ABOUT TCU (10-12, 1-8): The Horned Frogs lost at Oklahoma 95-72 on Tuesday but a week ago beat Tennessee, a team that knocked off Kentucky a few days later. TCU played Kansas tough in Lawrence on Jan. 16, falling 70-63. The last four games in the series, all won by KU, have a six-point average margin. The Frogs give themselves a chance when they hold opponents to under 40 percent from the field. They’re 7-0 in those games.
TCU hosts the 7th-ranked Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday, looking to use their 70-63 loss in Lawrence from mid-January as a foundation for continued success. The Frogs kept things relatively close against a Kansas squad that was the #1 team in the nation according to both the Associated Press and USA Today at the time. Kansas has won the last four meetings against TCU, but only by a combined 24 points. The Frogs should have enough experience under their belt at this point in the season to put up yet another competitive performance against the Jayhawks.
KUAD Pregame Notes
LJW Smithology: TCU again
Mykhailiuk, an 18-year-old native of Cherkasy, Ukraine, may be a sophomore, but Self said Friday that his staff is still looking at this as Mykhailiuk’s freshman season.
“Last year we expected too much too soon,” Self said Friday. “We put him out there and he lost his confidence. So right now, the way I see it is he is midway through his freshman season right now.”
…Self told his assistants before the game Mykhailiuk had been shooting great in practice and that is why he elected to go with him at that moment instead of freshman LaGerald Vick and junior Brannen Greene. While Mykhailiuk’s stroke from long range was not perfect — he went 1 for 4 from deep — he may have cemented himself as the first guard off the bench with his impressive defense and distributing.
In the postgame news conference, when Mykhailiuk was asked what one thing people should know about him was, he responded saying he’s pretty good at ping pong. He claimed he and walk-on seniors Tyler Self and Evan Manning run the ping pong table they have at McCarthy Hall.
A reporter then followed up by asking if he can relate any of his ping pong skills to his game on the court. Mykhailiuk thought for a moment and chuckled.
“You know, the ball is pretty small,” Mykhailiuk said. “So I really need to focus.”
Jamari Traylor remembers the fateful day Kansas University’s basketball team temporarily forgot how to put the ball in the basket.
Back on Feb. 6, 2013, during the 6-foot-8 forward’s freshman season, the Jayhawks managed to score a mere two points the first 12 minutes, six points the initial 16 minutes and 13 the (entire) first half of a 62-55 loss to a TCU team that entered not only as an 18-point underdog, but 0-8 in the Big 12 and 9-12 overall.
“I was thinking, ‘Oh, man. We are in a hole right now,’’’ senior forward Traylor said of his thoughts with KU down, 22-13, at halftime in the Horned Frogs’ Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.
“At the time, I still thought we were going to win the game. I didn’t think we were going to lose, but we did. That was a bad point in time for us. We had lost two in a row (actually the previous game to Oklahoma State) or three in a row, something crazy. We had to turn it around, and we did that year. We won it that year,” Traylor added of the league title.
Once again, bettors are showing great faith in KU.
The opening line had the Jayhawks favored by nine, and that number quickly moved to 12 thanks to heavy action on KU. Keep in mind that KenPom's projection has KU by eight.
TCU is clearly the worst team in the Big 12, but that's not a horrible insult this season considering the conference's strength. The Horned Frogs also have had strong outings at home in January, which has included a victory over Texas and 12-point win over Tennessee last week.
Offensively, TCU will be completely reliant on getting to the free throw line, though that should be possible with a home whistle against a KU team that fouls too often.
Defensively, the Horned Frogs will need to get steals, though again, that's something that could be likely given the recent struggles of KU's guards on the road.
This game probably won't be aesthetically pleasing. It's reasonable to expect lots of fouls, free throws, missed shots and interrupted flow.
I just don't have the faith in KU yet that the bettors do. KU doesn't have the reliable interior scoring to take advantage of TCU's defensive weakness, and if it's unable to keep the Horned Frogs from the free throw line, I could see the home team hanging close.
Kansas 71, TCU 64
Jamari Traylor has sworn off McGriddles.
The McDonald’s sandwich — meat and cheese squeezed between two pancake buns — was once a staple of the Kansas forward’s diet. That hasn’t been the case the last two years ... not after extensive discussions with KU strength coach Andrea Hudy.
“She never wants us eating stuff like that,” Traylor said. “I stopped eating McDonald’s altogether.”
Traylor’s sacrifice is just one example of a larger discussion point when it comes to KU’s basketball team: How much should athletic departments be overseeing a player’s nutrition? And how much can actually be done by coaching staffs to convince players to change their eating habits?
