FORT WORTH, Texas — Devonte Graham dived to the floor for a loose ball in a wild sequence that led to a three-point play for Perry Ellis, putting No. 7 Kansas up by 20 points in the first half.
"The thing that he forgot to mention, if he hadn’t lost the ball, he wouldn’t have had to dive for it," coach Bill Self said with a smile after Graham gave his description of the play.
Still, Self was much happier after the 75-56 victory over TCU on Saturday than he was three days earlier — after an 18-point win over Kansas State he said his team was outplayed and soft.
"Just trying to have energy like coach has been preaching to us," said Graham, the point guard who had 15 points, three assists, two steals and officially no turnovers.
Ellis had 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Jayhawks (19-4, 7-3 Big 12), who had lost their previous three conference road games but never trailed after scoring the game’s first seven points. They shot 50 percent from the field (29 of 58) and finished with a 46-25 rebounding advantage.
"We rebounded the ball more like men," Self said.
"They were right, and we had no fight," TCU coach Trent Johnson said. "They did whatever they wanted to — 46-25 on the glass speaks volumes of how competitive they were and how competitive we weren’t … The game was decided because of their maximum effort and our lack of."
Brandon Parrish and JD Miller had 13 points each for TCU (10-13, 1-9), which shot only 29 percent. Chauncey Collins had 10 points.
Frank Mason III added 12 points for the Jayhawks, who won for the 12th time in 13 games against TCU, which exactly three years earlier had its only win in the series. But Kansas got off to the quick start in a road arena about half-filled with its own fans.
Ellis’ three-point play after that chaotic scramble with Graham made it 34-14, giving the Jayhawks their first 20-point lead. His tip-in with 2:31 left made it 38-14 before TCU scored the last six points of the first half.
Kansas also had its first double-digit lead after consecutive baskets by Ellis, who was 11-of-14 shooting. He was on the receiving end of an alley-oop pass from Wayne Selden Jr. for a dunk and then had a strong layup to make it 21-11.
"They’re a great team. There’s a reason they’ve dominated the league for so long," Parrish said. "Ellis was really dominating in the paint. It felt like we almost couldn’t stop him today. He drove them today."
After Kansas’ 7-0 start in the game’s first two minutes, the closest TCU got was 10-7. That was after Parrish made a long jumper, then followed a Jayhawks turnover with a nifty spin move for a layup off the glass 37 seconds later.
MISSING FROM 3
While the Jayhawks shot 50 percent overall for the third time in four games, they shot only 27 percent on 3-pointers (6 of 22) — making up for that by making 23 of 36 shots (64 percent inside the arc). The only time they were worst from long range was at 20 percent (3 of 15) in a loss to Michigan State the second game of the season.
Kansas: It was Ellis’ third double-double this season, all in Big 12 games, and 15th of his career. … The Jayhawks have won by at least 10 points in 13 of their 19 wins. …. Kansas played the first of four times on the road in a six-game span.
TCU: When the Frogs upset Kansas 62-55 in 2013, it was their first Big 12 win — coming in their first season after joining the conference. TCU is now 7-57 in Big 12 games. … TCU had as many turnovers (six) as field goals in the first half.
Kansas: Hosts No. 14 West Virginia on Tuesday night.