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Trent Johnson Continues to Fight on the Recruiting Trail

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We take an in-depth look at Trent Johnson's incoming recruiting class, as well as what could be on the horizon for TCU Basketball.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since Trent Johnson took the reins of the TCU Men's Basketball team in April of 2012, he has been working to rebuild the program's image in the local, regional, and national landscape. Perhaps the biggest sign that Johnson's efforts are beginning to pay off came on Monday in the form of a tweet from a 17-year-old student at DeSoto High School.

Marques Bolden is the top-rated center in the high school Class of 2016. The 6'10" junior from DeSoto has been a highly sought-after prospect across college basketball. On Monday morning, he released his list of eight schools that he is still considering. Mixed in with some of college basketball's most elite programs such as Duke, Kansas, and Kentucky, was TCU. In announcing his list of eight, Bolden thus eliminated six other schools that were pursuing his talents: Connecticut, Nebraska, North Carolina, SMU, Texas, and Louisville. Meaning... TCU beat out a group of six other schools that have a combined 12 National Championships and 37 Final Four appearances.

With official visits already scheduled to Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, and Alabama, the odds of Bolden choosing to attend TCU are likely very slim, however, the fact that the Horned Frogs are even in the conversation at this point in his recruiting process is a major testament to the work that Trent Johnson has done to build up his team's brand. With that in mind, let's take a look at TCU's 2015 recruiting class then examine the recruiting board and see what might be on the horizon for the Horned Frogs.

The Present

Johnson nabbed four recruits for the upcoming season, putting together a recruiting class that 247 Sports ranked as the 67th best in the country. Lyrik Shreiner and Jalon Miller will be joining the Frogs straight out of high school while Malique Trent and Vladimiar Brodziansky have transferred in from junior colleges.

Shooting Guards

Malique Trent

Height: 6'2"                                          Weight: 185

Hometown: Portsmouth, VA          JuCo: New Mexico Junior College

Malique Trent transferred to TCU after a successful stint in New Mexico. The NJCAA Freshman of the Year averaged 15.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game for the Thunderbirds. Trent was a three-star recruit out of high school and was rated as the best combo guard in the country by 247 Sports. He comes to TCU from New Mexico Junior College, a JuCo that has numerous ties to Fort Worth. Current TCU assistant coach Chris Tifft was the head coach at NMJC prior to joining Trent Johnson's staff. Kenrich Williams also attended NMJC before transferring to TCU last season. Trent will have three seasons of eligibility at TCU.

Lyrik Shreiner

Height: 6'3"                                       Weight: 190

Hometown: Phoenix, AZ              High School: Hillcrest Academy

Lyrik Shreiner will come to TCU as a three-star guard after posting impressive numbers in his final season at the Hillcrest Academy. Shreiner averaged 25.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per contest. Shreiner could see playing time quickly, as the Frogs will need shooters to step up and replace Kyan Anderson's offensive production.

Power Forwards

Vladimir Brodziansky

Height: 6'10"                                     Weight: 215

Hometown: Prievidza, Slovakia  JuCo: Pratt Community College (KS)

Vladimir Brodziansky has transferred to TCU after a short stay at Pratt Community College in Kansas. There, he put up 15.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, en route to earning second team All Jayhawk Conference honors. Out of high school, Brodziansky was rated as a three-star recruit. With Trent Johnson's history of success developing big men, don't be surprised if Brodziansky is a force in the Big 12 in the years to come.

Jalon Miller

Height: 6'8"                                         Weight: 235

Hometown: Dallas, TX                    High School: Seagoville High School

Jalon Miller had a prolific career at Seagoville High School in Dallas. During his senior campaign, he averaged a double-double with 24.5 points and 13.1 rebounds per game. Miller was a McDonalds All-American nominee and was named to the Texas 5A All-State Team. ESPN, Rivals, and Scout all tabbed Miller as a three-star recruit. His scoring ability should have an immediate effect on a TCU offense looking to replace most of its production from a year ago.

The Future

TCU Recruiting Board 2

Junior College Targets

One of the keys to Trent Johnson's success thus far at TCU has been his ability to lure transfers to the program and adjust their game to a Big 12 level quickly and effectively. Trey Zeigler, Chris Washburn, and Kenrich Williams all transferred in to TCU and found success on the court.

Point Guards

Darrion Strong

Height: 6'2"                                       Weight: 180

Hometown: Oakdale, MN            JuCo: Coffeyville Community College (KS)

Status: Scholarship Offered

Darrion Strong finished a successful stint at Coffeyville Community College last season. He averaged 21.3 points per game while shooting 47% from the field and 42% from behind the arc. In doing so, Strong racked up a ton of accolades, including Jayhawk Conference Most Valuable Player and Freshman of the Year awards. He was also named to the All Jayhawk Conference first team and the NJCAA All-American third team. Strong has received scholarship offers from Tulsa, Houston, Iowa State, Miami, and Missouri. Strong would be able to play immediately in the 2016-2017 season and have three years of NCAA eligibility remaining.

