The return of Mike Miles Jr. to the starting lineup didn’t come a minute too soon for No. 24 TCU.
Miles scored 15 points on Saturday, helping the Horned Frogs end a four-game losing streak in emphatic fashion with a 100-75 victory over Oklahoma State.
TCU is now at full strength for Monday night’s rematch against third-ranked Kansas in Fort Worth, Texas. The Jayhawks (22-5, 10-4 Big 12) are tied for the Big 12 lead with Texas after rallying from a 16-point deficit in the first half of an 87-71 victory over No. 9 Baylor on Saturday.
Miles, who averages 17.9 points on 53.1 percent field goal shooting, was one of six players in double figures against Oklahoma State. Emmanuel Miller scored 18 points, Damion Baugh collected 16 points and 11 assists, Shahada Wells came off the bench for 15 points, Charles O’Bannon hit for 12 and Micah Peavy netted 10.
It wasn’t a coincidence that the Horned Frogs (18-9, 7-7) looked more like the team that routed Kansas last month and less like the team that went on the skids without Miles, who hyperextended his right knee in a Jan. 28 loss at Mississippi State.
“It was good being back out there with my guys helping,” Miles said. “It hurt me being on the bench while we were losing, not being able to help.”
TCU coach Jamie Dixon resisted the urge to rush his star player back from an injury, even though the team clearly isn’t the same without him. Dixon said after the game that he felt good that Miles would be able to contribute after going through four practices last week.
Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton, whose team won five of six going into Saturday’s blowout, noticed the difference in the Horned Frogs with their best player ready to go.
“I think it helped lift up those other guys,” he said of Miles’ return.
There also was some lifting done by the Jayhawks in the second half after Baylor did what it pleased in establishing a 45-32 halftime lead. Coach Bill Self apparently delivered a halftime talk for the ages because Kansas outscored a Top 10 team by 29 points in the second half.
Dajuan Harris fueled the Jayhawks’ dominant second half by scoring 14 points. He finished with nine assists and helped keep the Bears’ explosive backcourt in check.
“We (were) really talking about defense in the second half and I just needed to be aggressive,” Harris said. “I knew that, and I had the opportunity to get in driving lanes and my teammates found me, too. So, all the credit goes to my teammates.”
Jalen Wilson contributed 21 points and 13 rebounds, while K.J. Adams Jr. added 17 points on just six shot attempts. Gradey Dick overcame 6 of 18 shooting to finish with 16 points. As a team, the Jayhawks outscored Baylor 23-9 at the foul line and committed only four turnovers.
Kansas hopes to replicate that performance and not the one it delivered at home in an 83-60 setback to TCU on Jan. 21. The Horned Frogs shot 54.4 percent and led by as many as 25 points late in the game.
–Field Level Media