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TCU Basketball Preview: Kansas

On the three-year anniversary of TCU's historic upset win over Kansas, the Frogs will look for lightning to strike twice in Fort Worth.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Game Time: 11:00am CDT | Location: Schollmaier Arena - Fort Worth, TX
TV: ESPN | Series: KU Leads 11-1 | Game Line: KU -12.0

The Frogs return to the hardwood bright and early to face a top-ten team for the second time in four days as the 7th-ranked Kansas Jayhawks make their first visit to Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena. TCU will look to do the unthinkable again this morning, on what is the three-year anniversary, to the day, of the Frogs' historic 62-55 win over the Jayhawks in 2013. Even three years later, the victory remains the largest upset win, in terms of RPI differential, in college basketball history.

TCU will be at a similarly-sized disadvantage this morning as they were on that cold February evening in 2013. The Jayhawks enter the contest 18-4 on the year after knocking off Kansas State on Wednesday evening. KU is 6-3 in Big 12 play, looking for a big road win to avoid losing any further ground to Oklahoma in hopes of keeping their streak of 11 consecutive league championships intact.

The Frogs, on the other hand, are 10-12 overall and just 1-8 in league play after falling to Oklahoma 95-72 on Tuesday night. Although TCU is dead last in the league in scoring with 62.8 points per game, the offense has looked a little brighter as of late. Following the team's 48-point second half to come back and top Tennessee last weekend, the Frogs put up 72 points on the road against an Oklahoma team that is ranked #1 in the nation.

Perry Ellis continues to lead the Jayhawks, however Wayne Selden is closing the gap. Ellis enters today's game averaging a team-high 16.5 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. Selden is just behind with 15.0 points and 3.2 boards each night. Frank Mason has been impressive as of late, averaging 13.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, and a team-high 4.7 assists per game.

Devonte' Graham is Kansas' final double-digit scorer, knocking in another 10.5 points per game while also collecting 2.9 rebounds and dishing out 3.8 assists. The Jayhawks' best shooter this season has been Brannen Greene, who is averaging just 6.9 points per game despite shooting 59.6% from the field. It is possible that the Frogs don't see Greene at all this morning, as the junior guard re-entered Bill Self's doghouse after a last-second dunk in Tuesday night's blowout win over Kansas State that prompted his coach to call him out during a live postgame interview.

On the other side of the court, Trent Johnson's trio of double-digit scorers continues to shoulder the load for the Frogs. Vladimir Brodziansky dropped 17 points against Oklahoma earlier this week, bumping his season average up to 11.0 points per game. The Slovakian native is also pulling down 5.0 rebounds each night while shooting a team-high 54.5% from the field.

Malique Trent continues to put up relatively consistent point totals night in and night out despite wide variances in his shooting percentages. The sophomore transfer from New Mexico Junior College currently averages a team-best 11.5 points and 2.9 assists per game.

Finally, Chauncey Collins' hot streak continues this week, as he looks to build upon his nine-point night against OU. Collins is averaging 10.4 points per game but his 38.6% shooting from the field is the lowest of any regular Horned Frog.

Chris Washburn, Karviar Shepherd, and Brandon Parrish are all averaging around eight points per game, providing support for Trent Johnson night in and night out. Shepherd leads the team in rebounds with 6.0 per game while Parrish remains the squad's best deep threat.

As mentioned above, the TCU offense has picked it up a bit as of late. After dropping 75 against Tennessee and 72 at Oklahoma, the team has now topped 70 points in consecutive games for the first time since December 11 and 20. The slight uptick in offensive production is a welcome sign for a TCU team that has struggled to score the ball all season long.

Schollmaier Arena is all but guaranteed to pick up its first-ever sellout this morning, and there's no doubt that the stadium will be rocking. Pressure will be on the TCU offense to keep things close enough to allow the team to make a late run in hopes of pulling off another improbable upset.

For even more in-depth analysis about the game, check out our Second Chance Points feature.

TCU Projected Starters

Kansas Projected Starters

G

Malique Trent

11.5 ppg, 2.9 apg

F

Landen Lucas

4.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg

G

Chauncey Collins

10.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg

F

Perry Ellis

16.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg

G

Brandon Parrish

8.2 ppg, 3.4 rpg

G

Frank Mason III

13.1 ppg, 4.7 apg

F

Chris Washburn

8.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg

G

Wayne Selden, Jr.

15.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg

F

Devonta Abron

5.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg

G

Devonte' Graham

10.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg

Here are other game notes, courtesy of GoFrogs.com:

  • TCU is 41-8 when leading at the half under head coach Trent Johnson.
  • TCU has held 35 opponents to 59 points or less under Trent Johnson.
  • TCU will play its seventh opponent either ranked or receiving votes in its last 10 games vs. Kansas.
  • TCU returned three starters from a year ago in Chris Washburn, Kenrich Williams and Karviar Shepherd.
  • All three are TCU's captains this season.
  • TCU has won four out of its last eight Big 12 Conference home games.
  • TCU played its first 11 games without Chris Washburn and Kenrich Williams.
  • Williams will miss the entire season with an injury.
  • Malique Trent ranks fifth in the Big 12 Conference in steals and No. 67 in the NCAA.