although the Frogs cracked Davis’ way-too-early Top 25, which was topped by Arizona, TCU was not included on a similar list posted by in the wake of Monday’s national championship game. CBS’ list placed Kansas in the top spot, with Baylor (No. 9) and West Virginia (No. 22) joining KU as the Big 12 representatives. Baylor, a Sweet 16 team last season, was the lone school from Texas included on the CBS list. 

Jimmy Burch: 817-390-7760, @Jimmy_Burch

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram