By Jeff Wilson
Frogs Today senior writer
FORT WORTH — If it wasn’t clear Jan. 29 at Schollmaier Arena, it became clearer Monday at the Lloyd Noble Center.
The TCU men’s team is trying to generate offense inside.
They did so Monday night against Oklahoma, scoring 42 points in the paint in a 72-63 victory. Big man Eddie Lampkin Jr. scored a career-high 14 points, including the game’s opening bucket on a one-handed slam on a drive and dish by Mike Miles Jr.
“I tell told Mike at the beginning the game, if we drive I’m going the be open every time because they’ve got to stop you because you can finish at the rim,” Lampkin said. “I just told him the inside would be open because that’s how they played us last game, and it was working.”
The Horned Frogs also saw Xavier Cork and JaKobe Coles score inside at a critical point the second half when Emanuel Miller and Micah Peavy were dealing with foul trouble. TCU extended its lead with four reserves on the floor.
Coach Jamie Dixon said that getting the ball inside has been an emphasis all season, and it’s finally starting to click. Many of the Frogs’ paint points have come through motion in their offense and when their guards drive to the basket and find the open man.
Guard Damion Baugh, for instance, was left open on the block by the Sooners for most of his game-high 20 points.
“It’s been a push all year long and we are getting it,” Dixon said. “It was a huge play when Xavier hit that isolation there. And we went inside to Eddie any he got some baskets, too. But our motion has to be the best way of getting the ball into them, and it has been and we’ve got to continue to do it.”
TCU scored 32 points inside against LSU.
Handling the pressure
Maybe it’s just the way teams play defense in the Big 12, though LSU from the SEC also does it, but TCU has been facing a great deal of full-court pressure after made baskets and dead balls.
Some of it falls under the guise of “token pressure,” and much of the trapping off the press comes when the Frogs have a lead. But TCU has done a better job limiting its turnovers and not feeling rushed in their half-court sets.
Miles and Baugh have been the primary ball-handlers, but Peavy and Chuck O’Bannon Jr. are able to break the press with the dribble. The Frogs have also used Francisco Farabello off the bench to give TCU three point guards to beat the pressure.
“We’ve done that more in late-game situations with Fran in there, and we probably could do it more or should be,” Dixon said. “I think we have a lot of versatility, and we can go different ways. But I think Kansas State is going to do the same thing. It’s just a lot of teams are kind of playing with that token pressure in the back court.”
Grab an extra cup of coffee and pick up some kolaches in West on the trek down I-35. TCU’s game Feb. 19 at Baylor is going to be a little earlier than normal.
The Frogs and Bears will tip off at 11 a.m. at the Ferrell Center, and the game will be shown on ESPN2. The game was originally scheduled for 1 p.m.
Baylor won the first matchup in Fort Worth 76-64, erasing a six-point halftime deficit.
Jeff Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org