No. 14 TCU men’s basketball soars past No. 2 Kansas in historic fashion

Head coach Jamie Dixon and center Eddie Lampkin Jr. celebrating in the locker room vs Kansas on Jan. 21, 2023. (Photo courtesy of

By Sederick Oliver, Executive Editor, Image Magazine

TCU was 0-11 against Kansas on the road prior to Saturday’s outing.

History was not on the Frogs’ side.

Against all odds, head coach Jamie Dixon and No. 14 TCU decided to rewrite history.

No. 14 TCU men’s basketball (15-4, 4-3) decisively defeated No. 2 Kansas, 83-60 at Allen Fieldhouse in arguably the biggest road victory in the program’s history.

After a stinker against West Virginia, TCU came into yesterday’s matchup with a chip on its shoulder.

The fans inside of Allen Fieldhouse screamed in jubilation and anticipation, awaiting the Big 12 matchup between two top 25 teams.

From the opening tip, TCU played with a sense of urgency that caught the Jayhawks off guard.

“The way they (TCU) chewed gum, the way they tied their shoes; everything they did was perfect today. They played great. They are so fast,” said Kansas head coach Bill Self.

Normally an abysmal 3-point shooting team, TCU made five out of its first six 3-pointers bombarding Kansas in the process.

The ball never stuck as everyone worked to find the most efficient shot as possible which put a strain on the Jayhawks’ defense.

Known for its nation-leading transition play, TCU spent the first half getting most of its baskets within the flow of a half-court offense.

Although the starters did a good job setting the tone on both ends, the game completely opened up once coach Dixon went to his bench.

Unsung hero

Redshirt junior Shahada Wells channeled his inner James Harden sixth-man era and completely changed the game.

Wells started his impact on the defensive end as he played the passing lanes and was able to get multiple steals (four) from anticipating then intercepting passes.

This led to many fast-break opportunities where the Frogs have thrived all season.

In arguably the play of the game, Wells made a fantastic defensive play and read when he snatched a pass out of the air and took it upon himself to finish with authority.

His energy was palpable as he sliced through the defense and brought an intensity that injected life into a Frogs squad.

Wells literally couldn’t miss.

He hit his first seven shot attempts, including connecting on three 3-pointers.

Every shot felt like a dagger, every shot felt monumental.

Every shot demoralized the Jayhawks, and every shot quieted the fans.

Wells led the team in scoring with a season-high 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the field, and 3-of-4 from 3-point land.

His lone miss came with 1:37 left to go.

Not only did Wells have himself a game, other Frogs starred in their role.

Junior and sophomore forwards Xavier Cork and JaKobe Coles each scored nine points on great efficiency.

“I knew they (Kansas) were good,” said Dixon. “I said we got to get to them early and do not let them get them in the groove. I think the difference was the bench for us.”

Wire-to-wire dominance

After a 19-0 scoring run, TCU led 33-13 with 10:06 to go in the first half.

The Frogs made 14 of their first 18 shots from the field and shot 59% from the field in the first half, including 6-of-9 from 3-point range.

Kansas responded with its own surge and cut the deficit to 10 (48-38) going into halftime.

Despite their best efforts, the Jayhawks were never able to get within single-digits as TCU scored nine of the first 13 points in the second half.

The Frogs marveled with their transition passing where the ball is moved with such a quickness that it doesn’t even touch the floor.

With the defense constantly in scramble-mode, the Frogs attacked the interior as much as possible resulting in 42 points in the paint.

Defensively, the Frogs were dialed in, forcing a usually-efficient Jayhawks squad to shoot just 39% from the field and 33% from three.

Conversely, the Frogs shot a season-best 53.3% (8-of-15) from 3-point range.

Everything seemed to go the Frogs’ way.

Especially when shots like this are falling.

TCU was eventually able to push the lead to a game-high 25 (79-54) after a Wells 3-pointer with 3:40 to play.

In addition to Wells’ stellar play, junior guard Mike Miles Jr. chipped in with 15 points and senior guard Damion Baugh with 11 points.

Not only was yesterday the first-ever road win against Kansas, it was the highest-ranked road win by a TCU team in program history, and the 23-point winning margin was the largest by the Horned Frogs on the road in 25 years.

“I’m just proud of our guys responding to a tough loss on the road and winning a game you are not supposed to win when you are on the road for two days and two games in a row,” said Dixon.

“It was a great win for us.”

The Frogs will now return to Fort Worth as they take on Oklahoma on Tuesday at Ed & Rae Schollmaier Arena.

Tip-off is at 7 p.m. on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.