It’s not the historic stats, although there are plenty of those.
It’s not the late-game heroics, although there are plenty of times when he’s been the one coaches have looked to in the waning minutes of a tight game.
What makes Kyan Anderson an all-time player for TCU is the consistency that he has shown over his four years in the purple and white.
From the 113 consecutive games Anderson’s started, to the hustle and effort he brings on both sides of the ball, the consistency is evident in many ways.
What is also evident is the monumental role Anderson has played in trying to bring TCU basketball back to relevancy at football-crazed school.
Now is the time, as Anderson plays out the end of his senior season, to look back on the tremendous career of the Fort Worth native.
The early years
Hailing from North Crowley High School, Anderson chose TCU over schools such as Virginia and USC.
He made an immediate impact, scoring in double figures 11 times and leading the team in scoring four times, and was named Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year.
However, Anderson’s greatest skill, which didn’t show up in the box scores, was his leadership, FrogsOWar.com reporter and senior finance and sports broadcasting double major Andrew Felts said.
“[Anderson] immediately became a dominant, albeit quiet, leader of the TCU program,” Felts said. “He seemed born to take that type of lead role on a team.”
Taking the reins
After former head coach Jim Christian left for Ohio University, current head coach Trent Johnson placed control of the offense in the sophomore Anderson’s hands.
The result was stunning: Anderson led the team in points, assists, 3-pointers, 3-point percentage, assist/turnover ratio and minutes played.
However, the team did not produce as well as many had predicted. The Frogs stumbled to an 11-21 record in their first season in the Big 12.
The switch in both conference and head coach didn’t seem to faze Anderson either, said Brian Estridge, the long time radio play-by-play man for TCU basketball.
“[Anderson] always knew there was a purpose,” Estridge said. “He said, ‘Coach, I’ll do whatever you want me to do.’ That says a lot about what kind of future he’ll have in basketball.”
Putting it all together
In Anderson’s junior year, the Frogs suffered injury upon injury and failed to win a conference game. But this season, Anderson has led the rejuvenated Horned Frogs to four conference wins following an undefeated out-of-conference run.
The stretch of good play for the team has coincided with Anderson reaching milestone after milestone. Anderson currently stands sixth all-time for points scored and fourth all-time for number of assists in TCU history.
Anderson’s unique ability to spread the ball around the floor while still being able to find his own shot has made him an invaluable weapon to Coach Johnson, who is known as a defensive-minded head coach.
“To be able to possess the scoring ability, court awareness and passing efficiency that Anderson has is remarkable, considering offense isn’t even the top priority from a team preparation standpoint,” Felts said.
Anderson also now holds the Horned Frog record for steals in a career.
Estridge said that these all-time numbers are a result of how consistent Anderson is.
“It’s kind of like, in school as a kid, when you got perfect attendance,” Estridge said. “He plays injured — now he’s playing with a sore back — but he never complains, never has an excuse, never asks for days off.”
Anderson has started the last 114 games for TCU, never once missing a day with an ailment, even during the 2013-2014 season in which it seemed that every Horned Frog was stricken with something.
Once Anderson takes the floor in the starting lineup against Oklahoma State for the 115th time, he’ll be tied for second in program history for career starts.
“It shows how important basketball is to him,” Estridge says. “He just wants to be out there.”
A complete player as well as one of the hardest workers in program history, Anderson’s career at TCU is reaching its end.
The Frogs have only two games left in their regular season schedule before they travel to Kansas City for the Big 12 Tournament, where they’ll play for a long-shot bid at an NCAA Tournament berth.
A berth in the postseason, be it the NCAAs, the NIT, or the CBI, would be a fitting end to Anderson’s TCU career.
After playing for a program that has undergone so much upheaval in the past four years, Kyan Anderson’s consistency will make him a Horned Frog legend.