Jayhawks to Host Aggies on ESPN Big Monday in Men's Basketball

Jan. 18, 2009

Kansas notes for Texas A&M in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

Kansas returns home for its first of four ESPN Big Monday contests in 2009 against Texas A&M. KU will also play ESPN Big Monday games at Baylor (Feb. 2), at Missouri (Feb. 9) and at Oklahoma (Feb. 23). The Jayhawks are 13-4, 2-0 Big 12, after their 73-56 win at Colorado Saturday. Texas A&M has lost two of its last three games and is 15-3, 1-2 Big 12, on the season. One loss was on the road at Oklahoma State, 72-61, and the other was to No. 6 Oklahoma 69-63 on Saturday. The game marks the return of former Kansas great Mark Turgeon. A guard from 1984-87, Turgeon is in his 11th season as a head coach and this will be the third time one of his teams has faced his alma mater and the first time in Allen Fieldhouse.

About Kansas

Kansas is 13-4 (2-0 Big 12) on the season after its 73-56 win at Colorado Saturday. The win made the four-time defending Big 12 regular-season champions 2-0 for the third straight season. The Jayhawks are averaging 79.4 points per game and giving up 65.6 for a +13.8 scoring margin. KU shot a season-best 61.4 percent from the field at Colorado and held the Buffaloes to a 37.2 field goal percentage to mark the 11th time this season KU has held its opponent to under 40 percent shooting. Kansas has shot 50 percent or better eight times this season with six of those in Allen Fieldhouse.

Junior guard Sherron Collins leads KU in scoring at 18.5 points per game and has is averaging 22.2 points in his last five games. Collins has led the team in scoring in 13 of 17 games this season. He has a team-high 38 three-point field goals and 89 assists. Collins enters the Texas A&M game with 983 career points, just 17 shy of becoming the 51st Jayhawk to score 1,000 points for his career. Sophomore center Cole Aldrich is next in scoring at 15.3 points per game and posted his 10th double-double of the season, second most in the Big 12, with 15 points and 10 rebounds at Colorado. He leads the team with 9.8 rebounds per game and is three rebounds shy of averaging a double-double. Aldrich is 11-of-12 from the field in two Big 12 games and leads the league with a 64.2 field goal percentage. Aldrich has 47 of KU’s 83 blocked shots for a Big 12-leading 2.8 per game. Freshman guard Tyshawn Taylor is scoring 10.4 points per game and leads Kansas with 24 steals. He is averaging 17 points in his first two conference games with 20 against Kansas State and 14 at Colorado. Sophomore guard Brady Morningstar is a starter who is averaging 7.1 points per game with 49 assists and 18 steals. Junior guard Mario Little rounds out the KU starters. Little missed the first 12 games of the season and is averaging 2.2 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. Freshman forward Markieff Morris (5.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg), freshman Marcus Morris (7.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg) and sophomore guard Tyrel Reed (7.7 ppg) are KU’s top reserves. At Colorado, Marcus Morris had 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting, while Reed scored 11 on 4-of-6 shooting, including 3-of-5 from three-point range.

About Texas A&M

Texas A&M is 15-3 on the season and 1-2 in Big 12 play after its 69-63 loss to No. 6 Oklahoma Saturday in College Station. The Aggies are 11-1 at home and 4-2 away from Reed Arena. A&M opened the season 4-0 and following a loss to Tulsa (67-56) rattled off 10 victories before falling at Oklahoma State (72-61) in its league opener on Jan. 10. The Aggies, who do not have a senior on their roster, are outrebounding opponents by +4.5 boards per game and have a plus-7.9 scoring margin scoring 70.8 points and giving up 62.9 points. Junior guard/forward Josh Carter leads the team with 13.4 points per game, including a team-best 36 three pointers. He leads the Big 12 in free throw percentage at 88.1. Sophomore guard Donald Sloan has a team best 60 assists to go along with his 11.6 scoring average. He is second on the team with 20 steals. Sophomore forward Bryan Davis is third on the team in scoring at 10.6 points per game and is second on the team with 6.1 rebounds per outing and 23 blocked shots. Sophomore forward/center Chinemulu Elonu leads A&M in rebounds at 7.6 rpg and blocked shots with 28 to complement his 10.3 scoring average. Sophomore guard Derrick Roland (5.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg) rounds out the starters. Freshman guard B.J. Holmes has a team-best 22 steals on the season and is scoring 9.1 points per game. Other top reserves include freshman forward David Loubeau (4.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg), freshman forward Nathan Walcup (3.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg) and freshman guard Dash Harris (1.6 ppg, 33 assists, 14 steals).

The Series

Kansas and Texas A&M are meeting for the 15th time in a series that dates back to 1967. KU leads the overall series 13-1 including two meetings last season. Then-No. 5 KU defeated Texas A&M, 72-55, on March 8, 2008, to win its fourth straight Big 12 regular-season championship. One week later the Jayhawks defeated the Aggies 77-71 in the semifinals of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship. KU went on to win the event, its third straight Big 12 tourney title. Texas A&M’s last visit to Lawrence resulted in an epic battle between two Top 10 teams. No. 10 A&M defeated No. 5 Kansas 69-66 on Feb. 3, 2007. The loss was KU’s last at home as KU has mounted a 34-game home-court winning streak, the second longest in the nation. Kansas is 5-1 against Texas A&M in Allen Fieldhouse. The first game of the series was played in the Sunflower Doubleheader in Manhattan, Kan., with KU winning 78-52. Ever since, it has been during the Big 12 era.

