TCU Faces CSU Thursday in MW Championship Quarterfinals

March 6, 2012

Game #31 - Conoco MW Championship Quarterfinals
#5  TCU (17-13; 7-7 MW) vs. #4 COLORADO ST. (19-10; 8-6 MW)


March 8, 2012  //  2:30 p.m. PST  //  Las Vegas, Nev.  //  Thomas & Mack Center (18,500)
Television: The Mtn. / CBS Sports Network
      Channels: DirecTV 616 / 613  //  Talent: Rich Cellini (pxp), Joe Cravens (analyst)
Radio: 1460 AM (KCLE), 88.7 FM (KTCU)  //  Talent: Brian Estridge (pxp), John Denton (analyst)
Internet: (radio, GameTracker)
Series Record: TCU leads, 11-10  //  Last Meeting: Feb. 11, 2012 in Fort Worth (W, 75-71)
TCU Head Coach: Jim Christian (Rhode Island, `88)    
      Record at TCU: 55-71 (.437) in 4th season  //  Overall: 193-129 (.599) in 10th season
CSU Head Coach: Tim Miles (Mary, `89)   
      Record at CSU: 69-86 (.445) in 5th season  //  Overall: 282-218 (.564) in 17th season

FORT WORTH-March Madness begins for TCU on Thursday in Las Vegas, Nev., as the fifth-seeded Horned Frogs open the 2012 Conoco Mountain West Men's Basketball Championship with a quarterfinal matchup against No. 4 seed Colorado State. The contest, which is set to tip off at 2:30 p.m. PST at the Thomas & Mack Center, will be televised live by both The Mtn. and CBS Sports Network.

TCU, 17-13 overall this season, enters the MW Championship with its highest seed in its seventh season as a member of the conference. The Horned Frogs posted an even 7-7 league record, one more win than its highest previous total despite playing two fewer conference games than in past years. The squad will look to end a two-game losing streak after ending the regular season with back-to-back losses at Wyoming and at home vs. No. 21 San Diego State. The Frogs are 1-2 in neutral site games this season after playing three games in the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam back in November.

TCU will attempt to open the MW Championship with a victory for the second straight season after reaching the quarterfinals last season as the No. 9 seed. The squad owns a 2-6 overall record in six all-time trips to the tournament.

Colorado State, 19-10 overall this season, earned the No. 4 seed for the MW Championship with an 8-6 record in league play. The Rams were hot down the stretch, posting two straight wins to end the regular season and four in their last five games. TCU and CSU posted identical results in league play with one exception: the Rams defeated SDSU at home while the Frogs lost to the Aztecs in Fort Worth.

TCU holds a slim 11-10 lead in the all-time series with CSU after both teams won on their home court this season. The two squads have met once previously in the MW Championship, a 64-60 Ram win in the play-in game (Nos. 8 and 9 seeds) of the 2006 tournament held in Denver.

Thursday's matchup marks TCU's 22nd televised game of the season. The game will be simulcast on both The Mtn. and CBS Sports Network with Rich Cellini (play-by-play) and Joe Cravens (analyst) manning the headsets. Fans can also follow the contest on the radio throughout the Metroplex on 1460 AM KCLE and 88.7 FM KTCU with Brian Estridge (play-by-play) and John Denton (analyst) calling the action. Links to both the live radio Internet feed and live stats will be available via TCU's official athletics website,

* TCU has earned its highest seed (No. 5) in the MW Championship this season after posting its highest win total (seven) in seven seasons as a league member despite only 14 league games this season, two fewer than in past years (16).

* TCU has guaranteed itself a winning record for the first time since 2004-05 (21-14). The squad's 17 victories are three more than in any season since 2004-05.

* TCU set a school record by making 126 3-point baskets in conference play, breaking the previous standard of 125 set in 2009-10 despite playing two fewer league games this season.

* TCU has made six or more 3-pointers in 13 straight games and at least 10 in six of the last nine contests.

