The Kansas Jayhawks (15-4, 6-0) squelched any notion of a repeat of last year’s defeat at the hands of the TCU Horned Frogs. Kansas jumped out early and often on the Horned Frogs (9-10, 0-7) Saturday night, and was never challenged.
Andrew Wiggins set career highs in scoring with 27, and assists with 5. He also pulled down 5 rebounds in the game. Wiggins’ new found aggressiveness is leading to more offensive output. By attacking the rim more often, he is getting to free throw line with much more regularity. In the last two contests, Wiggins has 22 free throw attempts, and he has been successful on 19 on them. Those are free points!
As a team Saturday night, the Jayhawks came out aggressively on both offense and defense. They staked themselves to a lead early and never really allowed the Horned Frogs to cultivate any hope of another upset.
With fouls stacking up in the first half, several reserves saw extensive minutes in the first half, plus some for time in the second half as Kansas maintained a big lead.
Jamari Traylor, Landen Lucas, Brannen Greene, Conner Frankamp, and Frank Mason all saw double digit minutes, and they combined for 30 points and 11 rebounds. Justin Wesley, Andrew White III, and Christian Garrett also saw time.
Tarik Black missed the game due an an ankle injury suffered in the game against Baylor on Monday.
Starters Perry Ellis and Naadir Tharpe both had unusual games. Ellis only scored 8 points but had 14 rebounds. Tharpe did not take a shot of any kind the whole game but had 4 assists, a steal, and no turnovers.
This game was a nice indication of growth for the Jayhawks as a team as their most experienced players did just what their team needed them to do for the greater good.
Kansas outrebounded TCU 40-24, and shot 57.4% from the field. They recorded 20 assists and committed just 10 turnovers.
The Horned Frogs had 4 players hit double digits in points. Brandon Parrish lead the team with 15, Amric Fields netted 13, Kyan Anderson added 12, including 8-8 from the line, and reserve Christian Gore pumped in 11.
Kansas was clearly the superior team, but TCU fought hard the whole game. Kansas lost focus a little bit in the second half on the defensive end, but the game was well in hand. It was also nice to see players like Lucas, Greene, and Frankamp getting some good minutes.
The Jayhawks host Iowa State on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. Kansas cannot count on the Cyclones hitting just 16% of their 3-point shots as they did in their previous meeting, so they will need to maintain their defensive intensity for a full 40 minutes.