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Karviar Shepherd commits to TCU

Trent Johnson

LSU head coach Trent Johnson reacts during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Kentucky in the second round of the 2012 Southeastern Conference tournament at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Friday, March 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

AP

Trent Johnson landed his first big recruiting coup as head coach of TCU on Monday with the signing of Karviar Shepherd.

The news was first tweeted out by ESPN.com’s Reggie Rankin.

“Breaking News: ESPN 100 #46 overall Center Karviar Shepherd is calling Trent Johnson right now he is headed to TCU!!” Rankin tweeted.

The no. 46 player in the 2013 class according to ESPN, Shepherd is a Dallas-area prospect out of Prime Prep Academy. The 6-9, 215-pounder also had offers from Texas A&M, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

“I picked TCU because it was close to home and I really like the coaching staff,” Shepherd told ESPN. “They really do a great job of improving bigs like they did at Stanford with the Lopez twins.”

Have to think that TCU’s move to the Big 12 had a lot to do with this commitment. Johnson has proven his worth as a recruiter at Nevada, Stanford and through his brief stint at LSU, and it helps to be in a conference that at least highlights its basketball programs as an equal to its football teams.

It was a surprise to a lot of people when Johnson left a job at an SEC school in LSU to take over TCU, a team that hasn’t sniffed the NCAA Tournament since 1998. In order to make the switch worth it, he was going to have to win early and often, and you could say this is the first win of his tenure, keeping one of the top players in the area, around.

David Harten is the editor of The Backboard Chronicles. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.