* TCU entered MW play ranked dead last among the eight league teams averaging only 5.67 3pg, but hit 9.00 3pg in MW contests to lead the league.  The team also led the MW with a 38.2% 3-point shooting rate in league games after entering conference play ranked No. 7 (34.4%).

* TCU is 13-4 in games decided by six points or fewer, three more wins than the previous school record for games within the margin. The wins total is believed to lead all teams nationally this season.

* The Frogs have outscored opponents by only 44 points in the 13 close wins compared to a margin of 139 points in their other four victories.

* TCU is averaging 15.7 turnovers forced per game, 0.4 more per game than any other Mountain West team. The squad is No. 2 in the MW in average turnover margin (+2.10) and No. 3 in scoring (71.9 ppg) and steals (7.00 spg).

* TCU ranks among the nation's top-100 teams in average turnover margin (55th), 3-point shooting rate (65th), 3-pointers made (75th) and scoring (81st).

* Hank Thorns is No. 1 in the MW in minutes played (33.90 mpg); No. 3 in assists (4.60 apg), 3-pointers (2.27 3pg) and 3-point percentage (39.8%); No. 6 in assist/turnover ratio (1.59); and No. 7 in scoring (13.4 ppg).

* In MW play, Thorns ranked No. 1 in 3's made (3.00 3pg); No. 2 in 3-point shooting (43.3%); No. 3 in assists (4.36 apg); No. 4 in scoring (14.4 ppg); and No. 6 in assist/turnover ratio (1.61).

* Thorns enters the game needing only 14 more points for 1,000 in his career.

* Thorns has made at least one 3-pointer in 18 consecutive games, a career-long streak that ranks as the second-longest active streak for all MW players.

* J.R. Cadot has scored in double figures a career-high eight times in the last nine outings. He is averaging team-high figures of 16.5 ppg and 9.0 rpg over the last four contests alone.

* Cadot is No. 3 in the MW in offensive rebounds (2.83 rpg); No. 5 in in total boards (7.0 rpg); No. 6 in defensive boards (4.17 rpg); No. 7 in steals (1.53 spg); and No. 16 in scoring (11.3 ppg).

* Kyan Anderson, the MW Freshman of the Year, is the only freshman ranked among the MW's top-20 scorers in league play (9.8 ppg; 19th), while he also is tops in assist/turnover ratio (1.48; No. 7 overall) and minutes played (34.64 mpg; No. 6). His 2.90-assist average for all games ranks No. 8 overall.

* Anderson's 87 assists mark the most by a TCU freshman since Corey Santee posted a freshman-record 180 in 2001-02.

* Anderson's next start will be his 20th this season, tying him with former Frog Nikola Cerina for the most by a TCU freshman in head coach Jim Christian's tenure.

* Amric Fields, the MW Sixth Man of the Year, finished league play as the top scorer with five starts or fewer (9.6 ppg; T-No. 20 overall).

* TCU is 10-0 when outrebounding the opponent and 11-1 when holding teams to under 47.6% shooting from the field.

No.    Name    Pos.    Ht.    Wt.    Yr.    P - R - APG        
  2    Connell Crossland    F    6-7    195    Jr.    2.5 - 3.4 - 0.8
  5    Kyan Anderson    G    5-11    165    Fr.    8.1 - 1.6 - 2.9
10    Hank Thorns    G    5-9    165    Sr.    13.4 - 2.5 - 4.6
23    J.R. Cadot    G    6-5    210    Sr.    11.3 - 7.0 - 1.5#
41    Craig Williams    F    6-8    265    Sr.    7.9 - 3.8 - 0.5

No.    Name    Pos.    Ht.    Wt.    Yr.    P - R - APG        
  4    Pierce Hornung    F    6-5    210    Jr.    8.4 - 8.3 - 1.9#
10    Wes Eikmeier    G    6-3    168    Jr.    16.0 - 1.8 - 2.1
15    Kaipo Sabas    G    5-11    177    Sr.    5.1 - 2.3 - 1.2
22    Dorian Green    G    6-2    192    Jr.    13.4 - 3.6 - 2.6
23    Will Bell    F    6-6    242    Sr.    8.3 - 3.8 - 0.5^

^-blocks per game;     #-steals per game;    

*-players determined by starters from each team's previous game


Colorado, 19-10 this season under fifth-year head coach Tim Miles, earned the No. 4 seed in the MW tourney after finishing fourth place with a 8-6 league mark. The Rams are 2-0 in neutral sites contests, defeating SMU in the Preseason NIT and Jacksonville State in the Sun Bowl Invitational.

