Johnson confident in turning program around

Trent Johnson talks about his confidence that he can turn around the TCU program, and he praises his recruits for great "courage"

Trent Johnson has said numerous times throughout this season: "There is no if."

Johnson says there is no "if" the program gets turned around, the question is when.

And the answer from Trent Johnson: immediately.

"Trust me when I tell you, it's going to get done" Johnon said about turning around the TCU program. "I'm not going to sit through a lot of these years. Trust me."

This season has been painful for Johnson, a coach who has never faced as many losses or injuries in one season before.

In a loss to Oklahoma State Thursday night, Johnson watched three supremely talented former Dallas-Fort Worth prospects dominate on both sides of the court.

Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart, Le'Bryan Nash, and Phil Forte were all star prep players in the Metroplex before choosing to attend Oklahoma State.

Johnson says Shepherd, Parrish, Williams showing "great courage"
Johnson knows those are the caliber of players that he must now attract to TCU.

"We are going to get good quality guys to stay here. We've already got three from the state of Texas, and we have two from [DFW]," said Johnson.

"The bottom line is if TCU gets two [big names], SMU gets two, North Texas gets two, there are enough players to go around," Johnson said. "You look at this whole league, and it speaks volumes to the caliber of players in this area."

Johnson has reenergized a TCU program that has become too accustomed to losing. Last April, TCU athletics director Chris del Conte hired a coach confident in his own ability to rebrand a dormant program.

The rebranding has already attracted three recruits who Johnson praised for showing great courage.

"Karviar Shepherd--everybody in the country wanted him--he's staying home," said Johnson.

"Brandon Parrish--everybody in this league wanted him--he's staying home."

"But the thing I like about those two along with Michael Williams from Reagan High School, they're showing great courage. It takes a competitive kid to sit here locally and see what is going on with this team."

"It takes a competitive kid with a lot of courage, and I hope our fans understand that. These guys could have said--Karviar Shepherd could have said I want to go to Kansas or wherever you want to call it."

TCU barely recruited former Flower Mound Marcus standout Marcus Smart who was a five star recruit in the class of 2012.

Smart said that the TCU fans was the reason he never seriously considered the Frogs.

"The fan base--no kid wants to go to a school where the fans don't come out and support. They don't want to come out and play in a dull gym," Smart said. "They want it to be exciting. If you recruit someone from Dallas, I know myself. I looked at big fan base."

While TCU fans are understandably skeptical after years of mediocrity, attendance at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum is nothing short of pathetic.

It is easy to see how top recruits could easily accuse the TCU fan base of front-running.

The fan debate aside--Trent Johnson's attitude is that the rim is ten feet tall anywhere he goes whether it be Daniel-Meyer Coliseum or Allen Fieldhouse. He's confident.

"There is no if and it's not my being arrogant or being cocky. There are too many players to go around, and if there was an if, someone else needs to come in here and do this," said the always-candid Johnson.

"It has nothing to do with my record. It has everything to do with the caliber of players and caliber of coaches in this state."

Consider this. Trent Johnson has sent nearly as many players to the NBA as Gary Patterson has had drafted.

Patterson can sign 25 players in a recruiting class. Johnson has an entire roster of 13 scholarship players.

Those numbers speak for themselves. So does Trent Johnson's history.

Horned Frog Insider Top Stories