In the midst of an impressive five-game winning streak that has catapulted the Kansas Basketball team back into the national conversation, KU gets a nice reprieve from the onslaught of ranked opponents. The Jayhawks travel to Ft. Worth to take on the TCU Horned Frogs. The last time they traveled down south, Jayhawk Nation was stunned when their team fell to the worst team in the league. TCU is once again the Big 12’s bottom feeder, but they are improved over a year ago. Their program is starting to make some inroads into the Dallas area recruiting fold and so their talent level is on the rise. Still, they should he no match for the Jayhawks of Kansas on Saturday. Here are some things to watch for:
1. How many minutes can TCU hang in with Kansas? There is no way around this. TCU is the worst team KU has faced this year. They are a .500 team playing the No. 129th rated schedule and have no wins in the Big 12, which puts them in a distant last place. They also rank last amongst Big 12 teams in almost every major category offensive and defensively. They score a mere 66.1 points per game good for 301st in the nation. They also convert on only 41.3 % of their shot attempts which puts them at 314th. Defensively, they are giving up 41.5% from the field. If TCU is within 10 at the under 12 TV time-out, it will be a small victory for them. This one could get ugly, and it could get ugly in the first four minutes.
2. KU turnovers. It is no secret that Kansas needs to value the ball more. Some of the turnovers we have seen this season were downright awful. You can call it youth, but this is almost February and it’s time to put those silly mistakes behind us. TCU forces one less turnover per game less than KU averages (13 vs. 14). Against this team, I look for KU to have less than 12 total turnovers for the game.
3. Defensive rebounding. KU got punked by Baylor on the glass giving up way to many offensive rebounds. That is partly due to the length of Baylor getting balls over the top of our guys, but at the end of the day, rebounding is all about toughness. Getting out-toughed like that in your own building is embarrassing. TCU is not a good rebounding team, if you hadn’t guessed that already. They average only nine offensive rebounds per game on the season. I am sure this was a point emphasis all week after last weekend’s game, so let’s see if KU boxes people out with a bit more fervor in Texas. I think holding TCU to under seven offensive boards will show a concerted effort on KU’s part. It will also be an indication of how “turned up” KU is to play TCU. Last year they got caught sleeping.