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Garden party: TCU rolls to NIT title with 88-56 win over Georgia Tech  

By: Kacey Bowen

TCU is heading back to Texas with its first postseason tournament championship. 


The Horned Frogs defeated Georgia Tech in the NIT Championship on Thursday night in New York at the world's most famous arena, Madison Square Garden. 


Brandon Parrish said this was an incredible night and the best part was being around his teammates - his "brothers" for this achievement.  He said anyone who thought that TCU would never be able to achieve this, this is them silencing the "doubters." 


"We have this forever," Parrish said. "No one can take this away from us."


Parrish, a senior, overcame a 0-18 season in conference play when he was a freshman. Now as a senior he matches a second-best in program history for the most wins. The thought of being called a champion moves him to tears. 

TCU opened the night with high energy. Going on a 20-3 run translated the tone for the rest of the game. The Frogs never gave up a lead, maintaining that energy and momentum, going on run after run, sinking threes and slamming dunks all night. Their largest lead of the night was 32 points. The Frogs left the Garden with an 88-56 win and the NIT Title. 


Kenrich Williams led the scoring efforts for the Frogs. He recorded his 19th double-double, his fifth consecutive on the season. He tallied 25 points and 12 rebounds. But, he also leaves the Garden with a little extra memorabilia. Williams was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

Vlad Brodziansky scored 18 points for the Horned Frogs and Alex Robinson had 10 points and 11 assists.


Head coach Jamie Dixon said he wishes there were more games this season. With the way his team has been playing, he believes that they are only getting better. 


"It leaves me to wonder, 'How good are we?" Dixon said. 


He added that with so many players returning it only adds to what can become of this program for next season. Williams says that it finally makes people look and recognize that TCU basketball should be on the map. 


Dixon said with all of this, his main goal though is still to win a NCAA Tournament. He said that this school took a chance on him when he was 17 years old and again when they brought him back to coach a year ago. He said he isn't leaving until he can repay that and make not only the school proud but the entire TCU community. 


"This school has always given me a chance and given me an opportunity," Dixon said. "I won't stop until we win a Big 12 Championship and that's going to be the mentality going forward. But this is a good step in the right direction."

TCU vs Georgia in Liberty Bowl: "Playing to win"

By: Kacey Bowen

One more opportunity to prepare for next season and a reward for the players — that’s the mindset TCU has heading into the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Friday.


The Horned Frogs will face the Georgia Bulldogs for the fourth time in program history. And while Georgia leads the series 3-0, TCU is here to win.


“We’re playing to win,” head coach Gary Patterson said.


Patterson said while bowl games are the best reward for players in college football, it all comes down to wins and losses.


“There’s no such thing as having a great bowl experience unless you win,” Patterson said.


TCU, 6-6, and Georgia, 7-5, are both coming off losses and want to prove themselves one last time.


“There’s no substitute for winning,” Patterson said.


However, the Bulldogs’ defense may prove a challenge to the Horned Frogs.


Anytime you go against a SEC defense, the competition is heightened, said co-offensive coordinator Doug Meacham.


Patterson is not expecting the Bulldogs to give them anything, especially with their strong front four.


“They’re big, fast and mean,” Meacham said. “Coach [Kirby] Smart does a phenomenal job. It’s going to be a challenge.”


But, TCU isn’t worried.


Running back Kyle Hicks is one of four players nationally who leads his team in both rushing and receptions. He said that he’s only focusing on one thing in order to make him successful against Georgia: making plays.


“If I have to do that running, catching the ball or blocking for my team, I just have to go out there and do it to the best of my ability,” Hicks said.


Patterson said the offense’s main focus is “scoring points.”


Center Austin Scholttmann agreed that a well-executed offense is key.


“If we can go out and execute our offense on Friday, I think we’ll be good,” Schlottmann said.


However, the TCU defense isn’t something to take lightly either.


Patterson said the defense has to shorten the amount of chances Georgia has on getting the ball back.


And that is possible with linebackers Travin Howard and Ty Summers.


Howard and Summers, who are No.1 and No.2 for tackles in the Big 12, will be vital in making big stops against the Georgia offense. Howard is leading the Big 12 and ranked 7th nationally in tackles. With 125 stops, he averages 10.4 per game. Summers is second in the conference with 113.


Seven of the last eight bowl games for TCU have been decided by seven points or less. But, Patterson said it will be the team who wants it the most that leaves with a win on Friday.


“What we are is what we are,” Patterson said. “We’ll find out tomorrow.”


