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Kyan Anderson's Legacy of Leadership at TCU

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Senior guard Kyan Anderson is re-writing the TCU history books through a rare combination of pure athletic talent and loyalty to a program that has faced a great deal of adversity.

Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

In the early minutes of TCU's contest against West Virginia on Saturday, Kyan Anderson drove to the top of the key, shook off two defenders, and nailed a 20-foot jump shot. The basket gave Anderson six points on the day, but little did he know that it would be just the beginning of an eventful afternoon in Morgantown. This early jump shot, a classic example of Anderson creating space and knocking down a difficult long-range shot, increased his career points scored total to 1,426, good enough to pass former Frog Gary Turner for 9th on the all-time points scored list at TCU.

When the dust settled in West Virginia, Anderson finished the day with 22 points, putting him just 61 points behind TCU great Lee Nailon for 8th on the list. In the final semester of his collegiate career, Anderson is cementing his legacy as one of the best scorers in TCU Basketball history. However, that might not be Anderson's most commendable contribution to the program.

Most Points Scored in TCU History (as of 1/27/15)

Rank

Player

Points Scored

Needed to Pass

1

Darrell Browder

1,886

444

2

Corey Santee

1,832

390

3

Carven Holcombe

1,734

292

4

Dick O'Neal

1,723

281

5

Reggie Smith

1,630

188

6

Kurt Thomas

1,512

70

7

Ryan Carroll

1,508

66

8

Lee Nailon

1,503

61

9

Kyan Anderson

1,443

N/A

10

Gary Turner

1,426

N/A

Kyan Anderson exhibits nearly a flawless combination of loyalty, commitment, and natural ability that is rare to see in today's game of college basketball. In 2011, as a senior at nearby North Crowley High School, Anderson committed to play for his hometown team under the guidance of former TCU Head Coach Jim Christian. When Anderson put pen to paper on national signing day, he was becoming part of a struggling Mountain West program that had seen eight of its previous nine seasons end with a losing record.

Anderson was just what the TCU program needed - a speedy young point guard with great scoring ability to eventually take the reins from another prolific Horned Frog point guard, Hank Thorns. In his four seasons at North Crowley, a high school basketball powerhouse in the state of Texas located less than eight miles from the TCU campus, Anderson finished with an overall record of 135-18 that included a 5A State Championship and three consecutive trips to the 5A Regional Semifinals. As a four-star recruit out of high school, Anderson was targeted by a handful of programs with more prestige and history than TCU - Virginia, Wake Forest, USC, Houston, and Providence, just to name a few. However, Anderson elected to play for his hometown Horned Frogs.

Anderson stayed true to his commitment to TCU and began preparing for the upcoming season.


After his first season, in which Anderson was named the Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year, the coach that recruited him, gave him an opportunity, and eventually allowed the true freshman to become a regular in the Frogs' starting lineup, abruptly left to take the vacant coaching job at Ohio University. Instead of electing to transfer, as so many players are doing in today's college basketball landscape, Anderson decided to stay at TCU. Knowing that a completely new coaching staff would be arriving, and that the Frogs would be at a significant competitive disadvantage in the Big 12 Conference, Anderson stayed true to his commitment to TCU and began preparing for the upcoming season.

Photo: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Anderson's first breakout game as a Frog occurred during the South Padre Island Invitational Tournament, held during Thanksgiving weekend in 2012. After scoring just four points in a defeat to Northwestern the night before, Anderson went off against Alabama-Birmingham. Playing all 40 minutes of the game, he dropped 35 points on nearly 70% shooting from the field to help the Frogs edge the Blazers 76-73. Anderson would go on to score double-figures in 16 of his next 24 games that season.

Despite Anderson's significant contributions on the offensive end during his sophomore campaign, the Frogs finished just 11-21, struggling to fit into the new Big 12. Again, Anderson continued his commitment to the Purple and White, resolving to come back for his junior season better than he was the year before. His commitment to the program paid off, as he was no doubt the brightest spot for TCU during the 2013-2014 season. Anderson was a staple for the injury-ridden Horned Frogs, starting all 31 games and logging over 1,000 minutes on the season. Anderson was on the floor for just under 90% of the total minutes played by TCU all of last season.

Kyan Minutes

The junior guard scored double-figures in all but five games last season, highlighted by a month of February in which he scored 171 total points in the span of eight straight Big 12 games, half of which were against teams ranked in the top 25. At the end of the season, Anderson finished with an average of 17.0 points per game, an increase of more than five points per game from the year before. Anderson actually performed better under pressure, as he scored more against ranked Big 12 teams than he did against lesser opponents in the non-conference portion of the schedule.

Photo: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

After an emotionally-draining year that saw the Frogs finish 0-19 against Big 12 opponents, Anderson returned for his senior campaign, leading TCU to a 13-0 start to the season, the best start in program history. Although the wins have stopped coming at such a frenetic pace in Big 12 play, Anderson is again consistently leading the offense with a team high 13.7 points per game. For the second straight season, Anderson is averaging more points per game in Big 12 play than he did in non-conference play.

On January 17, after a 19-point performance that propelled the Frogs to a 62-42 win against the Texas Tech Red Raiders in Lubbock, Anderson jubilantly jogged into the locker room alongside his teammates, exhibiting the same quiet confidence that has defined his career at TCU. The win against Texas Tech was not only the first road Big 12 victory in program history, but it also ended the Frogs' 23-game losing streak against Big 12 opponents. It is only fitting that Anderson, a player who has persevered perhaps more than any other Frog in team history, was leading the charge.

Every TCU Basketball game since December 22, 2011 has featured Kyan Anderson in the starting lineup.


In May, Anderson will graduate from TCU with a sociology degree, finishing his collegiate career as the only player on the roster to have played four consecutive seasons at TCU. As it stands right now, Anderson has appeared in every single game since he set foot on campus, a total of 115 contests. More impressively, Anderson has started in 104 consecutive games for the Horned Frogs. Every TCU Basketball game since December 22, 2011 has featured Kyan Anderson in the starting lineup.

In 42 of those 115 contests, Anderson has been the leading scorer for the Frogs. In fact, he has accounted for nearly 20% of all points scored by TCU since the 2011-2012 season. In his 115 games as a Horned Frog, Anderson has scored double-figures 69 times. He has been shutout just twice - in his fifth and ninth appearance in a TCU uniform.

Kyan Points

If Anderson starts in every contest for the rest of the season, and if the Frogs are able to win just one game in the Big 12 Conference Tournament, Anderson will have amassed the most games played in TCU history at 129. That would also give Anderson the second-most starts in program history. If he maintains his current scoring pace, he could climb as high as fourth on the all-time points scored list, passing TCU legends Kurt Thomas, Reggie Smith, and Dick O'Neal.

When all is said and done, Anderson will finish his career in the top 10 in program history in games played, games started, minutes played, points scored, field goals made, three-pointers made, free throws made, free throw percentage, assists, and steals. That's a pretty good resume for a player who had a legitimate reason to walk away after his coach left.

Kyan Anderson's Career Stats (as of 1/27/15)

Career Records

#

TCU Rank

Games Started

104

5th

Minutes Played

3,654

4th

Points Scored

1,443

9th

Three Pointers Made

163

8th

Free Throws Made

348

5th

Free Throw Percentage

82.1%

3rd

Assists

413

6th

Steals

154

3rd

Kyan Anderson's career at TCU is often overshadowed by the Frogs' struggles transitioning into the Big 12 Conference. As it stands right now, TCU has posted a 52-63 overall record in Anderson's career, including a 3-41 mark against the Big 12. However, win-loss records aren't going to define Anderson's time as a Frog.

Anderson's commitment to his game - a level of perseverance that has allowed him to remain a consistently prolific scorer despite two coaching staffs, two conferences, and two different home venues - set the foundation for the legacy that he has built at TCU. This commitment is just part of an impressive blend of attributes that is rare to see in today's game of college basketball. Anderson's remarkable ability to lead a team, his unwavering loyalty to the TCU program, and his natural scoring ability will be how Frog fans remember him for years to come.