Men’s basketball hungry for win heading into matchup with No. 3 Kansas

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TCU is 11-3 when playing at home this season. Photo by Heesoo Yang

After losing four-straight games, TCU basketball returns home looking to get back on track.

The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Frogs, though, as No. 3 Kansas is next up on the schedule.

While the Horned Frogs have never defeated a top-three team at home, they are 11-3 when playing in the friendly confines of Schollmaier Arena this season, including an 11-point win against then-No. 18 Texas Tech.

Head coach Jamie Dixon hopes an energized home crowd can help TCU get back to the level of play that helped them win their first three conference games.

In order to succeed this weekend, Dixon said his team will have to improve offensively from a 72-57 loss on Wednesday at Oklahoma State. 

“We are on a run here where we have not played well, especially on the road,” Dixon said following the game Wednesday night. “We have some offensive struggles to improve. We try to simulate it in practice, but we haven’t done a good enough job with that.”

The Horned Frogs are 2-18 all-time against Kansas and have lost nine of the last 10 matchups.

The last time TCU played Kansas at home, the Frogs pushed the Jayhawks into overtime, though they did lose the game 82-77.

“You don’t want to give up home games,” senior guard Desmond Bane said after TCU fell to Texas in their last home game.

So far this season, the Frogs have been successful from beyond the three-point line. TCU leads the Big 12 in 3-pointers made per game with an average of 8.7.

Guard Desmond Bane looks for an opening against Texas. Photo by Heesoo Yang

Bane has been a huge help for TCU from three-point range, as he ranks second in three-point field goal percentage in the Big 12 at 44.2%. 

TCU’s three-point offense matches up well with Kansas’ three-point defense. The Jayhawks are ranked second in the conference in three-point field goal percentage defense at 29.3%.

Bane’s 16.2 points per game are second only to Kansas’ Devon Dotson in the conference with 18 points per game.

TCU has also been productive in the paint as center Kevin Samuel has been another primary weapon on offense for the Frogs this season. 

Samuel is shooting 66.5% from the field, ranking second in the Big 12 and fifth in the NCAA.

Samuel will be tested Saturday as he will be matched up with Kansas center Udoka Azubuike, who is on the Wooden Award watch list for national player of the year.

Azubuike is nearly averaging a double-double with 12.6 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, all while shooting an NCAA-best 76.3% from the field.

“We have to perform at a high level, and I believe we will,” Dixon said.

The Horned Frogs are scheduled to tip-off against the Jayhawks at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Schollmaier Arena.