Releford's Career Night Highlights Jayhawks' Domination in Rebounds

Jan. 5, 2012

010512aaa_140_5907588.jpegLAWRENCE, Kan. – On a night where rebounding figured to factor significantly into the final outcome, junior guard Travis Releford earned a career high in that category for the second-straight game. After grabbing seven boards against North Dakota on Dec. 31, 2011, Releford pulled down 11 rebounds in No. 14/15 Kansas’ 67-49 victory against No. 23/22 Kansas State in Allen Fieldhouse Wednesday.

“Give him credit,” said Kansas State head coach Frank Martin following the game. “He obviously was well-prepared to play the game today. Rebounds, to me, are discipline and effort.”

Entering the game against its in-state rival, KU was aware that rebounding would be a critical component of the game, especially on the defensive end since Kansas State arrived in Lawrence as the second-best offensive rebounding team in the Big 12, grabbing 42 percent of its missed shots. Releford also knew the importance of winning his individual match-up on the glass.

010512aaa_140_5907584.jpeg“Coming into the game, coach (Bill Self) had me guarding (KSU’s) Rodney (McGruder),” said Releford. “In the past, he has outrebounded us on offense and defense. We just got after it and tried to make sure he didn’t get any rebounds on offense or defense. Coming into the game, we had our mind set on trying to control the glass, and we came out and did it.”

Releford also added a career-high 16 points for his first career double-double. Coach Self was pleased with Releford’s all-around performance, including some plays that didn’t show up in the box score.

“Travis played great,” said Self. “Nobody can fault the way he set the tone in the game, getting on the floor a couple of times. He did a great job of guarding McGruder in the first half. I thought Travis was really good.”

Releford was the team’s second-leading rebounder behind junior forward Thomas Robinson’s game-high 14. KU combined to win the rebounding battle, 50-26, its largest margin in a conference game since it outrebounded Texas A&M by 25 on Jan. 17, 2000.

“Before the game, we definitely did a lot of drills and rebounding,” said junior center Jeff Withey. “We knew that they were going to be physical, and we definitely prepared to have a physical game. It was a physical game. We were working on rebounding all week so it showed up.”

The Jayhawks have outrebounded all but one of their opponents this season and lead the Big 12 with a 9.1 rebounding margin in 2011-12. KU will look to continue to dominate the boards when it plays its next game at Oklahoma on Saturday, Jan. 7, at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU.