Game 11: No. 6 Kansas at TCU – Preview and Prediction

The No. 6 Kansas Jayhawks look to get back on track on Tuesday evening when they travel to Fort Worth to take on TCU. The Jayhawks are coming off an abomination of a game last Saturday, as they got absolutely whipped by the Texas Longhorns at Allen Fieldhouse. TCU comes in with a 9-2 record and a 2-1 mark in Big 12 play. While the Horned Frogs have a very good record, they have beaten up on a bunch of lower tier opponents, although they do have solid wins over Oklahoma State, Tulsa and Liberty. 

  • Tuesday, January 5, 2021, 9:00 PM CDT
  • Schollmaier Arena – Fort Worth, Texas
  • ESPN
  • No. 6/6 Kansas (8-2, 2-1) hits the road in Big 12 play at TCU (9-2, 2-1) on Tuesday, Jan. 5, at 9 p.m. (Central). The contest will air on ESPN.
  • Kansas is 97-13 following a loss in the Bill Self era, which started in 2003-04, including 1-0 this season and 3-0 in 2019-20. Incredibly, KU has been even more efficient over the last eight-plus seasons, amassing a record of 46-5 after losses since 2013-14. This includes an 8-1 mark in 2019-20. 
  • Kansas has won 10-straight Big 12 road games, which includes a 9-0 record in 2019-20. The conference record for consecutive road wins is 11 by Kansas from 2/25/2001-1/6/2003.
  • Through 10 games, Kansas has had six different players lead the team in scoring and eight in steals. This includes ties for the team high. 
  • Kansas has been ranked in each of the last 226 Associated Press polls dating back to 2008-09. The 226-consecutive weeks in the AP poll is an all-time record, surpassing UCLA’s 221 from 1966-80. KU holds the same streak in the coaches’ poll at 233.

Horned Frogs to Watch

RJ Nembhard  – 6’5”, junior, guard

Nembhard leads the Big 12 in scoring at 18.9 PPG, has had five 20+ point games this season and has been over 20 points in two of three league games this season. He’s been incredibly efficient as he’s shooting the ball 48.8 percent from the field and 38.1 percent from three. Its safe to say Nembhard can pour in the points. KU will need its best defensive effort against Nembhard.

Kevin Samuel – 6’11”, junior, forward

Samuel has been solid down in the post this season for TCU, as he’s averaging a double-double at 10.2 PPG and 10.2 RPG. KU’s David McCormack was pretty dreadful against Texas last Saturday afternoon. The Jayhawks will need a much better effort out of their big man in order to matchup with Samuel. It may help that Samuel is more of a traditional “big man,” as he’s less athletic than the Texas hybrid beasts that terrified KU for 40 minutes.

Jayhawk Pick to Click

Jalen Wilson – 6’8”, RS freshman, guard

Wilson was one of the few Jayhawks to show up against the Longhorns, as he poured in a team-high 20 points on 6-for-13 from the field. He’s put up 17 and 20 points in back-to-back contests after scoring a season low seven in the Big 12 opener against Texas Tech. After Kansas’ no-show performance against Texas, KU is going to need someone to step up and lead the charge, I’ll go with KU’s best player to keep up his hot play.

Prediction

To put it bluntly, Kansas shot the ball horrendously against Texas. They were 3-23 from three-point land and just 30.8 percent from the field, and to make things worse they did not defend like the team we’ve seen this season. Kansas is not going to put together back-to-back duds, especially against a team like TCU. The Horned Frogs have been taken to the brink this season by multiple mid-major to below mid-major programs. They have single digit wins over Tulsa, Liberty, Northwestern State, North Dakota State and Prairie View A&M. This should be an opponent that Kansas rolls. 

KU will need to shoot the ball 110% better than they did against Texas. The Jayhawks have shown to be a very good shooting team this season. I believe last Saturday was just a perfect storm, where shots were not falling for literally everyone, and at the same time, shots were falling all over the place for Texas. TCU does a pretty good job at defending the three, as opponents are shooting just 28 percent from distance this season, but I’d venture to say they haven’t faced as good offensively as Kansas. KU should get more than their fair share of opportunities at the rim against the Horned Frogs. TCU ranks 323rd nationally in percentage of opponents shots at the rim (44.6 percent). They also struggle mightily at the free throw line themselves, which never helps when you’re trying to upset a top-10 foe.

Marcus Garrett is questionable for the Jayhawks at the time of writing this, but he’s one tough dude. I would be surprised to see him out for KU. Even if he’s out, Dajuan Harris should be able to give KU quality minutes and set up open three-point looks, which will lead to the result Jayhawk fans are looking for. Give me the Jayhawks to win this one and win it pretty comfortably.

Kansas 79, TCU 64

KU -5

AUDIO PREVIEW: LINK

Season Record: 8-2 (7-3 ATS)

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.