TCU Making Adjustments as Injuries Mount


Texas Christian University | Image by Kit Leong

FORT WORTH — The TCU men’s basketball team is coming off a tough road loss to Mississippi State in overtime on Saturday and will be shorthanded as it returns home to take on West Virginia (13-8) on Tuesday night.

Center Eddie Lampkin Jr has been in and out of the lineup with injuries all season, and Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year Mike Miles suffered a knee injury that kept him out of most of Saturday’s loss against Mississippi State.

“I don’t anticipate Mike being out to the length that we have with other guys,” head coach Jamie Dixon told local media on Monday.

“We made the mutual decision on PJ [Haggerty] to redshirt, and then Rondel [Walker] has been in and out, and we certainly need him to be out there every day. And so, but I again, I don’t think we’re in that situation yet. I think Mike is looking forward to getting back.”

ESPN has since revealed that Miles suffered a hyperextended right knee and will be out indefinitely.

Miles is TCU’s leading scorer (second in the Big 12) with 18.1 points per game and was recently named to the top 20 list for the John R. Wooden Award — which is voted on by national experts.

Lampkin is sixth in the conference in rebounding and a huge energy booster for his team on the floor.

“When Eddie does that, we know it’s time to get out and run,” guard Damion Baugh told the media about Lampkin’s activity on the court before last week’s game against Oklahoma.

In the meantime, TCU trusts the players who will be filling in for Miles, namely guards Rondel Walker and Shahada Wells.

Wells has only averaged a little over five minutes per game this season but has seen his role increase recently. He poured in 17 points in a win against then-No.2 Kansas earlier this month and has scored in double-figures in two of the last three games.

Walker has not taken many shots and has a season-high of nine points.

“Well, one thing about our team is we have a lot of guys who can play,” forward Micah Peavy said in Monday’s open media session.

“And I just think it’s a couple guys, who’re just gonna have to step up. I know Mike really wants to be out there, but I know Hada is gonna step up, Rondo is gonna step up. Just a lot, all of us just have to step up as a group.”

Peavy, a transfer from Texas Tech, is another one of those players who has missed time with an injury, having returned to the lineup just last week against Oklahoma.

“I was glad to be out there with my guys,” he said during Monday’s open media session. “They had wanted me to be out there. It was hard to watch because that was my first couple of games in college missing. So yeah, it was just great.”

Peavy has missed five of the Horned Frogs’ games this season. While his offensive numbers do not jump off the stat sheet, his athleticism and defense make him stand out on this team.

Coach Dixon has often regarded Peavy as his team’s best defender, and the team has used its elite defense to create offense throughout the season. With key players missing, TCU believes it must lean on that aspect of its game even more.

“I tried to be a leader on the court,” Peavy commented.

“When I’m not in the game, just seeing timeouts, I like to bring everyone together and just say that’s what we need to work on because that offense is going to be there. But just the defense is where we get our stops and it goes into our offense after.”

TCU lost to West Virginia in Morgantown in their previous meeting on January 18 this season.

“I don’t think they’re really any different team,” Dixon said.

“They just won some close games, and then got some home games down the stretch, so you know.”

“And then you throw in the other things that can happen. Foul trouble for us with certainly significant injuries, and significant personnel losses. So we want to defend every day, rebound every day. Those are the things that you hope you control,” he added.

“But if you got different guys, we play different styles. That comes into play as well.”

“The thing our coaches have been talking about just toughness,” Peavy mentioned. “And that’s what West Virginia is known for being a really tough team. So, we just got to bring our grit and rebound, just play our defense, and I think it will be good.”

TCU will host West Virginia at 8 p.m. CT on Tuesday at Schollmaier Arena.

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