TCU

TCU answers Johnson’s call, but still not enough in loss at No. 1 Kansas

Kansas forward Cheick Diallo secures a rebound against TCU’s Chris Washburn during second-half action Saturday in Lawrence. Diallo had nine points and nine rebounds for Kansas in its 70-63 victory.
Kansas forward Cheick Diallo secures a rebound against TCU’s Chris Washburn during second-half action Saturday in Lawrence. Diallo had nine points and nine rebounds for Kansas in its 70-63 victory. AP

When TCU coach Trent Johnson called out his team for not competing on the road, point guard Mike Williams could not argue.

“He’s right. He’s definitely right,” he said.

Saturday in a 70-63 loss to Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse, the Horned Frogs at least showed another side for their coach.

“I did, and I think everyone on our team did,” Williams said, when asked if the team showed more mental toughness Saturday than in 21- and 28-point losses at Oklahoma State and Baylor, their first two road opponents in the Big 12 this season. “It’s a growing process throughout the season. I thought this was a good step.”

The Frogs (9-8, 1-4 Big 12) have a lot of growing to do, however, before they can legitimately threaten a team such as No. 1 Kansas (15-2, 4-1).

I’m not into moral victories. But I thought we made some strides in just our effort to compete.

TCUcoach Trent Johnson

The Jayhawks got double-figure points from five players, including freshman backup forward Carlton Bragg Jr. Another freshman backup forward, Cheick Diallo, had nine points and nine rebounds.

The usual Jayhawks stars — Frank Mason, Perry Ellis and Devonte’ Graham — powered a 16-2 first-half run that turned a 19-15 TCU lead into a 31-21 Kansas advantage. TCU never led again. The Frogs did not regain their early 3-point shooting touch and were beaten on the boards 44-37 while shooting 36.9 percent.

So stat-wise, it was a clear Kansas victory.

But in competitiveness, it was closer. Johnson could only shake his head, wondering why he hasn’t seen it from his team more often.

TCU made five of its first six 3-point shots but only one of its next 10.

“I’m trying to get my hands around why we can come out and compete like this versus a team of that caliber and in our previous three or four times on the road, not even show up for like 20 minutes,” he said. “I’m not into moral victories. But I thought we made some strides in just our effort to compete.”

Williams finished with 13 points for the Horned Frogs, making 6 of 9 shots, and Brandon Parrish and Chauncey Collins each had 11, combining to shoot 6 for 11 from 3-point range. Vladimir Brodziansky had 12 rebounds.

TCU closed the game on an 11-1 run. Still, it was a 29th loss in 30 Big 12 road games all time for the Frogs.

12Rebounds, a career high, for TCU sophomore forward Vladimir Brodziansky. But TCU was outrebounded 42-32.

“We competed much better after a game where we didn’t compete very hard against Baylor,” Williams said. “I was really happy with how we competed this game. We’ve got to pick it up on the road. It’s always harder to win on the road, especially in this conference. We’ve got to play with competitiveness like we did tonight in every game.”

Kansas coach Bill Self said his team, coming off a loss at West Virginia on Tuesday, played with effort but not energy and that it resulted in perhaps its second-worst offensive performance of the season. But he credited TCU for not disappearing when Kansas made its runs.

TCU is 1-11 all-time against Kansas. The last four losses have been by 7, 5, 9 and 3 points.

“We had them down pretty good on the glass. We had done some things that I thought were pretty positive for us,” he said. “And you look up, they’re hanging around. We had a chance to crack it open; we didn’t get it done. I don’t know how Trent feels today. I’m not there every day in practice, and I don’t see what he sees. But from my vantage point, I thought they competed hard.”

TCU played a second consecutive game without sophomore guard Malique Trent, who violated a team policy last week.

Carlos Mendez: 817-390-7760, @calexmendez

TCU (9-8) – Shepherd 2-4 0-0 4, Washburn 2-8 4-5 8, Collins 3-8 2-3 11, M. Williams 6-9 1-1 13, Parrish 4-9 0-0 11, Shreiner 1-2 0-0 2, Brodziansky 3-11 1-2 8, Miller 3-12 0-0 6, Abron 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 24-65 8-11 63.

KANSAS (15-2) – Ellis 4-9 2-2 10, Mickelson 0-1 0-0 0, Mason III 3-10 4-6 10, Selden Jr. 4-9 2-4 11, Graham 3-6 2-2 10, Vick 0-0 0-0 0, Mykhailiuk 3-8 0-1 7, Diallo 4-7 1-2 9, Greene 1-2 0-0 3, Bragg Jr. 4-6 2-2 10, Traylor 0-1 0-0 0, Lucas 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 26-60 13-19 70.

Halftime – Kansas 37-28. 3-Point Goals – TCU 7-17 (Collins 3-5, Parrish 3-6, Brodziansky 1-2, Shepherd 0-1, Shreiner 0-1, Miller 0-1, Washburn 0-1), Kansas 5-20 (Graham 2-4, Greene 1-2, Selden Jr. 1-4, Mykhailiuk 1-5, Ellis 0-2, Mason III 0-3). Fouled Out – None. Rebounds – TCU 37 (Brodziansky 12), Kansas 44 (Diallo, Ellis 9). Assists – TCU 6 (Washburn 3), Kansas 17 (Graham 6). Total Fouls – TCU 17, Kansas 14. A – 16,300.

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