Seeking a quick turnaround, the fifth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks take to the road for Big 12 action on Wednesday, taking on the struggling TCU Horned Frogs at Daniel-Meyers Coliseum.
Bill Self's Jayhawks suffered just their second loss of the season this past weekend, with an 85-80 setback to Oklahoma State in Lawrence. It not only ended an 18-game win streak overall, but brought an end to Kansas' 33-game win streak at the Allen Fieldhouse. Still, at 7-1 in Big 12 play, the Jayhawks remain atop the conference standings, albeit by just a half game over Kansas State (7-2). Kansas is seeking its 30th straight season with 20 or more victories.
There is no threat of TCU capturing the league crown, as the Horned Frogs are still in search of their first Big 12 win ever. Eight straight losses in league play have taken a toll on Trent Johnson's first season at the helm in Fort Worth, dropping TCU to 9-12 overall. The current skein continued this past weekend for TCU with a 60-43 loss at Texas.
Kansas has won all four previous meetings with TCU, although this marks the first conference matchup between the two programs.
Despite the score showing signs of an offensive slug-fest in Lawrence this past weekend, the hometown Jayhawks did not shoot the ball particularly well in the first half. Kansas converted just 34.2 percent from the floor in the first half and trailed by six points at the break to Oklahoma State. The team turned it around after the break, converting 52.2 percent, including 6-of-9 from 3-point range, but was unable to keep its streaks going, getting out-shot for just the third time this year.
The Jayhawks have been much more efficient at both ends on the season. The team is averaging 74.2 ppg, doing so on .478 shooting. The defensive effort has been there as well, with Kansas yielding just 59.9 ppg and holding foes to .354 shooting, which leads the nation. Freshman Ben McLemore has made an immediate impact for Kansas, shooting .509 from the floor, .455 from behind the arc (40-of-88), while pacing the team with 16.4 ppg. Senior Jeff Withey has been a dominant force in the middle, as the 7-footer averages, 13.0 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.2 blocks (third nationally) per game. Travis Releford (12.6 ppg), Elijah Johnson (9.3 ppg,4.9 apg) and Kevin Young (7.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg) round out the starting five.
TCU struggled from all over the floor in the loss at Texas this past weekend, delivering on just 32.7 percent from the field overall, 15.4 percent from behind the arc (2-of-13) and just 46.7 percent from the free-throw line (7- of-15). Adrick McKinney was the only Horned Frog to reach double figures in the loss, finishing with 13 points. Connell Crossland added eight points to the cause, while posting a game-high 12 rebounds.
Generating offense has been a huge problem for the Horned Frogs this season, as they rank 342nd nationally in scoring at a mere 54.1 ppg. That has certainly spoiled strong defensive efforts, with TCU allowing just 58.5 ppg. Kyan Anderson and Garlon Green are the only players currently averaging double-digit point totals, although they are doing so with a modest 11.2 and 10.2 ppg, respectively. Anderson is a solid all-around player, also leading the team in assists (70) and steals (32).