TCU took one high school recruit this past cycle in combo guard PJ Haggerty from Crosby High School in the Houston area. Haggerty was a highly touted recruit ranked as a top 150 player in his class and a 3 star recruit by 247 sports. Haggerty should bring some much needed ball handling and scoring ability to a TCU squad looking to build on a very successful season. This article takes a more detailed look at Haggerty’s game and how he projects to contribute next year and in his TCU career.
Scoring: Haggerty demonstrated immense scoring prowess in high school averaging over 30 points per game in both his junior and senior seasons. His development during his time at Crosby as a scorer was excellent as he improved his ability to attack the basket from being mostly an outside shooter his first year at the varsity level. Haggerty shows a great ability to create space and get into the paint against a variety of pick and roll coverages. He consistently took advantage of mismatches from switches by the defense as well as a willingness to attack drop coverage and finish through contact in the lane. Haggerty also flashed a floater that showed real promise as a shot that could keep defenders off balance as he attacks the rim. Having a strong midrange game is becoming more and more important as defenses look to stop shots at the rim and from the three point line and will often leave the midrange open. The floater is a great way to take advantage of this hole in defenses. One adjustment that Haggerty will need to make is a preparation to see more catch and shoot opportunities as he teams up with an excellent shot creator in Mike Miles at TCU. The Frogs lost sharpshooter Francisco Farabello to the transfer portal this offseason and are in need of more catch and shoot ability. Haggerty has the potential to fill that role and provide much needed shot creation to take some pressure off of Miles and expand the offense. Additionally, Haggerty should look to fill out his frame this offseason as he is listed at 6’3 but only 175 pounds. To ensure his ability to finish through contact transfers over to the college level, he needs to add a bit more muscle to withstand the physical defense that is ubiquitous in the Big 12. All in all, with a few small adjustments Haggerty should be an immediate contributor scoring wise for the Frogs.
Playmaking: The gap between high school and college defenses is a large one, especially in terms of team defense (as opposed to individual defenders). Moving from high school to college, Haggerty will see a number of new and more complex defensive schemes as well as better help defense and rotations. Haggerty showed good floor vision in high school in the pick and roll as well as kicking out to shooters when driving and will need to continue to develop that part of his game this offseason. The achilles heel for the Frogs last season was turnovers when facing on ball pressure (along with free throws of course). Issues with breaking the press and working through traps in the half court plagued the Frogs and Haggerty can make a positive impact by learning how to make the right play against college defenses. This will take time as the transition for guards from high school to college is difficult especially from a playmaking standpoint. Learning from an elite guard in Mike Miles will hopefully expedite this process and make the Frog offense more dynamic with more playmaking.
Defense: Defense was the calling card for the frogs last season and Haggerty has the size and physical tools to become a versatile piece for Head Coach Jamie Dixon to use on the defensive end. Haggerty shouldered a heavy offensive load for his high school squad and was therefore not often given primary ball handler assignments defensively. Ideally, with some of the pressure lifted off of him to create shots every offensive possession, Haggerty should be able to fulfill his potential as an on ball defender with good height for a guard and great athleticism and quickness. Haggerty showed great footwork and technical ability on the offensive end that the TCU coaching staff will look to transfer over to the defensive end. In high school, Haggerty was an aggressive off ball defender as he showed great timing bringing traps and getting steals as a help defender. His ability to force turnovers should fit right in with the many good on ball defenders TCU has on the roster already. Filling out his frame will also help Haggerty on the defensive end as an on ball defender and increase his ability to switch onto and guard multiple positions.
Rebounding: TCU was one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the nation last year and Haggerty will only improve those numbers. He showed solid feel for when he could cut past half hearted box out attempts and grab offensive rebounds. Haggerty will face an increased challenge in boxing out on the defensive end moving to college from high school but again filling out his frame will help him adjust.
Haggerty has the ability to score from all three levels effectively and should bring more shot creation to an offense that needed more from players outside of Mike Miles. The passing and defense could take some time to develop as those are some of the biggest steps from high school to college basketball. With the loss of two guards in the aforementioned Farabello as well as Damion Baugh turning pro, Haggerty will have an opportunity to compete for minutes and become an important piece immediately. Overall, PJ Haggerty was a big time signing for Dixon and his staff and should be a contributor for the Frogs for years to come.