It has been an eventful week for TCU basketball on and off the court. I decided to catch up with former Frogs forward Aaron Curtis who played for TCU in 2003-2004. You might remember his SportsCenter #1 top play when he jammed over a Tulane defender. Who better to give their thoughts on the basketball team than someone who actually played?
Trey Fallon: I know you liked the Trent Johnson hire when TCU announced it, what was it about Johnson that made you like that selection?
Aaron Curtis: He's a proven winner and has a talent for developing players. Look back at his coaching experience and you'll see that he has helped develop some NBA caliber talent and used those players well to help his teams achieve success. From Stanford with the Lopez twins to Nevade with Kirk and Fazekus. Those were guys he went out and got, he didn't get lucky and inherit that type of talent.
TF: Trent Johnson is in his first year as the Frogs head coach. What kind of season are you hoping to see from this team?
AC: I'm hoping to see an improvement in the caliber of players TCU will attract. From what ive heard/seen of our recruiting classes we're getting guys that we couldn't get the past 4-5 years. I know this year will be tough in the Big12 and I don't expect us to contend for the title with teams like Kansas, K-State, Iowa State and OK state. That would be a tall order for any coach in the country let alone a guy in his first year with the school in its first year in the conference. I do however expect us to be competitive, much more so than the past few seasons. I have an optimistic approach on the staff and the season, we will win and lose some close games and both will go a long way towards our future success in the conference. Hopefully having a solid home court advantage due to the crowd will be something that propels us to a few home upsets. But that's all on the student body and fan base.
TF: The Frogs signed three recruits on Wednesday including Karviar Shepherd, the number 3 ranked center in the country. Do you think TCU's move to the Big 12 will improve recruiting?
AC: Emphatically YES!!! It only gets better from here. Not many local players stuck around because their nearest home game was 12 hours away. The MWC was never a good move for basketball, we've been hindered by it a great deal. I was never a fan of that conference because it didn't hold the same weight that the old CUSE conference did. But the Big12 holds its own in basketball quite well. Now players will be able to stay local and play in a conference that gives them tons more national exposure as well as play against some of the best talent in the country. High school players are more likely to give TCU a look now more than ever. The next step is to get our facilities up to par and draw in even more talent.
TF: What team in the Big 12 are you most looking forward to TCU playing?
AC: Kansas, always hated the J-hawks, and would love for TCU to improve enough to beat them year in and year out. I know we are far from that but I look forward to hopefully telling ole rock chalk to take a walk.
TF: Can Trent Johnson get this team into the tournament within the next three seasons?
AC: That's a tall task but I thing with the talent the coaching staff is bringing in combined with coach Johnson's coaching expertise TCU will definitely have a legitimate shot at going to the big dance in the next 3-4 seasons. We as a fan base need to be patient and allow the pieces to be put in place.
A.C. is now a middle school and high school boy's basketball coach for Keene ISD. If you get the chance, go and check out his teams. Also, if you get the chance, go out to DMC and support Coach Johnson and this TCU team. This could be the beginning of a nice run for TCU basketball.