Strong road trip boosts TCU men despite recurring injuries

12/03/2013 2:32 PM

12/03/2013 3:34 PM

The TCU basketball team, especially coach Trent Johnson, must wonder who they ticked off.

The Horned Frogs were playing well and had won four straight, including three on the road, before Amric Fields and Brandon Parrish were injured in the championship game of the Great Alaska Shootout. TCU lost the championship to a quality Harvard team, which was the only blemish on the road trip.

Fields broke his left, non-shooting hand and could miss more than a month, although no timetable for his return has been announced. Parrish (sprained thumb) and Hudson Price (illness) are day-to-day, Johnson said, and might be available for TCU’s game at Mississippi State (5-1) on Thursday.

Fields played four games off the bench since returning from a knee injury suffered early last season and was adding a dynamic scoring and rebounding punch in wins at Washington State and against tournament host Alaska-Anchorage before his latest injury.

For a short stretch, Johnson got a glimpse of the kind of team he could put on the floor.

“Looking at this trip, with the exception of 15 minutes of bad basketball in the first half versus Harvard ... there’s nothing but positives moving forward,” Johnson said.

The Frogs play only two games over the next 15 days with exam week looming. They host UT Pan American on Dec. 15 and then resume a more normal schedule with Grambling State, Tulsa and Texas Southern coming to Fort Worth during the last two weeks of December.

Johnson liked how his team competed on the road, especially at Washington State, a difficult place to play he knew from his stint at Stanford.

“I’ve had teams with a lot more talent who went into Pullman and not won games,” he said. “We’re a better basketball team. The thing we need to concern ourselves with is not taking any steps backwards in terms of how we compete.”

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