Balanced Effort Leads No. 1 Kansas Past TCU, 70-63
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Top-ranked Kansas successfully bounced-back from its first conference loss of the season with a 70-63 victory over TCU on Saturday afternoon to extend its home-court winning streak to 33 games inside Allen Fieldhouse.
Kansas (15-2, 4-1 Big 12) improves its record to 31-6 following a conference loss during the Bill Self era after recovering from a road loss at No. 11 West Virginia on Tuesday. KU has won seven-straight against TCU and leads the all-time series with the Horned Frogs, 11-1.
The Jayhawks were led by a balanced scoring attack of five Jayhawks reaching double-figure points. Junior guard Wayne Selden Jr., paced the group with 11 points. Senior forward Perry Ellis, junior guard Frank Mason III, sophomore guard Devonte’ Graham and freshman forward Carlton Bragg Jr., had 10 points each.
The Jayhawks tied a season-high eight blocks and outscored TCU in the paint, 30-16. Freshman forward Cheick Diallo rejected a team-high five shots while playing in a season-high 21 minutes. Diallo added nine points and a season-high nine rebounds in his most well-rounded performance as a Jayhawk to date.
KU tied its season high in offensive rebounds with 17 and scored 24 second-chance points. Entering Saturday, KU averaged 11.1 second-chance points this season.
TCU (9-8, 1-4 Big 12) was led by 13 points from guard Brandon Parrish on 6-of-9 shooting from the field. TCU’s first 15 points in the opening 10:07 of the game were scored on five 3-pointers.
Bragg came off the bench to record eight points and four rebounds in nine first-half minutes. His first bucket of the game gave Kansas a 20-19 lead. After five lead changes in the first 13 minutes, the Jayhawks were able to maintain their lead for the rest of the game after Bragg’s first points.
Ellis and Mickelson each had two early fouls, forcing the starting big men to play eight and five minutes, respectively, in the first half. But KU’s young big men stepped up and displayed their shooting range near the tail end of the first half as Diallo and Bragg each made perimeter shots to maintain KU’s near-double-digit lead into halftime. Bragg stayed in to start the second half.
Graham registered all of his 10 points in the first half with five assists as the Jayhawks made their way to a 37-28 halftime advantage.
Ellis scored eight of his 10 points in the second half, including a highlight-reel dunk off a power dribble in the lane to put Kansas ahead, 53-41, with 12:14 remaining.
Kansas increased its largest lead to 19 points, 64-45, with 4:36 remaining in regulation before the Horned Frogs minimized the damage with an 11-1 run at the end of regulation.
Top-ranked Kansas travels to Oklahoma State on Tuesday night (6 p.m., ESPN2) at Gallagher-Iba Arena. The Jayhawks’ next home game will be against Texas next Saturday afternoon, Jan. 23 (1 p.m., ESPN or ESPN2). Bill Self will have the chance to reach his 200th win in Allen Fieldhouse against the Longhorns.
KU STARTERS (SEASON/CAREER STARTS):
Jr. G Frank Mason III (17/56)
So. G Devonte’ Graham (15/15)
Jr. G Wayne Selden Jr. (17/88)
Sr. F Perry Ellis (17/88)
Sr. F Hunter Mickelson (10/35)
• Kansas is now 11-1 against TCU and has won seven-straight against the Horned Frogs.
• Since TCU joined the Big 12, KU leads the series 7-1, including a 4-0 record inside Allen Fieldhouse.
• Kansas head coach Bill Self is now 15-4 all-time against TCU, including 8-1 while at Kansas.
ATTENDANCE: 16,300 (236th-consecutive sellout)
• Made 55-9 following a loss in the Bill Self era, including a 31-6 record following a conference loss.
• Gave KU its seventh-straight win against TCU and made the series 11-1 in favor of the Jayhawks.
• Made KU 9-0 in Allen Fieldhouse this season and extend its home court winning streak to 33 games, which tied for the fourth longest in school history.
• Made KU 737-109 all-time in Allen Fieldhouse, including 199-9 under Self.
• Made Self 367-80 while at Kansas, 574-185 for his career and 15-4 all-time versus TCU.
• Made KU 2,168-833 all-time.
• The Kansas bench contributed 29 of the Jayhawks’ 70 points and marked the 11th time this year KU has outscored its opponent’s bench. The KU bench is averaging 27.5 points per game this season.
• The Jayhawks outrebounded the Horned Frogs by a tally of 44-37, marking the 13th time in 17 games Kansas has outrebounded its opponent.
• Kansas amassed eight blocks against TCU, tying for its most of the season. KU also tallied eight rejections against Loyola (Md.) on Dec. 1, 2015.
• After allowing a season-high 17 fast break points against Oklahoma on Jan. 4, Kansas has since allowed just eight fast break points in its last three outings combined, including four against TCU.