Kick-off for the AutoZone Liberty Bowl is at 11 a.m.

Five burning questions TCU is facing heading into the offseason

By: Kacey Bowen

Size and fundamentals -- that's what TCU is looking to improve on in the 2017 offseason.


The Horned Frogs finished a disappointing 2016 season, 6-7, despite having high expectations.


After many games that could have gone his way, but didn't, head coach Gary Patterson said the story of his season is, "we could have easily won, but you got to make plays."


And making those plays means going back to the fundamentals.


Here are five burning questions for the Horned Frogs to address:

1. Can TCU improve its size?

TCU needs to get bigger. Not just for its own benefit when facing strong opponents, but to lure in big star recruits.

With some of their largest players leaving, redefining size is crucial. With Josh Carraway, James McFarland and Aaron Curry gone, it leaves not only holes in TCU's size, but in the defensive line. What will that do to the defensive schemes?


2. How will TCU approach the fundamentals of tackling, especially in the defensive backfield?

Even with McFarland, Carraway and Curry gone, TCU defense's strength is reflected in returning players such as Ty Summers and Travin Howard. Howard led the Big 12 Conference and was ranked seventh nationally in tackles, while Summers was second in the conference.


3. Can TCU get better play from the quarterback position?

TCU said it needs to focus on making plays, and that starts with the quarterback.


"I play quarterback," Kenny Hill said during the press conference after the Liberty Bowl. "I have to make the plays."


The starting quarterback position was undecided going into the season, but eventually Hill was named the leader for the Frogs. After seeing him play, many fans were split in their opinion over his performance. Hill lacked the ability to throw the football accurately and consistently, yet backup quarterback Foster Sawyer lacked the experience. After this season, will Hill use the offseason to mature? Will he continue to focus on his patience in the pocket? And will he gain accuracy on his intermediate and mid-range passes?


4. Can TCU improve its special teams?

TCU lacks not only the ability to kick the ball deep, but the ability to make field goals. The outcome of several games came down to simply kicking. What is TCU's strategy to ensure this won't be a continuing trend in 2017? Will the staff continue working with Brandon Hatfield? Will Jonathan Song be healthy and see playing time? Or will they actively recruit a new kicker?


5. Can the 2017 team be like the 2009 team?

All this uncertainty brings more attention and questioning to their final game of the 2016 season, the Liberty Bowl. Was this game a preview for next season, or is this where the Frogs draw the line and step it up? With only seven seniors leaving, will this young Horned Frog team be able to gain maturity and develop leadership in the offseason, bringing them a winning 2017 season?


Patterson said it's ultimately up to the players.


"It's like Andy Dalton after we lost the Fiesta Bowl in 2009," Patterson said. "He [Dalton] said that it [losing] would never happen again and then went and won the Rose Bowl."


Maybe 2016 was a rebuilding season or maybe the talent was there and underperformed. Whatever the case, 2017 is a new season with new opportunities. So, let's see what it brings.

Student in the running for prestigious scholarship 

By: Kacey Bowen 

Caylin Moore got an email from his mom in early July reminding him to apply for a scholarship. But, this wasn’t just any scholarship.


The Rhodes Scholarship is one of the “oldest and most prestigious scholarships in the world,” Chancellor Victor Boschini wrote in an email.


Each year, 32 students are chosen from the United States to be a Rhodes Scholar.


This year, Moore is representing TCU as a finalist.


Moore, a safety on the TCU football team, said he knew he wanted to be a Rhodes Scholar since 2008 when he saw Myron Rolle, a safety at Florida

State University, receive the award. Moore said seeing Rolle gave him the inspiration and drive he needed. He added this to his “dream board,” a place where he puts his goals and aspirations for the future.

“After that day, I had a picture of Myron and a piece of paper that said ‘Rhodes Scholarship’ on my board,” Moore said.


To Moore, the prestige and title don’t carry an effect, but rather it is what he can do with becoming a Rhodes Scholar that is his driving factor.


“This will enable me the opportunity to be the agent of change that I have always been striving to be,” Moore said.


Moore said America needs to invest in education, especially with children, because they are the future. And Moore has given his time back to educating kids. He founded the organization S.P.A.R.K., which goes into the community and speaks to young children about striving for excellence.


“When you get more people doing that you get to see the butterfly effect it has,” Moore said.


Moore said that with S.P.A.R.K. he has realized he wants to pursue his masters in business administration and eventually turn S.P.A.R.K. into a large non-profit organization.


Moore has his finalist interview on Nov. 19.

Chancellor establishes cabinet-level diversity position  

By: Kacey Bowen

TCU is establishing a cabinet-level position regarding diversity and inclusion in response to student concerns.


Chancellor Victor Boschini sent out a campuswide email Tuesday outlining actions he said “are achievable in the short-term.”


On Friday, senior political science majors Diona Willis and Shanel Alexander as well as senior journalism major and managing editor for TCU 360, Emily Laff, met with the chancellor and other university officials with a 14-point plan.


Of the 14 demands, three of the major concerns include the establishment of a $100 million endowment to support minority students with scholarships, to increase faculty of color by at least 10 percent and to hire a cabinet-level diversity officer.


In response to the concerns, Boschini is implementing the following:


Chancellor responds to list of demands from students.

  • In addition to the cabinet-level position, Boschini said the university will provide more sensitivity training campuswide so that people “may better partner with us to effect cultural change” on campus.

  • The university wants to find additional ways to support students, faculty and staff of color through “some of the conflict happening in our country.”

  • To “actively recruit” a more diverse university community.

  • Will ask the Diversity Commission to establish a Bias Response Team.

  • And ask faculty to review curricula that would “engage students in the scholarship of diversity and inclusion.”


“Our university community is imperfect, but I have not experienced another that cares for its members like TCU,” Boschini said. “We have work to do.”

Dear World: More than a portrait 

By: Kacey Bowen

Sixty thousand portraits. One story.


That is what Dear Wold has accomplished.


The Dear World Campaign is a program that travels the world asking people to share their story. But this campaign is different from others, because people share their story by writing it on their skin.


“Writing on someone is extremely intimate,” said executive producer of Dear World, Jonah Evans.


He said it is an invitation to ask someone why they believe what they believe.


“It’s beyond the ‘here’s the resume version of my life. Life is great just look at my Instagram feed.'” Evans said. “This is an acknowledgment that there’s more below the surface if you just ask.”


Rachel Heffelfinger, a sophomore habilitation of the deaf and hard of hearing major, said that writing your story on your skin forces you to be vulnerable and open. It does not allow you to hide behind the comfort of being “safe.”


“Everyone has something beautiful to share,” Heffelfinger said. “This gives people the opportunity to be real and show what you are truly passionate about.”


Jack May, a sophomore business major, said that Dear World bridges the gap between people and groups, letting everyone see the commonalities between one another.


“It highlights the best part of TCU which is its people,” May said.

Dear World began in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. After the city had gone through so much destruction, Evans said they asked people to share stories of encouragement, love, loss, fear and hope.


Evans said during one shoot, a couple asked him if they could do something different. That is when he realized this movement and these stories were so much more than one city.


“It became very clear that it wasn’t about New Orleans anymore,” Evans said. “It was unlocking something essential, that people want to share these stories.”


Even if people do not have a story to tell at first, writing anything down can mean something to someone in a bigger sense, said Hawk Swearingen, a sophomore business major.

Swearingen said he went to Dear World last year on a whim not knowing what to write. So he wrote “live well” randomly across his chest and took a picture. But, afterwards, he could not stop looking at the picture.


“I never realized how much it meant to me,” Swearingen said.


What he wrote resonated with him so much that the following summer Swearingen tattooed “live well” on his chest. It’s a reminder to “live everyday like your last, because it very well could be.”


Will Jezek, director of Dear World at TCU, said he hopes this program will unite TCU’s campus.


“It’s going to depict a sense of inclusion as well as reveal to our community that we are one together, Horned Frogs first,” Jezek said


He said the program is about not just having the conversations now, but continuing to share these messages throughout the year.


“It’s revealing some of the issues we don’t talk about on a daily basis,” Jezek said.


Evans said that throughout everything — busy lives, schedules and day-to-day living — Dear World is a chance to step back and reflect on what gets you up in the morning and inspires you.

Photograph of Trevone Boykin engaging young Iowa State fan goes viral 

By: Kacey Bowen

Fort Worth Star-Telegram photographer Paul Moseley doesn’t normally take the field for coin tosses, but he did for the Iowa State game Saturday. By doing so, he took a photograph that has held national attention since.


Moseley said at most games he covers, like the Dallas Cowboys or TCU, he’s not allowed out on the field. When he was allowed to be out there this time, he didn’t want to miss a photo opportunity like that.


So, he didn’t.


