TCU's basketball took a major leap forward this year.
In Jamie Dixon's second season as head coach, the Horned Frogs earned an NCAA Tournament bid for the first time in 20 years (something Dixon predicted when he arrived on campus). But due to a disappointing first-round lost to Syracuse in the NCAA Tournament, it's unlikely the Horned Frogs will be ranked in the final Associated Press top 25 poll of this season.
However, Dixon has clearly built a strong foundation for a run at a Big 12 title next season. Right now, ESPN has TCU ranked No. 21 in their way-too-early top 25 poll for the 2018-2019 college basketball season.
They are the only team ranked from the state of Texas to earn a spot in the rankings. They are also one of just three Big 12 teams to make the list (Kansas is ranked No. 2 and West Virginia slots in at No. 13).
Assuming Jaylen Fisher makes a full recovery from the torn meniscus he suffered in January, TCU will return three starters, including Fisher, forward Kouat Noi and guard Desmond Bane. Guard Alex Robinson, who saw starter's minutes in Fisher's absence, will also be back.
Dixon will also bring in a top 30 recruiting class for the first time in school history. Up to this point, he has signed three four-star prospects (according to ESPN), including point guard Kendric Davis (Houston, Texas), center Russell Barlow (Richardson, Texas) and small forward Kaden Archie (Midlothian, Texas).
Six-foot-10 center Yuat Alok (a junior college transfer) also committed this past January, is able to sign in April. Alok should also see solid minutes next year.
Yes, the rapidly improving Horned Frogs should be very competitive during conference play in 2019. According to VegasInsider.com, TCU also has the ninth best odds to win the national title at 80-to-1. The only catch is that they are tied with 16 other teams, including Texas and Texas A&M.
Texas Tech has the best national title odds in the state at 40-to-1.