2016 Recruiting Class

The players in the high school Class of 2016 are entering their senior year and looking to solidify their positions on college rosters. Some in the Class of 2016 have already verbally committed to universities, however many still have a big decision to make.

Point Guards

Mike Bibby, Jr.

Height: 6'3"                                       Weight: 175

Hometown: Phoenix, AZ              High School: Shadow Mountain High School

Status: Scholarship Offered

The son of legendary University of Arizona and NBA journeyman Mike Bibby has already captured a State Championship with Shadow Mountain. The younger Bibby has received offers from Florida State, Gonzaga, Memphis, Oregon, Oregon State, and USC, in addition to TCU. He is listed as a four-star recruit by ESPN and a three-star recruit by Scout.

Shawn Williams

Height: 6'1"                                         Weight: 160

Hometown: Little Rock, AR          High School: Southwest Christian Academy

Status: Scholarship Offered

Williams is one of the top point guard prospects in the State of Arkansas. The senior is listed as a three-star recruit by ESPN and has received offers from TCU, East Carolina, Arizona State, Louisiana Tech, Rhode Island, Tulsa, Arkansas State, and Louisiana-Monroe.

Shooting Forwards

Josh Parrish

Height: 6'5"                                         Weight: 190

Hometown: Arlington, TX             High School: Seguin High School

Status: Scholarship Offered

Josh Parrish is the younger brother of current TCU shooting guard Brandon Parrish. The two-star shooting forward has received offers from Arkansas, Fresno State, Rice, SMU, VCU, and TCU. He is scheduled to take an official visit to VCU this weekend.

Travis Atson

Height: 6'5"                                         Weight: 190

Hometown: South Kent, CT         High School: South Kent School

Status: Target

While TCU hasn't offered Travis Atson a scholarship, he is on the team's radar. The three-star forward has received 13 offers and has taken official visits to UC Santa Barbara, Tulsa, and DePaul.

Power Forwards

Gilbert Thomas

Height: 6'6"                                        Weight: 210

Hometown: Houston, TX              High School: C.E. King High School

Status: Target

So far, Thomas' only official scholarship offer is from Prairie View A&M. However, he is on the radar at TCU, and has received looks from Houston, Kansas, Texas, and Tulsa.

Nolan Taylor

Height: 6'7"                                         Weight: 235

Hometown: Keller, TX                    High School: Keller High School

Status: Target

Taylor is a two-star forward that has received attention from a handful of schools including TCU, Clemson, Rice, UT-Arlington, and others. He has yet to receive an official scholarship from TCU.

Centers

Marques Bolden

Height: 6'10"                                         Weight: 236

Hometown: DeSoto, TX                   High School: DeSoto High School

Status: Scholarship Offered

As was mentioned above, Bolden is a prized recruit from DeSoto. He is listed as a five-star recruit by Scout and a four-star recruit by Rivals and ESPN. With Bolden's hometown so close to TCU, it wouldn't be surprising to see the big man make an unofficial visit to Fort Worth. From there, it will be up to Trent Johnson to work his magic.

Jordy Tshimanga

Height: 6'10"                                         Weight: 230

Hometown: Granby, MA                   High School: MacDuffie School

Status: Scholarship Offered

Jordy Tshimanga is a four-star recruit that has received offers from Boston College, Nebraska, Virginia Tech, and TCU. While it is believed that Tshimanga is leaning toward Boston College, don't count out Trent Johnson's ability to work with big men.

Schnider Herard

Height: 6'10"                                       Weight: 240

Hometown: Plano, TX                    High School: Prestonwood Christian Academy

Status: Target

Schnider Herard is another in a long line of highly-regarded recruits from the DFW Metroplex. The senior from Plano has not received an offer from TCU, however he is being watched by the program. Herard has received scholarship offers from a dozen schools and plans to take official visits to Mississippi State and Kansas in the coming weeks. He is listed as a four-star recruit by Scout, Rivals, and ESPN.

2017 Recruiting Class

The high school Class of 2017 still has two years before advancing to college. Many players in this class are being monitored by universities, and it is not unusual at this stage for a highly-touted player to only have a handful of scholarship offers.

Point Guards

R.J. Nembhard

Height: 6'3"                                         Weight: 170

Hometown: Keller, TX                   High School: Keller High School

Status: Scholarship Offered

R.J. Nembhard is another Keller High School recruit that Trent Johnson and his staff are monitoring. The junior point guard has received offers from New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Baylor, Creighton, Louisiana Tech, Oklahoma State, Virginia Tech, and TCU. Nembhard is a four-star recruit according to Rivals.

