Welcome to The Sports Bank’s fourth annual college basketball season preview series where we break 111 teams in the 111 days leading up to the opening tip-off of the 2013-2014 season. We will rank the 84 power conference teams (including the new Big East and American Athletic Conferences) and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order. We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.
As expected, the TCU Horned Frogs transition to the Big 12 was rough as they won just two conference games. More of the same is expected from Trent Johnson’s team this season.
TCU HORNED FROGS
Last Season: 10th, 2-16 in Big 12, 11-21 overall
Predicted Big 12 Finish: 10th
Projected Depth Chart
C: Devonta Abron (Jr)/Aaron Durley (Fr)
PF: Amric Fields (Jr)/Karviar Shepherd (Fr)
G/F: Jarvis Ray (Sr)/Brandon Parrish (Fr)/Hudson Price (Fr)
SG: Charles Hill (So)/Clyde Smith (So)/Christian Gore (So)
PG: Kyan Anderson (Jr)/Michael Williams (Fr)
Gone: F/C-Adrick McKinney, SF-Garlon Green, SG-Nate Butler Lind, F-Connell Crossland
Leading the charge for TCU will be junior point guard Kyan Anderson who led the team in scoring a year ago. With their second and third leading scorers gone from last season, Anderson will be asked to do even more in his junior campaign since there aren’t many proven scorers on the roster.
Sophomore Charles Hill figures to start alongside Anderson in the backcourt. He was a solid role player as a freshmen but standing at 5-11 and 6-2, it will be an undersized guard duo. Clyde Smith figures to see more minutes off the bench but will be pushed by Brown transfer Christian Gore and Michael Williams.
Jarvis Ray missed a significant amount of last season due to injury but figures to start on the wing as well. Freshman Brandon Parrish should be an immediate contributor as well and Hudson Price might be able to crack the rotation as well. If Trent Johnson decides to go with a bigger lineup, he could pair Ray with either Parrish or Price and Anderson to bring more size to the floor.
The frontcourt is anchored by the physical Devonta Abron. At 6-8, he is undersized to play the five but the former Arkansas transfer makes up for his lack of height but using his wide frame and strength to muscle opponents inside. 6-10 Aaron Durley missed all of last season due to a torn ACL but adds needed size inside behind Abron.
Amric Fields was also sidelined last season because of a major knee injury but should return to start alongside Abron inside. Karviar Shepherd is the Horned Frogs top incoming recruit and expected to add some athleticism to the frontcourt. There were reports that he was ruled a non-qualifier by the NCAA meaning he wouldn’t suit up this season and leave TCU thin up-front. However, it now appears Shepherd has been cleared to play which provides the the Horned Frogs will needed depth up-front.
Johnson did pick up a pair of key transfers in former Central Michigan and Pitt shooting guard Trey Zeigler and UTEP forward Chris Washburn. The duo must sit out this season but will provide a needed influx of talent in the 2014-15.
There are several concerns for TCU this season; most notably finding a second banana to Anderson, not having a real three-point threat. Translation; get ready to once again make yourselves comfortable in the cellar of the Big 12.
Player to Watch: Amric Fields
If he can come back 100% healthy, Fields appears to be the player most capable of emerging as TCU’s second option. He was the Mountain West Sixth Man of the Year two seasons ago averaging nearly ten points per game and his ability to step out and knock down shots serves him well. Again, whether or not his knee is back to full strength will be question.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/8 vs. SMU
11/24 at Washington State
11/29 vs. Indiana State/Tulsa (Great Alaska Shootout)
11/30 vs. Harvard/Denver/Pepperdine/Green Bay (Great Alaska Shootout)
12/5 at Mississippi State (Big 12/SEC Challenge)
12/21 vs. Tulsa
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu to Milwaukee. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet , AND the second most accurate 2013 NBA Mock Draft. (Yup, nearly 3peat champ… #humblebrag.)
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