February 7, 2013

TCU coach irked at Frogs' missteps after Miracle at Daniel-Meyer

A day after historic upset, coach Trent Johnson has reasons to be upset.

TCU coach Trent Johnson was still hearing from friends across the country in calls, texts and emails late Thursday afternoon, a day after his Horned Frogs sent college basketball reeling with their upset of fifth-ranked Kansas at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

But Johnson, 56, had already moved on. He was on the road recruiting with his assistants at 6:30 Thursday morning, giving him a tidy three hours of sleep in the wake of TCU's biggest win.

While Johnson was excited for his team, he had also moved on because one of those messages he received was that some of his players had missed class Thursday, while a couple others had their cars towed or slapped with a boot.

"Did I think some of this stuff could happen today? No question," he said. "But when this program is where it needs to be and we're winning and competing at a high level consistently, I won't have to worry about this stuff. Today, I'm not very happy and that's just the way it is. Right now, this is a teaching point."

For Johnson, this is just the first step toward what he hopes to accomplish at TCU. And part of getting there, he said, is learning how to handle prosperity. Never mind the stunning upset, which according to's Jerry Palm, was the biggest in 20 years. He tweeted: "In terms of RPI difference between the teams, TCU's win is the biggest upset in the 20 years I've been tracking numbers."

Forget 20 years; Johnson has already forgotten.

"We have to learn how to deal with success," Johnson said. "That's part of being mentally tough. It's all part of the process in terms of how you deal with prosperity. You can't win on the floor if you're not winning socially and academically. There's no way around that. And these guys have to deal with it."

But the coach and his players were thrilled with a DMC-record crowd of 7,412, which included a spirited 1,100-seat student section. That made the court-storming at the final buzzer even sweeter.

"Our football team has won a lot of games for this community, the baseball team has done really good, and we've been kind of on the low end of the athletic side," said Garlon Green, who led the Frogs with 20 points. "So it feels really good to know we've brought some kind of excitement and positive feeling and brought the TCU community together."

Several students told Green that Wednesday's upset was one of their most exciting moments at TCU. Johnson and his players want fans to know that, beginning with the Frogs' next game at 3 p.m. Saturday against West Virginia, their presence makes a difference.

"When they were down trying to score in the second half, I looked up, and I was like dang," Johnson said of the excitement coming from the student section at the south end of Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. "They were like our sixth, seventh, eighth man. We need them. We need them more than ever, now, on Saturday afternoon. There's no way we get that done without the students."

And, according to Johnson, there's no way to keep having success without his players handling things "the right way."

"Every guy should have been in class, on time," he added. "Every guy should have had some sleep. I don't care if we beat the Lakers last night. I don't care, that's just the way it is. I'm not being negative, these are just cold, hard facts."

Stefan Stevenson


Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs

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