TCU men never lost faith, but Kansas upset renews spirit

02/08/2013 11:36 PM

06/01/2014 12:40 AM

A day before upsetting Kansas, TCU's Kyan Anderson and Connell Crossland stood on the court at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum and predicted victory.

Neither went out on a limb, explicitly predicting the Horned Frogs would shock No. 5 Kansas. But when asked about their winless start in the Big 12, both were confident victories would come.

"Most definitely, I would be surprised if we don't win some games," Anderson said. "Only because I know what this team is about. I'd be disappointed if we didn't."

Their positive outlook is not surprising for athletes, and shouldn't come as a shock to anyone who has read a sports page. Athletes remain uncannily optimistic no matter their circumstances. And for TCU, which had lost seven of its previous eight conference games by more than 10 points, the immediate future looked bleak.

The trick now for the Frogs (10-12, 1-8 in the Big 12) is to transfer Wednesday's momentum to the rest of the season, beginning against West Virginia at 3 p.m. today at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

The Mountaineers (11-11, 4-5) disposed of the Frogs 71-50 on Jan. 23 in Morgantown, W.Va., and have won three of five after starting 1-3 in the league. They've won consecutive games (at Texas Tech and home against Texas).

TCU coach Trent Johnson hopes his team can build off the momentum, but said his players must remember what put them in position to pull the upset.

"Obviously, [Kansas] helped us, a lot," Johnson said of KU's 29.5 percent shooting. "Because they didn't shoot the ball very well and they didn't play very well. Let's not kid ourselves.

"But all the things leading up to that as far as the guys' approach to practice, approach to school -- all that stuff has been really tight. They've been doing what they're supposed to do."

Crossland, who has averaged 9.5 rebounds and made 17 of 26 shots since the game at WVU, said he and his teammates wanted to win for Johnson as much as for themselves.

"He knows how the league is and he's out here to help us, and we've got to help him at the same time, and try to get a couple victories in this tough conference," he said. "And hopefully we'll get it done."

Johnson and his players know the remaining schedule, including the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City, Mo., is wrought with challenges. But now they have something more to refer to for inspiration than hard-fought losses.

"We struggled this season, no doubt, but we've worked hard all year," senior Garlon Green said. "We're not done yet. We have nine games left and we're going to continue to improve. This gives us some momentum and an extra boost of strength. I know everyone says it was shocking that we won, but you know, we're athletes, we've wanted to do this since Game 1. So every game we come out we believe we can win."

Stefan Stevenson

817-390-7760

Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs

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