Garlon Green, Travis Releford, Elijah Johnson, Jeff Withey

Just how bad was the loss No. 5 Kansas suffered at TCU?

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Just days after saying his team has no point guard, Bill Self sat back and watched as Kansas was thoroughly embarrassed in what was the biggest upset, in terms of RPI difference, in at least 20 years. The Horned Frogs were 270 spots below Kansas in Kenpom’s rankings.

Kansas has two points with a little more than six minutes left. They were 1-15 from the floor at the time with eight turnovers. They finished the first half 3-22 from the floor with just 13 points, the least they’ve scored in any half since becoming a member of the Big 12. They finished the game shooting just 29.5% from the field.

Against arguably the nation’s worst major conference basketball team.

Yuck.

No wonder Bill Self was livid.

“It was the worst team Kansas has ever put on the floor,” Self said after the game. “Since Dr. [James] Naismith was there. I think he had some bad teams and lost to the Topeka YMCA the first couple years.”

“For the first half, there has not been a team play worse than that. Anywhere. Maybe Northern Illinois.”

(CLICK HERE: To read what’s wrong and what’s fixable with the Kansas offense.)

He’s got a point, and it’s something that we talked about last night: Kansas has no one on the roster than can create their own shot. Ben McLemore is a spot-up shooter. Travis Releford and Kevin Young are a glue guys through and through. Jeff Withey can dunk and hit an occasional sky-hook. That leaves Elijah Johnson and Naadir Tharpe, whose ugly performance last night — 5-27 from the floor, three assists and four turnovers — is standard for them this season. Johnson is 25-83 from the field (30.1%) with 35 assists and 34 turnovers. Tharpe is 14-64 from the floor (21.9%) with 17 assists and 14 turnovers.

Gross.

All of that factored into what may end up being the worst loss by any team this season.

What compares?

Well, for starters, how about UCLA’s loss at home to Cal Poly when the Bruins blew an 18 point lead in the final 12 minutes? But Cal Poly has actually proven to be fairly competitive in the Big West this year. Villanova lost to Columbia at home by 18 points, but Columbia is improved this year and the win wouldn’t be as surprising if Villanova hadn’t somehow managed to spring a pair of upsets on Syracuse and Louisville. Perhaps the only result that’s truly comparable is Virginia losing to Old Dominion, who is currently 2-20 on the season and just got rid of their all-time winningest head coach.

That loss from Virginia cost them somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 spots in the RPI, which may end up keeping them out of the NCAA tournament. That’s brutal.

And so was the Jayhawk’s performance on Wednesday.

But at least they’re assured to be tournament bound.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

DePaul adds 2018 commit

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Wisconsin guard John Diener has committed to DePaul, his grassroots program announced Wednesday night.

The 6-foot-4 Class of 2018 guard ends his recruitment rather early with offers also from instate schools Green Bay and Milwaukee. He’s known as a shooter and becomes the first commit for Dave Leitao in the 2018 class.

Diener, who plays with the Wisconsin Playground Warriors in the spring and summer, commits to the Blue Demons with them coming off a disappointing campaign, Leitao’s first in Chicago. DePaul went 9-22 overall and 3-15 in the Big East, finishing only ahead of St. John’s.

DePaul has been recruiting the Midwest hard with incoming 2016 recruits from La Lumiere School in Indiana, Sagninow, Mich. and locally in Chicago.

Four-star guard Fisher commits to TCU

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Jamie Dixon’s presence is already being felt in the Big 12 and on the recruiting trail.

TCU received its first commitment of the Dixon era when four-star 2016 point guard Jaylen Fisher announced his decision to join the Horned Frogs on Wednesday.

“Due to how comfortable my family and I are with the coaching staff,” Fisher posted from his Twitter account, “and the emphasis the university has put on making basketball a priority, I’m committing to be a student-athlete at TCU.”

Getting a consensus top-75 prospect, who was once committed to UNLV, is a heck of a coup for being just a couple months on the job. It instantly shows the Frogs are going to be a player for some of the country’s top players, which is a necessity if you have designs on making a move up the ladder of arguably the country’s best league in the Big 12.

Maybe the most gratifying thing for TCU, though, is the reason Fisher publicly stated for making his decision, the school’s “making basketball a priority.” The hoops program has suffered immensely in the Big 12 (while the football program has flourished), winning a total of eight games in their four seasons (including a winless 2014), but the school sank $72 million into renovating its arena, made an aggressive move in firing Trent Johnson and then went out and got its dream candidate, Dixon, an alum. Fisher’s commitment is the first time those moves have shown that commitment to basketball paying off.

 

Report: Izundu’s San Diego State transfer ban rescinded

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Washington State transfer Valentine Izundu will be visiting San Diego State after all.

Coach Ernie Kent has rescinded his restriction on the 6-foot-10 graduate transfer from visiting the Aztecs, according to a report from the Spokesman-Review, citing an anonymous source. Izundu will also be reportedly visiting Fresno State and UNLV.

Izundu had previously been barred from considering the Aztecs by Kent because of suspcisions of tampering. Izundu vigorously denied that was the case as at the center of the dispute was a trip he made to San Diego for spring break. He publicly said he did not have any contact with the SDSU coaching staff , though he attended an Aztecs NIT game.

Kent, though, appears to have relented, as many coaches who have similarly faces public pressure in such situations before him have. In this era where so much attention is being paid to player rights and welfare, there only seems to be growing public sentiment against programs restricting transfers beyond the absolute bare minimum is rarely going to go over well. It may make things more difficult for coaches and programs, but it’s the deck is largely already stacked in their favor in most every other instance.

Ex-Michigan State player Keith Appling faces weapons charges

Keith Appling
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DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) Authorities say former Michigan State basketball player Keith Appling faces charges including carrying a concealed weapon after he was found in possession of guns and marijuana in suburban Detroit.

The Wayne County prosecutor’s office says 24-year-old Appling was arrested outside a Dearborn club on Sunday night. Club security called police after seeing a man pull a gun from the trunk of a car.

Prosecutors say Appling was in the driver’s seat of the car when police arrived. Officers found a handgun under the driver’s seat, a loaded weapon in the trunk and a small amount of suspected marijuana.

Weapons and marijuana possession charges were announced Wednesday.

The court says he doesn’t have a lawyer on record.

Appling played for the Spartans from 2010-2014 and plays for the NBA’s development league.

UNLV transfer to finish career at Michigan State

UNLV forward Ben Carter, right, celebrates after his team defeated Oregon in an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 4, 2015, in Las Vegas. UNLV won 80-69. (AP Photo/John Locher)
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Former UNLV center Ben Carter announced on Wednesday that he will be transferring to Michigan State to finish his collegiate career.

Carter, who began his career at Oregon, averaged 8.6 points and 6.0 boards in his one season with UNLV before tearing his ACL in late January. He spent two seasons with the Ducks before transferring to Vegas, which is why he’s eligible immediately for the Spartans.

And that’s the biggest reason that Tom Izzo and company targeted him.

The Spartans lost Deyonta Davis to the NBA Draft after one season, a fact that became an inevitability midway through the year but one that the Spartans didn’t necessarily plan for heading into last season. Carter isn’t going to be an instant impact kind of player, particularly not when he’s coming off of an ACL injury, but he is a big body and a veteran presence on a front line that wasn’t going have much of either.