While it has been a long season for West Virginia, it has been an even longer year for TCU and coach Trent Johnson. Wednesday’s 71-50 setback at the WVU Coliseum dropped the Horned Frogs to 0-6 in their first year of Big 12 action.
TCU also suffered league losses to Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Kansas State and Iowa State. But it was West Virginia’s physicality in Wednesday’s matchup that left a big impression on Johnson.
“That’s probably the most physical team that we’ve played in the league up until now – and we knew that coming in,” Johnson said. “When they got physical with us, we didn’t get set, get screens or get guys open and that’s a problem.”
What was also a problem for his team was the glass. West Virginia outrebounded TCU 42-30 and scored 20 points off of turnovers.
“Our deficiencies as a basketball team reared their ugly head again and I want to give credit to West Virginia,” Johnson said. “They put a lot of pressure on our primary ballhandlers.”
Ultimately, second-chance points killed TCU as West Virginia outscored the Horned Frogs in that category, 16-4.
“Lack of size can be an excuse,” Johnson said. “I thought there were some times when we had some guys that didn’t make a mental effort to put a body on people. When we have struggled, it’s been that we’ve been dominated on the glass. It is (West Virginia’s) strength and that’s one thing.”
“That’s probably the most physical team that we’ve played in the league up until now – and we knew that coming in.” – TCU coach Trent Johnson on WVU
TCU had its chances midway through the second half to close the deficit, but – much like the case all season for the Horned Frogs – they couldn’t quite get over the hump.
“It’s very similar to our previous three games against good teams and we can’t play from behind right now,” Johnson said.
A big reason TCU was playing from behind was because of West Virginia’s Eron Harris, who finished with a career-high 19 points. The freshman guard hit two shots from beyond the arc and went 7 of 10 from the free throw line in the win.
“He’s a good player and we knew going in that Bob has three pretty good perimeters,” Johnson said. “They have a complete team and quite frankly, a call here or a bounce there and they’re probably 4-1 in Big 12 play.”
Up next for TCU is a home contest against Baylor, while West Virginia is at Oklahoma State on Saturday.