Adrick McKinney from Angelina Junior College needed just one visit to decide where he wanted to play college basketball. After visiting TCU over spring break, McKinney quickly decided that staying close to home and playing for TCU was the right decision for him.
“It was close to home, and I know that Coach Christian wanted me to come in and immediately play. I felt like it was a good fit for me because even though I had offers from Mississippi State and Nevada, I did not want to be too far away from home and from my son,” McKinney said over a phone interview with SportDFW on Thursday.
In talking with Adrick, I realized just how dedicated he is. McKinney shares in Coach Christian’s vision for the program, and Adrick stressed that no one was going to outwork him on the court, especially on the boards.
The 6’8, 250 pound power forward averaged 9 rebounds per game this past year at Angelina College, and only a slow start to the season kept McKinney from averaging 12-14 per game.
“I started off slow and brought my average up as the season went on. I got stronger as the year went on and was grabbing 12-15 [rebounds] per game,” the Texas native, McKinney, went on to say. McKinney also averaged 15 points per game last season, and his offensive game has seen the biggest improvement while playing at Angelina. Before Angelina, McKinney attended high school at Fort Worth Trimble Tech.
He said of playing at Angelina: “I learned a whole lot in just two years, and I know that playing here was the best move for me.” He has earned high praise from his coach Todd Neighboors who sat next to McKinney as he signed his letter of intent.
Adrick is very close with his family who played a huge role in encouraging him to sign with TCU. “My dad was telling me, ‘This is where you need to be at, son,’” McKinney said. His mom and grandmother also played a crucial role after his visit. Because of his family’s encouragement, the commitment from McKinney came soon after his visit.
McKinney said that Coach Christian told him that he needed someone to help with rebounding, scoring, and toughness. “When Coach said that he needed someone who could do all that and just play hard, I told him that sounds like me,” McKinney explained.
The impact of the switch to the Big East has been a plus in the minds of all recruits this year. For McKinney and Ryan Rhoomes (here is a link to my interview with Ryan Rhoomes as well) of New York, the appeal of playing in the Big East was icing on the cake. Christian has been able to see himself and the direction the program is going to go while holding the Big East card in his back pocket.
“We jumping right into the Big East,” McKinney said. “And that year a lot of people are going to see us as underdogs. Even next year in the Mountain West, most people are going to see us as underdogs, so we have a lot to prove which is a great challenge for our team. I am looking forward to that situation.”
Adrick has had a good opportunity to mature in junior college, and he feels that he has done just that. Offensively his game has matured. His post moves have improved, and he is better at using his strength to his advantage. “I can come in and play hard, and with me, I [thrive] on competition. I am ready to rise to the level of any competition, and just give Coach that toughness that he wants.
He followed the ideal path for players who go to junior college which is allow your game to mature while building a strong academic resume that will only help in accruing offers from large universities.
McKinney will play a vital role this season along with his teammates of providing TCU the momentum that they need to spring board into the Big East in 2012-2013.
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