It doesn't seem like all that long ago that the TCU students were storming the court to celebrate a victory over the perennial Big 12 champion Kansas Jayhawks- something that several of our former SWC mates took ages to manage (if they managed it at all) in our our very first attempt at it. Combining one of the biggest upsets of all time with TCU's earlier football domination of the Jayhawks and the "We Own Kansas" phrase was born- a statement that no matter how tough things were in the suspension and injury ravaged transition to the Big 12, we had something to fall back on no matter what. Now the time has come for that tautology to be tested as another highly ranked Jayhawk team comes to Daniel Meyer for a game that no one thinks TCU has a chance to win. Here are your keys to the game.
1. Put the pressure on Kansas early- Taking an early six-eight point lead would do wonders for the atmosphere in the coliseum, while also putting a good deal of pressure on a young Jayhawk team. They'll know all too well what happened to the last Kansas team that came here, and early pressure may result in some bad decisions as young players try to make up the difference themselves with "hero-ball" while the Frogs build a lead.
2. Put the pressure on Kansas early (part 2)- Kansas is a not a good ball handling team and TCU's defensive intensity is normally good at forcing turnovers. If we crank up the intensity early and get a few quick transition baskets it will be another weight on the minds of Kansas players, either causing them to attack recklessly (and lend themselves to more turnovers) or become too passive and settle for bad, but safe, shots.
3. Take the ball to the basket early and often- Kansas is (as always) the most talented team in the conference, they're big and athletic and will probably crush us on the boards if we give their bigs an opportunity to get settled. Which is why we need to take the ball directly at those bigs and draw fouls. Kansas is a team that will foul quite a bit, and the Frogs are quite good at getting to the line as well- amp up the pressure on the inside and create some foul trouble so that the Kansas frontcourt can't be as aggressive hitting the boards.
4. Bleed the clock for all it's worth- The faster this game goes, the more it will play to the advantage of the Jayhawks. Every possession, unless an early drive results in a shot that's too wide open to pass up, should take at least 20 seconds off the shot clock, while trusting in the defense on the other end to make the Jayhawks have to make the extra pass.
Those keys to the game make it sound as though Kansas is ripe for an upset, doesn't it? Fact is, it's almost certainly not going to happen. For all of those weaknesses Kansas has more strengths, more talented players, more depth, more skill and is generally a very good basketball team that TCU shouldn't have a chance to beat. That's what makes this one interesting though, because despite the fact that they're a very good basketball team...
We own Kansas.