Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Questions revisited: #9

It's often said that the most popular player on a football team is the backup quarterback. That's not necessarily always true- and certainly isn't the case currently at TCU, where Casey Pachall threw for 2,921 yards and 25 TDs last fall on his way to 2nd Team All-MWC honors as a sophomore. His return, along with some of the other dangerous weapons in the Horned Frog offensive arsenal, are a big reason for optimism as TCU heads into the Big 12. But any team is always one snap away from being led by a different signal-caller, which is why QB depth was question #9 heading into the spring.

The end result of this spring's practice sessions is that the Frogs do not have a clear-cut backup QB, and the competition for the #2 job between sophomore Matt Brown and redshirt freshman Trevone Boykin will continue this fall. It is highly likely, even, that we'll see both receive playing time in relief of Pachall.

There are a few ways you can look at this. If you're the pessimistic, "sky is falling" type of fan that most TCU supporters seem to be, this could be taken as a sign that the Frogs are in serious trouble if Pachall goes down because no one has impressed the coaches enough to claim the backup role. Then again, it may be that both have been good enough that the coaching staff cannot yet come to a consensus about which one would be better if thrust into action.

Still a third option is that the coaches know who their #2 guy is for 2012, but are reluctant to slap the "heir apparent" tag on someone right now in an attempt to keep all of the young QBs hungry and determined to become the starter when Pachall eventually departs the program.

Trent Johnson press conference at 2:00pm

TCU is holding a press conference today at 2:00pm to introduce Trent Johnson as the Horned Frogs' new head basketball coach. Even if you aren't a working member of the media, you can still watch the press conference live on gofrogs.com by clicking here.

We'll have plenty more on Johnson's hiring in the next several days- and we, like you, look forward to learning more about this guy who seems like a bit of a mystery to most TCU fans. We think he might be a fun guy to go bowling with, however:

Spring questions revisited: #10

You might remember that, before spring practice, I broke down the 10 biggest questions facing the Horned Frogs in their preparation for their first season in the Big 12. My original intent was to get out and see a few practices, take notes at the spring game and rely on the observations of mainstream media on their visits to the practice fields in order to be able to go back and figure out the answers to my questions.

Coach Patterson threw a wrench into that plan when he closed practices, even to the media, and decided to simply not have a spring game. All of the info that has come out of TCU's spring practice is straight through Coach P's mouth- if he doesn't want his new conference rivals to know something, he doesn't want you to know it, either. So instead of answers to our questions, we can only guess from piecing together the snippets of intel that GP gave in the post-practice media Q&A sessions.

Because of the reliable productivity of Josh Boyce, receiver is not a position that is of much worry for TCU fans. There is a lot of athleticism and potential in the rest of the young receiving corps, but their relative inexperience is the reason WR depth was the #10 biggest question facing the Frogs this spring.

From what we can tell, redshirt freshman LaDarius Brown may have made the biggest splash this spring. While adjusting to campus life last season, Brown added some bulk and is now up to 6'4" 225 with the same speed and game-altering athleticism that made him one of the biggest names in TCU's 2011 recruiting class. In addition to the news that Brown may be a break-out for the 2012 Frogs, we also heard good things coming from GP's mouth about some guys that won't surprise you: Josh Boyce and Brandon Carter. If Carter can re-create Boyce's step up in production from freshman to sophomore year, look out. And if Boyce can maintain his upward trend as a junior this fall, there might be some hardware in that young man's future.

Stick with us the the coming days as we'll be going back to revisit all of our pre-spring questions and dig through the small amount of vague praise that GP has heaped on some players at each position.

Morning Dump

Basketball:

TCU to make "major announcement" today at 2:00pm gofrogs.com

Trent Johnson's strong record led TCU to pursue him Star-Telegram

With TCU introduction today, Johnson resigns from LSU Star-Telegram

Why did Johnson leave LSU? ESPN

Former Stanford coach leaving LSU for TCU San Francisco Chronicle


Baseball:

Freshman's first start helps TCU win series rubber match Star-Telegram

Pitching leads Horned Frogs to series win over UNC-W gofrogs.com


Other Sports:

Women's Tennis clinches share of MWC title gofrogs.com

Men's Tennis drops road match against SDSU
gofrogs.com