TCU Hoops: Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Notebook

The Frogs got behind early, but did enough in the second half for the 66-53 win yesterday. Once again, TCU put forth a great defensive effort. Come inside BigPurpleNation.com to get a full break down of TCU's performance yesterday afternoon!

Slow it down
TCU fell behind early, 8-20 and looked to change the speed of the game. The Frogs started to play hurry up basketball and looked out of sync on the offensive end. It wasn't until late in the first half that they slowed the tempo up and got good looks.

"I think what happened was our kids tried to get it all back with 1 point," said Coach Christian after the game. "They don't just play. In the second half we took it one possession at a time. We got back in the game and that is when we play our best. We can't try to hit homeruns every at bat."

Halftime pep talk
Down 30-22 at halftime, their first year head coach challenged the Frogs.

"I challenged a lot of guys. I challenged a lot of guys to step up. Some teams beat you with their system, but this was more 1on1 play with late clock and guys taking to the basket. That is a personal challenge and you have to step up and guard the basketball. In the second half every guy that I challenged at halftime stepped up. It's a place for us to grow," said Coach Christian.


The defender called Tuffy
After Texas A&M-Corpus Christi's Kevin Palmer scored 11 points in the first half, Coach Christian needed an answer. He got it from 6 foot 2 Ronnie Moss. The freshman, giving up nearly 4 inches, shut down the junior in the second half. Palmer only scored one time and ended up going 5-20 from the field.

Moss drew high praises earlier in the season when Coach Christian said he was one of the best on ball defenders he has ever coached. The Fort Worth product did it again on Saturday afternoon. He also chipped in 11 points going 4-6 from the field.


The Big Z
After coming off of a 15 points 10 rebound performance against Colorado, Zvonko Buljan was in foul trouble much of the game. In 22 minutes, the junior did pull down a team high 9 rebounds, but struggled to get going offensively scoring only 7 points on 2-7 shooting.


The Shooter
It took a while for Edvinas Ruzgas to get into a rhythm, but when TCU started to drive the lane, Ruzgas started to get open looks. The three points specialist knocked down to big threes from the corner when TCU was pulling away from Corpus-Christi. The Weatherford Community College transfer has now connected on 19-50 from long range. Currently in the MWC standings, Ruzgas ranks 10th in three-point field goals made and 20th in scoring average (11.4).


Happy Birthday Kevin Butler
Freshman Kevin Butler pulled down 5 rebounds in 13 minutes on the floor. Not to bad of a birthday performance.


A senior stepping up big over the last two
After scoring a season high 15 points in Colorado, Keion Mitchem kept the momentum going with another double digit effort against Corpus-Christi. Slated as possibly the most improved player from last years team, Mitchem struggled in the first 7 games scoring only 17 points. He got the Frogs off to a good start knocking down the first bucket of the game (a 3pt from the corner). He also scored back-to-back buckets on the Frogs 18-2 run. If TCU keeps getting solid contributions from the junior, the Frogs will have much more depth in the backcourt than thought.


Rebounding is key
The scary thing is not that the Frogs were out rebounded 40-36. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi pulled down 22 offensive boards. Corpus-Christi is good, but if the Frogs do that against MWC teams, they will be in for some long nights. TCU has now out rebounded their opponents in five of nine games this year.


The Challenges Of Wichita State
"Huge challenges. They are another excellent basketball team. They compete extremely hard. It's going to be a heck of a game. It's going to be 80 minutes of war this week. It's out first Saturday-Monday. It's going be no different. They have played great teams and they are going to play us well," said Coach Christian.


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