The Kansas Jayhawks never found their footing, or their shot, or their rebounding presence against the TCU Horned Frogs on Saturday.
In a performance that nearly eclipsed a program worst, the Jayhawks found themselves on the wrong side of a 83-60 blowout loss to the Horned Frogs, KU’s second consecutive defeat and the second-worst loss at Allen Fieldhouse in program history.
The only worse Allen Fieldhouse loss for KU was on Jan. 2, 2021, an 84-59 defeat at the hands of the Texas Longhorns.
What’s more, it was also the first time TCU has ever won on the road against Kansas. The Horned Frogs were previously 0-17 in those games.
We obviously told our guys we’d never won here, and so had everybody else,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said. “It’s a great win for us.”
Brendan Dzwierzynski recaps the Kansas Jayhawks’ historic 83-60 blowout loss to the TCU Horned Frogs on Saturday, Jan. 21, including a look back on another huge game for Jalen Wilson and why things got so out of hand from the very beginning.
Not only was Saturday’s loss the second in a row for the Jayhawks, it was also the second game in a row in which they squandered an All-American caliber performance by junior forward Jalen Wilson, who followed his 38-point effort against the Kansas State Wildcats with another 30 against TCU.
In fact, he was almost the entire offense for the Jayhawks against the Horned Frogs. Wilson went 11-of-21 from the floor and 4-of-9 from three-point range, plus he grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
The rest of the Jayhawks combined for 30 points on 12-of-38 shooting overall and 3-of-12 from deep, and they were outrebounded 36-30.
While TCU dominated all afternoon, to the point where it led for 38:47 of game time, Kansas had a chance to get back in the game near halftime. The Jayhawks got hot late in the first half to shrink a 22-point deficit down to just 10 at the break.
Out of halftime, however, KU never found a way to continue that momentum, allowing TCU to extend the lead back to 16 and putting it out of reach early. Jayhawks coach Bill Self said that stretch of the game created even more problems for Kansas.
“We just didn’t put ourselves in a position to be able to press, trap, create deflections or turnovers,” Self said.
Senior guard Kevin McCullar was the only other Kansas player to score in double figures, scoring 10 points after going scoreless against Kansas State. The rest of the starting lineup didn’t find nearly that much success, however.
Freshman guard Gradey Dick went just 3-of-13 from the floor and 2-of-8 from three on his way to eight points. Sophomore forward K.J. Adams got in early foul trouble and scored just four, snapping a streak of 11 straight games in which he’d scored 10 or more points. And junior guard Dajuan Harris went scoreless for the second straight game, although he did post a game-high eight assists.
For all of KU’s offensive struggles, Wilson pointed out its defensive woes after the game as a big reason why the loss gout out of hand. He said Kansas needs to get back to taking pride in guarding opponents after TCU shot better than 54% from the floor on Saturday.
“Obviously today, they had pretty much anything they wanted to get,” Wilson said.
“The way we guarded, we gave them confidence early, and they took that confidence and ran with it,” Self said.
Three Horned Frogs reached double figures in scoring, led by senior guard Shahada Wells and junior guard Mike Miles Jr., who had 17 points and 15 points, respectively. Both Wells and Miles said after the game this was TCU’s biggest win since they’ve been on campus.
Now 5-2 in Big 12 play, the second-ranked Jayhawks will have a quick turnaround before playing the Baylor Bears on the road Monday night. Self said Kansas will have to do a better job guarding and following scouting reports to turn their fortunes around.
“This league is so good that if you can’t make other people play poorly, you’re not going to find much success in the league,” Self said.
Click below to hear from Bill Self and the Jayhawks after KU’s 83-60 loss to the TCU Horned Frogs.