Saturday, February 23, 2013

TCU coach Trent Johnson: Visiting Allen Fieldhouse ‘eye-opening’ experience for players

Kansas forward Kevin Young looks to pull a rebound from Texas Christian forward Devonta Abron during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Kevin Young looks to pull a rebound from Texas Christian forward Devonta Abron during the second half on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after win over TCU

Kansas coach Bill Self talks after his team's 74-48 victory over TCU on Feb. 23, 2013.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Jeff Withey, Ben McLemore and Perry Ellis

Kansas players Jeff Withey, Ben McLemore and Perry Ellis talk after the Jayhawks' 74-48 victory over TCU on Feb. 23, 2013.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

TCU coach Trent Johnson

TCU coach Trent Johnson talks after his team's 74-48 loss to Kansas on Feb. 23, 2013.

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Box score


TCU men’s basketball coach Trent Johnson said he was leaving Lawrence with a few positives following his team’s 74-48 loss to Kansas on Saturday afternoon.

Not only did his players compete hard in the second half after falling behind 38-9 at intermission, they also were able to tour the KU facilities the night before to learn more about the game’s past.

“I’m a big basketball historian and a big basketball guy,” Johnson said. “Phog Allen (Fieldhouse) was eye-opening for us.”

Johnson also said his players were able to meet former KU guard Jo Jo White — he was in town for KU’s 115-year reunion — at their team hotel.

Three of TCU’s players didn’t even know that Wilt Chamberlain played for KU before learning more about him this weekend.

“When you get a chance to experience something like this,” Johnson said, “you don’t want to take it for granted.”

Concerning the game, Johnson said his team once again struggled to score against a tough defensive team.

“The first half, I thought it was tough for us to get a wing entry, let alone a shot up,” Johnson said. “Again, you’re talking about a group (in KU) that’s experienced, that’s extremely well coached, that’s physical.”

The Jayhawks also started well, opening the game on an 18-4 run. That included four dunks in the first six minutes.

“We knew what we were expecting when we came up here, especially with the crowd. They really got fiery with the crowd,” TCU sophomore forward Devonta Abron said. “It’s a beautiful atmosphere in here. All I can say is they came with it.”

Johnson started his news conference by joking that he didn’t know why KU was so upset.

Afterward, KU coach Bill Self admitted his players were eager to play TCU after the Horned Frogs’ 62-55 victory on Feb. 6 in Fort Worth.

“I understand we won that game,” Johnson said, “but the game we won down there, that probably should count for six wins.”

Johnson said he wasn’t happy with losing, but that didn’t stop him from stating the facts as he saw them.

“They could score every which way they wanted to,” Johnson said. “They are a lot better than we are in all aspects. That’s pretty much it.”


okiedave 7 years, 8 months ago

I respect coaches like Johnson who respect our history and program and do not run from it. I have little respect for coaches like the jeolous Norm Stuart, who knew deep down that Kansas stood for basketball history and greatness, but led a futile effort to try to destroy that tradition -- actually believed that not spending money in Kansas would help his cause.

Phoggy_Notion 7 years, 8 months ago

“It’s a beautiful atmosphere in here." Beautifully put, Mr. Abron.

mcrckchlk 7 years, 8 months ago

I can honestly say, and I hope the feeling is shared, that the current crop of Big XII coaches are most likely the finest of all the crops we've had. Not only sharing a mutual respect for each other, but relaying positive sentiments towards each other before and after each game. I honestly want each other team to succeed... Well, not as much as us, however.

Jeremy Paul 7 years, 8 months ago

I have to agree with you. And I do like Trent Johnson--I really like his comments here and in other things I've read about him. You can tell a lot about the character of a coach by watching his team play, and even though these guys gave us one of the worst losses in KU history, I like this team. They play hard and they play with class. Did anybody else see what happened towards the end when Tharpe went down hard around mid-court and Abron came over to see if he was ok and give him a pat on the back? I love seeing that stuff. I know we talk about wanting to "destroy" the other team and "kill the Toads" and all that, but it really is just a game played by young college students, and there are a lot more important things than just winning. It was great to see the sportsmanship by Abron, and it made me proud that Johnson is coaching in our league. Give him a year or two to get some players, and I have a feeling TCU will be the best team in Texas. All right Jayhawks, now go kill the Cyclones!

