TCU guard Chauncey Collins has all the freedom to shoot that he wants. He just has to earn it.
“He has freedom when is making good decisions,” coach Trent Johnson said.
Which apparently was the case Wednesday night when Collins made four 3-pointers en route to 16 first-half points in TCU’s 67-62 victory against Texas Tech in the first round of the Big 12 tournament.
Collins, a sophomore guard from Oklahoma City, leads TCU in 3-pointers with 65 and is second in 3-point percentage at 40.4.
He has taken the most attempts on the team by far, 161. Malique Trent is second with 122 attempts, and Brandon Parrish has 104.
“Chauncey, like any other player, has a lot of freedom when they execute within the frame of what we are doing,” Johnson said. “I am a firm believer, you take shots within the framework, your offense gets in a rhythm. If you get two in a row, you are entitled to take a bad one or two.”
Collins wasn’t the only shooter for the Horned Frogs. Brandon Parrish was 3-for-4 from 3-point range, and Vladimir Brodziansky was 2-for-5, including a shot for a 36-36 tie and a shot for a 51-50 lead in the second half.
But Collins was the spark. His shooting and a one-handed dunk in the first half pumped confidence into the Frogs.
“Chauncey is a quick-spark guy, because he can go off and hit a lot of shots in a short period of time,” Parrish said. “Once he starts to hit, we just continue to find him, look for him each and every way. We’re going to feel that as well, because once they start playing him tight, that’s going to open up other guys. So we use it to our advantage.”
Collins was only 2-for-11 on 3s going into Wednesday. But in the previous three games, he was 10-for-20.
“You know, this game is hard for kids in general. But I like giving guys freedom so they can enjoy, as long as they are guarding and take care of the ball and rebounding,” Johnson said. “And we hadn’t done a good job of that all year. But tonight is one of those nights that I thought we did a decent job.”
Wednesday, Collins also made 3 of 4 foul shots in the closing minute.
There was no secret to the free throws and 3-pointers.
“Just step up and shoot the ball,” Collins said. “Coach preaches to us about shooting the ball with confidence, just get up and shoot the ball with confidence. And they fell.”
TCU vs. West Virginia
6 p.m. Thursdsy, ESPNU