Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self has compared the end of the Jayhawks’ 64-61 victory over TCU on Jan. 28 in Fort Worth, Texas, to a trip to the dentist for a root canal.
That is, a painful experience.
Remember, the Horned Frogs, who trailed by 11 points with 3:35 left and nine with 1:40 to play, missed a possible game-tying, overtime-inducing three-pointer at the buzzer.
“We were fortunate. They made it interesting late,” said Self, whose Jayhawks (21-5, 10-3) meet TCU (16-10, 3-10) in a 3 p.m. rematch today in Allen Fieldhouse.
“They whipped us on the glass last time. We have to address our deficiencies and do a better job,” he added.
Chris Washburn had 12 rebounds, Trey Zeigler 11 and Kenrich Williams nine for a TCU team that won the board battle decisively, 50-40. The Horned Frogs had 26 offensive rebounds to KU’s nine.
“I’ve always said if you are going to play somebody twice, you want to win. But if you make a perfect scenario, make the first game a hard game,” Self said.
“I think obviously what happened with Oklahoma State, with what happened with Kansas State, then what happened with us down there, are three good reminders that this team’s very capable of playing with anybody.”
TCU enters today’s game after home wins over both KSU (69-55) and OSU (70-55).
“A lot of times their best offense is going and getting it off the glass. We’ve got to do a much better job. We were really poor in Fort Worth with that,” Self said.
Frank Mason III scored 16 points and was the only Jayhawk in double figures at TCU. Brannen Greene and Landen Lucas had seven rebounds apiece. West Virginia outrebounded KU, 37-32, in Monday’s 62-61 win over the Jayhawks in Morgantown.
“Long shots mean long rebounds. We don’t have a good rebounding, defensive rebounding team, per se, from a size standpoint,” Self said. “If you’re not big, you need to do some things from a physical standpoint to put you in better position to get those rebounds.
“You’ve got to hit somebody in position. Your rotating position has to be better. We’re not going to win a lot of jump balls with our standing height with our bigs. If you don’t put a body on physical guys, then obviously they control you. One shove, not necessarily a foul, but one hard move that creates contact can displace you and all of a sudden it becomes jump balls.
“And our guards have to clean up. Frank and Wayne (Selden, Jr.), Kelly (Oubre, Jr.), Brannen (Greene) and Devonté (Graham) are all doing a poor job. Kelly is the best of the five. But all are doing a poor job of running down rebounds,” Self added.
Freshman point guard Graham said rebounding has been an emphasis.
“We’ve got to start doing our jobs better. We’ve got to help the bigs out rebounding,” Graham said of the guards. “We do a bad job of boxing out and rotation box out. We’ve got to start focusing on that. Like coach tells us, do our job and we’ll be better off.
“It’s more wanting to be that guy, be that alpha dog and get your nose dirty a little bit,” Graham added of the key to guards grabbing boards. “I don’t think it’s hard to be aggressive against anybody. You should always want to be aggressive.”
TCU’s Anderson: Senior guard Kyan Anderson scored 17 points off 5-of-18 shooting in the first game. He hit two of six threes and five of seven free throws. Anderson, an 87.2 percent free-throw shooter, has dished five or more assists in five of the past six games.
“Frank and Devonté have to be good. Our ball-screen defense has to be better. Of course, we got to keep him out of the paint. I mean that even from a running start, from an offensive-rebounding standpoint,” Self said.
“We need to make sure we keep him away from the basket as much as possible, which we didn’t do a very good job of the first time at all. He’s a nice player. He controls their team. I don’t know how many he had last night (nine versus K-State), but I don’t think he scored a lot. I know at one point it wasn’t like he was scoring, but he totally controlled the game with the pace. He’s a good player.”
This, that: KU leads the all-time series, 8-1. ... TCU coach Trent Johnson is 2-4 versus KU. Prior to a 2013 home victory, his only other win over the Jayhawks came with Nevada on Dec. 21, 2003, which ended in a 75-61 home Wolf Pack decision. ... Self is 12-4 vs. TCU, including a 6-1 mark as KU coach. ... TCU is shooting 52.7 percent in its last two games, both wins. ... TCU is 9-1 when scoring 70 or more points. ... TCU is 14-2 when outrebounding its opponents. ... KU has a 21-game homecourt win streak. ... KU is 64-9 in games following losses in the Self era. ... Brannen Greene is 18-for-30 (60.0 percent) from three-point range in his last nine games and leads the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage in conference games at 55.3 percent. ... Cliff Alexander is 38-for-59 (64.4 percent) from the field in Big 12 play with 18 blocked shots. Alexander has at least one blocked shot in 15 of his last 17 games, including a career-high-tying four at Texas Tech (2/10). ... In his last five outings, Frank Mason III has 30 assists against nine turnovers. Mason has multiple steals in three of his last five games and nine games this season. He has 10 steals in his last six contests. ...
Wayne Selden Jr. has scored in double figures in five of his last six games. His five straight 10-plus point games prior to West Virginia (2/16) marked his longest consecutive double-figure scoring mark as a Jayhawk. Selden’s 13 games of multiple threes are best on the KU team this season. Selden is averaging 14.0 points in his last six games and 9.9 for the season. ... After his 2-for-2 effort from three at West Virginia, Kelly Oubre, Jr., has made multiple treys in four of his last five games and nine times this season. Six of those have been against Big 12 competition. The Jayhawks are 8-1 when Oubre connects on two or more three-pointers. ... Graham has 31 assists against nine turnovers in the last 12 games. He has at least one steal in six of his last eight games.
Recruiting: Brandon Ingram, a 6-8 senior forward from Kinston (North Carolina) High, will attend the North Carolina-Georgia Tech game at 11 a.m. today in Chapel Hill and the Duke-Clemson game at 3 p.m. in nearby Durham. Rivals.com’s No. 19-rated player nationally also has KU, Kentucky, UCLA and N.C. State on his list. ... KU assistant Norm Roberts watched No. 7-rated Cheick Diallo, 6-9 senior from Our Savior New American in Centereach, New York, play on Thursday night, zagsblog.com reports. Diallo also is considering Kentucky, Iowa State, St. John’s and Pitt.
TCU (16-10, 3-10)
F — Kenrich Williams (6-7, Soph.)
F — Karviar Shepherd (6-10, Soph.)
F — Chris Washburn (6-8, Sr.)
G — Trey Zeigler (6-5, Sr.)
G — Kyan Anderson (5-11, Sr.)
KANSAS (21-5, 10-3)
F — Perry Ellis (6-8, Jr.)
F — Cliff Alexander (6-8, Fr.)
G — Frank Mason III (5-11, Soph.)
G — Wayne Selden Jr. (6-5, Soph.)
G — Kelly Oubre Jr. (6-7, Fr.)