College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, February 14, 2012
It's mid-February, traditionally the time of year that college teams start thinking seriously about the post-season and their chances for invitations to the NCAA tournament.
One such team with plenty on their collective minds is TCU, which is in the midst of a turnaround after going 11-22 last year. The Horned Frogs improved to 15-10 with a signature win Tuesday night over UNLV, topping the 11th-ranked Runnin' Rebels in overtime, 102-97.
TCU upset their Mountain West rivals after being behind by 18 points with 15 minutes left. Their surge to tie the contest and send it into overtime was largely the work of Hank Thorns a 5'9" senior guard who sat out all of the 2009-10 season when he transferred to TCU from Virginia Tech.
Thorns scored a career high 32 points, making 8 of 12 from beyond the arc in an 11-for-21 shooting performance, eventually tying the game with a 3-pointer with 2:58 to go.
Once the game got to overtime, Thorns put the Horned Frogs' offense in high gear, scoring eight points as the Frogs outscored UNLV, 17-12. Thorns added five rebounds and four assists, enabling his team to reverse an earlier, 101-78 win by UNLV in Las Vegas and get to 5-4 in the conference.
The Horned Frogs still have New Mexico, San Diego State and UNLV ahead of them in the conference standings, but can look forward to the post-season with some degree of confidence as they can make their case in the Mountain West tournament later this year.
An NCAA bid? Maybe. An improving team with plenty of upside? Certainly.
NOTABLE: TCU's win wasn't the only upset Tuesday night. Clemson used home court and tight defense to their advantage, outscoring visiting Virginia, 36-24, in the second half to complete a 60-48 victory over the 22nd-ranked Cavaliers.
In other Top 25 action, #14 Florida topped Alabama, 61-52, and #6 Ohio State won at Minnesota, 78-68, though neither of the victors looked particularly convincing in their wins.