TCU has just one goal under head coach Raegan Pebley: get back to the NCAA Tournament.
The Horned Frogs have been painfully close over the past two seasons, ranking among the first teams out. Each of the past two years, TCU has gone on deep NIT runs. It still doesn’t compare to playing in the Big Dance.
After losing two of the top players in TCU history – Jordan Moore and Amy Okonkwo – the Horned Frogs expect to change their identity dramatically. Instead of relying on a strong interior game, Pebley wants the ball moving back to the perimeter. Don’t expect two players to handle 43 percent of the scoring load on their own again.
“What I think is going to happen for us this year is we won’t be as post dominant, but we’re going to be able to be more perimeter-oriented and have a less predictable offense, which I think has the potential to space the floor better, have a little more equal opportunity offense and distribute that scoring more,” Pebley said.
Whether that happens will depend greatly on whether TCU can get some increased production from new places. Kianna Ray (10.2 PPG, 4.0 APG) and Lauren Heard (8.7 PPG, 3.2 APG) make up a strong perimeter duo, but they have to improved their lackluster efficiency.
They’ll get a boost in the form of South Dakota transfer wing Jaycee Bradley, who nailed 41 percent of her 3-point attempts as a junior. Fellow seniors Adeola Akomolafe and Jayde Woods will add quality depth after playing plenty of games in purple.
That said, the Horned Frogs are young up front. Redshirt freshman Becky Obinma is the only listed center on the roster. Four of the six players on the roster who are 6-2 or taller are underclassmen. The leading returning rebounder on the roster is a 5-foot-9 guard.
TCU will also play a tougher nonconference schedule than normal, which features matchups against four NCAA Tournament teams from 2019. That, combined with a conference slate that features the defending national champs, will be critical in making a case.
“I want to get into the postseason. I want every box checked,” Pebley said. “Did we play a tough schedule? Did we play tough games on the road. Did we win those games? Is our conference RPI something that’s a plus for us? I want to make sure we’re doing everything within our power to make our case to the committee.”
Preseason MVP: Kianna Ray
After averaging 10.2 points and 4.1 assists per game last season, Ray will be relied on to lead the offense to new heights in 2020.
Game of the Year: Dec. 7 vs. Auburn
TCU has a chance to get revenge on one of the teams that edged them out of the NCAA Tournament a season ago, and on its home court.
Impact-First Year Player: