Key Departures: RJ Nembhard (NBA); Kevin Samuel (–>FGCU); PJ Fuller (–>Washington); Jaedon Ledee(–>SDSU); Kevin Easley (–>Duquesne)
New In Town: Micah Peavy (<–Texas Tech); Emanuel Miller (<–Texas A&M); Damion Baugh (<–Memphis); Maxwell Evans (<–Vandy); Jakobe Coles (<–Butler); Souleymane Doumbia (<–JUCO)
State of the Program:
Jamie Dixon has yet to turn in an above .500 season in Conference play in his 5 years at TCU and while he has taken them dancing once, his overall tenure hasn’t been nearly as successful as his time at Pitt. When Dixon has had success his teams have been elite offensive teams who execute very well. He simply hasn’t gotten the weapons into this program to get them to that level, aside from 2019. Due to that they have often been the team that gets beat up continually by the upper level teams in the Conference, and after many of their key contributors from a season ago left they are staring down a familiar path. They had 6 guys rotate as starters and 4 of them have bolted. They do get back All-Freshman PG Mike Miles (SO) to build around, as well as wing Chuck O’Bannon (SR) who started half the games a year ago. What Dixon does have going for him is a large and talented transfer group coming in that will relish the opportunity to play a lot against the best of the best in the country.
The leader of the incoming group is an intra-conference transfer Micah Peavy (SO) from Texas Tech. The 6’7” wing started nearly every game for the Red Raiders as a Freshman and was a top-50 recruit. He showed flashes but was inconsistent, but should expand on his game with Dixon. He will need to develop a jump shot specifically, as he missed all 3 threes he took and shot 47% from the FT line a year ago, but he should still start right away for TCU. Next up is Texas A&M standout Emanuel Miller (JR), who averaged 16/8 a year ago and should assume a starting spot in the frontcourt. He is an undersized PF but uses his relentless motor to crash the glass and finish inside. He gets to the line and uses his strength and athleticism to finish through contact and will be a very important offensive piece for this team. Damion Baugh (JR) comes to the program from Memphis looking to make an impact in the backcourt. He struggled to get anything going in his two years at Memphis, but was a 4-star recruit that excelled at attacking the basket. He has good length and athleticism and could start alongside Miles in the backcourt. Vandy transfer Maxwell Evans (SR) will also be competing for that 2nd starting backcourt gig, and comes in after starting the last 2 seasons for Vandy. Evans was not a star, averaging 8 ppg but he played a ton of minutes and took care of the basketball. He improved to 35% from 3 and could provide some shooting ability for a team that will be desperate for shot makers. 6’11” C Souleymane Doumbia (JR), comes out of the JUCO ranks as one of the better big men at that level. Doumbia has a nice right hook inside, can finish through contact inside and even showed some flashes of a nice jumper. He is a project that is blossoming and will battle with returning Eddie Lampkin Jr (SO) for the starting 5 gig. The last of this transfer group is 6’7” F JaKobe Coles (SO) out of Butler. Coles is a stretch 4 that is a big body that lacks athleticism. His shooting ability could really help this team, but he will need to make strides with his quickness and strength inside to earn a bigger role out of the gates. He has a shot at backup minutes behind Miller/Peavy combo that will dominate that 4 spot.
The good news for Dixon is a lot of the transfers he’s brought in have eligibility beyond this season, and Miles as a Soph has a chance to continue to build as a star. What he is going to continue to struggle with this season is offense, especially outside shooting. They don’t have a ton of depth in the backcourt and the guys they do have, have yet to proven themselves as reliable shooters outside of Miles. There’s certainly some potential for guys like Peavy and Baugh to blossom with more expanded roles, but the loss of so much production from a team that wasn’t great a year ago is going to be a really difficult challenge. I expect there to be more difficulties in Conference play again this year, especially with how loaded this Conference is. It will be a year to build and improve, with eyes on 22-23 as a season where they can make a jump to be more competitive as a program.