Oct. 12, 2012
PHOTO GALLERY | VIDEO
FORT WORTH--The TCU men's basketball team held its first full-scale preseason team practice of the Trent Johnson era Friday evening inside Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.
TCU practiced for two hours inside the DMC, the squad's longest session since Johnson was named the program's 21st all-time head coach back in April. While Friday was the first official full-scale workout of the season, it wasn't the first time Johnson has had an opportunity to work with the team.
Due to a new NCAA Division I men's basketball rule change that took effect this past offseason, coaches for the first time were allowed limited summer access to those players enrolled in summer school. TCU also was allowed to practice as a team for two hours per week since the start of fall classes and in individual workouts with coaches.
"From the standpoint of the new rule change, we were able to get a lot of work done (during the summer)," Johnson said. "We put in all of our offense, in terms of sets and some fundamental things offensively. Individually, passing and catching, those sorts of things - these guys have a good idea of what we need to work on individually and collectively. When school started, we were able to get into some things that are going to decide if you win or lose ballgames, and that's defense."
Johnson and his staff welcomed a group of 15 players to the newly-branded DMC court, including nine returning letterwinners from last season's group that finished with an 18-15 overall record and College Basketball Invitational appearance. Among the chief returnees are senior guard/forward Garlon Green, the team's leading returning scorer (9.9 ppg), junior Amric Fields, the 2011-12 Mountain West Conference Sixth Man of the Year, and sophomore Kyan Anderson, last season's MWC Freshman of the Year.
"I'm always excited for the start of the season, but (the players) are excited, which is probably more important," Johnson said. "We have a lot of work in front of us, but up to this point this group has done exceptionally well in listening to everything we have asked them to do. Now, whether that stays true remains to be seen when there's tough times ahead.
Five newcomers took part in their first official practice as Frogs Friday, including touted transfer forward Devonta Abron, a former Parade High School All-American who started 22 games at forward last season as a true freshman for Arkansas. Also joining the Frogs is a four-man freshman class featuring center Aaron Durley and guards Kemal Dincer, Charles Hill Jr. and Clyde Smith III.
"Devonta has played in the SEC, so there isn't anything he hasn't seen from a competitive standpoint," Johnson said. "He's battle tested, so that's going to help us out. As far as the returning guys, this is a group that won its fair share of games last year. For me, I'll have a great indication (of what his team can do) here in about three weeks. Everything is new for them right now every day."
Preseason workouts continue throughout the next three weeks for the Frogs as they prepare for their Nov. 9 home opener against Cal Poly at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. Prior to the first game, fans will be able to earn a first look at the squad at its annual Season Preview Tip-Off Dinner on Sunday, Oct. 28 at the DMC. Tickets will go on sale for the event next week.
Fans are encouraged to renew their season tickets or purchase new packages online at GoFrogs.com or by contacting the TCU Athletics Ticket Office at (817) 257-FROG. The ticket office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.