TCU men’s basketball head coach Jim Christian saw a promising 9-4 start this past season turn sour quickly as his team stumbled to an 11-22 finish. However, Frog fans should be encouraged by the tremendous offseason Christian and his staff have had in finding new talent.
Christian’s first signing of the recruiting class was Adrick McKinney of Fort Worth’s Trimble Technical High School. McKinney’s hard-nosed attitude gives the team the toughness in the post it did not have in the past. Rebounding was a weakness for the Frogs this past season, but with Mckinney and eight other players at 6-foot-5 or taller, TCU should be much more physical.
TCU’s next signing might have been its biggest. Forward Ryan Rhoomes held offers from Cincinnati, Florida, , Xavier and Seton Hall, among others, but chose to sign with the Frogs. Rhoomes has a strong body, which complements his back-to-the-basket scoring ability. According to an August 18 report by NYChoops.net, the Middleton, N.Y., native won’t join the Frogs until the spring semester due to academic issues, but when he gets to Fort Worth, he is sure to make an impact.
The Frogs then added a pair of wing players—Nathaniel Butler and Connell Crossland—from John A. Logan Community College in Illinois. Butler and Crossland are both long, athletic guards, great defenders and effective transition scorers. Crossland is young for his class, so his body is still developing, but he and Butler should compete for playing time at the wing.
The Frogs then found their point guard of the future in Kyan Anderson. Anderson withdrew his commitment from Providence Collegeand signed with the Frogs when the school decided to change coaching staffs. Anderson possesses a solid all-around game and excels at distributing the ball to his teammates.
The Frogs also added a pair of centers in Winslo Barry and Craig Williams. Barry, a 6-foot-10, 240-pound center from Houston who averaged 11 points and 12 rebounds per game his senior year in high school, should be a consistent rebounder and solid shot blocker. Barry, a native of Harbour Island Eleuthera, The Bahamas, joins forward J.R. Cadot as the second Bahamian on TCU’s roster.
Williams is a 6-foot-9, 250-pound transfer from Temple University. The center logged 13 career starts at Temple and played in the NCAA tournament all three years he was there. He missed all of the 2010-2011 season with a foot injury. Williams, who made 67 three-pointers his last two seasons with the Owls, can rebound and stretch the defense with his outside shooting ability.
The Frogs’ strong recruiting class gives them an opportunity to make a major leap in the Mountain West Conference standings this season.
Plus, with talented players like Jimmer Fredette of BYU and Kawhi Leonard of San Diego State gone, the conference is without a clear frontrunner for the upcoming 2011-2012 season.
If Christian and his staff continue to have such great success on the recruiting trail, it will not be long before the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum is rocking again.
Alex Apple is a sophomore political science and journalism double major from Nashville, Tn.