On the three year anniversary of TCU’s stunning upset against a Kansas team that was then ranked No. 5 in the nation, Saturday’s narrative did not have a fairy tale ending for the Frogs. The Frogs were never able to solve Kansas in any category of the game.
“They (Kansas) were right and we had no fight,” TCU head coach Trent Johnson said. “We got handled by one of the premier teams in the country today.”
A slow start to the first half plagued the Frogs in a contest in which they shot a dismal 29 percent from the field, opposed to the Jayhawks’ 50 percent. Though they shot 70 percent at the line, TCU went 14-49 from the field, only recording three points through the first six minutes of play.
“They played great defense on us and took away a lot of three-point chances,” Johnson said. “They forced guys like Chauncey [Collins] to drive all the way to the basket.”
TCU guard Brandon Parrish said the team was confident coming in, but pressed too hard in the opening minutes of the contest.
“We came out playing too fast,” Parrish said. “Our mojo was just way too high. We couldn’t get shots and consequently we couldn’t make shots.”
The Frogs never led once during the game and faced an 18 point deficit going into the locker room at halftime. The deficit would become as big as 24 points for the Frogs in the 2nd half, though they were only outscored 37-36.
And shooting wasn’t the only woe for the Horned Frogs in the loss, they were out-rebounded 46-25 in the loss.
“Rebounding alone – that was the game right there,” Parrish said. “They’re a great team and they dominated us with their paint play.”
Kansas guard Perry Ellis recorded a game-high 23 points for the Jayhawks, 22 of the points coming off two-point field goals. Kansas guard Devonte’ Graham would have a game-second best of 15 points.
Parrish led the scoring efforts for the Frogs along with JD Miller, each recording 13 points in the contest. However, despite being a co-leader for the Frogs in scoring, Parrish expressed dissatisfaction of the team’s effort in the loss.
“I want to see this program move in the right direction,” Parrish said. “Win or lose, every night we have to go out there and fight. Today we didn’t show much fight and that doesn’t look very good for our program.”
Though the fight may not have been there Saturday afternoon, Johnson said he still has faith in his program’s will to compete when it matters most.
“I know they have fight in them,” Johnson said. “They understand what they are up against in this conference.”
As the barrage of games against top-ranked opponents continues for the Frogs, the team will have to look forward rather than being dragged down by recent defeats.
“In this conference you are probably always going to be playing against a team that is in the top 25 or at least getting votes,” Parrish said. “You have to train physically and mentally for it.”
Time will tell when that “getting over the hump” moment will come for the Frogs, but they certainly hope it is sooner than later.
The team gets back to action when they host Oklahoma State Monday night. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.