No. 10 Kansas to Host No. 4 Baylor on ESPN Big Monday Jan. 16 at 8:30 p.m. in Men's Hoops
Jan. 15, 2012
Kansas-Baylor Pregame Notables
–First place in the early Big 12 race is at stake as both teams are 4-0 in conference play.
–Kansas will be facing its fourth Top 10 team of the 2011-12 season. The Jayhawks lost to then-No. 2 Kentucky, 75-65, on Nov. 15 in the Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden and lost to then-No. 6 Duke, 68-61, in the championship game of the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational on Nov. 25. KU defeated then-No. 2 Ohio State, 78-67 on Dec. 10 in Lawrence.
–Baylor will be the second-highest ranked team to visit Allen Fieldhouse this season. Kansas defeated then-No. 2 Ohio State, 78-67, on Dec. 10.
–This marks the first time in Big 12 history (since 1996-97) an overall undefeated conference team will have come to Allen Fieldhouse. The last league team to come into Allen Fieldhouse undefeated dates back to the Big Eight Conference when No. 5 Oklahoma in 1985-86 came to the Fieldhouse 17-0 and lost to No. 7 Kansas 98-92 on Jan. 21, 1986. The game featured head coaches Larry Brown and Billy Tubbs. KU went on to advance to the Final Four and Bill Self was a graduate assistant at Kansas.
–Kansas is 2-2 against ranked foes in 2011-12, 28-10 versus ranked foes since 2006-07 and 37-20 against ranked foes under Bill Self (2003-04).
No. 10 Kansas is 14-3 (4-0 in Big 12) after defeating Iowa State, 82-73, Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks are 9-0 at home, 3-0 in road games and 2-3 on neutral courts this season. Kansas averages 75.9 points per game and allows 59.2 for a +16.6 scoring margin. KU is using solid defense as nine opponents have scored 58 points or less this season. KU leads the Big 12 in rebound margin at +8.0. The Jayhawks have outrebounded all but two teams this season. Additionally, KU averages 16.1 assists per contest.
The Jayhawks are led by All-American candidate Thomas Robinson, who is the only player in the Big 12 Conference this season to average a double-double with 17.2 points and 12.2 rebounds per game. A three-time Big 12 Player of the Week, Robinson has three double-doubles in four conference games and narrowly missed another with 18 points and nine rebounds at Oklahoma (1/7). Dick Vitale’s No. 1 Midseason Player of the Year candidate, Robinson has a league-leading 12 double-doubles on the season. Senior guard Tyshawn Taylor is next in scoring at 15.5 points per game after his career-high 28 points against Iowa State (1/14). Taylor leads Kansas with 88 assists. Junior Travis Releford has been hot in Big 12 play and was named the Big 12 Player of the Week Jan. 9, for his efforts against Kansas State (1/4) and Oklahoma (1/7). He had his first career double-double with then-career highs in points with 16 and rebounds with 11 against the Wildcats. At OU in the next game, Releford scored a career-high 28 points. He averages 15.8 ppg in league play and 10.0 in all games. Junior guard Elijah Johnson leads Kansas with 30 three-pointers made and 27 steals this season, three ahead of Releford. Johnson scores 9.4 points per game and is second on the team with 65 assists. Junior center Jeff Withey rounds out the KU starters. Withey is averaging 7.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per contest after his double-double (13 points, 11 rebounds as well as seven blocked shots) against Iowa State (1/14). Withey leads the Big 12 with 3.1 blocked shots per game and has 18 blocked shots in four league contests.
Senior guard Conner Teahan, who has one start in 2011-12, is second on the team with 29 three-pointers this season while averaging 7.5 points per game. Sophomore forward Justin Wesley joins Teahan as the first two off the bench. Wesley averages 1.9 points and 2.4 rebounds per contest. Junior forward Kevin Young (4.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg) and freshman guard Naadir Tharpe (1.3 ppg, 17 assists) are the other KU regulars. Tharpe had a season-high nine points on 3-for-3 shooting, all from behind the arc, at Texas Tech (1/11) while Young had seven points and seven rebounds against the Red Raiders and seven points and three rebounds against Iowa State (1/14).
