Sat, 06 Mar 2021

No. 15 Kansas looks to halt losing streak vs. TCU

Field Level Media
27 Jan 2021, 11:19 GMT+10

Some changes to the Kansas rotation could transpire with the No. 15 Jayhawks attempting to halt a three-game losing streak.

In addition to dropping in the polls, Kansas (10-5, 4-4 Big 12) sits just .500 in a conference race that still features an undefeated leader in No. 2 Baylor. The Jayhawks will try to regain some footing Thursday against TCU (9-5, 2-4) at Lawrence, Kan.

"I'm going to give everybody a chance to play with everybody and then we'll kind of see where we need to go," Kansas coach Bill Self said.

"If we're going to become a team," Self added, "now's the time we're going to do it."

Since his squad fell on Saturday to Oklahoma, one of two teams that were unranked when they contributed to the Jayhawks' current skid, Self has shuffled lineups in practice and examined different combinations.

The boost in energy created by the changes has been noticeable to the 18th-year coach, who last saw one of his Kansas teams drop three in a row in 2012-13.

A shot at the Big 12 crown, something the Jayhawks have failed to grasp just once in the last 16 seasons, appears to be improbable at best.

Self, however, is not bashful about drawing comparisons to the 1987-88 national championship team coached by Larry Brown. That squad suffered 11 defeats but rolled through the NCAA Tournament.

Granted, All-American Danny Manning fueled the surprising Kansas run that season. Still, Self is convinced this year's team can match up with the nation's finest if the Jayhawks find some cohesiveness.

"It's still out there in front of us," he said. "But we can't be a team or a group of individuals that says, 'Oh, it hasn't gone as scripted and we're deflated by that.' We're just getting started."

Getting to play at home could provide a boost. All three of the Jayhawks' consecutive defeats came on the road against teams -- Oklahoma State, Baylor and Oklahoma -- angling for NCAA Tournament bids.

"I just know we have to get it together," Marcus Garrett said after pacing Kansas with 21 points and 12 rebounds at Oklahoma. "I feel confident in us getting it together because we have the best coach and he's going to make sure we're ready for our next game."

TCU is also mired in a three-game losing streak and has not played since Jan. 12. A positive COVID-19 test for coach Jamie Dixon contributed to the postponement of each of the Horned Frogs' last three scheduled games. Included was the Kansas matchup, originally scheduled for Tuesday.

During their recent skid, which began with a 93-64 shellacking from Kansas on Jan. 5, the Frogs have lost by an average of 27.7 points.

"It's a grind. It's tough. Every team in this conference is good," said Mike Miles, who ranks among the Big 12's top freshman scorers with a 13.4-point average but went scoreless in the first Kansas clash.

R.J. Nembhard (17.2) leads TCU in scoring, netting double figures in 11 consecutive games.

--Field Level Media

More Oklahoma City News

Access More

Sign up for Oklahoma City News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!