Jim Christian’s offseason and the 2011 recruiting class was one of his best, if not the best, since his arrival at TCU.
With the arrival of five newcomers and a solid returning nucleus, a surge in momentum is swirling around the 2011-2012 season. The Frogs are led by preseason, all-conference selection point guard Hank Thorns. Thorns would be backed up by Kyan Anderson, a highly touted recruit from North Crowley High School.
On the wing, the Horned Frogs have tremendous depth and length, which will likely afford Christian the ability to play more pressure defense. Transfer Nate Butler figures to be a key contributor for Christian alongside sophomore Amric Fields as well as J.R. Cadot and Connell Crossland.
Fields is a pivotal player for the Frogs. His skill set and natural athleticism give him the most potential on the team. Fields stands at 6-foot-9, which makes him a mismatch because of his ability to step out and play the wing. Fields is one of the best leapers on the team, and he also possesses a smooth jump shot behind the arc.
For Fields, the sky is the limit. He has the opportunity to be a star, and whether or not his star rises this season will make a tremendous difference for the Frogs.
Cadot plays great defense on the wing, and sophomore Jarvis Ray figures to contribute there as well.
In the post, Christian has his most physical player ever in Adrick McKinney. Gone are the days when TCU was soft or could be pushed around in the post. McKinney can use his physicality to alter games in the paint. McKinney is complemented well by Craig Williams, who transferred from Temple this offseason. Williams has already graduated but transferred from Temple after suffering a foot injury last season.
Williams is a big man who can step out and shoot well behind the arc. Furthermore, Garlon Green is the team’s leading returning scorer, who will play both the power forward and small forward positions.
Green is also a versatile mismatch for opposing defenses. His ability to finish at the rim as well as step out and shoot the three ball gives TCU even more versatility.
The Frogs finished last season with a rotation of only 7-8 players, but Christian has added tremendous depth this offseason. Hopefully, depth will allow Christian’s players to stay fresh throughout the season and not wear down in conference play.
The TCU schedule also boasts some of the most exciting games that have appeared on a schedule in a long time. Back to back games versus Texas Tech (Big 12) and Nebraska (Big 10) will make the week of Dec. 6-10 one of the most exciting weeks of TCU basketball in recent memory.
The Frogs will finish their season with UNLV, New Mexico and San Diego State at home. Those three teams were the top three preseason picks in the Mountain West.
If the Frogs are going to make a leap up the Mountain West Conference standings in their final season in the conference, those three home games could be make or break affairs.