News, notes and quotes about No. 8 Kansas' matchup at TCU tonight at 8 p.m. on ESPNU at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas, while thinking that Kansas (14-4, 5-0) will avenge its road loss against the Horned Frogs from last season and notch its sixth straight victory in Big 12 play.
After going 9-3 in the nonconference season and winning nine of its last 10 games before starting Big 12 action, including two wins over coach Danny Manning's Tulsa team, TCU (9-9, 0-6 Big 12) has struggled mightily in league play. The Horned Frogs are coming off a 77-69 loss at Oklahoma on Wednesday, where junior guard Kyan Anderson scored a game-high 23 points and freshman center Karviar Shepherd notched his second double-double this season with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
TCU has eight players who average 16 or more minutes per game. The Horned Frogs are led in scoring by Anderson (15.1 ppg), who also paces the team with 87 assists and 27 steals. Junior forward Amric Fields is next in scoring (13.8 ppg. 5.5 rpg), followed by freshman guard Brandon Parrish (10.2 ppg, team-high 24 threes), senior guard Jarvis Ray (9.6 ppg) and Shepherd (8.4 ppg, team-best 7.6 rpg and 2.1 bpg).
TCU averages 66.1 points and allows 68.6 (No. 4 in Big 12). The Horned Frogs shoot just 41.3 percent from the field, 31.2 percent from beyond the arc, and 71.9 percent at the free throw line (No. 3 in Big 12). The Horned Frogs are getting outrebounded 38.1 to 32.7, while winning the turnover margin (+1.7) and forcing 6.1 steals per game.
A strong defensive team, TCU has held 12 of its 18 opponents to under 70 points, including nine foes to 65 points or less.
Coach Trent Johnson is 20-30 in his second season at TCU and 246-215 in his 15th season overall.
SELF ON TCU
KU coach Bill Self believes TCU is much better than its Big 12 record indicates.
"(TCU is) much improved from last year," Self said Thursday of the team which suffered an 11-21 (2-16 Big 12) record in 2012-13. "They went 9-3 in nonconference and got three road wins nonconference. In conference play they've played better than their record (shows). (Against Oklahoma), they could have won that game in Norman. What was it, a tie game with about six (minutes) left and a three or four-point game and they missed like three free throws in a row? They had a chance in the last two minutes. So that could have been a great road win for them, and we know OU can score easy. (They are) much better, sound defensively and, when they make shots, they're definitely a dangerous team. And Anderson is obviously having a very good year."
Self said "we recruited Karviar hard."
"It's weird how things work out. We offered Karviar a scholarship, and we only had one to give, and if he'd have taken it, then we would have been out on Joel (Embiid). But he committed to TCU, and Karviar Shepherd is going to be a good player. There's no question he's going to be a good player, and he's getting better all the time. That's how recruiting works sometimes; you recruit a couple of guys, and the timing needs to be right. But I'm really high on him. I think he's got a chance to be very, very good."
REVISITING LAST YEAR'S DEBACLE
Self said last year's game at TCU, a 62-55 setback, was one of the "strangest" games he's ever coached. KU scored just 13 points on 13.6 percent shooting (3-22) in the first half, marking the lowest output in all three categories since KU began keeping half-only records in the 1988-89 season. The Jayhawks finished the game shooting 29.5 percent, their lowest shooting percentage since making 29.4 percent against Kentucky in 1998.
With it previous defeat against Oklahoma State, Kansas ended an NCAA record of 264 games without consecutive losses.
"That was one of the strangest games we've been a part of, because I was reminded today (Thursday), by one of our coaches, saying, ‘Bill, I don't know if you remember, that's the most ready to play we've been all year. Best practices, most intense warm-up, everybody focused, all that stuff, and we came out and laid an egg,'" Self said. "I don't know if there's really a correlation sometimes on over time it's how you practice will be how you play, but sometimes it can jump up and shock you, and that was one of those times that shocked us."
Self said last year's game could be a motivating factor for his players.
"I've never been one to use that stuff as motivation. We've played them since then and obviously this is a whole new team," Self said. "But we'll talk about it and we have tape on it (to watch again)."Obviously our defense wasn't that bad. You think if you hold a team to 22 points in a half, you'd be at least in the game. But when you go 3-of-23 from the field and have like 11 turnovers in a half -- that was just a poor, poor, poor half of basketball. They deserve credit because they caused it, but we can play a lot better than that. So it may be some motivation, but I don't know if it's going to be a determining factor in if we're ready to play or not." THE SERIES The series between KU and TCU dates back to 1952. K