Game: Kansas Jayhawks @ TCU Horned Frogs
Time: 9:00 p.m.
Odds: Jayhawks +2, Horned Frogs -2
No. 22 TCU couldn’t have been happier to welcome back Mike Miles Jr. to the starting lineup after missing some time due to injury. On Saturday, Miles contributed 15 points to the Horned Frogs’ victory of 100-75 over Oklahoma State, which helped put an emphatic end to a losing streak that had lasted four games for the team. TCU was 16-4 after a win over West Virginia on Jan. 31. Without Miles, the Horned Frogs lost four straight and failed to cover in all four games.
TCU will face Kansas again on Monday night in Fort Worth, Texas, with both teams at full strength. Kansas is currently ranked fifth in the nation. After coming back from a 16-point deficit in the first half of their game against No. 9 Baylor on Saturday, the Jayhawks (22-5, 10-4) are now tied for the lead in the Big 12 with the Texas Longhorns.
Miles, who comes into the game averaging 17.9 points on field goal shooting at 53.1 percent, was one of six TCU players who scored in double figures against Oklahoma State. Emmanuel Miller had team-high 18 points, Damion Baugh had 16 points and 11 assists, Shahada Wells scored 15 points off the bench, Charles O’Bannon scored 12, and Micah Peavy scored 10 points.
It wasn’t a coincidence that the Horned Frogs (18-9, 7-7) looked more like the team that routed Kansas a month ago and less like the team that went on the skids without Miles. The TCU star hyperextended his right knee in a loss to Mississippi State on January 28. The Horned Frogs also looked more like the team that routed Kansas back on Jan. 21. TCU won by 23 points, 83-60. Miles had 15 points and Wells came off the bench to lead TCU with 17.
Even though it is obvious that the team isn’t the same without their star player, TCU coach Jamie Dixon resisted the temptation to rush his player back from an injury. Oklahoma State head coach Mike Boynton noticed a huge difference in TCU’s performance on Saturday with Miles in the lineup. The Cowboys had won five of their previous six games before losing to TCU on Saturday.
After Baylor did what it wanted to do in the first half to establish a 45-32 lead at halftime, the Jayhawks were able to do some heavy lifting themselves in the second half. Kansas head coach Bill Self must have given a halftime speech for the ages. The Jayhawks outscored the No. 9-ranked Bears by a margin of 29 points in the second half.
With 14 points in the second half, Dajuan Harris was a major contributor to the Jayhawks’ dominance. He also had nine assists and his defense helped contain Baylor’s explosive backcourt. K.J. Adams Jr. added 17 points despite only taking six shots, and Jalen Wilson contributed 21 points and 13 rebounds to the team’s total. Despite shooting only 6-of-18 from the field, Gradey Dick ended the game with 16 points. The Jayhawks, as a team, outscored Baylor at the free throw line 23-9 and turned the ball over only four times.
Kansas is looking for a performance like Saturday against TCU tonight. In the first game against the Horned Frogs, TCU shot 54.4 percent and led by as many as 25.
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