Men’s Basketball returned to its winning ways in 2011-12 with the most victories since 2004-05 and a trip to the postseason, thanks in part to the senior guard, who led the team in rebounding and steals and was second in scoring
by Rick Waters '95
More from Spring 2012
More in Sports: Riff Ram
by Rick Waters '95
What did it mean to you and the team to see students streaming onto the court after the big wins against New Mexico and UNLV? It meant a lot. All year long we believed that we had a good team. I think some people sort of lost faith in us after the SMU loss. But we kept our heads up, stayed together as a team and felt like we could still finish the season strong. When they came down from the stands and started lifting Hank Thorns up, that was a special moment.
Do you think this season could be a breakthrough year for the program? Absolutely. I think we showed that we have what it takes to win close games. Once you start winning, it’s a lot easier to build from that momentum. I think it carried us late in the season, and I think it can carry over to the offseason and into next year. Playing in the postseason is good experience for the players and the coaches. Next year, they’ll want to do even better.
The team won 13 games by six points or fewer. How did that happen? When you have a group that plays together and trusts the other players to perform, you sort of relax and just play. That’s why we didn’t panic when we were down 18 points to UNLV. We knew that if we kept playing hard, we could get back in the game. We also had strong leadership in Hank Thorns. He had some great games the second half of the season.
You’re kind of a leader too, aren’t you? I think I am a quiet leader. My greatest contribution to the team is being unselfish. I’ll rebound. I’ll play defense. I’ll make passes and set up teammates to score. Or I’ll score if the team needs me to. I just want to make the team better, not just myself.
You grew up in the Bahamas and went to Sheridan College in Wyoming before TCU. How did you end up here? When I visited TCU, I prayed about it that night. Is this the right school? Then everything fell into place. I could come and make a contribution right away. I wanted to do that. The losses are hard. But I kept feeling that something good was going to happen. I just kept believing that. So when we beat UNLV and New Mexico, I felt like I was meeting my purpose.
Does losing make you better? I hate to lose. I compete in everything I do. Losing hurts, but if you can overcome the negative, it makes you a better person in life.
Read more of the First Person interview with J.R. Cadot, including what J.R. stands for and his thoughts about Coach Jim Christian at magazine.tcu.edu/webextras.
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