Nov. 19, 2008
The TCU men's basketball opens the 2008-09 portion of its home schedule against Big 12 Conference-opponent University of Nebraska. This will be the sixth meeting between the Frogs and Huskers with Nebraska holding a 3-2 advantage over the Purple and White.
The Frogs own a 2-1 advantage over the University of Nebraska at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum - including a 101-89 victory over the Huskers in the quarterfinals of the NIT in their last meeting in 1999. The Frogs won the first-ever meeting between the two programs with a 58-57 overtime triumph on December 20, 1951.
The game can be seen on CBS College Sports with Carter Blackburn (play-by-play) and Greg Anthony (analyst) handling the television duties. The Frogs and Huskers can also be heard over the airwaves via Fox Sports Radio (1460 AM) and KTCU (88.7 FM) with Brian Estridge (play-by-play) and John Denton (analyst). For live statistics and live audio over the Internet - visit www.GoFrogs.com.
Christian Wins Debut Game for Frogs
In his first game as head coach of the TCU men's basketball program - Jim Christian became the 12th coach in program history to capture his first game with the Purple and White. Christian led the Frogs to a 67-63 victory over Western Michigan - which was TCU's eighth season-opening triumph over the last decade.
Frogs Strong at Home Against Non-Conference Foes
The Horned Frogs have captured 19 of their last 25 games at home against non-conference opponents - including nine of their last 10 games. In their last 10 games against non-conference opponents at the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum - the Frogs have only suffered a defeat to Oklahoma (90-66 | December 2, 2007).
Frogs Sign One During Early Signing Period
The Frogs signed Garlon Green (Missouri City, Texas | Hightower High School) to a National Letter of Intent on November 12th. The 6-7 wing enters his senior season as the 19th-ranked prospect in the State of Texas and is the younger brother of Gerald Green, Jr. - who plays for the Dallas Mavericks.
In his two seasons with the Purple and White - Kevin Langford has not only been a mainstay in the Frogs' starting lineup, but has also been one of their most productive players. A starter in 63 consecutive games - the TCU senior has recorded 10 or more points in 48 of those games (2 as a senior | 24 as a junior | 22 as a sophomore).
Langford has an opportunity to become the 29th player in TCU history to eclipse the 1,000-point milestone in a Purple and White jersey. Sitting at 836 career points for the Frogs - Langford needs only 164 points to reach 1,000 points and become the 15th player in program history to reach the feat in under three seasons.
The TCU forward has scored 902 points during his collegiate career as he collected 66 points during his freshman season at the University of California before transferring to TCU prior to the 2005-06 season.
Point of Order
Jason Ebie has started all three games for the Frogs at the point guard position and is averaging 7.0 points per game following a pair of nine-point scoring performances against Western Michigan and Clemson.
Last season - the TCU guard ranked 78th among all NCAA Division I players in steals per game.
Ebie is currently ranked ninth in the Mountain West Conference in assists per game (3.67 A-G) and is one of two Frogs (Edvinas Ruzgas) to average over 30.0 minutes per game - sitting at 31.7 minutes per evening.
New Faces, New Team
Faithful of the Purple and White will have plenty of new faces to learn in the TCU lineup this season as the Frogs have added seven new players for the upcoming 2008-09 campaign.
A key ingredient for Christian in signing players during the spring was finding players from successful basketball programs. In three junior college transfers - Christian found players that helped their programs post a collective record of 137-50 (.733 winning percentage)
Good Things Come in Three's
The Frogs have made at least one three-pointer in 313 consecutive games dating back to the 1997-98 season. The last time that the Purple and White failed to connect on a trey came against LIU-Brooklyn on November 22, 1987.
The Frogs have recorded at least one three-pointer in 530 of their last 531 games. Prior to that failed connection against LIU-Brooklyn - TCU made at least one three-pointer in 217 straight games dating back to the 1989-90 season when the University of Texas stopped the Frogs behind the arc on February 11, 1990.
Home Sweet Home
The Frogs have been very successful at the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum since its opening prior to the 1961-62 season. In the 47-year history of the DMC - the Frogs have posted a record of 399-235 (.630) on their home court.
