No. 25 TCU tops Grambling 80-39 in return to poll
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) TCU's return to the rankings for the first time in almost 16 years doesn't mean coach Trent Johnson is finished building the program.
It means he's just getting started.
''When this thing is built, is when we're having a conversation that we're in multiple NCAA tournaments - four out of five years, five out of six years,'' Johnson said after the No. 25 Frogs beat Grambling State 80-39 Monday night in their first game as ranked team since January 1999. ''That's when it's a finished product.''
Kyan Anderson scored 17 points, and freshman Chauncey Collins made all four of his 3-pointers and had a season-high 13 points for the Frogs (12-0), who continued the best start in school history.
TCU has topped the 1997-98 team that opened with nine straight wins before making the school's most recent trip to the NCAA tournament. The Frogs were last ranked a year later, when Billy Tubbs was roaming the sideline for a Western Athletic Conference team that reached the third round of the NIT.
With Johnson in his third season as coach, TCU is in position to take a perfect record into Big 12 play with one nonconference game left. The Frogs have a 19-game conference losing streak and are 2-34 in league play through two seasons.
''I look forward to Christmas,'' Johnson said when asked about the looming Big 12 schedule. ''The kids have three days off. That's what I look forward to.''
A'Torri Shine scored 10 points for Grambling State (2-8), which shot 24 percent and lost by at least 40 for the fifth time while wrapping up a nonconference schedule that also included Big Ten, Pac 12 and Atlantic Coast Conference opponents.
''I think we're better off from going through this tough schedule,'' Grambling State coach Shawn Walker said. ''Simultaneously, I think that everybody in our league has done the same thing. We're a little more offensively challenged as I look at our scores compared to other teams at our level.''
Grambling: Remond Brown wowed the small crowd with a spin move for an easy finger-roll layup in the first half, but missed the shot. ... Grambling went almost 15 minutes without a field goal from Brown's dunk with 8:06 remaining in the first half to Velario Altheimer's jumper with 13:15 left in the game.
TCU: Seniors Amric Fields and Trey Zeigler graduated Saturday, along with graduate assistant and former player Thomas Montigel. ... TCU is 12-0 all-time against Grambling State. ... The Frogs had 10 blocks, the sixth time they've reached double figures this season.
PAIR OF TECHNICALS
Anderson got to shoot four straight free throws twice after technical fouls while scoring 15 points in the first half. The first technical was on Walker after Chase Cormier fouled Anderson. The second was on the Grambling bench, which erupted when Robert Wiley got a blocking foul against a driving Anderson, who made all four free throws the first time and three of four the second.
''My first technical foul at the Division I level, so I'll always remember it,'' said Walker, who was hired in August after a long stint at Division II Elizabeth City State in North Carolina.
The Frogs finished the first half with an 18-2 run for a 42-17 lead. Anderson started the run with a 3-pointer and finished it on a breakaway layup with 2 seconds left after the last of 12 first-half turnovers for the Tigers.
Grambling State: At Alabama State on Jan. 3 in Southwestern Athletic Conference opener.
TCU: Hosts Tennessee State on Dec. 29 in final nonconference game.