Kaleb Fitzgerald

Height: 6'0"                                         Weight: 180

Hometown: Palm Beach, FL         High School: Cardinal Newman High School

Status: Scholarship Offered

Kaleb Fitzgerald has received scholarship offers from Chattanooga, Virginia Tech, San Francisco, North Carolina - Greensboro, and TCU. The point guard is listed as a two-star recruit.

C.J. Roberts

Height: 6'1"                                            Weight: 165

Hometown: Richland Hills, TX      High School: Richland High School

Status: Scholarship Offered

C.J. Roberts is a four-star point guard playing right in TCU's backyard. The junior at Richland High School has received offers from Alabama, Illinois, LSU, SMU, Virginia Tech, Baylor, Kansas State, Purdue, UT-Arlington, Wichita State, and TCU.

Trae Young

Height: 6'1"                                       Weight: 170

Hometown: Norman, OK            High School: Norman North High School

Status: Target

Trae Young has received 21 scholarships offers, many from elite schools such as Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, and Arizona. The Frogs have yet to offer Young a scholarship, but they are keeping tabs on this talented four-star guard.

Shooting Guards

Greg Floyd, Jr.

Height: 6'8"                                       Weight: 195

Hometown: Las Vegas, NV          High School: Desert Pines High School

Status: Scholarship Offered

Trent Johnson and his staff are keeping an eye on Greg Floyd, Jr. The four-star shooting guard has received 24 offers, including one from TCU, but has yet to narrow his list since he is so early in the recruiting process.

Shooting Forwards

Tristan Clark

Height: 6'8"                                          Weight: 220

Hometown: Converse, TX              High School: Judson High School

Status: Target

Tristan Clark is another player that the Frogs coaching staff is watching. Most outlets are tabbing Clark as a three- or four-star recruit. While TCU hasn't extended an official scholarship offer to Clark just yet, he has received offers from seven other schools, including Baylor and Oregon.

Power Forwards

Xavier Tillman

Height: 6'8"                                        Weight: 230

Hometown: Grand Rapids, MI      High School: Forest Hills Central High School

Status: Target

Xavier Tillman has only received two offers - Kentucky and Purdue - however, he is being watched closely by a dozen other programs, including TCU. Tillman is listed as a four-star recruit by 247 Sports.

Billy Preston

Height: 6'8"                                          Weight: 220

Hometown: Dallas, TX                    High School: Prime U (Formerly Prime Prep Academy)

Status: Target

Billy Preston is a five-star recruit out of Prime U in Dallas, the same institution formerly known as the Prime Prep Academy where Karviar Shepherd attended before coming to TCU. Preston has received offers from Kansas, Maryland, SMU, UCLA, Arizona, Baylor, Connecticut, and others.

Location, Location, Location

Trent Johnson is in a fortuitous situation in that TCU's campus is located in one the biggest hotbeds for high school basketball talent in the country. The DFW Metroplex has produced more elite high school prospects in the last several seasons than any other market in the United States. Since 2013, the Metroplex has been responsible for 11 McDonalds All-Americans. Over the last four decades, the area has produced 63 players that have gone on to the NBA.

Every Big 12 team except West Virginia will have at least one player from the Metroplex this season. Others, like Oklahoma State, Texas, and Texas Tech, will have as many as six. Travis Ford at Oklahoma State, Bill Self at Kansas, and Larry Brown at SMU have all built their programs using elite talent from this area.

As Trent Johnson continues to build TCU's image on the national stage, it will be crucial for him to win the recruiting battle right here at home - something that he is already doing. Karviar Shepherd, Johnson's first Horned Frog recruit and the highest rated in the history of the program, took a short ride down I-30 to attend TCU from the Prime Prep Academy in Dallas. Shepherd chose to attend TCU despite being recruited heavily by Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks. Marques Bolden, the five-star recruit mentioned previously, hails from DeSoto and his familiarity with the Metroplex likely helped TCU land in his top eight.

In fact, nine of the 18 recruits on TCU's radar for the future are either from the Metroplex or play high school basketball here. Since Johnson arrived in 2012, 18 of the 46 total players that have been offered a scholarship to play basketball at TCU have come from the DFW Metroplex.

TJ 'crutin'

Trent Johnson is about to enter year four of his massive rebuilding project at TCU. In just a short couple of seasons, the program has gained some meaningful momentum. A move to the Big 12 Conference, a newly renovated $80-million home gym, and several battles raging in the recruiting field have TCU poised to make a major jump into the college basketball landscape in the years to come.