The photographer said he stood so he could get the players faces, then he saw Boykin start to come over to a young Iowa State fan, Abby Faber.


“He knelt down, put both hands on the sides of her wheelchair and looked her right in the eyes,” Moseley said. “I was touched.”


Faber serves as a kid captain at Iowa State, which means she has a challenging medical illness. Through Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa, which is partnered with Iowa State athletics, she can assist with coin tosses.


Moseley says he was very lucky and privileged to have seen the exchange between the two. It showed him a lot about Boykin in the brief couple of seconds.


“I was very impressed.” Moseley said.


It wasn’t any big dramatic story, he said. It was about a man who said three kind words to a child.


“‘What’s your name?’ And it was the way he said your,” Moseley said. “It’s like the way we talk to children.”


In his press conference after the game, Boykin described the feeling of knowing he has support of fans from other teams as a “warm feeling.”


“You really can’t put it into words,” Boykin said. “It makes me so unbelievably proud that I can be in this position.”


The photograph Moseley took of the two has swept the social media world.


It has been a trending topic on Yahoo, it has over 153 thousand likes on the Sports Center Instagram page and fans in and out of the Horned Frog community are talking about it.


Moseley said it’s more than just a number; it’s a whole new set of people every time it’s shared. People pick it up and share it with their followers, who share it with theirs.


“It just keeps going,” Moseley said. “It’s kind of surprising.”


This isn’t the first time one of his photos has gone viral.


Moseley says the most widely known photographs he has taken recently were portraits of American sniper Chris Kyle. He photographed him about a year before he was killed, and they were the only portraits of that style that existed. He said every news outlet used them after Chris died.


“It’s the portrait you think of when you think of Chris,” Moseley said.


Moseley also said the Star-Telegram talked to the Faber family and that Abby is really enjoying this experience.

Ronnie Baker: Running into the record books

By: Kacey Bowen

Three-time Big 12 Athlete of the Week. 60-meter world-time leader. NCAA record holder. A most outstanding performer in the Texas Relays.


USA Olympic team member?


That’s the next goal for senior sprinter Ronnie Baker, even after all the accolades he has received this season.


Baker said he hopes to place in the top three in the 100-meter event in July. That would earn him a spot on the 2016 Olympic team, meaning he would represent the United States in Rio de Janeiro.


He said a lot of preparation involves hard work and training, but the biggest aspect is the mental mind game. For Baker, running is natural. But winning the race comes down to having a strong mind, he said.


“If you don’t believe you can achieve something, how are you suppose to accomplish it?” Baker said.


Asking that question worked.

This season for TCU, Baker racked up various awards and honors. One of his biggest accolades: being named to the Bowerman Award watch list, an honor is given to the top male and female athlete in track each year. During pre-season, Baker was named one of the 10 athletes on the list.


Another defining moment in Baker’s career was his NCAA 60-meter Championship, when he ran for a time of 6.47. This not only earned him the gold; it set an NCAA Championship record and a world-leading time.


“6.47 puts Ronnie on a whole other level,” said Daryl Anderson, TCU’s director of track and field.


During the NCAA Championship, Baker said he was taking in where he was, looking at who was watching him, and thinking about all the things he could accomplish in that moment.


“I was really trying to take everything in,” Baker said. “It’s overwhelming.”


Baker said his mom is one of the main reasons he competes.


“I’ve always wanted to be able to provide for her,” Baker said. “I just want to make her proud.”


Baker has loved running ever since he was in elementary school. He said he remembers going on runs and being able to out-run other kids who got head starts on him.


“From then on, my love for track and field has grown based on the people I have been around,” Baker said.


Even today, Baker said he admires his team’s bond and the desire they have to come together to help everyone out.


“We tell each other we can do better, that we can run faster,” Baker said. “I think that’s one thing we’ve accomplished in the last couple weeks, is just realizing we’re a team.”


Baker is still on the watch list for the Bowerman Award. The next watch list announcement is released May 19.

Bram Kohlhausen: Moving forward

By: Kacey Bowen

TCU quarterback Bram Kohlhausen always looks to the future.


He transferred, twice, trying to find the right university. He didn’t give up when the Frogs were down 31-0 in the Alamo Bowl against Oregon. And now, he’s looking into continuing his football career after graduation.


Kohlhausen, who led TCU to one of the greatest comebacks in Bowl history, said he hopes to play overseas after he graduates in May. While he said playing in Europe is a possibility, general managers in Japan have also made him offers to play.


