Johnson, players talk win over UTPA

Trent Johnson explained why TCU fans deserve to see a better brand of basketball than the Frogs played Sunday. While the Frogs pushed their record to 6-3, Trent Johnson said his team must show more mental toughness.

TCU (6-3) surged in the final five minutes Sunday to grab a 57-48 win at home over UT-Pan American (4-8).

While lacking energy and intensity for 35 minutes, the Frogs allowed a less talented team to hang around. Coming off a solid road win against Mississippi State, head coach Trent Johnson hoped that effort would carry over to their home floor.

Allowing 10 offensive rebounds, refusing easy driving lanes and missing post entry passes was a sign that energy was lacking.

"A win is a win," Johnson said. "Obviously, they were better than we were for 35 minutes...I'm really disappointed, and I addressed this to them: every time we come home we need to play better. Our fans deserve to see a better brand of basketball played than what we've played so far this year."

For 35 minutes, the Broncs played a zone defense that held the Frogs to just 38 percent shooting from the floor. Junior point guard Kyan Anderson led the Frogs in scoring with 16 points, and freshman Karviar Shepherd tallied his first double-double.

"It feels good," Shepherd said about his double-double.

"I definitely hope so," he added when asked if there were more to come.

TCU scored nine points before the first media timeout, but when UTPA went zone the Frogs started settling for jump shots.

"[Coach Johnson] felt like we were settling for a lot of jump shots," Kyan Anderson said. "The main thing is get in the paint and create for others. I feel like we were successful at the end at doing that. The zone was giving us problems."

Karviar Shepherd said he has to do a better job giving the guards an opportunity to pass the ball inside.

?"When our guards are moving the ball, I have to duck in more and try to get deeper into the paint, so I can give my team a look inside," Shepherd explained. "When I get the ball inside, it'll open up stuff on the outside."

TCU hit just 3 of their 20 three point attempts as the lead changed 10 times and 12 times the game was tied.

Trent Johnson explained that his team must start to police themselves to keep energy and focus at a consistent fever pitch.

"We're not good enough. We're not talented enough to not play and compete at a fever pitch every time out," Johnson explained.

Now at the fourth stop in his head coaching career, Johnson said he has not been around a team that has needed to work on mental toughness and consistency of energy as much as this team.

"I haven't been around teams that have to work on it as much as we've had to work on it. Any good team, any great team is only as good as the guys in that locker room who police themselves."

"If we want to be as good as we can be, whatever that may be, the guys in the locker room are going to have to address this. Get each other out of their comfort zones and challenge each other. That's called being competitive, not being selfish. Now if they head coach as to do it, that can be a problem."

The Frogs return to action on Thursday against Grambling State. Tickets to that game are just $5.


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