The Rams rank as one of the nation's top overall shooting teams this season, entering the week ranked No. 26 in overall field-goal percentage (47.5%) and No. 5 in both 3-point rate (40.7%) and free-throw shooting (76.9%). The squad leads the MW in each of the three categories. Junior guard Wes Eikmeier (16.0 ppg) leads a group of two Rams scoring in double figures that also includes junior guard Dorian Green (13.4 ppg). Eikmeier is second in the MW in scoring average and No. 1 in the MW and No. 20 nationally in free-throw percentage (87.5%). Eikmeier and Green have combined for 97 of CSU's 174 buckets from 3-point range this season. Junior forward Pierce Hornung is CSU's top rebounder (8.3 rpg), ranking third in the league.

TCU leads the all-time series with CSU by an 11-10 margin. The teams split their to regular-season matchups, with each winning on its home court. The Frogs snapped a three-game Ram winning streak with a 75-71 win in Fort Worth on Feb. 11 after falling in double-overtime Jan. 14 in Fort Collins, 95-89. CSU took the only previous meeting at a neutral site with a 64-60 victory in the 2006 MW Championship in Denver.

TCU vs. Colorado State - Last 10 Games
Date        W/L    Score    Site
Jan. 19, 2008    W    70-58    Fort Collins
Feb. 20, 2008    W    66-64    Fort Worth
Jan. 3, 2009    W    81-67    Fort Worth
Feb. 7, 2009          L    65-71    Fort Collins
Jan. 27, 2010          L    57-63    Fort Collins
Feb. 27, 2010    W    73-67    Fort Worth
Jan. 15, 2011         L    69-79    Fort Collins
Feb. 16, 2011         L    55-69    Fort Worth
Jan. 14, 2012         L    89-95 (2ot)    Fort Collins
Feb. 11, 2011    W    75-71    Fort Worth

TCU won a close one at home Feb. 11 vs. Colorado State to earn its sixth straight victory at the DMC, 75-71.

TCU found itself trailing by two points, 69-67, with three minutes remaining until it took control of the contest with yet another late clutch performance. The squad rattled off six straight points while holding CSU to only a pair of free throws in the final 3:18 to win its school-record 11th game this season by six points or fewer.

Craig Williams paced the Frogs with 20 points, leading a TCU 3-point barrage after sitting out the team's previous game at SMU due to injury, Williams hit 4-of-5 shots from beyond the arc as TCU finished the evening making 12-of-27 attempts. Sharing in Williams' long-range success were Hank Thorns, who went 3-of-9, and J.R. Cadot and Garlon Green, who both registered a pair of treys. Thorns finished the contest with 15 points, six assists and four rebounds, while Cadot totaled 14 points, seven boards and three assists. Green totaled 10 points.

TCU owns a 2-6 record in the Mountain West Conference Championship during its six previous seasons as a league member. The squad twice advanced to the quarterfinal round of the tournament's previous format with a win in the play-in contest while seeded No. 8 or 9.

* 2005-06 (No. 9 seed): TCU dropped a 64-60 decision to Colorado State in the 8/9 contest.

* 2006-07 (No. 8 seed): TCU earned its only win at the MWC tournament with a 62-54 victory over New Mexico in the 8/9 game. The Frogs suffered a 77-64 loss to No. 1 seed BYU in the quarterfinals.

* 2007-08 (No. 7 seed): TCU dropped a close quarterfinal decision to No. 2 seed UNLV, 89-88, despite setting the MWC tourney record for 3-pointers with 17. The Frogs went 17-of-23 for the game.

