Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Texas-TCU preview

Lorianne Willett
Dillon Mitchell dunks during Texas’ game against Houston on Feb. 1.

Ahead of Texas men’s basketball’s road game against TCU, The Daily Texan sat down with Ian Napetian of TCU 360 to discuss the upcoming matchup.

Coming off Texas men’s basketball’s heartbreaking loss versus No. 4 Houston on Monday, the Longhorns will take to the road Saturday for a clash against red-hot No. 25 TCU.

The Horned Frogs currently sit fifth in the loaded Big 12 with statement wins over Houston and Baylor already notched, and made it three straight in their win over Texas Tech on Tuesday.

Ahead of Texas’ final Big 12 matchup with TCU, Ian Napetian of TCU 360 was able to give some insight as to what the Longhorns are up against.

JT Bowen: Can you give me an elevator pitch on this 2023-24 Horned Frogs team?

Ian Napetian: This TCU team is very different than the year before. I think it’s a very talented team, but it’s taken some time for them to warm up when it comes to conference play. Obviously, the Big 12 is, in my eyes and I think everyone else’s, the best conference for men’s basketball in the nation. This season hasn’t been perfect, with just how tough the schedule is for everybody and certain games, but I would say that this TCU team has a lot of fight, they’ve got a lot of grit in them. It’s really just about minimizing the silly errors within games and I think that’s kind of what’s gotten the best of them in certain matchups. And ultimately, consistency is something that I think the team needs to continue to try and find.

JB: All of TCU’s Big 12 games have been decided by nine or less points. What’s been the difference between a win and a loss in these games?

IN: In the losses, it’s really been the slow starts, the sloppy play. I wouldn’t say that it’s laziness, I think maybe it’s players trying to do too much. I think that’s really been the biggest sticking point in some of our losses. Also, in games that TCU has been ahead but ended up losing, it’s because of a lack of execution in the final minutes. It’s silly fouls, poor shot-making decisions and free throws that have absolutely plagued this team, not only this year but for the last three years I’ve been a student here… Ever since I’ve been watching TCU men’s basketball, free throws have just been an utter disgrace to be completely honest.

JB: What can you tell me about TCU’s best player this season in Emanuel Miller?

IN: I’ll start out with saying that when Emanuel Miller got to TCU, immediately when I started watching him, I personally felt that he was going to be, at least one day, the most NBA-ready player from this group of players… One thing that I like about his game is that I think he’s especially good at using his body effectively. He’s not the biggest guy, he’s strong, but there’s guys stronger than him. He knows how to use his body to the best of his ability… He knows what his body can do and he knows how to use his body the way it should be used. So defensively, he’s a smart player, sticks tight to his men. He’s really good at playing zone as well and he’s not afraid to put his body on the line either… I’d really just say that he knows how to play to his strengths and I think that’s why TCU has really gotten the best out of him.

JB: Where is TCU most beatable?

IN: I’d say just starting with turnovers. There’s certain days where it feels like all the guys wake up on the wrong side of the bed and they just come into the game and continuously turn the ball over… Where they’re most susceptible is if Texas can prevent them from driving to the basket that — will cause issues. That’s what I’ve noticed in each of their losses… When teams tend to force TCU into playing a perimeter game, it seems like TCU fails to adjust, at least in the first half.

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About the Contributor
Lorianne Willett, Photo Editor
Lorianne is a Journalism and Global Sustainability junior from San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is the Photo Editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.