Malique Trent committed to play for TCU and Head Coach Trent Johnson on April 12 after two previous stops.
Trent averaged close to 20 points per game his senior year at Norcom High School in Virginia. Despite being named the Eastern District Player of the Year and the All-Eastern Region First Team, Trent didn’t receive any strong offers from top-level universities.
“I feel like I’ve always been an underrated kid,” Trent said. “Coming out of high school, even in junior college I felt like I wasn’t on the radar I was supposed to be on.”
Trent redshirted at Norfolk State in 2013-14 before transferring to New Mexico Junior College where he averaged almost 16 points per game this past season.
NMJC Assistant Coach Brian Lohrey talked about Trent’s ability to score.
“Malique can really score from anywhere on the floor,” he said. “Good off ball screens and one on one.”
Trent, who was rated the top JUCO combo guard by 247Sports, received offers from Colorado State, Creighton, Houston, Kansas State and Tennessee along with TCU. Trent felt immediately comfortable with the Horned Frogs.
“I liked the coaching staff here at TCU a lot more than the other coaches I met with,” he said.
Trent is an explosive guard who can get to the basket and also shoot from the perimeter. Trent shot 40 percent from behind the arc last season at NMJC. Lohrey thinks Trent’s experience and scoring from the guard position will help the Horned Frogs immediately.
“I think Malique’s ability to score the ball is what intrigues them the most because they are losing Kyan Anderson,” he said.
The Horned Frogs lost its starting backcourt in Anderson and Trey Zeigler which accounted for close to 35 percent of TCU’s points. While there will certainly be minutes available in the backcourt, Trent realizes he has a long way to go to earn that time.
“I feel like I can make an immediate impact because the backcourt is young, but I’m young myself,” Trent said humbly. “I have a lot of work to do, but I feel like with Trent Johnson and his coaching staff they will be able to develop me into the player I want to be.”
Listed as a 6-foot-2 guard and left-handed, Trent enjoys watching and studying the top lefty players in the NBA.
“I like watching all left-handed basketball players such as Michael Redd, Manu Ginobili and James Harden.
Trent grew up in Portsmouth, Virginia, where he enjoyed a terrific high school career at Norcom High School. Most athletes point to a parent or another family member as someone who helped them get to where they are. Not Malique.
“My coach Barney Stevenson who passed away two years ago,” Trent said quietly.
Stevenson was an assistant coach at Norcom High School for several years before suffering a heart attack in January of 2013. Stevenson also led Norcom High to a state championship in basketball in 1968 according to his obituary.
Stevenson was a role model to many including Trent.
“Anytime I needed somebody or somebody to guide me in the right direction I always went to him.”
Trent, like Stevenson, committed to play at Norfolk State before he made the change to go to New Mexico Junior College.
After committing to TCU on May 12, Trent says he’s finally where he’s supposed to be.
“They (TCU coaching staff) made me feel like I belong.”
Lohrey said Trent’s toughness and care for his teammates is what makes him an awesome player to coach.
“He is a tough competitor when the lights come on,” he said. “I can’t say enough about his caring about teammates and his desire to want to win as a team.”
Trent’s ability to lead was what impressed Lohrey the most.
“He usually helps teammates stay in the gym. I wish we had a Malique Trent every year.”
Trent is joining fellow three-star commits Lyrik Shreiner and Jalon Miller to come play for Trent Johnson. Shreiner is a 6-foot-3 guard out of Phoenix while Miller is a 6-foot-8 forward out of Dallas.
Trent has already reached out to both Shreiner and Miller.
“After I committed, I shot Lyrik a DM (direct message) on Twitter and got his number and we wrapped it up from there,” he said. “Then I got Jalon’s number too and we started talking.”
Trent is excited to get started and thinks the three of them can make a big impact.
“We’re all ready to come in and play right away and turn this program around.”
TCU hasn’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 1998. Coming off of its best season since joining the Big 12, TCU is looking to get there. Trent believes the Horned Frogs can reach that goal.
“If we work as hard as we can, I think we will get there.”
Trent has a team first attitude. He wants to work hard. He wants to reach the NCAA Tournament. He wants to win. Trent had this to say when he was asked about what he wants his career at TCU to be remembered by.
“Being the best player I can be,” he said. “I want to be known as someone who was always giving it his all.”
For a program who hasn’t won a ton, Trent wants to change that culture. And he expects to do just that.
“I want to be known as a winner. I don’t want to be the guy who came in and didn’t help TCU. I want to help TCU build as a program.”
Trent will have three years of eligibility starting next season. Trent and the Horned Frogs are expected to return to a fully renovated Daniel-Meyer Coliseum in the fall of 2015. Its schedule has not yet been released.