TCU shooting problems not caused by bad looks, Johnson says

TCU and Chris Washburn, center, against Texas earlier this season, have shot less than 40 percent in five of their 10 Big 12 games.
TCU and Chris Washburn, center, against Texas earlier this season, have shot less than 40 percent in five of their 10 Big 12 games. AP

TCU is in a shooting slump, the deepest of its season, but it is not because of the type of shots the team is taking, coach Trent Johnson said.

“We’re pretty much getting the same kind of shots in conference play that we were getting in nonconference,” he said Monday during his weekly conference call with reporters. “It’s just a matter of shooting the ball with some confidence.”

The Horned Frogs shot only 31.5 percent in Saturday’s loss to Oklahoma. That made it three out of four games with a shooting percentage in the 30s and five in 10 conference games.

“Obviously, we’re in a stretch here where we’ve struggled to shoot the ball,” Johnson said. “From an evaluation standpoint, as I said the other night, it’s our responsibility to make sure kids get open shots, and it’s their responsibility to make them. We’re not trying to miss them.”

Johnson said as he evaluated the 23-for-73 performance against Oklahoma, he found that the Frogs were taking good shots.

“We feel like 25 of them were pretty good looks,” he said. “What we’re doing is working. It’s just that we need to make shots pretty soon. That’s hard to do sometimes.”

Johnson said the drop-off stems from better competition, and the numbers agree.

In the 13 nonconference games, the Horned Frogs were 40 percent or better in 11 games. But in the Big 12, they have shot that well only half the time – against West Virginia (a conference-season high 49.1 percent), Kansas State, Texas Tech, West Virginia and Iowa State.

“We shoot the ball a lot, always have, always will,” Johnson said. “Sometimes guys get sped up because of the competition level, so we have to tighten up because of the competition level.”

Coach’s confidence

Johnson said his own confidence has not lessened in what he can do with the Horned Frogs.

“My confidence is always right there,” he said after Saturday’s game. “It never wavers. Never wavers. But my confidence and their confidence are two different things. I know what needs to be corrected. I know how I have to go about getting it corrected. But they have to respond. They have to respond.”

The Horned Frogs’ 1-9 record in the Big 12 this year leaves them only 3-43 in three years in the league, which doesn’t include two conference tournament losses.

Versus Texas

The Horned Frogs visit Texas on Wednesday, another chance to match strength against strength.

The teams are two of the best rebounding teams in the Big 12.

But Texas handily won the rebounding battle, 41-30, in the first meeting, a 66-48 victory in Fort Worth. Karviar Shepherd and Trey Zeigler led TCU with six rebounds.

The Horned Frogs shot what was then a season-low 33.3 percent and scored a season-low 48 points.

Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7407

Twitter: @calexmendez

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