Getting to know: TCU basketball
Kansas will look to finally put its road woes in the rearview mirror Monday night.
The Jayhawks will travel to TCU, a team they beat by a 77-68 margin in Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 9. The rematch, though, feels more significant than normal given the fact KU is just 1-6 in true road games.
In its last road contest, Kansas (18-6, 7-4) fell at Kansas State to end an 8-game win streak in the Sunflower Showdown. It also put the Jayhawks behind in the conference race, which makes every road game even more important.
After a win at No. 17 Iowa State on Saturday, TCU (17-6, 5-5) will attempt to beat a ranked opponent in back-to-back games for the first time in school history
Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m.
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BREAKING DOWN TCU
No. 25 — G Alex Robinson | 6-1, 180, sr.
TCU’s backcourt it one of the best in conference, because of Robinson’s prolific passing ability.
Robinson ranks fifth in the nation at 7.4 assists per game. He is TCU’s all-time assist leader, eclipsing the previous mark of 575 career assists against Oklahoma State. Robinson was Preseason Honorable Mention All-Big 12.
In addition, Robinson is averaging 12.9 points per game. He’s scored in double figures in three consecutive games for the Horned Frogs.
No. 1 — G Desmond Bane | 6-5, 215, jr.
Bane is averaging 15.0 points per game, shooting 49.8 percent from the floor on 261 total shot attempts.
Last time out, Bane scored 17 points in a win over Iowa State. He’s scored 43 total points over his last two games. Bane has also reached double figures in seven of his previous eight contests.
Bane’s offensive rating of 122.3 ranks ninth in all of college basketball.
No. 15 — F JD Miller | 6-8, 235, sr.
Miller is fourth on the team in scoring with an average of 10.5 points per game to go along with 6.4 rebounds per contest.
In his three-year career, Miller has played in every possible game. The Dallas native has played in 125 career games. If Miller plays in all possible 32 games this season, he will match Brandon Parish’s TCU record of 136 games played.
Miller has a turnover rate of 9.3 percent, which ranks 46th in the nation.
No. 12 — F Kouat Noi | 6-7, 205, so.
Noi is one of four players to average in double figures for TCU, scoring 14.8 points per outing.
The last time Noi did not score in double figures was against Kansas, reaching double figures in nine consecutive games since then. He scored 17 points against the Cyclones, and has netted seven 3-pointers over his previous two games.
Noi ranks third in the Big 12 with 2.5 made 3-pointers per game and has made at least one in 22-straight games, the seventh best in the nation among major conference players.
ONE THING TCU DOES WELL
TCU’s 3-point defense has been elite this season, according to the numbers. Opposing teams are shooting 30.2 percent from long range, which ranks 22nd in all of college basketball.
ONE AREA TCU STRUGGLES
Opposing teams are swatting 10.1 percent of TCU’s shots this season. That block rate ranks 250th in the nation.
MEET THE COACH
TCU is coached by Jamie Dixon, who is 62-33 in his third season at TCU and 389-156 in his 16th season overall. TCU leads the Big 12 in assists (17.1) this season, and will demonstrate good ball movement on Big Monday.
TCU is a 3-point favorite over Kansas for Monday’s matchup. The Jayhawks (10-14 against the spread) have failed to cover in six of their past eight games, going 1-4 ATS on the road in Big 12 play. I’m going to fall for it again, but I think KU has to win this game to stay in the league race.
My prediction: Kansas 76, TCU 73