Team Notables

–Kansas ranks among the Big 12’s top four teams in free throw percentage (third at 71.4), field goal percentage (fourth at 48.3), field goal percentage defense (third at 38.5), rebound defense (second at 32.9), rebound margin (second at +6.1), assists (second at 17.6), blocked shots (third at 4.9) and assist-to-turnover ratio (second at 1.3).

–KU has outshot 13 of 17 opponents this season and has shot 50 percent or better in eight games, including a season-best 61.4 percent at Colorado Saturday. Kansas is 12-1 when outshooting its opponent this season and 1-3 when outshot.

–Kansas has outrebounded 12 of 17 opponents this season.

–Kansas has shot 80 percent or better from the free throw line in six games this season.

–Through 17 games, four different Jayhawks have scored 20 or more points this season. Sherron Collins has five 20-point games, while Cole Aldrich has four. Tyshawn Taylor picked up his second in the conference opener with 20 points against Kansas State, while Brady Morningstar has one 20-point effort.

–Kansas has held 127 of its last 130 opponents to under 50 percent shooting, including all 17 foes this season. Eleven 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 56 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, eight 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 98-14 (87.5 percent) in its last 112 games dating back to Jan. 21, 2006.

Player Notables

–Junior guard Sherron Collins is averaging 22.2 points in his last five games, including 21 in Big 12 play (24 points vs. Kansas State, 18 points at Colorado). He has 32 assists in his last five games, including seven at Colorado. He has led Kansas in scoring in 13 games this season. Collins ranks second in the Big 12 in scoring at 18.5 ppg. He also ranks among the league leaders in assists (fifth at 5.2), free throw percentage (fifth at .818), field goal percentage (13th at .435), three point field goals made (eighth at 2.2) and assist-to-turnover ratio (11th at 1.6).

–Sophomore Cole Aldrich has three 20-point scoring games in his last six outings and is averaging 18.3 points in that span. He is three rebounds shy of averaging a double-double. After his 15 points and 10 rebounds at Colorado, Aldrich’s 10 double-doubles on the season rank second most in the Big 12. At Colorado he was 6-for-6 from the field and has made 70 percent or better from the field in eight games this season. He is 11-for-12 from the field in Big 12 play. He has multiple blocked shots in each of his last six games with 21 in that span. Aldrich has 35 of KU’s 57 dunks this season. Aldrich leads the Big 12 in blocked shots with 2.8 per contest. He leads the conference in field goal percentage at 64.2 and second in rebounding at 9.8 rpg, sixth in free throw percentage at 79.5 and 12th in scoring at 15.3 ppg.

–Freshman guard Tyshawn Taylor is averaging 17 points through two Big 12 games with 20 points against Kansas State and 14 at Colorado. He is 11-for-15 (73.3 percent) from the field in his last two games, including 2-for-4 from three-point range. He is third on the team with a 10.4 scoring average, which is second most among Big 12 freshmen. Taylor has twice been named Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week in 2008-09. He is 13th in the league in assists at 3.2 apg, tied for 14th in steals at 1.4 spg and 12th in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.5.

–Sophomore guard Tyrel Reed is coming off an 11-point effort at Colorado where he was 4-for-6 from the field, including 3-for-5 from three-point range. He has scored in double figures in three of his last four and four of his last six games. Reed has averaged 10.3 points in his last four games (7.7 on the season). Reed has made multiple threes in five of his last six games. His 0-for-2 night against Kansas State was the first time since Dec. 20 he had not made a three. He is 23-for-47 (48.9 percent) from beyond the arc in his last 11 games.

–Sophomore guard Brady Morningstar pulled down a career-high eight rebounds at Colorado Saturday. He has made multiple three pointers in seven games this season, including a 2-for-4 effort against Kansas State in scoring six points in the league opener last Tuesday. He has made at least one three-pointer in 13 of his last 14 games and is third in the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 46.4 percent. Morningstar leads KU with 25 floor burns through 17 games. He is just ahead of Tyrel Reed and Cole Aldrich at 23 and Sherron Collins and Marcus Morris at 22.

–Freshman forward Marcus Morris scored 10 points at Colorado on 4-of-5 shooting. He made his second three-pointer of the season at CU. His 10 points marked the sixth time this season he has reached double figures and first since 12 points at Arizona on Dec. 23. Marcus has shot 50 percent or better in 11 games this season. Marcus has started six games for KU this season and is second on the team with 5.4 rebounds per game which leads the Big 12 freshmen in rebound average. The 5.4 boards are 18th overall in the conference.

–Freshman forward Markieff Morris has started seven games this season and is third on the team with 4.8 rebounds per game. He had five points and five rebounds against Kansas State and three points with five boards at Colorado. His 4.8 rebounds on the season are second among Big 12 freshmen behind only his brother Marcus’ 5.4 rpg. The 4.8 rebound average is tied for 20th in the conference.

–Junior guard Mario Little has started both Big 12 games and is averaging 8.6 minutes per contest. Little, the Big 12 Preseason Newcomer of the Year, missed the first 12 games of the season due to injuries.

–Freshman Travis Releford played a season-high 21 minutes at Michigan State (Jan. 10) and is averaging eight minutes per contest.

Up Next

Kansas hits the road for two league battles at Iowa State (Jan. 24) and at Nebraska (Jan. 28). The Iowa State contest will tip at 1 p.m. (Central) and will be televised on ESPN. The Nebraska contest will start at 6:30 p.m. and will air on ESPN2. KU returns home to host Colorado on Jan. 31 at 3 p.m. on ESPNU.