TCU hasn't been to the NCAA tournament since 1998, and while looking to establish his program as a relevant one, coach Jim Christian doesn't think that the attention the football team is getting for winning the Rose Bowl will do much to change things for basketball.
"We have to be able to provide enthusiasm in our arena," Christian said. "People aren't coming into the basketball arena because we won the Rose Bowl. We have to get people excited about what we're doing."
The Horned Frogs will certainly have an opportunity to make a statement Wednesday in the Mountain West Conference opener when they host 15-0 San Diego State, the first team in MWC history to enter league play undefeated.
Christian isn't yet sure whether he'll have leading scorer Ronnie Moss available, as the guard was out with a concussion during Sunday's loss to Rice and needs to pass tests in order to become active.
The Horned Frogs do have Virginia Tech point guard transfer Hank Thorns playing well, and the team is 9-6 after going through an up-and-down nonconference season.
Two years before TCU heads to the Big East, the program is still looking to establish itself. The team recently garnered attention when a locker-room shoving match broke out between players after a road loss to Nebraska. The Star-Telegram had been given behind-the-scenes access for the game.
"He's got the worst attitude on the team, and no one can say nothin' to him!" "You guys gotta man up!" "That was so easy, and you made it hard for no reason." "Would you stop worrying about the messenger and play better!" The "conversation" lasts for 20 minutes before the players pack their gear and head into the bitter Nebraska air. The team came to Lincoln aiming for its second road victory against a Big 12 team this season, which would have been a first in the program's history. Instead, the best thing to come from it is a collective clearing of the minds. The dispute may be the best sign Christian has had in his three years in Fort Worth that his team is no longer numb to losing. The Frogs feel enough passion and anger about a loss to fight over it.