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Kansas-TCU basketball preview

• WHEN/ WHERE: 8 p.m. Saturday at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum in Fort Worth, Texas


• ABOUT KANSAS (14-4, 5-0 Big 12) : After some early-season question marks, the Kansas defense has been a little more stifling. The Jayhawks have held opponents to 39.3 percent shooting in five Big 12 games, which ranks first. For comparison: The Jayhawks allowed nonconference teams to shoot better than 40 percent. Last season, though, it was offense that handcuffed KU in the loss at TCU. The Jayhawks shot 29.5 percent, the worst of the Bill Self era, in a 62-55 loss. On the whole, the KU offense has been more potent this season. KU entered the weekend ranked 13th in the nation in offensive efficiency, according to Junior guard Naadir Tharpe is shooting 65 percent in Big 12 play, including 53 percent (10 of 19) from three-point range. And KU is shooting a Big 12-leading 41 percent from three during Big 12 games.

• ABOUT TCU (9-9, 0-6 Big 12): In their second season in the Big 12, TCU coach Trent Johnson and the Horned Frogs appear to be making progress. Freshman center Karviar Shepherd is a former four-star recruit who also drew interest from Kansas, and TCU picked up nonconference victories over Tulsa and Mississippi State. Still, TCU has started the conference season with six straight losses, and it could take some work to avoid the Big 12 cellar. The Horned Frogs rank 292nd nationally in offensive efficiency.

• BOTTOM LINE: If Kansas can handle business against TCU, the Jayhawks will have a full two-game lead in the conference race after just six games. It’s too early to start engraving another Big 12 trophy, but that sort of lead would allow the Jayhawks some leeway moving forward.

P No. Kansas Ht. Yr. PPG
F 34 Perry Ellis 6-8 So. 13.2
C 21 Joel Embiid 7-0 Fr. 11.1
G 22 Andrew Wiggins 6-8 Fr. 15.2
G 1 Wayne Selden 6-5 Fr. 9.8
G 10 Naadir Tharpe 5-11 Jr. 9.5
P No. TCU Ht. Yr. PPG
F 4 Amric Fields 6-9 Jr. 13.8
F 11 Brandon Parrish 6-6 Fr. 10.2
C 1 Karviar Shepherd 6-10 Fr. 8.4
G 22 Jarvis Ray 6-6 Jr. 9.6
G 5 Kyan Anderson 5-11 Jr. 15.1