TCU’s Jamie Dixon: We’ve got to get on a run here
TCU coach Jamie Dixon has been coaching college basketball in some capacity for the past 30 years. And he’s never seen what’s happened to his team this year.
Injuries continue to deplete TCU’s roster depth. The latest blow is freshman forward Lat Mayen, who will miss the rest of the season with a left knee injury. Dixon broke the news after TCU’s 71-62 loss to Oklahoma on Saturday.
Sophomore forward Kouat Noi is also sidelined for the time being with a left ankle injury. It’s unclear if Noi will be ready by Monday’s game at Oklahoma State.
Mayen joins Yuat Alok (hand), Jaylen Fisher (knee) and Angus McWilliam (concussion) as players who had season-ending injuries. Alok, Fisher and McWilliam all entered the NCAA transfer portal as well.
Kaden Archie, who transferred to UTEP, also battled injuries much of his time with TCU before bolting.
“We’ve had four guys with season-ending injuries. That’s unheard of,” Dixon said. “You can sit here and call it an excuse or what. But it’s not. You’ve got to figure it out. That’s what our intention was going into today’s game. We’ve got to figure it out. No one’s feeling sorry for us. You got to find a way and you got to execute better and play better defense.”
Mayen has been battling knee issues since undergoing meniscus surgery last season, and then dealt with a bone bruise in his knee much of this season. He hadn’t played more than 10 minutes in the Frogs’ last five games.
Mayen averaged 2.1 points and 1.2 rebounds in his limited action this season. He was expected to be a significant role player for TCU this season, flashing his potential with 12 points in TCU’s 98-67 victory over West Virginia last month.
Noi’s absence is more noticeable as he is the Frogs’ second-leading scorer with 14.8 points a game. Noi scored a season-high 30 points in the first meeting against Oklahoma, and TCU didn’t have a player even score half that much on Saturday.
JD Miller and Kendric Davis each finished with 14 points.
But Dixon and his players aren’t using the injuries as an excuse. They still view themselves as an NCAA Tournament team and are determined to prove it in the stretch run.
“We’ve got to find a way,” Dixon said. “We put out a new product out there today and it wasn’t successful. … We didn’t play well, but we have to play well tomorrow [in practice] and we have to play well Monday [at Oklahoma State]. We’ll have to figure it out.”