“It is a concern of ours, because we do think that we don’t eat very healthy,” KU coach Bill Self said the day before his team's road game at TCU. “What we feed them is fine. It’s what guys do on their own that’s not so fine.”
“Pay Heed. The game you love began here. Respect those who came before you. Make their legacy your own. Because destiny favors the dedicated. And rings don’t replace work. In this game you don’t get what you want. You get what you earn. We are Kansas. Together we rise. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!”
Big 12/College News
The simple 2-pointer marked the longest streak for consecutive made field goals without a miss in men's Division I college basketball history -- and he wasn't done then and there. Sherrod's and-the-foul conversion at the 10:49 mark of the first half lengthened the streak to 28, and his 29th straight successful bucket came on a nifty right-handed turnaround in the lane with 10:09 left.
The senior big man got a generous bounce on an up-and-under reverse with 5:35 left in the first half, giving Yale a 30-25 lead and Sherrod an inconceivable 30 straight made baskets.
"At that point I couldn't do anything but smile," Sherrod told CBS Sports after the game. "I was really thanking God for that."
Damion Lee? He played at Drexel up until last spring. Trey Lewis? He was at Cleveland State.
They chose Louisville hoping to play in big games before capacity crowds against the most glamorous opponents Division I has to offer, and to play in the Tournament. They will get only half that bargain.
Why? Because Louisville would rather get this punishment out of the way now in order that it may not affect the future success of the program.
…This is the greatest reminder yet that the NCAA must cease to allow offending members to choose their own punishments. If they are breaking the rules — “I determined that it was reasonable to conclude that violations had occurred within the men’s basketball program in the past,” U of L president James Ramsey said Friday — then their punishments should be as severe as the infractions committee wishes, not as muted as the offenders desire.
And college athletes should never begin a school year under one set of expectations and have them changed without warning because of the actions of adults paid – handsomely, in many cases – to supervise them.
The Sporting News DeCourcy
Missouri sophomore forward Jakeenan Gant and junior center Russell Woods were arrested by the Columbia Police Department on Thursday.
Gant and Woods were arrested at 10 a.m. Thursday at 600 E. Walnut St. on suspicion of possession of drug paraphernalia but were released on a signature summons, according to a release from the Columbia Police Department.
The team announced Friday that Gant and Woods will not play when the Tigers take on Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Saturday and their status with the team will be re-evaluated next week.
…This is the third time Gant has been suspended from the team. The sophomore forward was suspended after being arrested in September 2014 on suspicion of third-degree assault along with fellow Missouri basketball player D'Angelo Allen. Gant was later charged with peace disturbance in November 2014 and was placed on two years unsupervised probation. Thursday's arrest appears to be a violation of that probation.
Gant returned to the team Oct. 1, 2014, but ended up missing the first nine games of the 2014-15 season due to an eligibility issue.
Without Woods and Gant, Missouri will have just three scholarship power forwards active against Alabama.
In a decision that could signal a new avenue to the NBA for elite American basketball players, Top 10 high school prospect Jonathan Isaac told Sports Illustrated on Friday that he will explore declaring for the 2016 NBA draft directly from prep school.
Isaac, a 6'10" small forward from IMG (Fla.) Academy, said in a phone interview that he expects to take advantage of a new rule that allows prospects to enter the NBA draft and return to college if they don’t feel good about their projected draft position. The new rule allows Isaac to participate in the NBA draft combine, hold an NBA workout and pull out of the draft without compromising his amateur standing at Florida State, where he’s signed to play next season.
Isaac, 18, and IMG officials expect that he’ll be eligible for the 2016 NBA draft because he started high school in 2011, which would make him one year removed from his initial graduating class. Isaac did not graduate from high school in 2015, but IMG officials expect he’d be eligible because former IMG player Satnam Singh had a similar circumstance and was eligible for the 2015 Draft. (Despite Singh being from India, he was classified as an American because he attended high school here.)
There’s vagaries in the NBA rule, which states that a player is eligible for the draft if "the player is or will be at least nineteen (19) years of age during the calendar year in which the draft is held, and (B) with respect to a player who is not an international player . . . at least (1) NBA season has elapsed since the player's graduation from high school (or, if the player did not graduate from high school, since the graduation of the class with which the player would have graduated had he graduated from high school."
A source with knowledge of the NBA’s thinking on Isaac said that there’s been no communication between Isaac and the NBA. As of now, the NBA considers his graduating class to be 2016, which would make him not eligible for the upcoming draft. However, the situation could be open to interpretation or legal challenge.
Recruiting Calendar (updated for 2016)
Late Night in the Phog
Bill Self Camp KU Alumni games
60 Years of AFH Celebration
Legends of the Phog game
2011-12 Final Border War
KC Prep Invitational
and more, now on YouTube