TCU coach Jamie Dixon was right when he said his team is going to be fine on offense.
Was he also correct in his warnings about his team’s defense?
The Horned Frogs coach said the Frogs’ failure to get back and play defense in time against Oklahoma’s fast break and also getting out-rebounded in the second half cost them last week in the 90-89 loss, their first of the season.
“I’ve talked often that we’ve got to learn from the wins, and we had some good wins, but we hadn’t played a top-10 RPI team,” he said. “I go back to our lack of commitment to transition defense, our lack of understanding, that has hurt us all year, and this time it got us a loss.”
Turning that around has become a priority for the Horned Frogs, just two games deep into the Big 12 season. It is sure to be a focus point Tuesday night when the Frogs (12-1, 0-1) visit Baylor (10-3, 0-1).
“I don’t think it’s our opponents right now,” Dixon said. “It’s on us. By that, I mean we’ve got to make improvements. We can and we will and we have. But it’s got to be at another level.”
TCU slipped from second to sixth in the country in shooting after making just 30 of 74 shots against Oklahoma.
The Frogs trailed 11-0 in part because of out-of-rhythm shots early in the game. They made it up and led by 13 points with 10:48 to play, but that lead slipped as Oklahoma took advantage of 31 trips to the foul line, 18 alone by Trae Young en route to 39 points.
“When we’ve got the lead, we’ve got to learn how to hold the lead until the end of the game,” guard Kenrich Williams said. “That’s the main thing. That was kind of our problem last year.”
TCU is last in the Big 12 in field-goal percentage against (44.7) and next-to-last in scoring defense (73.9). That was not a formula for success against Oklahoma, the nation’s top scoring team.
“We’ve got to make a commitment to get better defensively,” Dixon said. “I’ve been saying it and saying it and saying it. The 12 wins kind of hid that. But they’re very good offensively, we put them at the line, and that’s going to cost you.”
No. 16 TCU at Baylor
6 p.m. Tuesday, ESPNEWS