The reports came out early Friday morning that TCU had asked for permission to speak with LSU’s basketball coach Trent Johnson. Apparently, Johnson impressed the “horns off the frogs” as it looks like Johnson will be named TCU’s basketball coach as early as Monday.
Johnson leaving makes what looked to have been a quiet off season for the basketball team a circus. It all began earlier this week when Justin Hamilton announced he would forgo his final season at LSU to pursue pro ball. Notice I didn’t say pursue the NBA, so Hamilton is leaving LSU for the chance to go play basketball in Europe. Not saying that it is a bad idea, but I have never seen a player leave college to play overseas.
With Hamilton leaving early, it all but crushes the Tigers chances of having a good season next year. It seemed like Johnson was starting to put the puzzle of success together at LSU, but that is all over now. There is even rumors that star point guard Anthony Hickey might be leaving the program.
The move to TCU might be just what Johnson needed. He would’ve had the weight of LSU on his back with this next season to prove how good of a coach he is. The loss of Hamilton killed any real chance of success, so a move isn’t all that surprising. What is surprising is that TCU apparently has signed Johnson to a two million dollar a year deal (only being paid 1.2 at LSU). A 800k raise, who wouldn’t make that move? The move allows Johnson to go back to a private school, where he had success at Stanford and stays in a power conference (TCU moves to BIG 12 next year.)
With Johnson gone, what direction will athletic director Joe Alleva go? Hold on, LSU basketball could be in for a bump ride.