TCU is fast, physical… and big. How must counter KU basketball: Breaking the opponent

After a loss to K-State on Tuesday, the Kansas men’s basketball team looks to return to action against TCU on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.

The two teams last met in the Big 12 tournament, with the Jayhawks winning 75-62 over the Horned Frogs in Kansas City. KU has an 11-game winning streak at Allen Fieldhouse vs. TCU.

The Horned Frogs are coming off a 74-65 loss to West Virginia on Tuesday. TCU has lost three of its last four games.

The Horned Frogs are a big, physical team anchored by an elite defense … not to mention they have a guard that will contend for Big 12 Player of the Year.

Below is a scouting report and prediction of the game.

Saturday’s game: No. 2 Kansas vs. No. 14 TCU

When/where: 12 p.m., Allen Fieldhouse

Opponent Record: 14-4, 3-3 Big 12

KenPom (Ken Pomeroy) Ranking: 30

All stats are from KenPom.com, Hoop-Math.com and EvanMiya. KenPom statistics include only Division I competition.

TCU team strengths

Shutdown defense: TCU ranks 19th in adjusted defensive efficiency (93.3). Adjusted defensive efficiency is the number of points a team allows per 100 possessions, adjusted for the opponent. This may interest you : The confusing history of XFL ownership, explained. The Horned Frogs are also 34th in opposing team effective FG% (46.1).

Opportunity creators: TCU ranks 19th in the nation in turnovers forced per game (17).

Second chances galore: The Horned Frogs love to break the glass. They are 26th in offensive rebounding percentage (34.5) and 46th in offensive rebounds per game (12.2)

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TCU team weaknesses

Outside shooting woes: TCU struggles to make shots beyond the arc. To see also : East Wilkes just chosen as Panthers cheerleader | news | journalpatriot.com. They are 348th in the nation in three-point percentage (28.7%).

Defensive rebounding issues: Although the Horned Frogs are great offensive rebounders, they struggle on the defensive glass. They rank 208th in defensive rebounds per game (24.7).

No easy points: TCU is not a good free throw shooting team (70.8% at the line), ranking 200th..

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Player to watch

6-foot-2 junior guard Mike Miles On the same subject : Inside the Locker Room | Browns.

TCU guard Mike Miles Jr.

+ Explosive athlete who is elite when finishing at the rim (77.3% at the rim)

+ Fast hands, average 1.5 steals per game

+ Consistent scorer; 20 straight games with double-digit points

– Not a great free throw shooter (69.8%)

– Bad outside shooter; he shoots 28.8% from 3.

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Tale of the Tape

TCU isn’t known for its shooting, but the Horned Frogs are a dangerous team in transition. On this play, Damion Baugh received a quick pass and ripped hard into the paint. He then hit a tough layup despite being fouled.

The Horned Frogs like to take advantage of the lackluster transition defense, so KU will likely prioritize rebounding. More often than not, TCU goes right to the hoop on fastbreaks.

Despite often struggling from beyond the arc, TCU stays in games thanks to its elite offensive rebounding. Here, TCU missed a shot and forward Xavier Cork converted the put-back dunk. KU has struggled with rebounding all season long, so an emphasis must be placed on box plays and controlling the glass. Offensive rebounds can be complete momentum shifts, so the Jayhawks will want to avoid these at all costs.

Game prediction

KU looks to bounce back from its 83-82 overtime loss to rival K-State on Tuesday. The Jayhawks have not lost at home against TCU in the history of the series.

This TCU team is a bigger, more physical team than most and it shows on defense. The Horned Frogs will likely force KU offensive stars Jalen Wilson and Gradey Dick into difficult shots by guarding them in face protection and running them from the three-point line.

In addition to limiting turnovers, KU needs its other guards — Dajuan Harris and Kevin McCullar — to shoot it without hesitation and make their open looks.

The matchup between the TCU offense and the KU defense is fascinating. Kansas needs to clear the paint and control the tempo, as TCU likes to play at a fast pace and make shots early in the shot clock. In fact, the Horned Frogs are 28th in the country in fastest average possession length. The key to success for KU is to force TCU to take threes.

Both teams desperately need this win. KU needs it to keep up with K-State — both teams are tied for first in the conference — while TCU is desperate for another quality conference win after losing three of four.

Although it will be close, I give Kansas the edge here. Kansas is historically excellent after one loss in the Bill Self era, which should continue.

Shreyas’ pick to cover the spread: TCU (+7.5)

Shreyas’ record against the spread: 7-3

Player to watch: KJ Adams

KJ Adams has slowly become KU’s second most important player this season. The forward has an 11-game double-digit point streak. On the defensive end, he held his own against much bigger and bigger opponents. Against a team like TCU, with a massive big man like Eddie Lampkin inside, Adams’ play is crucial on both ends.

On the offensive end, he needs to continue to be aggressive and look for his shot. On the defensive end, he needs to provide rim protection and box out against this taller TCU team. If Adams can make his impact felt on both ends of the court, the Jayhawks should emerge victorious on Saturday.

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