Jayhawks to Host Wildcats in Kansas Men's Basketball Big 12 Opener Tuesday
Jan. 11, 2009
Four-time defending Big 12 regular-season champion Kansas, 11-4, opens conference play hosting state rival Kansas State (11-4, 0-1) on Tuesday at 7 p.m. on the Big 12 Network. Kansas is looking to rebound from a 75-62 loss at No. 8/12 Michigan State Saturday. The Jayhawks have won 17 straight conference openers and have a 33-game home court winning streak in Allen Fieldhouse, the nation’s second longest. KU has won eight of the Big 12 Conference’s 12 regular-season titles and an NCAA Division I-leading 51 conference crowns. Kansas State is looking to bounce back from a 61-53 loss to No. 6 Oklahoma in Manhattan, Kan., on Saturday. The Wildcats have won six of their last seven games.
Kansas is 11-4 on the season after its 75-62 loss at No. 8/12 Michigan State Saturday. The Jayhawks are averaging 79.3 points per game and giving up 65.9 for a +13.4 scoring margin. KU has been solid at the line with six games of 80 percent or better. Kansas has held nine of 15 opponents to under 40 percent shooting from the field and have shot 50 percent or better six times this season with five of those in Allen Fieldhouse. Two of KU’s four losses have been by one point to UMass (61-60) and in overtime to Syracuse (89-81), i.e. two possessions.
Junior guard Sherron Collins leads KU in scoring at 18.1 points per game and is coming off 25 points at Michigan State. Collins has led the team in scoring in 11 of 15 games this season and has a team-high 32 three-point field goals and 78 assists. He has 21 assists in his last three games. Sophomore center Cole Aldrich is next in scoring at 15.3 points per game and has scored 80 points in his last four games, including three 20-point efforts. He leads the team with 9.9 rebounds per game and is one rebound shy of averaging a double-double. Aldrich has led Kansas in rebounding in 12 of the 15 games this season. He also has nine double-doubles, the second most in the Big 12. Aldrich has 42 of KU’s 75 blocked shots for a Big 12-leading 2.8 per game. Freshman guard Tyshawn Taylor is scoring 9.5 points per game and leads Kansas with 22 steals. Freshman forward Marcus Morris comes off the bench and is scoring 7.9 ppg. He is second on the team with 5.4 rebounds, tops among Big 12 freshmen. Sophomore guard Brady Morningstar is scoring 7.5 points per outing and ranks third in the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 46.2 percent. Sophomore guard Tyrel Reed, 7.6 ppg, has scored 44 points in his last four games. Freshman forward Markieff Morris has started the last six contests and is third on the team with a 4.8 rebound average. Markieff is scoring 5.3 ppg. Freshman guard Travis Releford (3.3 ppg) and freshman forward Quintrell Thomas (2.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg) are each averaging more than seven minutes per contest. Junior guard Mario Little (1.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg) is also logging seven-plus minutes per game in his three outings. Little missed the first 12 contests due to injuries.
About Kansas State
Kansas State is looking to rebound from a 61-53 loss to No. 6 Oklahoma in its Big 12 opener Saturday. The Wildcats are 10-1 at home this season, 1-1 away and 0-2 in neutral contests. Kansas State leads the Big 12 in rebounding at 41.1 per game and rebound margin at +8.1. K-State is scoring 79.6 points per game and giving up 61 for a +18.6 scoring margin. The Wildcats average seven three-pointers per game and have a +5.3 turnover margin. K-State is balanced as six Wildcats average between 8.5 points and 14.3 points per outing. Sophomore guard Jacob Pullen leads the team with a 14.3 scoring average. He has a team-best 35 three-point field goals and also leads the team with 53 assists and 26 steals. Junior guard Denis Clemente is next in scoring at 12.6 points per contest and he is second in assists with 43. Sophomore guard Fred Brown has made 32 three-pointers to complement his 10.2 scoring average. Freshman forward Jamar Samuels leads the team with 16 blocked shots to go along with his 9.6 scoring average. Senior forward Darren Kent is averaging a team-best 6.3 rebounds per game. He is scoring 8.9 ppg, while sophomore forward Dominique Sutton is at 8.5 ppg and 5.1 rpg. Sophomore forward Ron Anderson is a top reserve who is second on the team with six rebounds per game. His is scoring 5.7 ppg. Junior center Luis Colon (5.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg), Pullen, Sutton, Kent and Clemente are K-State’s starters.
