First-year coach's impact on Horned Frogs basketball more than cosmetic

Posted Monday, Dec. 17, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
A

TCU vs. Southern

8 tonight, Daniel Meyer

Coliseum

TV: FSSW Plus

Radio: KCLE/1460 AM; KTCU/88.7 FM

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

TCU forward Adrick McKinney was being pressured by his mom to cut his hair long before coach Trent Johnson entered the scene last April.

The former Trimble Tech High School star had cornrows that dangled behind his neck, something that didn't faze former coach Jim Christian, who was a mellow, to-each-his-own type of coach.

That's not Johnson's style, and it didn't take long for McKinney, a senior playing his last season as a Horned Frog, to realize the days were numbered for his nearly 3-year-old hairstyle.

"He felt like me cutting my hair was me becoming a man," McKinney said. "And my mom, she wanted me to cut it for a long time, too. So when he came in it was like, 'Oh, well I really need to cut it.'"

The week before school resumed in August, McKinney cut his hair, restyled into a more conservative, close-to-the-head shave.

McKinney's transformation runs deeper than just hairstyle. He has been the Frogs' best rebounder this season and grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds against Houston, the most for any Big 12 player this season.

"He listens and if they all listen they're going to be as good a players as they can be," Johnson said. "He's strong, and he understands if he sets screens in our system and he rolls and if he makes good decisions he's going to be able to score. He's done an excellent job defensively. He's our best on-ball defender in the post. He can do more. I mean the way we shoot it, the way we miss, there's a lot out there to be had."

TCU (6-4), which is back on the court at 8 tonight against Southern (4-5) at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, has struggled offensively during nonconference play. The Frogs are last in the Big 12 in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and 3-pointers with 27 -- 13 fewer than the next-lowest team. In short, rebounding is imperative for the Frogs to compete when Big 12 play begins Jan. 5. It's something Johnson has stressed since arriving in April.

"He always told me he was going to push me no matter what, even if I'm comfortable or not," McKinney said. "He told me I can't come back after this season and look him in his face and tell him he didn't push me. So everything he tells me to do, I just try to do it. I just bought in and try to get better every day."

McKinney's success so far makes the extra work, the hair-cutting, all worth it.

"When I come to practice every day I tell myself to keep working because it pays off," he said. "If you work hard in practice it pays off in games. Even if I'm tired, if he sees I'm fatigued, he says don't hang your head, keep your hands off you knees, breathe, push through."

Johnson believes he can get more out of McKinney, including improved free-throw shooting and more consistency late in games.

McKinney's change in appearance could be symbolic of a deeper change within the program that Johnson is trying to instill.

"These kids are in a situation where they are visible across the country," Johnson said. "I always look at it as a job interview."

Sometimes those types of changes are difficult to measure or put a face on, but McKinney's emergence, new hairstyle and all, fits the bill.

"He's more of a do-how-I-say, do-how-I-want-it coach or you're not going to play," McKinney said. "You have to do everything right. With us doing everything right, we become better players and a better team. The little stuff I didn't use to do, I do now."

As for the hair, McKinney is happy with his new look.

"I told myself I wasn't going to cut it until after I got out of college but I cut it anyway," he said. "I'm happy now. It's good that I cut it. It makes me look more mature, more presentable. That's why I cut it."

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 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?





Tuesday, September 23Full Scoreboard
Kansas City «7Final | Box
Cleveland1
Baltimore5Top 9th | Box
NY Yankees4@theBallpark | TV: MASN, MY9, ESPN
NY Mets2Final | Box
Washington «4
Seattle2Final | Box
Toronto «10
Chicago WSox3Bottom 9th | Box
Detroit3@theBallpark | TV: CSN-CHI, FSN-DET
Pittsburgh «3Final | Box
Atlanta2
Tampa Bay6Top 9th | Box
Boston2@theBallpark | TV: Sun Sports, NESN
Milwaukee1Final | Box
Cincinnati «3
Philadelphia0Final | Box
Miami «2
St. Louis3Bottom 7th | Box
Chicago Cubs3@theBallpark | TV: FSN-MW, WCIU
Houston0Top 7th | Box
Texas2@theBallpark | TV: CSN-HOU, FSN-SW
Arizona1Top 7th | Box
Minnesota5@theBallpark | TV: FSN-AZ, FSN-N
LA Angels0Bottom 1st | Box
Oakland0@theBallpark | TV: FSN-W, CSN-CA
San Francisco0Bottom 1st | Box
Los Angeles0@theBallpark | TV: CSN-BA, SprtsNet LA, ESPN
Colorado0Bottom 1st | Box
San Diego0@theBallpark | TV: ROOT-RM, FSN-SD
Full Scoreboard
Tuesday, September 23Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 4Full Scoreboard
Thursday
NY Giants 8:25 PM ET
Washington TV: CBS, NFL Network
Sunday
Carolina 1:00 PM ET
Baltimore TV: CBS
Green Bay 1:00 PM ET
Chicago TV: FOX
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: CBS
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Indianapolis TV: CBS
Detroit 1:00 PM ET
NY Jets TV: FOX
Miami 1:00 PM ET
Oakland TV: CBS
Tampa Bay 1:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: FOX
Jacksonville 4:05 PM ET
San Diego TV: CBS
Atlanta 4:25 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FOX
Philadelphia 4:25 PM ET
San Francisco TV: FOX
New Orleans 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: NBC
Monday
New England 8:30 PM ET
Kansas City TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Tuesday, September 23Full Scoreboard
Pittsburgh0Final | Box
Columbus «2
Carolina0Final | Box
Buffalo «2
Philadelphia0Final | Box
Toronto «4
Boston2Final | Box
Montreal «3
Nashville2Final | Box
Tampa Bay «4
Detroit13rd Prd | Box
Chicago1
San Jose02nd Prd 8:03 | Box
Vancouver1TV: NHL Network (JIP)
Arizona01st Prd 11:42 | Box
Anaheim0
Vancouver 9/23 10:30 PM ET
San Jose 
Full Scoreboard