25. TCU (6-1)
Tumultuous beginnings did not doom TCU’s season. These Horned Frogs brought back a lot of talent from last year’s success, but that talent didn’t seem to be gelling together to start the season. TCU struggled with a number of weaker mid-majors, finally losing at home to Northwestern State over two weeks ago. They’ve played much better in the days and weeks since then, seemingly peaking with a 13-point win over #25 Iowa a few weeks ago.
This week, they got another very solid victory, scoring a 75-62 win against Providence as part of the Big East-Big 12 Battle. Six different players scored in double figures, including the entire starting lineup, with the highlight being a 16-point, 12-rebound effort from big man Eddie Lampkin Jr. The Horned Frogs shot 50% from the field and from long range and scored a third straight win over a power conference foe after that rough start against mid-majors.
If you look deep into the metrics, TCU’s defense has been playing improved ball in recent weeks, helping them secure these last three wins (all double-digits) over power conference opposition. The win over Iowa helped get them back on track, but taking care of Providence is another necessary step forward. Mike Miles Jr. and this talented roster are slowly proving that they are capable of hanging in the Big 12; though we won’t know until those games start in just under a month. For now, an intriguing rivalry clash with SMU awaits next weekend.