Published February 15, 2014
Manhattan, KS – Lawrence, KS (SportsNetwork.com) - Two teams at opposite ends of the Big 12 spectrum will clash at the Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon, as the seventh-ranked Kansas Jayhawks play host to the TCU Horned Frogs.
Bill Self's Jayhawks opened the Big 12 slate with seven straight victories, but have split their last four games and enter this contest off a hard-fought 85-82 overtime loss at instate rival Kansas State. Despite the setback, the nine-time Big 12 champions maintain their spot atop the conference standings at 9-2, one game ahead of Texas (8-3).
Trent Johnson's Horned Frogs haven't won a game since late December. TCU is currently mired in an 11-game losing streak, with all 11 losses coming in conference play. The team remained winless in the Big 12 with Wednesday's rout at the hands of Baylor, 91-58.
Kansas owns a 6-1 advantage in the series with TCU and is seeking the regular- season sweep after recording a 91-69 victory in Fort Worth on Jan. 25.
The Horned Frogs have struggled finding an offensive identity this season, as the team is among the worst in the nation in terms of scoring at just 64.9 ppg. It comes on a mere .4089 shooting. TCU is also getting beat up on the boards, suffering from a -7.7 rebounding margin. Junior guard Kyan Anderson is the top offensive threat on the roster, as he can both create for himself (16.3 ppg) and others (4.9 apg). Junior forward Amric Fields (13.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg) leads the way up front, while Brandon Parrish (9.7 ppg), Jarvis Ray (8.5 ppg) and Karviar Shepherd (8.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg) round out the starting five for TCU.
Anderson poured in a season-high 29 points, but it wasn't nearly enough in the lopsided loss to Baylor this week. Anderson, who was 10-of-17 from the floor, posted his eighth game of 20+ points this season. Fields added 10 points to the cause, but TCU shot just 40 percent from the floor in the loss, compared to a 53.4 percent effort from the visiting Bears.
Kansas used a 10-1 run with under two minutes left in regulation to force overtime, but ran out of steam in the overtime session in the loss to the Wildcats. The Jayhawks had two players finish with double-doubles in the setback, as Perry Ellis posted 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Naadir Tharpe finished with 13 points and 10 assists. Andrew Wiggins added 16 points, while Brannen Greene finished with 10 off the bench.
The young Jayhawks feature three freshmen in the starting lineup, but that hasn't hindered the team one bit. Kansas has been ultra-efficient this season, shooting .499 from the floor and putting up 79.5 ppg. The team owns a +7.3 rebounding margin, but youth has shown itself at times with a -2.3 turnover margin. Wiggins was the heralded recruit coming out of high school and although he probably hasn't lived up to the enormous hype surrounding him, he has played well for the most part, leading KU in scoring at 16.0 ppg. Ellis and freshman center Joel Embiid form a solid duo up front. Ellis averages 13.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, while Embiid comes in at 10.7 ppg, 7.8 rpg and 2.54 bpg. Wayne Selden Jr. (10.2 ppg) and Tharpe (9.4 ppg, 5.3 apg) complete the potent starting lineup for Kansas.