The season gets underway tomorrow, so it seemed time to start a thread. The Frogs will enter the season ranked #14 in the nation. That makes them the 4th-ranked team in a tightly packed Big 12. In order, they go UT (8), Baylor (11), OU (13), TCU (14), OSU (21), Tech (rec'g votes). The conference preseason coaches poll followed the same order, with UT getting five top-placed votes and Baylor getting one. TCU is the 3-time defending champ. We lost our two senior stalwarts from last year - Trevor Johnson and Guillermo Nunez. We do return our #1 player, Alex Rybakov. He had an awesome fall campaign, highlighted by a win in some USTA invitational where he went undefeated against a field of several top college players, and I don't think he lost a set. He isn't quite as good as Norrie, but I expect he'll be in the top 10 in the country at the end of the year. After that we've got three starters from last year's team returning. Alastair Gray is a junior from England who showed promise early last year, but was in and out of the lineup with injuries. Reese Stalder is a senior who has developed into a solid player in singles; he's also our best doubles player. And Bertus Kruger is a sophomore from South Africa who had some growing pains last year but finished the season strong. I'd expect them to play spots 2 through 4 in the order listed. Then it's who knows at 5 & 6. Based on last year, it seems like sophomore Eduardo Roldan would be next up. There are a couple of freshmen from Europe who are probably in the mix too. The bottom part of the lineup has been a weak spot for us the last few years... I guess we will keep our fingers crossed. We won't have to wait long to get a sense of how where the team is, as they will face some real quality at the Tempe College Cup this week. They open with host #24 Arizona State tomorrow, then play #3 Mississippi State on Friday, and finish with #16 Illinois on Saturday. One other note, and a major disappointment. TCU appeared to sign the top American prospect for 2019, Jenson Brooksby. We haven't signed a top-notch American player since Rybakov, so this was a real coup. Unfortunately, Brooksby never actually signed apparently, and then backed out of the commitment. The worst part is, he ultimately signed with Baylor. The Bears hired a new coach, who was the former UVA coach who guided them to three straight national titles. Brian Borland left UVA to work with USTA, but Baylor hired him away just a year later. I did see on a message board or two that he has a reputation for being a very aggressive recruiter. College tennis is a little weird, in that they relax the amateurism more than in other sports. Athletes are allowed to compete in pro events, and with Borland's connections, he may have been able to promise Brooksby some sponsor's exemptions into pro tournaments. No idea if that's true or if it's even illegal. But since it's Baylor, I'm willing to say it's irrefutable evidence that they're dirty dirty cheaters.