The Frogs best player sits on the bench in a warm-up suit--a few more walk in on crutches. The faces look long, and frustration is evident.
Trent Johnson continues to coach hard, but his expressions--while not hopeless--sometimes show disbelief.
Too big, took experienced, and too skilled. That was the story as the Kansas State Wildcats grabbed a 67-54 victory at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum Wednesday night.
"They remind me of the really good teams I've had," TCU head coach Trent Johnson said. "This was all about Kansas State. That's a very experienced, very well-coached team. They are very deserving of their [number 16] ranking."
The Frogs got off to a hot start, connecting on their first two three point field goals and jumping out to an 8-2 lead.
TCU held its lead through the first two media timeouts before the size of Kansas State started to make a difference on the offensive glass.
"I thought we played as well as we could play through the first three to four minutes, but then we had some break downs, and like any experienced team, they make you pay," Johnson said.
"Keep fighting, keep fighting, keep fighting," senior forward Adrick McKinney said. "When we played against Baylor in the first half, we saw what kind of team we can be if we keep fighting and keep grinding. Coach Johnson told me that after this season, I can't come back and say he didn't push me."
The Wildcats outrebounded TCU 34-31 on the evening, and Bruce Weber's offense got the Wildcats easy buckets throughout.
Seventeen assists from the Wildcats set up their offense to capitalize one an uncharacteristically poor defensive performance from Trent Johnson's ball club.
DeVonta Abron and Adrick McKinney were the bright spots for the Frogs on the offensive end of the floor.
McKinney finished with a career-high 18 points and 9 rebounds for TCU while Abron added 9 points of his own.
Continuing to get extended playing time for the Frogs is freshman shooting guard Charles Hill who scored points in minutes Wednesday.
It was the second start of the season for Hill who was the Frogs leading scorer against Baylor last Saturday.
Now 0-4 in conference play, TCU stands at a crossroads: let the season go sour or keep fighting.
Trent Johnson's fight is evident. He now is tasked with finding the right formula to produce a winning 40 minutes for the first time in Big 12 play.
Next up for the Frogs, they will face Iowa State at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.