TCU junior forward Kenrich Williams said he will have microfracture knee surgery on Friday and is going to miss the season.
It means the loss of the Horned Frogs’ leading rebounder and best defender from a year ago, one of the key pieces in their rebuilding.
“I really wanted to help,” Williams said Wednesday during the Horned Frogs’ individual workouts.
The 6-foot-7, 205-pound player from Waco was third in the Big 12 in offensive rebounds and fifth overall in the league a year ago, his first at TCU after transfering from New Mexico Junior College.
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 said he played with knee trouble all season.
Despite that, he was one of the Frogs’ top players. He led in rebounds (6.7) and offensive rebounds (2.8), was second in minutes (27.8) and blocked shots (1.0) and third in scoring (8.6 points) and steals (0.9).
“He’s somebody who guards every team’s best player, probably the best defender in the Big 12,” forward Chris Washburn said. “I don’t see anybody in the Big 12 that can guard a 1, 2, 3 or 4 at a high level. One game, he was guarding Isiah Taylor. Then the next game, he was guarding Georges Nang or LeBryan Nash. He just does it at all levels, especially on the offensive end in rebounding. He’s a big piece.”
Without Williams, TCU has two returning starters in Washburn and center Karviar Shepherd.
The Horned Frogs, who went 18-15 a year ago and won their first Big 12 road game and their first Big 12 tournament game, begin their official practice schedule on Oct. 2 in preparation for the season opener Nov. 13.