TCU has to replace one of the best point guards in program history this season.
Alex Robinson had been a staple for the Frogs the past three seasons, starting 89 of 107 with 1,202 points and a record 672 assists.
But senior Desmond Bane feels the program will be just fine going into Thursday’s season opener against Southwestern University.
“We have two really good point guards,” Bane said. “Edric Dennis is good. He’s a veteran, a really good leader. And Francisco Farabello is a really good point guard as well.”
Dennis joined TCU as a graduate transfer from UT Arlington, where he averaged 14.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists while starting 19 games last season.
Farabello, meanwhile, is a highly touted recruit originally from Argentina where his dad Daniel played on the national team with Spurs great Manu Ginobili.
Coach Jamie Dixon likes both, but signs suggest Dennis will open the season as the starter. Dennis started “secret” scrimmages against Mississippi State and Washington last month.
Dixon said Dennis is not your traditional point guard in the way he approaches the game. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Dennis prides himself on being a slasher and getting to the rim.
“All my life I’ve been a scorer,” said Dennis, who played high school basketball at DeSoto. “So I’m not the traditional just bring it up, pass the ball-type point guard. I can do both. That passing part, I’ve added to my game this off-season with coach Dixon, and he’s made me a way better player.
“I’ve always had the characteristics of a point guard, leading, talking, energy and athleticism is out the roof, but now I’m balancing being around great players, great coaching staff, scoring and passing.”
Dennis couldn’t be happier to be at a Power Five program, either. In fact, TCU is his fourth college in five years.
He started by going the junior college route to Hill College (2015-16), then played one season at Jackson State (2016-17). He sat out the 2017-18 season after he transferred to UTA. Now he’s with TCU.
Dennis has noticed a difference in the level of play going to a Big 12 school, although he noted that he has faced big-time programs throughout his career at UTA and Jackson State.
Either way, he feels his game is at the level necessary to compete in arguably the best basketball conference in the country.
“I felt like I was ready to play at the highest level,” Dennis said. “With that being said, it’s always a kid’s dream. I graduated and I felt like, ‘Hey, it’s a great opportunity to get better.’ So I just wanted something new.”
Farabello will see significant minutes as well. He joins the program with plenty of experience, playing extensively overseas.
“He’s played a lot of international basketball,” Dixon said. “The guy has been around high-level basketball since he was born, has played in it as well.
“He’s a true point. He’s a good, heady player. He’s getting better. He’s got to get stronger, quicker, all those things. But he’s working and we’re excited about him.”
Dennis and Farabello both joined the program knowing that the NCAA Tournament is the expectation under Dixon.
For Dennis, those are welcomed demands.
“Most definitely,” Dennis said. “[Coach Dixon] has been there. He’s a great coach. I’ve learned so much, he’s helped my game so much. Just knowing who he is and what he has done, it just makes you want to go to bat for him, like makes you want to give your all for him, for a coach like that, because he has our back.
“I’m going to do whatever it takes to help get him to the tournament, because I know he’s going to give his all.”