Over the past decade - the Frogs have recorded a 139-60 (.702) overall record at the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum and have won at least 10 games on their home court in seven of the last 10 campaigns.
Consistency in the Starting Lineup
The Frogs have played with the same starting lineup in each of the first three games in guards Jason Ebie, Ronnie Moss and Edvinas Ruzgas along with forwards Kevin Langford and Zvonko Buljan.
Starters Dominate Scoring Department
The starting five for the Horned Frogs have dominated the scoring department as they have scored 157 of the team's 200 points (78.5 percent) this season. The top five scorers for the Frogs are all starters and all five are averaging at least 7.0 points per game. The top scorer from the bench is freshman Kevin Butler - who is averaging 5.7 points per game in his first season with the team.
Greg Richardson will miss his fourth consecutive game with a hip injury.
Scouting the Huskers
The University of Nebraska captured its first game of the season with a 63-46 victory over San Jose State on November 16th in the Huskers' season-opener at Devaney Center.
Toney McCray scored a game-high 17 points on 6-of-15 shooting to go along with nine rebounds, one steal and one blocked shot. The red-shirt freshman saw action off of the bench as McCray played in 23 minutes of court time.
Ryan Anderson is one of the team's top three-point shooters as he is ranked 11th in the program's all-time record books for career three-point field goals made with 99. The junior guard became the first-ever Husker to connect on at least 48 three-pointers in each of his first two seasons with the team.
The Huskers have experience in their backcourt in guards Ade Dagunduro and Steve Harley as the NU seniors were both selected to the Big 12 All-Newcomer Team following the conclusion of last season.
Nebraska is led by Doc Sadler - who became the first NU coach since 1911-14 to win his season opener in each of his first three seasons with the program following a dominating victory over San Jose State at the Devaney Center.
The Frogs have never had more than two international players on their roster at any one time during their history. There have been at least two international players on the TCU roster in each of the last five seasons.
Bigger in Texas
The Frogs have seven players that reside from the State of Texas - including four players from the Dallas/Fort Worth area in Kevin Langford (Fort Worth), Ronnie Moss (Fort Worth), Kevin Butler (Duncanville) and A.J. Siebert (Southlake).
Making of a Great Story
The Frogs have an opportunity to make some waves in the Mountain West Conference as the Purple and White were predicted to finish last in the preseason standings. No player from the TCU squad was selected to the Preseason All-Mountain West Conference team.
The Man Known as "Z"
Zvonko "Z" Buljan has played a big role for the Frogs in his first season donning the Purple and White as the TCU forward is averaging 9.0 points to go along with a team-high 5.3 rebounds per game. He scored 11 points in his debut with the Frogs against Western Michigan and has notched at least seven points in each of the team's first three contests.
Buljan came to the United States without speaking a word of English and played two seasons at Vincennes University in Vincennes, Indiana, where he helped his team to a spot at the NJCAA National Championships as a sophomore.
Second Generation Stars
The Frogs have two players on their roster who had parents who played collegiate athletics in Kevin Langford (Father - basketball at UT Arlington | Mother - basketball at UT Arlington) and A.J. Siebert (Father - football at Northern Arizona).
The Frogs will play 15 of their final 27 games at the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum following the conclusion of the Charleston Classic. TCU will play its first four games following the Charleston Classic at the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum against Nebraska (Nov. 19), McNeese State (Nov. 22), SMU (Nov. 26) and St. Gregory's (Nov. 29).
Aside from the Charleston Classic - the Frogs will never play more than two consecutive games on the road and only one time during the non-conference schedule (Indiana on December 10th | Louisiana Tech on December 22nd).
The TCU starting five in Ebie, Moss, Ruzgas, Langford and Buljan have played in 413 of the team's 600 total minutes this season or over 68.8 percent of all court time.
The Frogs came into the season with only four lettermen returning in Langford, Mitchem, Ortiz and Ebie - who accounted for 41.6 percent of all minutes played during the 2007-08 campaign or 2,505 combined minutes of action.