“I’m kind of like a yes man,” Kohlhausen said. “So, if someone tells me I can go play in Europe for a year, I don’t see why not.”


The unlikely story


Until the Alamo Bowl, Kohlhausen didn’t have much playing time at TCU, or any place else. His collegiate career started at the University of Houston, where he was redshirted. In 2013, he transferred to Los Angeles Harbor College and saw action in four games.


At TCU, he had to wait his turn… again.


“I wasn’t the starter, I was a fourth-string guy,” Kohlhausen said.


He didn’t get discouraged.


He stayed positive and just kept looking forward to the next practice. The next drill. The next play.


That mindset was on display when he made his first and only start for the Frogs: in the Valero Alamo Bowl.


Before the Bowl game, Kohlhausen had played in seven TCU games.


He stepped up after starting quarterback Trevone Boykin went down with an ankle injury this season. He saw major playing time against Kansas and Oklahoma.


In the Nov. 21 game against the Sooners in Norman, Oklahoma, Kohlhausen entered with the Frogs down 17 points. He nearly led the Frogs all the way back, but the comeback stalled with a failed 2-point conversion.


The miraculous comeback


Throughout the season, football wasn’t first in Kohlhausen’s mind.


His father, Bill, was being treated for melanoma, but still managed to attend TCU football games.


Bill Kohlhausen saw his son play Oct. 3 against the University of Texas at Austin. That would be the last time. He died in November.


Two days before the Alamo Bowl on Jan. 2, head coach Gary Patterson suspended Boykin after he was arrested for getting into a bar fight and striking a police officer.


Kohlhausen had to step up.


Waking up, finding out you’re starting, only having one practice left, facing the No. 15 team in the nation… “it’s overwhelming,” Kohlhausen said.


Many TCU fans wrote off the game before kick-off.


After the first half, TCU was down 31-0 and had only mustered 133 yards of offense. Many thought Patterson would make the switch to redshirt freshman quarterback Foster Sawyer after halftime.


But Kohlhausen came back.


He converted on a 26-yard pass to wide receiver Jaelan Austin to give the Frogs’ their first touchdown of the game. From then on out, it was a whirlwind of momentum: a fumble recovery off of Oregon’s kickoff return; a run into the end zone by Kohlhausen after he dove for the score on the previous play right; a field goal by Jaden Oberkrom; and another scoring drive on a 2-yard run by Aaron Green.


The Frogs scored 31 unanswered points to send the game into overtime. They won 47-41 after three overtimes.

Kohlhausen said he has watched the second half multiple times. He still doesn’t know how they did it.


“Pieced together,” Kohlhausen said. “It was a perfect story.”


And he’s right. His MVP performance in the Alamo Bowl was such a “perfect story,” that Disney reached out to TCU about putting the story on the big screen.


But the movie proposal won’t be decided upon until Kohlhausen graduates in May. Even then, they will revisit the idea, said Mark Cohen, director of athletics media relations.


“Nothing is set in stone by any means,” Cohen said. “It’s just a preliminary inquiry.”

Never giving up


Playing football overseas isn’t all that glamorous, but Kohlhausen said he isn’t worried about that.

“[European football] small league that doesn’t pay very much, but it pays for your housing, transportation [and] food,” he said.


Even if football or a movie isn’t in the future, Kohlhausen said one thing he will take away from his career at TCU is the family aspect of football and the friends he made along the way.


It wasn’t just the banter in and out of the locker-room — it was the confidence his teammates and coaches instilled in one another, he said.


One of the most important things Kohlhausen said they taught him: “never give up.”


“I don’t think you can ever give up in life,” he said.


Kohlhausen takes the advice and teaches it to the children he mentors through his internship with the Fort Worth Youth Advocate program.

He said the kids in the program face difficult or nonexistent family lives, such as parents who don’t speak English or struggle with drug addiction. To them, it might be the worst thing in the world to get an “F” in seventh-grade math, but Kohlhausen said he reassures them that everything will be okay.


“I just have to be there and mentor them,” Kohlhausen said.


Along with being a mentor, Kohlhausen said he finally has enough time to enjoy being a regular student. It also helps that, following the Alamo Bowl,

TCU gave Kohlhausen a full scholarship for the spring semester.


With no more football practices, he is finally able to take afternoon classes. It’s also nice to be able to sleep in, he joked.


As his time at TCU comes to an end, Kohlhausen said he continues to look forward. He also makes sure to never look back.


“I knew there was always something else out there for me,” he said. “I found it here at TCU.”

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