The Jayhawks (21-5, 10-3 Big 12) are looking to rebound after their 62-61 loss at West Virginia on Monday.
Kansas is 12-0 in Allen Fieldhouse this season and boast a 21-game winning streak in the Phog, which ranks tied for 11th on the school's all-time home-court winning streak list and is the fourth longest in the Bill Self era.
TCU (16-10, 3-10) had previously lost seven straight before winning two home games over No. 21 Oklahoma State (70-55) on Feb. 14 and K-State (69-55) on Wednesday.
The Horned Frogs are 12-5 at home, 2-5 away and 2-0 on neutral courts this season. TCU, which went 13-0 in nonconference play (best nonleague record in program history), averages 68.2 points and boasts a +8.4 scoring margin. The Horned Frogs are third in the Big 12 in scoring defense at 59.8 ppg and field goal percentage defense at 38.2 percent. TCU also has great success in getting to the charity stripe, averaging 26 free throw attempts per game.
Senior guard Kyan Anderson leads the attack with 12.9 points per game, 39 three-pointers made, 107 assists and 39 steals, while also pacing the Big 12 in free throw percentage (87.2). Senior guard Trey Zeigler and sophomore forward Kenrich Williams are next in scoring at 8.6 points per game, while Williams leads TCU with 6.7 rebounds per contest. They’re followed in scoring by senior forward Amric Fields (7.4 ppg), sophomore forward Chris Washburn (6.8 ppg, team-high 37 blocks) and sophomore center Karviar Shepherd (6.5 ppg).
TCU is coached by Trent Johnson, who is 36-53 in his third season at the school and 262-238 in his 16th season overall.
KU coach Bill Self knows TCU has some momentum after winning its last two games, and sees a difference in the Horned Frogs’ offense.
“They're making more shots and they look more confident to me,” Self said. “I always thought they were a good defensive team, a good rebounding team. To me, they're playing to win, playing with purpose, playing with confidence.
"In the first half (vs. K-State), they were really, really good. The second half against Oklahoma State, they were really good. They were really good against us the second half for the most part (in 64-61 loss to KU at home on Jan. 28). Trent and his staff have done a good job. Their guys seem more confident. It looks like they're having more fun playing.”
Self knows his team must contain Anderson, who had 17 points in the last KU-TCU game.
“I think he had 23 on us in the first half last year and we didn't do a good job with him at all,” Self said. “Frank (Mason III) and Devonte' (Graham) have to be good. Our ball screen defense has to be better. Of course, we've got to keep him out of the paint. I mean that even from a running start, from an offensive rebounding standpoint.
“We need to make sure we keep him away from the basket as much as possible, which we didn't do a very good job of the first time at all,” Self added. “He's a nice player. He controls their team. I don't think he scored a lot (against KSU), if I'm not mistaken, ... but he totally controlled the game with the pace. He's a good player.”
Self also has great respect for his teammates like Shepherd, who KU recruited.
“He can shoot and face a jumper about as well as any big in our league,” Self said.
LAST TIME OUT
KU felt fortunate to win during the team’s last meeting in Fort Worth as TCU missed a three-pointer at the buzzer, which would have sent the game into overtime.
Mason was the only Jayhawk in double figures with 16 points while Williams (13) and Zeigler (12) joined Anderson in double digits for TCU. The Horned Frogs, who outscored KU by three points the second half, had 26 offensive rebounds (out of 50 missed shots) and outscored Kansas 27-8 in second-chance points.
TCU outrebounded KU, 50-40, although it shot just 30.6 percent from the field and 51.7 percent (15-29) at the free throw line. Kansas, meanwhile, shot 46.2 percent from the field.
Self knows that TCU’s performance against KU in the last meeting will have his team’s full attention, combined with their two recent wins over OSU and KSU.
“I think obviously what happened with Oklahoma State, with what happened with Kansas State, then what happened with us down there, are three good reminders that this team's very capable of playing with anybody,” Self said.
Self stressed KU must keep TCU off the offensive glass.
“A lot of times their best offense is going and getting it off the glass,” he said. “We've got to do a much better job. We were really poor in Fort Worth with that.”
TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS
With five Big 12 games remaining, KU has a one-game lead over second-place Iowa State (9-4).
“If we take care of business, everything will play out fine,” Self said. “... The ball's in our court. We need to play well, hold serve at home, play better on the road than what we've been playing.”