• The Jayhawks scored 26 second-chance points off 17 offensive rebounds. In its previous five outings, Kansas had averaged just nine second-chance points and 13.6 offensive rebounds.
• Kansas’ 25 percent (5-of-20) clip from three-point land was its second-lowest of the season; however, the Jayhawks have now hit five or more three pointers in 16 of their 17 games.
• Kansas saw five or more players score in double-figures for the sixth time this season.
• Senior F Perry Ellis came one rebound shy of his 16th-career double-double and third in four games. Ellis is averaging 9.8 rebounds per game in his last four outings.
• Ellis’ nine rebounds gave him 731 for his career, moving him past Mark Randall to No. 15 on the all-time list.
• Freshman F Carlton Bragg, Jr., posted a career-high 10 points, eight of which came in the first half.
• Freshman F Cheick Diallo posted career-highs in rebounds (nine) and blocked shots (five) and came within a point and a rebound of his first-career double-double.
• Diallo’s five blocks were the most by a Jayhawk this season.
• Sophomore G Devonte’ Graham connected on two of his four three-point attempts, marking the sixth time in his last seven outings that he has tallied multiple treys. Graham is shooting 53 percent (8-of-15) from beyond the arc during conference play.
• Graham also contributed six assists and just two turnovers. He is boasting a 2.6 assist-to-turnover ratio over his last six outings.
• Junior G Frank Mason III added four assists, moving him past the 300-assist milestone and within 19 dimes of moving among KU’s all-time top-20 career assist leaders.
Kansas Head Coach Bill Self
“You look at the stats, going into the last three minutes I think we had 10 or 12 on the glass and committed eight or nine turnovers and they were shooting less than 33 percent, so you would think that’s a blowout at home. But we shot the ball poorly today. I think we were 1-of-10 in the second half from three. We actually got some looks and didn’t score, but it was a dud game. We didn’t do a lot of great things to create energy. I don’t think it was from a lack of trying by any stretch, but we’re kind of duds. Statistically we did some good things defensively. We’re up 17 with three minutes left and just puttered around for the rest of the game and ended up letting them slice that to seven, which is absolutely ridiculous. But it was a win, it was just one of those matter-of-fact deals where let’s just win and get the heck out of here. The last two outings have been very lackluster and certainly we have to be better, a lot better this week.”
On foul trouble from Perry Ellis and Hunter Mickelson allowed Cheick Diallo and Carlton Bragg Jr. some good minutes:
“We were hoping that we could play them significant minutes today because obviously TCU plays a lot of bigs. We’re not ever going to be as good offensively when Perry isn’t in the game, but Carlton came in and played very well and Cheick played very well the second half. Those guys did some good things and earned some more minutes. They’re getting better, there is no question about that. I think Cheick’s attitude has been so good even when he hadn’t played, he’s always out there bouncing and he can’t help but get better when you care as much as he does. Those were positive things. Frank (Mason III), Devonte’ (Graham) and Wayne (Selden Jr.) didn’t play bad, but were just okay. We did some good things, but certainly we’ve got to be a lot better. Basketball is supposed to be game that’s played with great energy and it’s supposed to be a fun game to play and we haven’t acted like it’s a fun game to play this last week.”
On Tuesday’s matchup against Oklahoma State:
“We haven’t played well in Stillwater, for the most part, since I’ve been here. We’re going to have to do a lot of things, obviously we have to keep the ball out of the paint because a kid went for 42 (points) the other night. We have to do some things better, the ball is sticking a little bit, Frank isn’t aggressive at all right now and somehow we have to get him back to being aggressive again.”
Kansas Sophomore Guard Devonte’ Graham
On freshmen Carlton Bragg and Cheick Diallo:
“When you have guys that can come off the bench and give you a spark like that, it just boosts the energy on the team and it gives other bigs breaks. When they’re playing like that we just try to give them the ball and build self-esteem and give them confidence.”
On having a balanced attack versus running through one player:
“It’s definitely not that type of team. We definitely have to give Perry the ball on the inside because he’s our best inside scorer. He can score inside and outside, but as far as playing around one guy we know that’s not how we’re going to play. Sharing the ball and not being selfish is definitely what coach preaches.”
On what kind of spark freshmen Carlton Bragg and Cheick Diallo gave:
“Just a huge spark. Coach is always telling them to be ready when their number is called. In practice you can see them getting better each day. They’re going to be huge for us down the stretch and today they played a good game. Cheick did a lot of good things like blocking shots and Bragg knocking down mid-range jumpers and getting rebounds. They will be key down the stretch and in the season.”
Kansas Freshman Forward Cheick Diallo
On getting to play more:
“It’s not my decision, it’s coaches decision. Today he called my name and called my number so today was a chance for me to play. So any time coach calls my name I just go play.”
On what he focuses on in practice:
“I just do exactly what coach tells me to do.”