Located in Waco, Texas, with an enrollment of 15,029, Baylor brings a school-record 17-0 mark to Allen Fieldhouse after its 106-65 win against Oklahoma State Saturday in Waco. BU is one of three undefeated teams in NCAA Division I, along with Syracuse (19-0) and Murray State (18-0). The Bears are coached by Scott Drew, who is 144-116 in his ninth season at BU and 164-127 in his 10th season overall. BU is 10-0 at home, 4-0 away and 3-0 on neutral floors in 2011-12. Baylor averages 77.9 points per game and has a +18.2 scoring margin. The Bears also hold a +6.9 rebound margin in 2011-12 and lead the Big 12 in three-point percentage (41.6) and blocked shots with 6.4 per game. They make an impressive 7.5 three-pointers per contest and average 8.9 steals this season.
Baylor has a balanced team as five players average double-figures in scoring. Sophomore forward Perry Jones III, the Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year, leads BU with 13.8 points and 7.7 rebounds per game in 2011-12. Senior forward Quincy Acy and junior guard Pierre Jackson are next in scoring at 12.3 points per contest. Acy is second the team with a 6.9 rebounding average and he also leads BU with 40 blocked shots. Jackson comes off the bench and leads Baylor with 87 assists and 33 steals this season. Freshman forward Quincy Miller is a starter scoring 11.7 points per game and is third on the team with 5.3 rebounds per contest in 2011-12. Rounding out the BU starters is sophomore guard Brady Heslip (10.5 ppg, a team-leading 50 three-pointers) and junior guard A.J. Walton (4.2 ppg, 64 assists and 27 steals).
Senior forward Anthony Jones (5.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg) and sophomore forward Cory Jefferson (5.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg) have made starts this season but, like Jackson, have come off the bench in Big 12 action in 2012. Sophomore guard Gary Franklin (3.6 ppg) is another Baylor regular this season.
The Kansas-Baylor Series
Kansas leads the series with Baylor 16-2, including a 9-0 record in Lawrence and 8-0 mark in Allen Fieldhouse. This series dates back to 1951 with Kansas winning the first six meetings. Since the inception of the Big 12, KU holds a 14-2 record against BU and has won the last two meetings. Baylor’s last win in the series was a 71-64 upset in the 2009 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship quarterfinals in Oklahoma City. Kansas entered the game as the No. 1 seed, while Baylor was the No. 9 seed.
–Kansas head coach Bill Self is 8-2 all-time against Baylor, including an 8-1 record while at Kansas.
–Baylor head coach Scott Drew is 1-8 all-time against Kansas with all nine meetings while at BU.
–Kansas has tied or outrebounded 15 of 17 opponents this season, including 13 of the last 14 games. KU has seven games with a +10 rebound margin, including a season-best 50-26 vs. Kansas State (1/4) and a +16 (40-24) at Texas Tech (1/11).
–Five different Jayhawks – Thomas Robinson, Tyshawn Taylor, Elijah Johnson, Conner Teahan and Travis Releford – have led Kansas in scoring through 17 games.
–KU has shot a higher percentage than 14 of 17 opponents this season.
–KU has blocked four or more shots in 13 of 17 games this season, including a season-high 13 against Florida Atlantic (11/30). KU had 12 blocked shots against Long Beach State (12/6) and 10 versus Iowa State (1/14).
–Kansas has 85 dunks to its opponents’ 20 through 17 games. Thomas Robinson leads KU with 40 dunks, while Jeff Withey has 17.