Freshman Make Immediate Impact
Three freshmen have made an immediate impact on the Frogs this season in Ronnie Moss, Kevin Butler and Kavon Rose. Moss has started all three games while Butler has become one of the team's top players off of the bench. Rose has given the Frogs' quality minutes off of the bench averaging 4.7 points per game.
Edvinas Ruzgas has made a tremendous impact for the Frogs from behind the three-point line as the former Weatherford College standout has connected on a Mountain West Conference-best nine three-pointers through three games. The 6-6 guard also leads the conference with 22 three-point field goal attempts.
In his debut with the Frogs - Ruzgas collected a team-high 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting - including 4-of-6 from behind the three-point line. The TCU guard scored in double figures in each of the team's first three games with a career-high 19 points against Clemson to go along with six rebounds in 34 minutes of action.
Ruzgas currently ranks first on the team in scoring average (15.7 P-G) and minutes played per game (34.7 MP-G) and has connected on a perfect 8-of-8 from inside the three-point line.
John Ortiz has appeared in all three games for the Frogs in a supporting role off of the bench. He posted a six points against the College of Charleston and competed in a season-high 14 mintues versus Western Michigan.
Overhaul on the Boards
One of the areas of improvement that Christian has stressed to the Frogs have been their presence on the glass. In their last two games - the Frogs have held a +14 advantage over their last two opponents in Clemson and College of Charleston. The Frogs are 0-2 when winning and 1-0 in losing the battle on the boards.
Close to Home
TCU newcomer Ronnie "Tuffy" Moss originally signed with Kent State, but was granted his release and signed with the Frogs after Christian was announced as the new head men's basketball coach for the Purple and White.
Moss became the first freshman since Femi Ibikunle in 2003-04 to start his collegiate debut for the Frogs and only the third freshman this decade to earn a spot in the starting lineup in his first game (Corey Santee | 2001-02).
One of the team's best on-ball defenders - Moss ranks third on the team in minutes played per game (23.3 MP-G) and fourth in scoring at 7.7 points per game. He has started all three games for the Frogs at the guard position.
Duncanville standout Kevin Butler has provided the Frogs with plenty of energy and production coming off of the bench in his first season as the 6-6 forward has averaged 22.0 minutes per game in addition to 5.7 points per game. The TCU newcomer has scored at least five points in each of the last two games for the Frogs.
Butler had a tremendous performance against ACC-opponent Clemson as he posted a career-high nine points - including 2-of-2 from behind the three-point line - to go along with six steals, four rebounds and two assists. Butler's six steals against the Tigers was the highest single-game tally in the Mountain West Conference.
Smells Like Roses
Kavon Rose was the final freshman to commit to the Frogs during the summer months after he was released from his National Letter of Intent from Oregon State.
In his first season with the Frogs - Rose has averaged 4.7 points per game to go along with 2.7 rebounds per contest. He scored seven points on the road at College of Charleston and five points in his debut against WMU.
Key of the Season
Keion Mitchem will provide the Frogs' with quality minutes off of the bench this season as he returns as one of four lettermen for the Frogs. Mitchem has appeared in all three games this season where he is averaging 9.7 minutes.
Last season - Mitchem recorded two games of 10 or more points a season ago - which both of them coming against Air Force. He recorded a career-high 16 points on the Falcons' home floor and 10 points in his first collegiate start.
Plenty of Minutes to Share
Of the 10 players to see action this season - eight of them are averaging at least 10.0 minutes per game while Mitchem is not far behind at 9.7 minutes per game. Ruzgas and Ebie are leading the way at 34.7 and 31.7 minutes per game while Langford, Buljan, Moss and Butler are all averaging over 20 minutes per game.
Small Town Tales
The basketball career of Greg Richardson has spanned from some of the largest cities in Jackonsville, Florida and the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex to the smallest of towns in Glendive, Montana. Dawson Community College was located in a town of 4,760 people - a far cry from the 6.1 million the Metroplex and over 800,000 in Jacksonville.
In 2008-09 campaign - the Frogs will have three freshmen from the State of Texas that were ranked in the top-40 of their recruiting class last season - Ronnie Moss (12th), Kevin Butler (16th) and Logan Lancon (43rd).
TCU Athletic Media Relations