No. 6 Kansas looks to regroup vs. TCU

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Signs do not point to No. 6 Kansas as the favorite to capture the Big 12 championship.

That often raises eyebrows considering the Jayhawks' historical dominance. But after falling by 25 points Saturday on their home floor, it became obvious Kansas faces a tough challenge.

Coming off that humbling defeat to Texas and an end to a 17-game conference win streak, Kansas (8-2, 2-1 Big 12) fell three spots in the polls before traveling Tuesday to TCU (9-2, 2-1).

"We've got to regroup," Bill Self said after the 84-59 outcome marked his most lopsided defeat in 18 seasons coaching the Jayhawks.

"We've got to decide if we want to be a team that makes other people play bad and whether that's what we take the most pride in."

A solid defensive performance might not have saved the Jayhawks, however, after they shot 3-for-23 from 3-point range, 11 days after scorching West Virginia with 16 treys. Kansas managed to shoot just 30.8 percent overall vs. the Longhorns while falling into a third-place tie with TCU behind Big 12 co-leaders Baylor and Texas.

"We have each other's backs," insisted Ochai Agbaji, who averages 14.4 points but failed to score in the second half of the Texas loss.

"This is something we need to go through, something we needed, I feel like. But we're going to stay together and stay positive and look forward to our game Tuesday."

Athletic length could be a quality that helps opponents bedevil Kansas.

Self is often prone to using smaller lineups and did so again when he left conventional post man David McCormack on the bench for most of the second half against Texas. Still, the Longhorns punished the Jayhawks underneath and contested enough 3-point attempts to cause some discomfort beyond the arc.

The loss ended a string of four straight wins over ranked opponents as part of a rugged schedule that began with a season-opening defeat against top-ranked Gonzaga.

"Just know that I think last year this happened around the same time with Baylor, so we've just got to take care of business, learn from this game and move on," said Jalen Wilson, who leads Kansas in scoring (15.1) and rebounding (7.8).

R.J. Nembhard returned from a one-game absence stemming from a sore hip to net 21 points Saturday as TCU beat Kansas State 67-60. Both of the Horned Frogs' conference wins have been on the road, which Nembhard said reflects motivation derived from the Big 12 preseason coaches' poll.

"We were picked ninth, but we haven't done anything yet," Nembhard said. "One win, two wins, two conference wins, so what? Onto the next game. All these games are personal. We want to put the conference and the nation on notice that we're legit."

Nembhard keys TCU with an 18.7-point average, though coach Jamie Dixon has expressed concern about the 34 minutes his standout averages.

Mike Miles chips in 14.8 points, while Kevin Samuels averages a double-double with a 10.2 mark for both points and rebounds.

--Field Level Media