No. 24 TCU men’s basketball fails to overcome poor shooting in close loss to No. 3 Kansas

TCU guard Mike Miles Jr. hangs from the rim vs Kansas on Feb. 20, 2023. (Photo courtesy of

By Sederick Oliver, Executive Editor, Image Magazine

After exchanging blows and leads throughout 40 minutes, No. 24 TCU men’s basketball (18-10, 7-8) was narrowly defeated 63-58 by No. 3 Kansas last night in Ed & Rae Schollmaier Arena.

The fans inside of Schollmaier were draped in a sea of white, showing solidarity in preparation of the ESPN-televised matchup between the two top 25-ranked teams.

The attendance of 7,831 was the third-highest ever to watch a TCU home game, with 2,475 students, the fourth-most all-time.

Among those in attendance to cheer on No. 24 TCU in its quest to upset the third-ranked Jayhawks were Horned Frog basketball legends Desmond Bane and Kenrich Williams.

Instead of there being an offensive explosion for either team, both squads struggled to score against the other’s defensive scheme.

Aside from KU freshman guard Gradey Dick, who scored 10 early points, everyone else seemingly had a hard time finding ways to put the ball in the hoop.

The foul calls or lack thereof, disrupted the flow of the game at times that directly led to momentum-killing or starting baskets.

“I think we let the refs get in our head too much,” said sophomore forward JaKobe Coles.

The Frogs’ 3-point shooting woes came back to bite them as they continually failed to cash in on open looks.

After a blazing performance last game against OSU, TCU succumbed to old struggles, shooting just 5-of-18 from three for the game.

From the start, KU made an effort to halt whatever rhythm the Frogs could muster by stopping any transition play and packing the paint.

The Jayhawks emphasized junior guard Mike Miles Jr. and senior guard Damion Baugh in their defensive game-plan in attempts to shrink the court, disallowing them to operate with open space.

TCU still managed to take a brief lead in the first half, with its largest being by four points, 25-21.

Kansas, winners of five straight games, fought back and closed the half on a 12-4 run to lead 33-29 at halftime.

So close, yet so far

The second half was defined by “so close, yet so far.”

TCU seemed to get within two points and one possession of taking control of the game, but never could.

“Sometimes in those situations you get lucky because they miss the same look you make,” said Kansas head coach Bill Self.

“It seemed whenever they had a chance and we got a stop, it led to a run-out, a foul, or something that allowed us to get an easy basket.”

Despite KU’s best efforts, TCU was able to turn defense into offense, using every long rebound or missed shot as an opportunity to get out in transition.

Neither team shot the ball well from the perimeter throughout the night, but TCU’s problems were extrapolated by its inability to hit free throws.

Not only did TCU shoot 30.3% from the floor and 28% from three, it also went 13-of-21 from the charity stripe.

Neither team made a field goal in the final four minutes and 19 seconds of the game and TCU made just one of 10 shots to close out the game.

With all the aforementioned offensive struggles, the Frogs still found themselves within three points with five seconds remaining.

Most of 7,831 in attendance arose in unison in hopes of bearing witness to something special.

Baugh was able to get off a contested look from three, but it was off-target, sealing a road victory for the Jayhawks.

“We earned every bit of that loss,” said head coach Jamie Dixon, who also mentioned how quiet TCU’s locker room was in the aftermath.

The loss for the Frogs split the season series with Kansas for the second straight year.

Miles Jr. and Baugh led the starters with 13 and 11 points, respectively, but did so on rough shooting splits.

Coles was the third and last Horned Frog in double figures, scoring 12 points off the bench going 5-of-8 from the floor.

Up next

TCU will now have the rest of the work week to regroup and prepare as it hits the road to take on Texas Tech on Saturday at United Supermarkets Arena.

Tip-off is at 11 a.m. on ESPN2.