Saturday, February 15, 2014

TCU coach deals with 30-point loss to Kansas with dry humor

TCU head coach Trent Johnson lays into an official during the first half on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

TCU head coach Trent Johnson lays into an official during the first half on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.


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Box score

The reality of it was, TCU basketball coach Trent Johnson was not all that upset with his team after a 95-65 loss to No. 7 Kansas University on Saturday afternoon at Allen Fieldhouse.

Not that you'd know that from listening to a few of Johnson's post-game soundbites following the loss.

After first talking about how proud he was of the effort his overmatched players gave and how impressed he was by the way the Horned Frogs played tough for a half and trailed just 47-40 at halftime, Johnson put a dark twist rooted in dry humor on an otherwise pleasant five minutes with the media before he left the room.

“Appreciate it,” Johnson said. “It's nice being in Lawrence. Hopefully I'll be able to come back next year, if I don't kill myself in the meantime.”

If not for such heavy words, one might have thought Johnson was OK with the state of TCU basketball, which fell to 9-15 overall, and, more painfully, 0-12 in Big 12 play on Saturday. He's not. And it stings. But he also knows there is not a whole lot he or his injury-riddled team can do about it this season. So he mixes in metaphors and one-liners that take the focus off of the basketball ever so slightly.

“My guys play for an idiot, who's really competitive,” Johnson joked. “I'm not sure how bright he is.”

Then, getting back to basketball, Johnson equated TCU's task of trying to play with a Kansas team that is full of future pros to boxing.

“I'm all about respecting tradition,” he said. “But this is still a basketball game. It's not a boxing match. If you don't compete, you're gonna get knocked out. It's all about competing.”

For 20 minutes on Saturday, TCU did just that. The Horned Frogs held their own with Kansas (19-6, 10-2) throughout a half that featured two ties and five lead changes and were within two points (36-34) with 3:41 to play in the half. But KU, as it always seems to do, made a run to grab a seven-point halftime lead and then dropped the hammer in the second half, outscoring the Horned Frogs 23-5 in the first eight minutes to take a commanding 70-45 lead.

“If we're boxing, we'd have some problems,” Johnson said. “I think there's only one guy that would want to show up and that'd be me and I'd get knocked out in the first round.”

After Kyan Anderson kept TCU in the game with 21 first-half points, the Jayhawks changed the way they defended him — mostly through an increase in intensity — and the junior guard scored just four points and took one shot in the second half.

“They made an adjustment,” Anderson said. “It was obvious what they were trying to do, and they did a pretty good job at it. Just trying to keep the ball out of my hands and making it tough for me on every play.”

The second-half barrage by KU did not catch TCU by surprise. Three weeks ago, in Fort Worth, Texas, the Jayhawks steam-rolled the Horned Frogs, 91-69, and that one was never close.

“They're good,” Johnson said. “They're really good. The thing I like about them is they're really competitive. They play for the jersey. They're selfless, real physical and they just wore us down.”


John Pritchett 8 years, 9 months ago

If nothing else, I'm sure he shares a strong bond of kinship with Charlie Weis.

I hope they keep him around long enough to see what he can do with the Horned Frogs. Ditto Coach Weis.

  • Phogdog

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 9 months ago

Trent Johnson is a good (not great) coach and he'll get TCU competitive if given time. TCU was a bad mid major program that has been thrust into a high major conference without the personnel to do so. Landing Shepherd was a big deal for this program and we'll see TCU become a lot more competitive over the next 3 years as they get Big 12 caliber players into the program.

Bryce Landon 8 years, 9 months ago

If TCU goes 0-for-the-Big 12 this year, should Johnson be fired?

Brianna Zaleski 8 years, 9 months ago

Absolutely not. He's a good coach who has been improving. However, this year, he ran into the buzz saw that is the BIG12. But he's a good coach, you can tell. He just needs time to recruit his types of players. And, who knows, he might strike gold some year and committ 2 McD'sAA. he's already shown an ability to out recruit a school like KU (K. Shep).

Lance Cheney 8 years, 9 months ago

I think that was some satirical humor, given that Trent Johnson's basketball team has a similar conference record as Charlie Weis's football team, and all some people talk about on this website is firing Charlie Weis.

Gerry Butler 8 years, 9 months ago

not so sure he out recruited us for sheppard, or if we backed of once we found out we had a legit shot at jo, jo. you always hear of so called colleges recruiting kids to come to that college, bottom line is a lot of times you see a list of colleges but are they interested in him or is he interested in the college seen it before and then when a college backs off, it comes out comes across like the player chose a different school when all reality the school backed away. just lile it is with the current situation with ku and myles turner, coacj self has come out and told turner if jo jo comes back then you might as well go somewhere else so not REAL SURE about being out recruited. personally I think we DEFINETELY got the better player GO HAWKS

Aaron Paisley 8 years, 9 months ago

Shepherd picked TCU because he wanted to stay close to home. TCU legitimately beat KU for Shepherd as Bill Self has openly admitted that if Shepherd had picked KU, KU doesn't land Embiid because KU wouldn't have had the scholarship space for Embiid.

Erich Hartmann 8 years, 9 months ago

Nobody should forget TCU beat a senior-laden KU team last year. This year, the announcers made the HUGE point that TCU has 5 guys currently out most of this season with injury--they've been decimated. They could surprise a lot of people next year when fully healthy.

Joe Joseph 8 years, 9 months ago

Baylor was basically in the same situation TCU is in several years ago when the Big XII was originally formed. Baylor was the laughing stock of the Big XII, but eventually figured it out, despite Scott Drew's best attempts to coach them back into abysmal status.

I agree with the other posters who believe Johnson will make TCU competitive.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 9 months ago

Not that I'm suggesting that this would ever happen, but what is the difference if Larry were coaching at TCU vs. SMU? Or SMU were in the Big 12 in place of TCU (BB only)?

Benz Junque 8 years, 9 months ago

Kyle Anderson of TCU had a bit of the Marcus Smart palsy; flipping his head backwards like a Pez dispenser trying to draw a foul call every time someone touched him. I was glad KU was able to get their defensive ducks in a row in the 2nd half and shut things down. I didn't want to see that kid hang 30+ on us.

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