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Getting to know: TCU basketball

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TCU head coach Jamie Dixon smiles after a call goes against the Horned Frogs during the second half, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.

TCU head coach Jamie Dixon smiles after a call goes against the Horned Frogs during the second half, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

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.

Log on to KUsports.com for our live game blog coverage and follow the KUsports.com staff on Twitter: @KUSports @mctait & @bentonasmith

BREAKING DOWN TCU

TOP PLAYER

No. 25 — G Alex Robinson | 6-1, 180, sr.

TCU guard Alex Robinson (25) tosses a shot over his head after running out of options against Kansas forward Dedric Lawson (1) and Kansas guard Marcus Garrett (0) during the first half, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.

TCU guard Alex Robinson (25) tosses a shot over his head after running out of options against Kansas forward Dedric Lawson (1) and Kansas guard Marcus Garrett (0) during the first half, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

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.

SUPPORTING CAST

No. 1 — G Desmond Bane | 6-5, 215, jr.

Kansas guard Quentin Grimes (5) gets up for a lob dunk over TCU guard Desmond Bane (1) during the first half, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Quentin Grimes (5) gets up for a lob dunk over TCU guard Desmond Bane (1) during the first half, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

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.

Kansas guard Lagerald Vick (24) puts up a three over TCU forward JD Miller (15) during the first half, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Lagerald Vick (24) puts up a three over TCU forward JD Miller (15) during the first half, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

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.

Texas Tech's Jarrett Culver (23) jumps back to shoot the ball over TCU's Kouat Noi (12) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Jan. 28, 2019, in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo/Brad Tollefson)

Texas Tech's Jarrett Culver (23) jumps back to shoot the ball over TCU's Kouat Noi (12) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Jan. 28, 2019, in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo/Brad Tollefson) by Associated Press

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.

VEGAS SAYS…

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

Comments

Robert Brock 3 months, 1 week ago

TCU handled The Cyclones with ease - at Ames. The Frogs will speed the KU freshmen guards up a bit and the Jayhawks will suffer 20+ turnovers. TCU 74, KU 66

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