* 2008-09 (No. 7 seed): TCU was downed in the quarterfinals by No. 2 seed Utah, 61-58. The game was tied until the Utes' Lawrence Borha hit a 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds remaining.

* 2009-10 (No. 7 seed): TCU fell to second-seeded and 14th-ranked BYU, 95-85, in the quarterfinal round. The Frogs led by one point at halftime, but the Cougars scored 56 in the second half to pull away.

* 2010-11 (No. 9 seed): TCU defeated Wyoming in the play-in game, 70-61, to end a 13-game losing streak. The squad then put up a valiant effort against eighth-ranked BYU before falling, 64-58.

TCU returns four players with previous experience playing in the MW Championship. Garlon Green has appeared in three games over the last two seasons, while J.R. Cadot, Amric Fields and Hank Thorns, each played in both of the Frogs' two games last year.

* Garlon Green: Has appeared in three MW tourney games, averaging 7.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg and 0.7 apg ... scored 10 points last season vs. Wyoming and 11 points in the quarterfinal loss to No. 8 BYU ... saw only six minutes of action in TCU's 2009-10 quarterfinal loss to No. 14 BYU.

* J.R. Cadot: Appeared in both MW tourney games last season averaging, 12.5 ppg, 9.5 rpg and 2.0 apg ... totaled 13 points and 13 rebounds during the win vs. Wyoming and 12 points, six boards and three assists in the quarterfinal loss to No. 8 BYU.

* Amric Fields: Appeared in both MW tourney games as a freshman last season averaging, 0.5 ppg, 1.0 rpg and 1.5 spg ... scored his lone point in the quarterfinal loss to No. 8 BYU.

* Hank Thorns: Appeared in both MW tourney games last season averaging, 15.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg and 7.5 apg ... scored 16 points and dished out nine assists to help lead TCU past Wyoming before totaling 15 points, five rebounds and six assists in the quarterfinal loss to No. 8 BYU.

TCU head coach Jim Christian has won two conference tournament championships in his 10 seasons as a head coach.

* Christian led Kent State to titles in two of his final three seasons with the Golden Flashes (2006, 2008).

* Overall, Kent State went 12-4 in Christian's six appearances at the MAC tournament.  

* Christian's overall career record currently stands at 13-7. He is 1-4 with TCU in the MW Championship..

Hank Thorns became the first Frog to garner first-team all-conference honors when he was named to the All-Mountain West First Team on March 5. J.R. Cadot added to TCU's haul by earning a third-team selection, while Kyan Anderson and Amric Fields were named MW Freshman of the Year and MW Sixth Man of the Year, respectively.

* Thorns became the 44th different TCU player named first-team all-league and the 60th different Frog first-team selection overall.

* Thorns' selection ended a 12-year drought for Frogs on the all-conference first team. The last TCU player to earn the nod was Marquise Gainous, who was named All-WAC First Team in 2000.

* Thorns was a All-MW Third Team pick as a junior in 2011.

* Cadot earned his first all-conference nod by being named to the third team. TCU has had five different players earn seven all-conference honors in its seven seasons in the league.

TCU All-Time All-Mountain West Selections
Year - Player - Team                          
2006 - Nile Murray - Third Team
2007 - Kevin Langford - Third Team
2008 - Kevin Langford - Second Team
2009 - Ronnie Moss - Second Team
2010 - Hank Thorns - Third Team
2011 - Hank Thorns - First Team
2011 - J.R. Cadot - Third Team
* Anderson became the first Frog to be named MW Freshman of the Year after leading all league freshmen in scoring average (9.8 ppg), assists (3.07 apg), assist/turnover ratio (1.48) and minutes (34.64 mpg) during league action.

* Damion Walker (1996 Southwest Conference) was TCU's last conference freshman of the year honoree. Four Frogs have been named a league top freshman all-time.

* Fields became TCU's first-ever conference Sixth Man of the Year after leading all league bench players (five starts or fewer) in scoring (9.6 ppg). He was the only bench player among the MW's top-20 scorers, tying for 20th.