Judging by the box score, Desmond Bane didn’t have the best night in TCU’s 87-69 victory over Eastern Michigan.
Bane was just 1-for-7 from 3-point range, finishing with 11 points, five rebounds and three assists. But Bane did the little things on the defensive end to make a difference.
That’s why Bane earned “BTF” honors for his effort, TCU’s newest basketball tradition. BTF stands for “Big, Tough, Frogman,” something implemented when former UT-Arlington head coach Scott Cross joined the program as an assistant last offseason.
The Frogs hope to have multiple candidates for “BTF” honors following tonight’s game against Central Michigan at Schollmaier Arena. The Chippewas have the best scoring offense of any opponent TCU will have faced in this young season, averaging 86.8 points a game.
“It’s something that we’ve just wanted to be more accountable defensively,” coach Jamie Dixon said. “We came up with this system. [Graduate assistant] Chris Jones and Scott Cross have been working on it.
“We did the research on it. It’s to recognize toughness and commitment and the ‘Frogman’ coming from the Navy SEALs, so I think it’s good. The guys have bought into it.”
The system goes beyond the basic defensive metrics. Bane didn’t earn those honors based on his three steals, one block and four defensive rebounds against Eastern Michigan.
Bane is the fourth different player to be named the “BTF” in TCU’s four wins. Yuat Alok won for his effort in the season opener against Cal State Bakersfield; JD Miller won it for the Oral Roberts game; and Kevin Samuel took home the honors in the Fresno State win.
“Who’s going to be the biggest, toughest Frog? Who’s going to put everything out on the floor during the games just to win?” Samuel said. “It deals with hustle points, being in the gaps, deflections, blocks and taking charges.”
As stated, TCU hopes to have a number of players in contention for the “BTF” award tonight. This is a team that is off to a 4-1 start, falling out of the Top 25 earlier this week after a stunning home loss to Lipscomb.
But the Frogs took a step forward against Eastern Michigan. Kouat Noi had a career-high in points and Jaylen Fisher provided a much-needed spark off the bench. And, despite the stat sheet, Bane did his part on the defensive end.
“We’re a team in the making,” Dixon said. “It’s been pretty obvious to me for a while. Guys have to get their legs underneath them in situations and play with each other. We’ll see how it carries over into our next one. We’ll get there. It’s just playing with each other.”