On his mentality during the game:
“In the first half played I played five minutes. I was getting confident, I said ‘Ok, I can do it.’ In the second half, I just brought energy, so I said now’s the time I can show everybody that I can play.”
On whether he was prepared to play a lot more today:
“I thought I would play a lot today. I was on the bench and my number was called, so I’ve got to go play and give the team everything to win.”
On how it felt to go out and block five shots:
“That’s what I do, that’s kind of my job – to block shots, rebound, and run the floor.”
On the frustration of not receiving a lot of playing time earlier in the season (and sitting out):
“Not really because it motivates me to keep working hard every day.”
Kansas Freshman Forward Carlton Bragg Jr.
On whether he was prepared to play a lot more today:
“He said to come off the bench and bring a lot of energy and just play my role.”
On how he can become a regular part of the rotation:
“Just keep bringing energy, being a good teammate in practice, and playing hard. Just get better every day.”
On how TCU competed:
“I think TCU competed really well. They gave us some good competition down the stretch. We just fought harder.”
TCU Head Coach Trent Johnson
“They’re tough. They’re tough to guard. We put a lot of pressure on them, a lot of pressure. From our standpoint, I’m trying to get my hands around why we could come out and compete against a team of that caliber in our previous four or five times on the road and not even show up for 20 minutes today. I’m not in to moral victories but I thought we made some strides in our overall effort to compete. There was a period or two there where they had a chance to run and get some separation, but I thought our guys fought back. They’re good. They’re physical, the skill level, mentally tough.”
On TCU’s competitiveness:
“We’ve been trying to get our guys to understand that when you take bad shots, or you have bad offense versus good teams, that’s a problem. They can go on a roll where it quickly becomes 10-0 or 15-0. The shooting was good. We didn’t finish a lot of plays and I think they had a lot to do with that because they’re better. Without looking at the tape, I was pleased with our overall competitiveness and our willingness to stick our nose in there and continue to fight and grind.”
On preparing for their next game:
“Beyond screaming and hollering, as a coach you have to teach. Again, we know we need to take care of the ball to be competitive versus good teams. This is not a good team, this is a great team. We’ll get back out at 3 p.m. tomorrow and practice and get ready for Texas Tech, and Texas Tech is much improved. We have to play them for 40 minutes on Tuesday.”
On TCU today:
“I thought all of our guys did a good job of competing. They’re making big plays against a good team. I think they all competed.”
On Cheick Diallo and Carlton Bragg Jr.’s potential:
“I saw that maybe two summers ago. It isn’t hard to figure that out; they look the part and they play the part. They’re playing for the right guy. They’re great players when it’s all said and done. I hope they leave after this year. Perry (Ellis) should have been gone two years ago. He’s a polished pro.”
TCU Junior Guard Michael Williams
On the competitiveness of the game for TCU:
“I thought we competed well. Obviously Kansas is one of the best teams in the conference and we competed much better after our last game against Baylor where we didn’t compete very hard. I was really happy with how we competed this game.”
On TCU head coach Trent Johnson raising his team’s mental toughness on the road:
“He is right, he is absolutely right. I think our one road game was against Bradley and that was a close game. We need to pick it up when we play on the road. It is always harder to win on the road, especially in this conference, so we have to play with competitiveness every game like we did here today.”
On TCU improving on the team’s overall mental toughness:
“I think everyone on our team, myself included, got better. It is tough and it’s a continuing process over the season but this was a good step for us.”
On if he was surprised how Kansas’ freshman big men played today:
“They’re long, really long. They may have times where they are not doing what they’re supposed to be doing offensively, but their length is really a problem on defense. (Kansas head coach) Bill Self really has the opportunity to put them in and they can cause problems on the defensive end.”
On how TCU guarded Perry Ellis and got him into foul trouble early:
“It definitely helped to get him into foul trouble early. A guy like that is lethal around the rim and he isn’t going to miss many shots. He is really smart with the ball, but I think Karviar (Shepherd) and (Chris) Washburn did a good job defending him.”
On how important the three-point shot is for TCU:
“It is big, I mean every shot is big. We shot a decent three-point percentage today, but every shot matters, not just three pointers. I feel like we shot a too many threes at the beginning of the game but we were shooting pretty well so you can’t get too mad about that.”
On if they wanted to continue shooting threes after the hot start:
“Yeah, you do want to keep shooting them, but that can get you in trouble. Eventually you will begin to miss and they can begin runs from the missed shots and the game can get out of hand from there, so we knew that we were going to need to get the ball into the post and score around the basket.”
On if Kansas is harder to guard or score on:
“Both. They have great players across the board so whoever they put in can compete at a high level. It is tough either way.”
On Vlad Brodziansky being a contributor when his offense comes around:
“He is great. The only thing that he needs to do is get stronger. He had 12 rebounds against Kansas, the No. 1 team in the nation, that’s very impressive. We will get him to where he needs to be at, myself included. I’ll get him the ball and give him opportunities to grow.”
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