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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Jayhawks remember nightmare at TCU

From left Jeff Withey, Jamari Traylor, Elijah Johnson and Kevin Young, watch the final seconds of the Jayhawks' 62-55 loss to Texas Christian on Feb. 6, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas.

From left Jeff Withey, Jamari Traylor, Elijah Johnson and Kevin Young, watch the final seconds of the Jayhawks' 62-55 loss to Texas Christian on Feb. 6, 2013 in Fort Worth, Texas.

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— Jamari Traylor remembers the fateful day Kansas University’s basketball team temporarily forgot how to put the ball in the basket.

Back on Feb. 6, 2013, during the 6-foot-8 forward’s freshman season, the Jayhawks managed to score a mere two points the first 12 minutes, six points the initial 16 minutes and 13 the (entire) first half of a 62-55 loss to a TCU team that entered not only as an 18-point underdog, but 0-8 in the Big 12 and 9-12 overall.

“I was thinking, ‘Oh, man. We are in a hole right now,’’’ senior forward Traylor said of his thoughts with KU down, 22-13, at halftime in the Horned Frogs’ Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.

“At the time, I still thought we were going to win the game. I didn’t think we were going to lose, but we did. That was a bad point in time for us. We had lost two in a row (actually the previous game to Oklahoma State) or three in a row, something crazy. We had to turn it around, and we did that year. We won it that year,” Traylor added of the league title.

An 18-4, 6-3 KU team today returns to the same building — now referred to as 8,500-seat Schollmaier Arena — to face a TCU team (10-12, 1-8) that, as it did in February of 2013, resides in the cellar of the Big 12 Conference.

This time, the Jayhawks, who beat TCU, 70-63, on Jan. 16 in Allen Fieldhouse, say they are taking nothing for granted entering today’s 11 a.m. tipoff.

“We haven’t been good on the road this year (1-3 in league). We’ve got to play better on the road than we have been,” Traylor said. “I feel like going there we’ve got to be more focused in order to get a win.”

A 5-0 home record is what has kept the Jayhawks in contention for a 12th-straight Big 12 title.

“We talk about it all the time. We’ve got to win games on the road,” noted sophomore guard Devonté Graham. “It’s huge in the league, and we haven’t done it yet (victory at Texas Tech with losses at West Virginia, Oklahoma State and Iowa State). Coming up on the road we have to be more focused.”

The Jayhawks, by the way, are 7-0 versus TCU since that unforgettable game in 2013. KU followed that contest with wins over the Frogs by 26, 22 and 30 points. The last four games in the series have been much closer, KU winning by seven, three, nine and five points.

“For whatever reason, we’ve played well at times against TCU, but not consistently well, and they’ve done some things to kind of mess with us defensively,” KU coach Bill Self said.

The Horned Frogs snapped a five-game losing streak by beating Tennessee, 75-63, last Saturday in the Big 12/SEC Challenge in Fort Worth. Malique Trent scored 15 points, while Chris Washburn and Brandon Parrish each had 14 points. Washburn had a career-high five assists.

“It had a flow because we were making a lot of shots we had been missing,” TCU coach Trent Johnson told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “That was one of the first times in a long time where the ball went down for us, so that helps our assists.”

On Tuesday, TCU was pounded by Oklahoma, 95-72, in its return to league action in Norman.

In KU’s seven-point win over TCU on Jan. 16, Wayne Selden Jr. led the way with 11 points.

Perry Ellis, Frank Mason III, Graham and Carlton Bragg Jr. each had 10 points.

Ellis had nine rebounds as KU outboarded TCU, 44-37. TCU’s Michael Williams led all scorers with 13 points, while Vlad Brodziansky grabbed 12 rebounds.

“We’ve got to go down there and be physical with those guys. They are a physical team. We’ve got to go out there and compete hard and go out there and try to get a win,” Traylor said.

More on Greene: Self reiterated Friday that junior Brannen Greene would not be suspended for flushing a meaningless dunk before the final buzzer sounded in Wednesday’s 77-59 home win over Kansas State.

“Yes, he’ll be in uniform. Well, it’s only noon. We haven’t practiced yet. That’s a joke. He’ll be in uniform tomorrow, obviously,” Self said.

Self was criticized by radio personality Colin Cowherd on Thursday for calling out Greene publicly after the game.

“I am an emotional guy. I was so upset after the game because that (dunking instead of running out clock in a rout) goes against everything I believe in and everything this university believes in from a sportsmanship-type topic. That just doesn’t happen,” Self said. “We talk about how we don’t rush the court. We talk about how much pride we have in the inventor of the game was our first coach and how much history is here and also spawned off the University of Kansas.

“We win the national championship, and we don’t even celebrate but for a brief moment because they (Jayhawks) had too much respect for the situation and got back in the handshake line. Those are things we talk about if not every day, weekly or monthly. That’s the fabric of how we’ve done things. To have somebody totally go against the grain in that, it certainly didn’t sit well with me or (Greene’s) teammates. It’s over. I apologized because that’s not the way we want to conduct ourselves. It’s also a youngster that didn’t make a very good decision. I made a ton of ’em (bad decisions) in my time at the inappropriate time. It’s forgotten, but I don’t think we’ll have to address it again,” Self added.

Mickelson update: Self said Hunter Mickelson (high ankle sprain) might be available for duty today.

“I don’t know if we’ll get him in just because he won’t be 100 percent, but he is definitely out there (practicing this week),” Self said.

