Battling Big 12 basketball elite all about confidence for TCU

Posted Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
A

Watch video

TCU men's basketball

A look at the Horned Frogs' roster:

Class breakdown

Seniors: 4; Juniors: 3; Sophomores: 4; Freshmen: 4

Returning starters

G Kyan Anderson, Soph.; G/F Garlon Green, Sr.

Other key returning players

F Amric Fields, Jr.; G Nate Butler, Sr.; F Adrick McKinney, Sr.; G Jarvis Ray, Jr.; F Connell Crossland, Sr.

Key newcomers

F Devonta Abron, Soph., transfer from Arkansas; G Charles Hill, Fr., from Fort Worth Trimble Tech; G Clyde Smith, Fr., from The Hotchkiss School in Connecticut by way of Houston; C Aaron Durley, Fr., from Fort Bend Bush.

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Amric Fields had never been to Kansas City before, let alone the Sprint Center, the downtown arena that plays host to the Big 12 Conference championship tournament. He was impressed with the vibrant downtown scene, surprised at how big the city looked and compared it to his hometown of Oklahoma City.

Fields, a junior, looking suave in his new sport coat that coach Trent Johnson helped him pick out, represented Horned Frog basketball with his coach at Wednesday's Big 12 Media Day.

The Sprint Center is one of many new arenas Fields and the Frogs will experience for the first time during their maiden voyage through the league. And for Johnson, who is counting on Fields to build off his solid sophomore season, the jump from the Mountain West to the Big 12 is going to be an eye-opening experience for his team.

"Experience don't mean a thing if you can play," Johnson said, echoing sage advice from legend Bill Russell years ago. "Well, define 'playing'? Playing is when you play against elite-level competition. That's what's going to happen to him; that's what's going to happen to our whole team. But you have to go through it. You can't fast-forward."

Translation: This first year in the Big 12 is a necessary rite of passage for TCU.

Although some would argue -- especially those from New Mexico, San Diego State and UNLV -- that the Mountain West offered elite-level basketball, it's hard to argue against the top-to-bottom strength of the Big 12. Eight of the conference's 10 teams have advanced to at least the NCAA's Sweet 16 since 2005, the highest percentage of any conference. Eight schools have been ranked in the Top 25 at least once in the last three seasons.

The league demands confident players from game to game, and confidence is something Johnson wants to see Fields nurture and use .

"Getting the confidence up is if you miss three shots, you know the fourth one is going in," said Fields, who averaged 9.6 points last season. "Confidence on defense is knowing you're going to get that stop. You're not hoping you get the stop; you know you're going to get it. That's the kind of confidence he's been talking about, and he's been working with me."

Fields was working solo while most other teams brought two or more players for media interviews. That's partly Johnson's style as a coach, but it was also a way to give Fields a chance to cultivate some inner resolve to handle the media gantlet alone.

"Experience has a lot to do with it, but a lot of it comes from within," Johnson said. "The more times you're put in a situation where you can make plays in a game as opposed to a practice, that's how you'll continue to grow and have confidence. He's made strides, but it remains to be seen. There's nothing like game confidence and nothing like game success, and that's going to happen for him sooner rather than later."

Green injured

Forward Garlon Green could miss three weeks after an ankle sprain last week, Johnson said. The Horned Frogs' first practice was Friday.

Stefan Stevenson

817-390-7760

Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Monday, September 01Full Scoreboard
Philadelphia «7Final | Box
Atlanta0
NY Mets6Final | Box
Miami «9
Boston3Final(10) | Box
Tampa Bay «4
Minnesota «6Final | Box
Baltimore4
Pittsburgh4Top 9th | Box
St. Louis5@theBallpark | TV: ROOT-PIT, FSN-MW
Milwaukee2Final | Box
Chicago Cubs «4
Detroit5Bottom 3rd | Box
Cleveland1@theBallpark | TV: FSN-DET, STO, ESPN
Seattle0Bottom 4th | Box
Oakland5@theBallpark | TV: ROOT-NW, CSN-CA
San Francisco «4Final | Box
Colorado2Ballpark Replay
Arizona0Bottom 4th | Box
San Diego0@theBallpark | TV: FSN-AZ, FSN-SD
San Francisco 9/1 5:45 PM ET
Colorado TV: CSN-BA, ROOT-RM
Texas 9/1 8:10 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FSN-SW, FSN-KC, MLB Net
Washington 9/1 8:10 PM ET
Los Angeles TV: MASN, SportsNet LA, MLB N
Full Scoreboard
Monday, September 01Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 1Full Scoreboard
Thursday
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
Seattle TV: NBC
Sunday
New Orleans 1:00 PM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Cincinnati 1:00 PM ET
Baltimore TV: CBS
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
Chicago TV: FOX
Washington 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: FOX
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: CBS
New England 1:00 PM ET
Miami TV: CBS
Oakland 1:00 PM ET
NY Jets TV: CBS
Jacksonville 1:00 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: CBS
Cleveland 1:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: FOX
San Francisco 4:25 PM ET
Dallas TV: FOX
Carolina 4:25 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Indianapolis 8:30 PM ET
Denver TV: NBC
Monday
NY Giants 7:10 PM ET
Detroit TV: ESPN
San Diego 10:20 PM ET
Arizona TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Monday, September 01Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard