Monday night was a disaster for the Frogs, but as long as they bounce back against a suddenly dangerous Baylor team, it doesn’t have to hurt them much.
On paper, it sure seems like TCU (15-5, 3-4) took a step back defensively. This is a team that held its previous four opponents to fewer than 70 points. This is a team that coach Jamie Dixon described as “defensive-minded” after a 55-50 victory over Florida on Saturday.
“I don’t know if it’s a step back,” Dixon said. “It’s just simply we didn’t get it done. You can’t hide from the numbers, the facts. You can call it what you want, but we didn’t get it done tonight. It doesn’t mean the season is over. It’s a loss to a very good team, a highly-ranked team on the road. That’s one loss. That’s what it becomes.
“Hopefully we can get better for it and hopefully learn some things from them when we play them the next time. We have to play better than we played tonight.”
This is awesome. Someday, maybe Coach O will be on the bench for TCU.
On Thursday, she was accepted into the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association “So You Want To Be A Coach” program. Okonkwo will have an opportunity to participate in a three-day workshop on April 3-5 in Tampa Bay, Fla.
When asked about coaching qualities that she believes in, Okonkwo said, “I have this mindset that my ideal coach needs to think ‘not yet,’ they have to have a growth mindset. You may not have done it this year, but you’re not done yet. Not, ‘you’re never going to get there,’ but you will get there and it’s all about the growth and that process.”
Okonkwo is one of 60 student-athletes chosen, and one of 12 from a Power 5 program to be accepted into the program.
“She takes advantage of every opportunity,” TCU head coach Raegan Pebley said. “And I tell her all the time, ‘Amy you are going to be able to do it all, just not today.’ But what she does is gets as much experience as she can in a lot of things and squeezes as much juice out of this opportunity of being a student-athlete as she possibly can.”
It’s a great group expected to sign next week, assuming TCU can hold onto their committed players.
Though the Horned Frogs’ offense isn’t one to heavily utilize tight ends, three-star prospect Brett Seither out of Clearwater Central Catholic High School (Clearwater, Fla.) has yet to announce his commitment and is among the top targets for TCU, per the 247Sports Composite rankings. Seither holds numerous offers -- Alabama and Georgia among them -- but the Crystal Ball projections have Fort Worth as his likely destination, with TCU at 60 percent.
Other noteworthy uncommitted players with at least some level of interest in TCU include three-star Frisco Lone Star all-purpose back Darrin Smith, four-star South Oak Cliff weak-side defensive end Steven Parker, three-star weak-side defensive end Billy Sonnier (Lafayette, La.) and three-star cornerback Keeyon Stewart, who captured a Texas Class 6A state title with Galena Park North Shore High School in December.
Winning the battle for Jordan is huge for a TCU staff that has closed strong. Now, priority one is holding onto Darwin Barlow.
“[The 215 pounds] is a little low because he’s in track season right now but the simple fact is the kid is one of the more athletic linebackers in the nation. He’s got legit 4.5 speed and it’s known if you can’t run, you’re not going to play for Gary Patterson’s defense. TCU, particularly defensive coordinator Chad Glasgow, did a fantastic job of building a relationship with Jordan and identifying him as a top target well before other programs entered the picture. That went a long way in Jordan’s decision making.
“The TCU coaches have done a fantastic job at closing out the class this recruiting cycle.”
Jordan is the third linebacker in TCU’s 2019 class, along with Aledo’s Wyatt Harris and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma’s Zach Marcheselli. Thomas Armstrong, who is expected to play mostly defensive end, could also see time at linebacker.