3-point shot: Why did Johnson leave LSU?

April, 9, 2012
4/09/12
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1. It will be interesting to hear how Trent Johnson explains why he’s leaving LSU for TCU. Comparing these two basketball jobs isn’t close. LSU has a rich history in the sport. TCU does not. LSU plays in the SEC where there is constant stability, access to a wider talent pool, and plenty of money. TCU joins the Big 12 in the fall where the Horned Frogs should feel more at home, but still aren’t close to the top of the pecking order in the state. Johnson was coaching at a high level when he was at Stanford. He took a gamble by leaving his native West for the Southeast but he left too soon. The money was more at LSU and reportedly even more so at TCU. But the best job he had for him was at Stanford.

2. Now LSU athletic director Joe Alleva needs to make the right hire to replace Johnson. North Texas coach Johnny Jones has strong ties to LSU and to the region. Jones tried to get the job before Johnson but to no avail. He has done wonders at North Texas, a school that is consistently in the Sun Belt chase. Alleva went out of region in luring Johnson from Stanford. This time, he should go with someone familiar with the area and especially the SEC. This is a critical time in the league: the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M, Frank Martin now coaching at South Carolina, and an increase to 18 conference games. Not to mention, of course, the dominant teams already at the top of the league led by Kentucky, Florida and Vanderbilt.

3. Thomas Robinson is a great example of a player who maxed out his career in college over a three-year period and is now ready to play in the NBA. He wasn’t a year ago. He had an exemplary season, led Kansas to the national title game, and now enters the NBA as a player who can contribute, not just be a high draft pick.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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