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A Preview of Kansas-TCU

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Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

TCU is in the possibly unique position in the Big 12 of being both better and worse than we think. The Horned Frogs have lost five conference games in single digits and are a couple bounces and a crappy call against West Virginia away from being 5-8 or maybe even 6-7 in league play. However, TCU is being outscored by .082 points per possession, which ranks only better than Texas Tech in the league.

Most pressing for Kansas, who scored under a point per possession in the first meeting, is TCU's defensive profile. The Horned Frogs allow opponents to shoot just 31.2 percent from three and allow opponents to take the least amount of threes in the league. For a team that suddenly has a love of attempting threes, this could potentially be problematic.

Much less worrisome on defense, however, is that TCU ranks 6th in 2 point percentage allowed and last in defensive rebounding, so even if the Jayhawks miss their threes, they have a pretty good chance of rebounding any missed shots. TCU also ranks 9th in defensive free throw rate, though if the referees allow them to grab and hold all day like the team in 10th in the league, it could be a frustrating afternoon in Allen Fieldhouse. Given that Kansas is at home, however, I would expect them to go to the free throw line a bit more often. It's also worth noting that TCU currently ranks 8th in the nation in FG% allowed at the rim at 48.1 percent, but they allow opponents to shoot 41.1 percent of their shots there, which is 296th nationally (both stats via hoop-math.com).

Offensively, the Horned Frogs present much less of a problem. TCU is 9th in the league in offense, scoring .935 points per possession. TCU ranks 2nd in turnover rate and leads the league in getting to the line, but they are horrible at everything else. They shoot just 26.7 percent on 3-pointers, and 43.1 percent inside the arc. It's also worth noting that a hack a TCU offense would be very effective, as the Horned Frogs are shooting just 60.1 percent from the line this season, good for 350th nationally. I hear that's not great.

Individually, Kyan Anderson continues to be a bit of a letdown, shooting just 40.5 percent from two and 27.6 percent from three, which really drives down his value even though he ranks 5th in the league in assist rate and plays the 3rd most minutes in the league.

I will skip Trey Ziegler and Amric Fields, who we covered last time, to profile a couple of lesser known but equally valuable players:

Sophomore Kenrich Williams is fourth in the league in free throw rate and 7th in the league in offensive rebounding. With KU's struggles on the defensive glass, Williams has a chance for a nice little game in Allen Fieldhouse.

Fellow sophomore Chris Washburn ranks 3rd in the league in steal rate, 12th in block percentage, and 7th in defensive rebounding. Like his teammates, he's not much of a shooter, but he does a lot of peripheral things that bode well for his future. It's worth noting Washburn, a transfer from UTEP, had offers from both Baylor and Oklahoma State out of high school.

Some grabbing and holding, I mean defensive rebounding lapses, robbed me of a cover in West Virginia, and with Kansas favored by 12.5 I will take the Jayhawks to cover and win 84-61 in Allen Fieldhouse.