The first time new TCU head coach Trent Johnson saw Devonta Abron play at the college level, he had to watch him grab thirteen boards, including five on the offensive end. So when he took over a team (TCU) which finished 237th in offensive rebounding last year he had to consider it a gift when he discovered that Abron was transferring to be closer his hometown of Dallas.
Abron ultimately chose to play for Johnson and TCU, and today he received his waiver to play immediately.
Abron played at Arkansas last year as a freshman, and now has four years to play three. Though there's no need for a redshirt.
Now TCU has another big body (6-8, 255) to help them in the trenches in what will be a challenging first season in the Big-12. TCU graduated their top two scorers and leading rebounder from last year.
Abron did a lot of good things on offense at Arkansas, though there was one glaring hole in his game. First, the good. He grabbed 13% of his own team's misses when he was on the floor, which was a team best for the Razorbacks, and also was significantly higher than anyone at TCU. He also drew a team best 5.1 fouls/40, and was competent (66.3%) from the line. And he rarely turned the ball over – his turnover% led the team.
That's a solid three categories for a freshman to lead a high major team.
The problem though is that Abron had a poor offensive rating of 99.3. The reason was his shooting. For a guy who rarely steps outside of ten feet, Abron only made 40% of his twos. 46% of his shots came at the rim. The rest were two-point jumpers (he attempted one three). On those jumpers he made a woeful 16%.
So while the addition of Abron is solid, it's critical that the coaches put him in a role where he can succeed. He needs to be physical in the paint. He needs to clean up around the rim. And he needs to not do anything dumb. He's probably the 5th option when it comes to running plays for shooters.
Being physical on the interior will open up more operating room for 6-9 Amric Fields, the Mountain West 6th Man of the Year. The two have an opportunity to complement each other well, and now it's coach Johnson's job to ensure that that happens.