The Kansas Jayhawks (14-4, 5-0) will go on the road this weekend to take the TCU Horned Frogs (9-9, 0-6) Saturday night at 8 p.m. CST.
Kansas 55, TCU 62. That is all you need to know if you are wondering if Kansas will have a let down after surviving a brutal slate of games to open Big 12 Conference play.
Kansas 55, TCU 62. That was the final score nearly a year ago when Kansas visited the Horned Frogs, and TCU came away with their first evernBig 12 basketball victory.
You remember the game. Kansas only made 3 field goals in the entirety of the first half, and went to the locker room trailing 13-22. In that game, Kansas had 6 turnovers before they scored a point, more than 7 minutes into the game.
It would be more than shocking if Bill Self allowed history to repeat is itself on Saturday. Chances are he may have the Jayhawks revved up and ready to go by tip-off. All he has to do is show them the video from a year ago. Basketball doesn’t ever get as ugly as that at Kansas.
In last season’s fiasco, Perry Ellis started but only played 10 minutes without scoring, and only recorded 1 rebound. Naadir Tharpe netted 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists. Jamari Traylor scored two points, while Justin Wesley, Niko Roberts, and Andrew White III all played briefly without scoring. No one else form this roster played in that game.
Andrew Wiggins is the Jayhawks’ leading scored, averaging 15.2 points. Perry Ellis adds 13.2, and Joel Embiid tallies 11.1 a game. Embiid tops the team with 7.4 rebounds a game, and has 50 blocked shots on the season. Tharpe dishes out 5.1 assists, and Wiggins leads the team with 17 steals.
The Horned Frogs have three players who average in double digits – Kyan Anderson at 15.1, Amric Fields at 13.8, and Brandon Parrish with 10.2. Karviar Shepherd pulls down 7.6 boards a game to top the team.
Despite the huge win against Kansas a year ago, TCU is far from being a Big 12 caliber team. The Horned Frogs rank 299th in the nation in scoring (66.1), 287th in rebounding (32.7), and 313th in field goal percentage (41.3).
In Big 12 play, TCU is really having trouble scoring as they have been held to 50 or fewer points in 3 of their 6 conference games. They are being outscored by conference foes 74.3 to 57.7 so far.
Never say never, but lightning won’t strike twice for TCU. Look for the Jayhawks to turn up the heat early and often, and attack on offense. Kansas does not want to fall behind early, or doubt may set in. Self is going to want them to be ahead big at halftime.
This should be an easy game for Kansas, a break from the brutal schedule they have played this season. Hopefully, they won’t overlook the Horned Frogs. Just a quick glimpse back one season ago will tell you anything is possible. Kansas was ranked 5th in the nation when TCU beat them, and that was a veteran ball club.
This Kansas edition is younger and more talented, and maybe more unpredictable. Still, it would be comforting if the Jayhawks win this one easily, with the walk-ons in the game at the end.