TCU Horned Frogs

Jamie Dixon

Four-star center pledges to TCU

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Jamie Dixon’s return to his alma mater is continuing to pay dividends on the recruiting trail.

Kevin Samuel, a top-100 center in 2017, committed to TCU on Tuesday to become the second four-star prospect to pledge to the Horned Frogs under Dixon.

TCU already has secured three commitments for its 2017 class with three-stars R.J. Nembhard and Kuat Noi already in the fold. Samuel, though, instantly becomes the headliner of the group. The 6-foot-10 center from Houston chose the Horned Frogs over offers from the likes of Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas, USC, UCLA and Texas A&M.

TCU’s recruiting in just a few months under Dixon has been very strong, starting with nabbing four-star UNLV de-commit Jaylen FIsher in June. Dixon and his staff have also been strong in-state, with Texas products Josh Parrish and Nembhard along with Samuel electing to stay in the Lone Star State with TCU.

The Horned Frogs were never able to find their footing in the Big 12 under Trent Johnson, but as Dixon continues to reel in top talent, it’s easy to see how TCU will be able to climb out of the conference cellar and into NCAA tournament contention before too long.

TCU’s leading scorer leaving school

Jamie Dixon
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TCU’s leading scorer is leaving the school and college basketball behind.

Chauncey Collins, who had two years of eligibility remaining, will pursue a start to his professional career, the school announced Tuesday night. The Horned Frogs also announced the departure of little-used freshman guard Lyrik Shreiner.

“We would like to thank Chauncey and Lyrik for their contributions to TCU,” coach Jamie Dixon said in the school’s press release.  “We wish Chauncey the best as he looks to begin his professional career to provide for his family and will support Lyrik as he continues his college career at another university.”

Collins started 24 games and averaged 12.3 points on 38.7 percent shooting while dishing out 2.0 assists and grabbing 3.0 rebounds in 31.0 minutes per game. His professional career would presumably begin overseas or in the D-League.

His departure paves the way for incoming recruit Jaylen Fisher to take the reigns at point guard immediately in Dixon’s first year coaching at his alma mater. Fisher is a consensus top-50 recruit who pledged to TCU following decommitting from UNLV.

Shreiner appeared in 22 games last year, averaging 5.4 minutes per appearance.

Four-star guard Fisher commits to TCU

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Jamie Dixon’s presence is already being felt in the Big 12 and on the recruiting trail.

TCU received its first commitment of the Dixon era when four-star 2016 point guard Jaylen Fisher announced his decision to join the Horned Frogs on Wednesday.

“Due to how comfortable my family and I are with the coaching staff,” Fisher posted from his Twitter account, “and the emphasis the university has put on making basketball a priority, I’m committing to be a student-athlete at TCU.”

Getting a consensus top-75 prospect, who was once committed to UNLV, is a heck of a coup for being just a couple months on the job. It instantly shows the Frogs are going to be a player for some of the country’s top players, which is a necessity if you have designs on making a move up the ladder of arguably the country’s best league in the Big 12.

Maybe the most gratifying thing for TCU, though, is the reason Fisher publicly stated for making his decision, the school’s “making basketball a priority.” The hoops program has suffered immensely in the Big 12 (while the football program has flourished), winning a total of eight games in their four seasons (including a winless 2014), but the school sank $72 million into renovating its arena, made an aggressive move in firing Trent Johnson and then went out and got its dream candidate, Dixon, an alum. Fisher’s commitment is the first time those moves have shown that commitment to basketball paying off.

 

Three-star wing Josh Parrish commits to TCU

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Saturday afternoon TCU landed its first commitment in the Class of 2016, and the Horned Frogs now have a player who should be quite familiar with the program.

6-foot-5 small forward Josh Parrish announced via Twitter that he’ll play his college basketball for Trent Johnson. Parrish is a local product as well, as he attends Seguin HS in Arlington, Texas and played for the Urban DFW Elite grassroots program on the adidas Gauntlet circuit.

“Thanks to all the schools that have ever recruited me, but I am blessed to say I’ve committed to TCU,” Parrish tweeted.

Next season Parrish will join his older brother Brandon, currently a junior guard, on the TCU roster, and he held offers from Fresno State, SMU and VCU. At the adidas Uprising Summer Championships in July Parrish averaged 10.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game, shooting better than 58 percent from the field.

With Parrish’s older brother and Kenrich Williams (who’s out for the season with a knee injury) both being juniors, adding another slasher for the future is something that will benefit TCU from a depth standpoint. TCU has just one scholarship senior (power forward Devonta Abron) on its current roster, but they have room to add a few more players in the Class of 2016.

TCU’s leading returning rebounder to miss season

Kenrich Williams
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Last week it was reported that TCU forward Kenrich Williams, who played through knee issues for much of the 2014-15 season, was still struggling with pain after undergoing two separate procedures during the summer. With that being the case Williams had two choices: continue to play through pain or get the issue taken care of.

Thursday it was reported by the Forth Worth Star-Telegram that he’s chosen the latter option and will undergo microfracture surgery on Friday. As a result Williams, who led the Horned Frogs in rebounding last season and is also their most versatile defender, will miss the entire 2015-16 campaign.

And according to head coach Trent Johnson, it took come convincing to get Williams to not rush the process.

Horned Frogs coach Trent Johnson consistently praised Williams’ energy in games last season, and he said Wednesday he had to convince Williams to take the time he needed to return to full health.

“Believe me, he struggled with it,” Johnson said. “Because he’s such a team guy.”

Williams averaged 8.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per contest last season. While his offense will be missed by a team that has to account for the loss of three of its top four scorers in Kyan Anderson, Trey Zeigler and Amric Fields, it’s on the boards and on defense where Williams’ absence will be felt the most.

Rebounding-wise TCU does return forwards Karviar Shepard and Chris Washburn, who were ranked second and third on the team in rebounding respectively last season. Williams’ injury also opens up more minutes for players such as Brandon Parrish (5.5 ppg) and sophomore Malique Trent.

TCU’s Williams dealing with knee issue

Kenrich Williams
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As a sophomore in his first season with the TCU program in 2014-15, 6-foot-7 forward Kenrich Williams (8.6 ppg) led the Horned Frogs in rebounding by pulling down an average of 6.7 caroms per contest. Williams did this while dealing with knee discomfort, which was supposed to be addressed this offseason, over the final six weeks of the season.

However, after undergoing two procedures on the knee, Williams is still dealing with pain according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. And according to the report, TCU head coach Trent Johnson stated that Williams has two options when it comes to the knee.

Johnson said the Horned Frogs continue to monitor forward Kenrich Williams’ progress following two knee procedures, and there is consideration that more treatment may be necessary.

“It’s one of those deals where he could play in pain and play like he played last year, or he can go back and get it cleaned up,” Johnson said.

In total TCU returns its top three rebounders from last season, with juniors Chris Washburn (5.8 rpg) and Karviar Shepard (5.7 rpg) joining Williams. But there’s also the matter of TCU losing its top two scorers from last season in guards Kyan Anderson and Trey Zeigler, with Williams a clear candidate to add offensive production in 2015-16.

If Williams is at less than full strength, that hinders TCU in multiple areas as they look to compete in the tough Big 12.