–Junior Thomas Robinson, who recorded his Big 12-leading 12th double-double of the season with 11 points and 14 rebounds against Iowa State (1/14), was named the No. 1 candidate for national player of the year in Dick Vitale’s midseason lists released Jan. 4. He has five 20-point efforts this season. A three-time Big 12 Player of the Week, Robinson had career highs with 30 points and 21 rebounds against North Dakota (12/31). It was the sixth 30-20 in Big 12 history and first at KU since 1961 (Wayne Hightower vs. Missouri). Robinson is the only player in the Big 12 Conference this season who is averaging a double-double with 17.2 ppg and 12.2 rpg. His 12 double-doubles, like his 12.2 rebounds per game, lead the Big 12 and his rebound average is second nationally. Robinson’s 17.2 points are fourth in the league and he also ranks third in field goal percentage (53.8), tied for 15th in steals at 1.2 and 10th in blocked shots (1.1) after his three against Iowa State (1/14).
–Senior Tyshawn Taylor scored a career-high 28 points against Iowa State (1/14) surpassing his previous high of 26 at Oklahoma in 2009. He has averaged 6.6 assists in his last nine games. He is second on the team with 15.5 points per game and leads KU in scoring in Big 12 games at 16.3 ppg. In all games, Taylor leads KU with 88 assists and he is making 42.3 percent from three-point range. Taylor underwent knee surgery on Dec. 11 but returned to start the Davidson contest on Dec. 19, when he scored 15 points and had seven assists. Taylor’s 15.5 points per game average is fifth in the Big 12. Also in the league, he is ninth in field goal percentage at 44.3, fourth in assists at 5.2 and ninth in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.3.
–Junior Travis Releford, the Big 12 Player of the Week on Jan. 9, is tied for second on the team in league-game scoring with 15.8 ppg. Last week, he opened Big 12 play with his first career double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds against Kansas State (1/4). Both were career highs at the time. He then scored 28 points at Oklahoma (1/7) where he made a career-high nine field goals and three three-pointers. Releford has started every game this season and has scored in double figures nine times in 2011-12, while averaging 10.0 points. Releford is tied for seventh in the Big 12 with 1.4 steals per game and has five steals in his last two games.
–Junior Elijah Johnson scored 12 points against Iowa State (1/14), his most since a 14-point effort at USC (12/22). He has scored in double figures in seven games this season and averages 9.4 points per contest. He leads the team with 30 three-pointers made and is also the team leader with 27 steals. Johnson has multiple steals in five of his last seven games and eight games this season. He has started every game this season for KU and is second on the team in assists with 65. Johnson is ninth in the Big 12 in assists at 3.8, tied for third in steals at 1.6, 15th in three-point percentage at 30.0, tied for 11th in three-pointers made at 1.7 and fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.9.
–Junior Jeff Withey recorded his third double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds against Iowa State (1/14). He also had seven blocked shots against the Cyclones. The 7-0 junior center leads the Big 12 with 3.1 blocked shots per game, which includes a Big 12-best 18 in conference play. He has six games with 10-plus points scored. Withey almost had a triple-double with 13 points, 13 rebounds and nine blocked shots against Long Beach State (12/6). His nine blocked shots rank No. 2 on the KU single-game records list and were just one shy of the school record – Cole Aldrich’s 10 against Dayton in the 2009 NCAA Tournament. Withey has multiple blocks in nine of his last 10 games and 12 contests in 2011-12. His 5.9 rebound average is 12th in the Big 12.
–Senior Conner Teahan has made multiple three-pointers in five of his last nine games, including a career-high four twice — at USC (12/22) and against Long Beach State (12/6). He is second on the team with 27 threes in 2011-12. Teahan scored a career-high 14 points versus LBSU and has chipped in 13 points twice (at USC and vs. Howard, 12/29). Teahan is 11th in the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 37.2 and tied for 13th in three-pointers made at 1.7.
–Junior Kevin Young scored seven points in each of his last two games and recorded seven rebounds at Texas Tech (1/11). Young’s best performance of the season came against No. 2 Ohio State (12/10) with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting. He has pulled down four or more rebounds seven times this season. In 2011-12, Young is shooting 60.0 percent (24-for-40) from the field.
Kansas continues conference play at Texas, Saturday, Jan. 21 at 3 p.m. on CBS. The Jayhawks then return home for a second-straight ESPN Big Monday appearance when they host Texas A&M on Jan. 23 at 8 p.m. KU will then play at Iowa State on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 1 p.m.