This, that: TCU has had some adversity again this season. Washburn missed the first 11 games due to a broken finger, Trent three games because of a team rules violation and Dalton Dry several weeks because of an illness. ... Johnson is 48-70 in his fourth season at TCU and 274-255 in his 17th season overall as a coach. TCU is 8-5 in home games this season, including 4-3 in Schollmaier Arena. The Horned Frogs average 68.7 points and 35.6 rebounds per game. TCU shoots 41.5 percent from the field, makes 5.4 3-pointers per game and averages 12.4 assists, 6.1 steals and 3.5 blocked shots per game. Sophomore G Malique Trent leads TCU in scoring at 11.5 points per game. Sophomore F Vladimir Brodziansky is second on the team with 11.0 scoring and 5.0 rebound averages. Sophomore G Chauncey Collins leads TCU in league games with a 12.1 scoring average. Overall, Collins scores 10.4 points and his 2.03-pointers made are fifth in the Big 12, while his 40.2 three-point field goal percentage is seventh in the conference.

Comments

Yonatan Negash 2 years, 9 months ago

Here's the deal, if this team goes out and loses this game they might as well kiss winning another conference championship good bye.

As I see it, we'll be lucky if Oklahoma loses another game anytime soon.

In my mind, it may have to come down to us going down to Norman and winning there.

In addition, Baylor and Texas are now must wins too.

No doubt it'll be a tough task but it can be done.

Joe Joseph 2 years, 9 months ago

Oklahoma hasn't been super impressive on the road this season. OU is 2-2 on the road in the conference thus far with an average margin of victory of just 4 points. They still have tough road games against West Virginia (OU only beat them by 2 points at home), K-State (beat by 10 at home), and Texas. Oklahoma will drop at least one of those. I also expect OU to drop at least one home game.

K-State will be doing KU a huge solid if it can knock off the Sooners today!

Yonatan Negash 2 years, 9 months ago

Joe -

I hope you're right on KSU, we need all they help we can get.

Andy Godwin 2 years, 9 months ago

It may be time to shake things up with the KU lineup. Bill Self needs to see that things are broken. The Big XII title is likely out of reach, unless they win out which is highly unlikely given their most difficult road trips remain. Yes the Jayhawks are winning at home, but rarely in impressive fashion. They have not dominated a team since the first half of the Baylor game and they are horrible, repeat horrible on the road. I don't care how well the opposing team plays, a top 20 team does not lose by 18 to OSU. I expected this team would be improved from last year's underachievers when it counted in March and winning championships in South Korea and Maui seemed to point to good things ahead. However, their on court chemistry is bad, the freshman have been underdeveloped, Frank Mason looks beat up, Hunter Mickelson (before the injury) has become invisible to Self, even though the chemistry seemed better when he was starting. When Lucas or Traylor play, the defense doubles or triple teams Ellis and his offensive production goes down. If Self continues with the offensive black hole known as the 5 position, the team's chance of winning will greatly depend on Seldon and he has been great at times (e.g., in South Korea and Maui and most recently versus Kentucky), but when he is off the team looks lost. I know this will be viewed as blastphemy, but Self made need to concede the Big XII to OU (with Texas and WVU in the mix) and let the freshman (Diallo, Bragg, and even Vick to rejuvenate Mason), Svi, and Mickelson, play meaningful minutes, otherwise they won't get out of the first weekend again in March.

Jay Scott 2 years, 9 months ago

"The Big XII title is likely out of reach". This must be the first one game lead in history that is insurmountable.

Andy Godwin 2 years, 9 months ago

I think you can be a fan and objective at the same time. Losing 74-63 to West Virginia, 86-67 to OSU, and 85-72 to ISU (especially being outscored 49 to 29 in the second half) in a row on the road should at least provide a modicum of angst, even to those rabid fans. Given that 5 out of the last 9 games are on the road and KU's only true road wins have been at San Diego State and Texas Tech, it essential to reverse that trend today.

Jay Scott 2 years, 9 months ago

None of that made a lick of sense in defending the absurd statement "The Big XII title is likely out of reach"

Andy Godwin 2 years, 9 months ago

"...unless they win out which is highly unlikely given their most difficult road trips remain"

Michael Lorraine 2 years, 9 months ago

I would have to agree with Andy. I believe it is likely out of reach which is different than insurmountable. 12 would be nice but I can live with 11.

Jay Scott 2 years, 9 months ago

Attention Chicken Littles. The Kansas Jayhawks basketball team is ONE game out of a first place tie. One. A single game. They play both of the teams that they trail again.

Talk of "The Big XII title is likely out of reach" is the height of Chicken Little idiocy.

Jay Scott 2 years, 9 months ago

Are the batteries on your crystal ball dead?

Robert Brock 2 years, 9 months ago

I just want the Hawks to play better basketball. Self's offense looks awful. There is not enough movement, passing and screening is weak, and the Jayhawks end shot locks having to put up highly contested, difficult shots. You get beat doing that, especially when your rebounding is poor - like it was against a LOUSY K-State team.

I'm not concerned with the conference crown this year. It is up to OU and it looks like the Sooners may run the table. Their path looks easier than ours.

Michael Lorraine 2 years, 9 months ago

Same here. Not concerned about the conference title. If they win it fine, if they don't I can live with 11 straight. Just want to see this team play up to their potential.

David Kemp 2 years, 9 months ago

Conference title not done yet. Bottom line as has been mentioned abundantly on this board is play better basketball. And it's hard to play better with such player inconsistencies. Selden must score and play with ability every game. I like the idea of trying mason selden and svi playing together. We need rebounding out of our 3 like releford, Wiggins did. If our players just play their game we will win, but agree Bragg must play.

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