Kansas has won 36 of the last 38 meetings with Kansas State dating back to the 1994 season. The Jayhawks hold a 175-90 all-time series advantage over the Wildcats, including a 79-35 mark in games played in Lawrence and a 38-18 record in Allen Fieldhouse. From Feb. 2, 1994, Kansas won 31 straight against Kansas State before the Wildcats halted the streak with a 59-55 victory in Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 14, 2006. Since the inception of the Big 12, KU holds a 28-2 record against Kansas State – 22-2 in league play and 6-0 in Big 12 Championships. The Jayhawks won the first-ever meeting with K-State, 54-39, on Jan. 25, 1907, in Lawrence. Last season the teams each won home games with Kansas State defeating Kansas 84-75, ending a mind-boggling 24-game KU win streak in the series in Manhattan, and Kansas defeating K-State 88-74 at Allen Fieldhouse.
–Kansas ranks among the Big 12’s top four teams in free throw percentage (third at 72.5), field goal percentage defense (fourth at 38.5), rebounding (fourth at 39.8), rebound defense (fourth at 33.4), rebound margin (second at +6.4), assists (second at 17.9), blocked shots (second at 5.0) and assist-to-turnover ratio (third at 1.3).
–KU has outshot 11 of 15 opponents this season and has shot 50 percent or better in six games. Kansas is 10-1 when outshooting its opponent this season and 1-3 when outshot.
–Kansas has outrebounded 11 of 15 opponents this season.
–Kansas made 80 percent or better in free throws in six games this season.
–Through 15 games, four different Jayhawks have scored 20 or more points this season. Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins each have four games of 20-plus points. Other 20-point scorers include Brady Morningstar and Tyshawn Taylor.
–Kansas has held 125 of its last 128 opponents to under 50 percent shooting, including all 15 foes this season. Nine of those opponents have shot below 40 percent. The last team to shoot 50 percent or better against KU was Louisiana-Monroe in the 2007-08 season opener (51 percent) as Kansas has held 54 straight foes to under 50 percent shooting.
–Kansas posted its 100th game of scoring 100 points in the 100-79 win against defending WAC champion New Mexico State (Dec. 3).
–Individually, nine different Jayhawks have led or tied for the team lead in steals this season, six in assists and three in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots.
–KU is 96-14 (87.3 percent) in its last 110 games dating back to Jan. 21, 2006.
–Junior guard Sherron Collins is averaging 23 points in his last three games (career-high 26 vs. Tennessee; 18 vs. Siena; 25 at Michigan State). Collins is averaging seven assists in last three games (nine vs. Tennessee; four vs. Siena; eight at Michigan State). He has led Kansas in scoring in 11 games this season and has scored 20 or more points four times, including two of the last three games. Collins has made 14 three pointers in his last six games. Collins ranks third in the Big 12 in scoring at 18.1 ppg. He also ranks among the league leaders in assists (fifth at 5.2), free throw percentage (seventh at .789), field goal percentage (13th at .430), three point field goals made (tied for 11th at 2.1) and assist-to-turnover ratio (15th at 1.5).
