Three four star players.
Three players ranked among the top 100 in the country.
A top ten class in America and the number two rated class in the conference.
These are heady times for TCU.
Five years ago, TCU was dead last in the conference when it came to recruiting, signing a class that was ranked 131st in the country. A year later, they climbed to eighth and 68th respectively. In 2016, they showed marked improvement in Jamie Dixon’s first year at the helm, bringing in the number six ranked group in the Big 12 and a top 50 class over all - and signing the then-highest rated basketball recruit in TCU history in Jaylen Fisher. The 2017 group was even more impressive (4th and 37th), and though last year’s class fell in the rankings slightly, it filled a lot of needs and has some potentially exceptional developmental prospects.
But, here we are, a few months out from the class of 2019 being officially inked, and the Horned Frogs are living their best hardwood lives, with three players committed to a program that could be day one difference makers. The class, second in the Big 12 to only Oklahoma - and ahead of KANSAS - looks to be full of instant impact players that will fill upcoming needs - two back court players and a wing that can all play from day one.
The gem of the class is shooting guard PJ Fuller, a top 60 player in the class of 2019 out of powerhouse Nathan Hale in Seattle, the same program helmed by former Blazer Brandon Roy and that produced the Porter brothers. Fuller is an elite athlete, the kind of high-flyer that isn’t often seen in Funky Town who averaged nearly 18 points, seven rebounds, and five assists per game last year, mainly from the point guard position. A capable finisher, who will only get stronger once he gets in a college program, Fuller has the physical tools to be a dominant player on both ends of the floor. Fuller will spend his senior season at another elite basketball school - Findlay Prep in Nevada - believing the time away will be invaluable to helping him adjust to college life on and off the court at TCU.
Diante Smith committed the day after Fuller, and the Florida star commands as much fanfare as his fellow future Frog. Another four star prospect, Smith - who was previously committed to Alabama - has dominated the Florida hoops scene, a state rife with hardwood talent. Smith averaged 17.5 points and 6.8 rebounds per game as a junior, helping lead his Choctaw team to a state title - and garnering several all league and player of the year offers in the process. A big guy who can shoot it from deep, Smith is an excellent passer from the perimeter and a solid defender. He also has handles to get to the cup and the strength to finish inside. A fast riser during the summer circuit, he could find himself among the top 60 prospects with a solid senior campaign.
The most recent player to make his pledge to the Horned Frogs is another international star - a well that Jamie Dixon and his staff have gone to often since arriving at TCU. Francisco Farabello’s instantaneous commitment once visiting campus was a bit of a surprise, but he’s a great fit for the Frogs on both ends of the floor, and should immediately fit in what Dixon is trying to build. The native Argentinian has spent time at the NBA Global Academy, where his high IQ and excellent ball skills allowed him to shine. In playing in the FIBA u18 Americas Championship over the summer, he impressed scouts and coaches while averaging over eight points, five assists and four rebounds a game. A great leader, he will bring a maturity and intensity to a TCU team that will lose veterans Alex Robinson and JD Miller this spring, and provide some consistency in the back court as players transition out due to graduation over the next two years. He’s a very craft player who has high-level experience, and should be a lot of fun to watch with the ball in his hand.
TCU Basketball opens play on November 7th, looking to improve on a 20+ win campaign from a season ago.