Game 15: No. 25 TCU at No. 7 Kansas – Preview and Prediction

The sky seems to be falling in Lawrence, as Kansas is coming off a 17-point loss at Iowa State on Saturday. Just a day later, KU learned they would be without their most important player, Udoka Azubuike, for the rest of the season. The outlook does not look pretty for the Jayhawks, especially since we’re just at the beginning of Big 12 play.

Game Info and Notes:

  • Tuesday, January 9th, 2019 at 8:00 PM CDT
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, Kan.
  • ESPN2 or WatchESPN App
  • No. 7/9 Kansas (12-2, 1-1) continues league play when it hosts No. 25/rv TCU (12-1, 1-0), Wednesday, Jan. 9, at 8 p.m. (Central) on ESPN2. Kansas, the 14-time defending Big 12 champion, is looking to bounce back from a 77-60 loss at Iowa State on Jan. 5.
  • Kansas is 86-11 following a loss in the Bill Self era. Since 2013-14, the Jayhawks are 36-3 following a loss. When the game following a loss is in Allen Fieldhouse, KU is 47-3 in the Self era.
  • Kansas leads the overall series with TCU, 16-2, including a 7-0 record in Lawrence and 6-0 in Allen Fieldhouse.
  • KU leads TCU 2-1 in the last three meetings with all three outcomes being decided by seven points or less.
  • Kansas is the only team in the Big 12 with two players ranked in the top five in the league in scoring. RS-junior F Dedric Lawson is third in scoring at 18.6 ppg, while senior G Lagerald Vick is fifth at 14.8 ppg.
  • Dedric Lawson leads the Big 12 in rebounding at 11.1 rpg. and is the only player in the league averaging a double-double. He is vying to become the first Jayhawk to lead the league in rebound average since All-American Thomas Robinson in 2011-12.
  • Vick is 18 points from hitting the 1,000-point plateau for his career. He is looking to become the 61st player in KU history and the 16th in the Bill Self era (since 2003-04) to hit the 1K scoring mark
About the Horned Frogs

TCU comes on a hot streak, as they’ve won nine in a row and stand at 12-1 on the year. The Horned Frogs kicked off Big 12 play with an 85-81 victory over Baylor. Junior Desmond Bane led the way for the Frogs with a game-high 22 points on just 8-11 shooting.

TCU owns one of the most potent offenses in the Big 12, as they average a little over 80 PPG. They lead the league in field goal percentage with an outstanding mark of 49.9 percent.

Horned Frogs to Watch

Desmond Bane – Junior, Guard, 6’5″
Bane is the Frogs leading scorer at 14.4 PPG. He’s scored in double-figures in all but two games this season. Back in 2017, Bane burned the Jayhawks for 16 points in the first round of the Big 12 tournament in a TCU upset. His three-point shooting has taking a bit of a dip this season, as he shot nearly 47% from three last season and is down to 37.5% this year. Nevertheless, he’s a guy who can definitely fill it up from the outside.

Alex Robinson – Senior, Guard, 6’1″
To me, Robinson seems like one of those guys who has been around for absolutely forever. This season he’s taking on more of the load offensively, bumping his average from 9.7 PPG to 13.5. He’s also been a machine distributing the ball. He leads the Big 12 in assists by almost double, dishing out 8.7 APG, which also ranks second nationally.

Prediction

TCU 83 – Kansas 74

Like I said before, it just feels as if the sky is falling with Kansas. I’ve never been this unconfident in a Bill Self team. They haven’t shown me much of anything this season in terms of having some fight in them.

Now with Azubuike out for good, Kansas is a much weaker team – no doubt about it. Two years ago when they lost Azubuike, the four-guard lineup worked well because they had more than a couple elite shooters with Frank Mason, Devonte’ Graham and Svi Mykhailiuk. This season…not so much. Lagerald Vick has been the lone bright in terms of shooting the ball, but at any moment he could go out like a light. Hopefully a guy like Quentin Grimes can find his stroke, and maybe newly un-redshirted freshman Ochai Agbaji will provide a much needed spark. But until that happens and without Doke, I just don’t see how KU manages enough offense to keep up with TCU. Give me the Horned Frogs to pull the upset.

Bobby Norell

My name is Bobby Norell. I'm from a small town in northern Indiana. I recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Sport Communication. Even though my diploma says I'm a Hoosier, my love for the Jayhawks has never wavered. They'll always come No.1.