–Sophomore Cole Aldrich has scored 20-plus points in three of his last four games with 20 vs. Albany, 22 vs. Tennessee and a career-high 24 vs. Siena. He had 14 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots at Michigan State to record his ninth double-double of the season. He has made 66.7 percent of his field goals (44-for-66) in the last seven games. Aldrich’s nine double-doubles are second most in the Big 12 and rank in the top 10 nationally. He has 16 blocked shots in his last four games, including six against Tennessee (Jan. 3). He leads the Big 12 in blocked shots with 2.8 per contest. Aldrich is second in the conference in field goal percentage at 61.9, second in rebounding at 9.9 rpg, sixth in free throw percentage at 80.6 and 11th in scoring at 15.3 ppg. He is one rebound shy of averaging a double-double.
–Sophomore guard Brady Morningstar has made 12 three pointers in his last six games. He had five points, three rebounds and two steals at Michigan State. His 12 points against Tennessee (Jan. 3) marked his third double-figure scoring game of the season. He has made at least one three-pointer in each of his last 12 games and is third in the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 46.2 percent.
–Freshman guard Tyshawn Taylor is third on the team with a 9.5 scoring average and is coming off a season-low two points at Michigan State. His 12 points against Tennessee (Jan. 3) were the most since he scored 23 against New Mexico State six games earlier. He had eight points against Siena. He has twice been named Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week in 2008-09. He is 13th in the league in assists at 3.3 apg, tied for 15th in steals at 1.5 spg and 12th in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.7.
–Sophomore guard Tyrel Reed has scored in double figures in three of his last four games and six times this season. He had 10 points at Michigan State. Reed has averaged 11 points in his last four games (7.6 on the season). Reed has made multiple threes in each of his last four games and 20 three-pointers in his last nine games. He is 20-for-41 (48.8 percent) from beyond the arc in his last nine games.
–Freshman forward Markieff Morris has started each of the last six games. He pulled down eight rebounds against Siena (Jan. 6) – his second highest this season and most since 15 in the season opener versus UMKC. He had four points and three rebounds at Michigan State. His 4.8 rebounds on the season are second behind twin Marcus Morris (5.4 rpg) among Big 12 freshmen.
–Freshman forward Marcus Morris has shot 50 percent or better in 10 games this season. Marcus has started six games for KU this season and is second on the team with 5.4 rebounds per game. Marcus leads the Big 12 freshmen in rebound average, which is 18th overall in the conference.
–Freshman Travis Releford played a season-high 21 minutes at Michigan State. He has played eight-plus minutes in each of his last five games.
Kansas has won eight of the 12 Big 12 regular-season titles (includes ties), including the last four Big 12 championships. Kansas’ 51 conference titles are the most in NCAA Division I. Amazingly, last season Kansas won its fourth straight league title for the sixth time in school history – five straight from 1908-12, six straight from 1922-27, four straight from 1931-34, four straight from 1940-43, four straight from 1995-98 and four straight from 2005-08.
–Since the inception of the Big 12 in 1996-97, Kansas has a winning record against every team in the Big 12, including 22-2 against Kansas State.
–Kansas is first in the conference in wins with a 158-34 record in Big 12 regular-season games. Texas is next at 137-56. Including the league postseason championship, KU is 183-40. Texas is second at 153-68.
–Kansas is the only Big 12 school to have won its regular-season championship with two different coaches – Roy Williams and Bill Self.
–Under Bill Self, Kansas is 18-6 in Big 12 road games in the last three seasons. He is 27-12 in league road games during his five-year stint – 4-4 in 2004, 5-3 in 2005, 6-2 in 2006, 7-1 in 2007 and 5-3 in 2008.
–KU has won 10 or more league games for the last 14 seasons and 46 times overall.
Kansas will travel to Colorado on Saturday, Jan. 17, for a 2:30 p.m. (Central) game on ABC. Two days later KU will play its first of four ESPN Big Monday appearances when it hosts Texas A&M on Jan. 19 at 8 p.m. KU will later play on ESPN’s Big Monday at Baylor (Feb. 2), at Missouri (Feb. 9) and at Oklahoma (Feb. 23).