TCU Daily Skiff Friday, February 06, 2004
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Frogs poised to set new mark
The Frogs are one victory away from a feat the program has never accomplished in Conference USA.

By Brent Yarina

Sports Editor

The Horned Frogs don’t have the attitude you’d expect from your typical 8-11 team.

This team is sky high, even with an overall record under .500.

And it’s for good reason.

Not only are the Frogs coming off the biggest win of their careers at Marquette Tuesday night, but they now have the chance to do something no other TCU basketball team has ever done in Conference USA.

With a win Monday at South Florida, the Frogs would not only stay even with the conference leader, Alabama-Birmingham, but they would also own their first winning record in C-USA play.

“We just need to get one more game so we can get closer to the top,” head coach Neil Dougherty said. “(Being over .500) will be uncharted waters for us as a program. We’re not done yet.”

Junior forward Aaron Curtis said the chance to own a winning record in C-USA would be unbelievable.

“It would be the first time for our program to be over .500,” Curtis said. “That alone would turn the heads of future recruits and other teams.”

Curtis said the team can’t wait to get back on the court and play its next game but that he admits it’s a game down the road against a top 10 opponent that has him anxious.

“There’s nothing but enthusiasm and excitement out here,” Curtis said. “I wish the Louisville game could just be tomorrow.”

Senior guard Nucleus Smith said the win over Marquette was one of the best of his career, and he thinks the game was a huge step toward bringing a winning tradition to TCU.

“That was a big game,” Smith said. “It shows we are up and coming. If we can continue shooting the ball well and not make dumb mistakes, we’ll continue to do better.”

Curtis agrees the game at Marquette can be used as a building block for the program, saying the team is capable of playing that well on a nightly basis.

“We can play like that every game,” he said. “We’re on the rise, and we have to keep it going for next year. (Other teams) can’t just come in here anymore and expect to beat us.”

Dougherty said he did not need a victory over a nationally prominent program to make him realize his team was improving.

“We just got to keep doing what we’ve been doing of late,” Dougherty said. “I know that we’re better than most people give us credit for. I don’t need game day to tell me that.”

Dougherty said the team has yet to prepare for South Florida, but he expects the Frogs to be more than ready to face a Southern Florida team that will bring a lot of long, lean athletes to the court.

Smith said the players are ready for whatever the Bulls may bring to the court Monday night, as they all realize the implications of such a vital game.

“With a win, and a winning record, we’d be up there with all the other good teams,” Smith said.

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