Two late hoops additions add needed depth

Two late hoops additions add needed depth

Trent Johnson completed his three-man 2014 signing class with the addition of Link Kabadyundi. He joins guard Chauncey Collins and Kenrich Williams in the 2014 class.

Like running a marathon on one leg, the TCU basketball team hobbled through its second Big 12 basketball season with an array of injuries and harrowing roster problems. It did not help that the Big 12 was the number one ranked RPI league.

In the late signing period, Trent Johnson has added depth to his roster with the signing of two players who should serve as insurance policies against the kind of roster decimation suffered by the Frogs last season.

The first signee was Kenrich Williams. Williams was a highly sought-after junior college player who will have three years left at TCU. He is a type of player that the Frogs did not have a season ago.

The 6'7 small forward is supremely athletic--a slasher in basketball terms. Williams averaged 10.2 points and seven rebounds per game last season. He tracks the ball well for a player of his size and rebounds well using technique and size.

TCU head coach Trent Johnson said he was most impressed by Williams' ability to move laterally. Johnson was "really impressed with his ability to defend."

"He wants to be here," Johnson said. "Never once did I have to talk about how tough this is gonna be. He said, ‘Coach, I get that.'"

The signing of Williams affords Johnson the chance to push Charles Hill back to the point guard position. Meanwhile, the Frogs have long guards in Williams, Hudson Price, Brandon Parrish and Trey Ziegler. All stand at least 6'5 or taller.

When Williams committed to TCU, he followed his tweet with a hashtag of GrindNowShineLater. Such a mantra fits a Trent Johnson coached team well.

The second signee was Canadian big man Link Kabadyundi. When frontcourt players are termed "projects," many view the label as having derogatory connotations. Such should not be the case for Kabadyundi.

Johnson said that Kabadyundi has a chance to "be really good" down the road. While Johnson admitted that the Canadian big man would need significant "individual attention" on skill development, TCU fans should find solace in the fact that Johnson and assistant Brent Scott have a sterling record of developing big men.

"He can catch and move now," Johnson said. "I'm not gonna put a timetable on it, but he could be good. You can see if he does A - B - or C, he has a chance to a pretty good player."

Like Williams, Kabadyundi gives TCU ample depth at his position. Karviar Shepherd, DeVonta Abron, Amric Fields, and Chris Washburn will push Kabadyundi in practice and accelerate his development.

At this stage of development, Kabadyundi does not have a go-to offensive move, but TCU has not had a player of his length over the past decade.

An oft-overlooked trait in big men is their ability to track the ball. Kabadyundi does that well which should make him the type of rebounder expected from a man his size.

Trent Johnson and his staff now turn their attention to the 2015 recruiting class. My guess: ask anyone on the TCU coaching staff, and they will tell you the 2015 class needs to be the best in school history.

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