TCU coach Jamie Dixon joked that maybe the list of firsts his Horned Frogs have achieved in less than two full seasons of his tenure are partly his fault. After all, Dixon was an All-Conference guard for TCU in the mid-1980s.
But in his defense, some of the firsts TCU (17-9, 5-8 Big 12) has recorded under him as a coach weren't possible during his playing days. The latest happened Saturday night when the Horned Frogs stormed past Oklahoma State 90-70 to sweep the season series for the first time.
Last month, the Frogs won in Stillwater, Okla., for the first time since 1925. They beat West Virginia for the first time on Jan. 22. They'll try to win at last-place Iowa State (13-13, 4-10) for the first time in the Big 12 at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
The only time TCU has won in Ames, Iowa, was in 1982 ... before Dixon arrived as a player. And just because the Cyclones are in last place doesn't mean they're a pushover. ISU has beaten Baylor, Oklahoma, West Virginia and handed Texas Tech its biggest loss of the year (70-52 on Jan. 20). The Cyclones gave No. 13 Kansas a scare at the Hilton Coliseum last week.
Big 12 Standings
"This [conference] is so different. Winning on the road against anybody is a challenge," Dixon said. "It’s just part of being in a really tough conference. We didn’t want to be in the Mountain West anymore, so things come with that. That’s where we’re at. We’re fortunate and challenged at the same time. We know they’re going to be ready for us."
Winning where they've rarely (or never) won makes for a ready-made motivational tactic for Dixon.
"I don’t know if it registers because of playing here, but it's easy to set goals. It is good to say the firsts," he said.
TCU has four regular-season games remaining, including two at home against Baylor and Kansas State on Saturday and Feb. 27. The Frogs conclude at No. 7 Texas Tech on March 3 before the Big 12 conference tournament begins on March 7 in Kansas City, Mo.