TCU Season Preview & NBA Upside Breakdown


TCU is a preseason top 10 team, being favored to compete for a Big 12 title for the first time since joining the conference in 2012. TCU had a controversial ending to their season with some unfavorable whistles against them in their game versus the top seeded Arizona Wildcats, but they return everyone but Francisco Farabello, and replaced him with Rondel Walker. 

With just about two months until the season, let’s take a look at the roster and what the roster’s NBA upside look like:

Mike Miles: Miles should break out following an inefficient sophomore shooting season. Miles is still a brand new 20 years old and will be 20 on draft night, making him the youngest upperclassman in the draft, should he declare. If he becomes more efficient as a scorer within the paint, especially with his runner, he will see a major efficiency increase. Miles is a high IQ guard with no holes with the ball in his hands, with similarities to Jalen Brunson. Look for him to skyrocket in terms of draft stock with an efficient year and a successful Horned Frogs team.

Eddie Lampkin: The heart and soul of this team, Lampkin has the highest motor of any big in the country. Despite being undersized in height, he improved his body every year, and is a key reason why the Horned Frogs were elite in rebounding last season. He plays a lot like Detroit’s Isaiah Stewart, as a below the rim energy big man.

Damion Baugh: An electric athlete with great defense and secondary playmaking, Baugh was a great complementary guard next to Mike Miles last year. He needs more shot consistency to grow the lead when Miles sits, but his isolation scoring ability is helpful to TCU. Baugh has fearlessness defensively, and his ability to get to the rim takes TCU’s offense to another level. Baugh was a great addition in the transfer portal out of Memphis, and he is living up to his potential. Baugh’s post-TCU career will be strong as a pro, whether in the NBA, G League, or a high-level league in Europe.

Xavier Cork: Somewhat of a secret weapon last season, Cork is a great athlete that thrives using his athleticism at the rim. He runs the floor well, and can dominate the P&R with Miles and Baugh. Cork worked well when TCU wanted to go into quick offense towards the end of the year, against teams like Kansas and Texas Tech. I expect the Horned Frogs to yet again use Cork as a lethal secret weapon & first big off the bench. With a breakout year getting his numbers back near his Western Carolina numbers as a sophomore, he may get some looks for events like the Portsmouth Invitational (a combine for the country’s best seniors) when he becomes eligible, which also could unlock a Summer League invite.

Chuck O’Bannon: A textbook 3&D wing, O’Bannon can defend anyone in the country. He can stop drives and force turnovers, and as a sixth year senior, his experience defensively will be valuable to TCU. Offensively, he has an odd shot, but can still be relied upon as a shooter that can get hot in spurts while guarding the opponents’ best wing. I expect O’Bannon, an NBA legacy, to get looks in Summer League and an invite this year to the Portsmouth Invitational.

Micah Peavy: A key part of TCU’s dynamic defensive wing trio, Peavy is a good finisher at the rim with good defense. He often lacks confidence in his own scoring, especially as a shooter. Making just five threes across two seasons (one at Texas Tech, one at TCU), Peavy becoming more threatening as a shooter would be a massive breakthrough for the Horned Frogs.

Emanuel Miller: The older brother of NBA Draft prospect Leonard Miller, Emanuel Miller is a glue guy that defends, rebounds, and scores efficiently. Miller needs to become a better shooter, shooting 24% from 3 this season following just six three point attempts at Texas A&M in 2020-21. As purely a spot-up shooter, Miller approaching the 30-35% range from 3 would be massive in helping the Horned Frogs’ overall offense and Mike Miles’ assists numbers.

JaKobe Coles: An interior minded big at 6’7, Coles offers value against small lineups in limited bursts. He can shoot the 3 ball a bit, but crossing the 30% mark from deep will do wonders for him on that end of the floor. He can hold his own on the defensive end at times as well, primarily against perimeter shooters.

PJ Haggerty: A below-the-rim guard, Haggerty was Mr. Texas for basketball in 2022. While that award has a strong track record, I don’t predict much playing time for Haggerty this year on a top 25 team that won’t have a lot of time for development in-game like they have had in prior years. Having a good floater and being a strong playmaker are his best traits right now, which will go a long way in earning occasional backup guard minutes.

Rondel Walker: Despite a low 3 point percentage below 30%, his 82% mark from the free throw line indicates that number was an outlier level of low, especially when you notice his shooting form is projectable towards better success. One flash that stood out on the offensive end this year at Oklahoma State for Rondel was his ability to penetrate defenses and find the open big man under the rim, which will help the TCU big men become even more efficient at the rim. On top of this, Walker is a good defender that can guard multiple positions, and gets long contests impacting jump shooters. If Rondel Walker can slide into a 3&D role with premier playmaker Mike Miles, he could rise onto NBA radars.