A day after its football team made it to the College Football Playoff, the TCU men’s basketball team returned to the Associated Press Top 25 poll after dropping out earlier this season.
The Horned Frogs will look to continue their early-season momentum when they host Jackson State on Tuesday night in Fort Worth, Texas.
Following a one-point loss to Northwestern State on Nov. 14, TCU (6-1) has rebounded with four consecutive wins. The Horned Frogs checked into the poll at No. 24 after an impressive 75-62 win over Providence last Wednesday.
The return of senior guard Damion Baugh propelled the Horned Frogs to the victory. Baugh scored 10 points and had five assists and three steals in his season debut following a six-game suspension for using a non-NCAA-certified agent during his pre-draft process.
Baugh’s return immediately had an impact on the offensive end for TCU’s leading rebounder Eddie Lampkin, who finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds in the victory.
“He’s got a good feel for me,” Lampkin said after the game. “I know he’s always going to look down (low) and that’s what he did today. He trusted me.”
Mike Miles Jr., who has missed two games this season, leads TCU with 18.2 points per game. The Horned Frogs used their seventh different lineup in the contest as injuries have disrupted their continuity in the early going.
TCU is hoping that will no longer be the case with Baugh’s return.
The Horned Frogs have three players scoring in double figures so far this season with Miles, Emanuel Miller (12.6 ppg) and Micah Peavy (10.1 ppg).
“We’re finding ourselves,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said. “We have good players, and we have good balance to the roster. We’ve had moments where we really got a good feel for each other.”
Jackson State’s season has been quite the opposite of TCU’s so far, but things could be looking up following its most recent game.
The Tigers (1-6) broke a six-game losing streak to open the season with a 69-68 win at SMU on Saturday. Trace Young, who leads Jackson State in scoring (14.1 points per game) and rebounding (6.1 per game), finished with 28 points, eight rebounds and five assists as the Tigers held off any SMU attempts at a comeback in the second half.
The Tigers shot 45 percent from the field and 44 percent from 3-point range — hitting 11 triples — and also had 20 assists.
Coltie Young added 18 points and seven rebounds and Zeke Cook chipped in as well with 10 points and six rebounds.
Jackson State has played a brutal schedule to open the season with 10 consecutive road games against opponents such as Tulsa, Michigan and Indiana in its first season with former NBA champion and All-Star Mo Williams at the helm.
Although the Tigers have taken their lumps early on, they have been competitive in some of their losses, such as their 10-point loss against Michigan in which they led for extended stretches of the first half.
“Love, love, love being a mentor,” Williams recently posted on Twitter.
–Field Level Media