Kyle Neuer 7 years, 8 months ago

I have to, respectfully, disagree. The current crop is lacking any of the guys that "you love to hate", like Norm or Billy Tubbs, that really make rivalries go. It's all a bit too "professional" and "media savvy" for my taste.

NebraskaJayhawk 7 years, 8 months ago

Dude...I totally agree with you. I miss those days. Yeah these guys now are nice guys...respectful and all...but I don't think that's what you want for rivals. Although I will say that rivalry between KU-Kstate is heating back up....that's good!

Scott MacWilliams 7 years, 8 months ago

I agree, with Lon Kruger, the Mayor, Trent Young, really a pretty good bunch of coaches to root for. I really want them all to improve so the Big 12 is even tougher. It can only be good for all of us. As long as we have Self in charge, we'll be good.

Does anybody know if we will win the conference if we have the same record as Ksuk due to our wins over them? I thought we had to have the best record...

Rock Chalk, 115 year-old Hawks!!

nostradavid 7 years, 8 months ago

Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali said it so well in Un Chien Andalou ...

"Once upon a time"

"Once upon a time" by nostradavid

jaybate 7 years, 8 months ago

Love Bunny and Sal, but this image of theirs, famous as it is, has always been too much for me.

(sound of jaybate fleeing his keyboard.) :-)

justinryman 7 years, 8 months ago

Then you have coaches like Drew who take their players off the court in AFH when the KU players are being introduced. --And you have Ford who allows his players to disrespect the court where they are playing on by doing back flips after a win. Sure it was in the moment, so was Terrell Owens standing on the Star at Cowboys Stadium. It's disrespectful no matter how you spin it. --Weber, is just happy to be in a major conf. Once all the current roster is gone, he won't be so happy. --Rick Barnes has no respect for the game. If he did he would have a winning program that challenges year in and year out not only for a conference title but for a run at the National title. Maybe he just doesn't respect himself? --The other coaches in the Big12 are in it for the right reasons and they do a heck of a job. They not only create better players, and better teams, but they turn out better men when it is all said and done with.

jaybate 7 years, 8 months ago

• It remains difficult to explain how two team's performances can vary so widely without dissension, injury and/or sickness being factors. Given two team meetings, it seems dissension, however minor, must have played a part on KU's side. We also know that Self shifted sharply from attacking his team to defending them and attacking the refs starting with the OU loss--the last in the three game slide. Self seemed to shift from unusual grimnees of purpose for him to more of his old bubbly swagger. Next, we know Withey had flu the first OSU game and we know EJ had it the second TCU game yesterday. Therefore, sickness remains another contributor. Injury of course seems to track also. And as EJ's knees have strengthened some of his pop has restored. EJ's increased fitness gives KU, in combination with Naadir Tharpe's incremental improvement, the depth needed at point to both defend tightly in the early foul calling stretches of games, and then to push on with Tharpe through the brutal no foul stretches of the games, and handle short or tall point guards substitutions better.

But such explanations are additive and so probably do not capture their combined effects--their synergies.

Self reduced it to a "funk."

Wise men recognize the dangers of over and under simplification.

Self's reading and response to the slide has been vindicated.

The only question that remains is this: was the "funk" his actual assessment, or the one he gave for public consumption?

Steve Reigle 7 years, 8 months ago

I was very impressed by the sportsmanship TCU showed during the game. They helped our guys off the floor and they checked with them shortly after to see if they were ok. That's the way it should be. Kudos to TCU and especially the coaching staff who foster that kind of sportsmanship.

Robin Smith 7 years, 8 months ago

Abron and Anderson are a great backbone for the team going forward. Adding Shephard and some other guys, Johnson should be making more headway with the TCU program, records aside. It's a new era for TCU.

Abron should be getting looks for the NBA in a couple more seasons, if not sooner.

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