Kansas to Take on Nebraska in Men's Basketball

Jan. 19, 2005

No. 2 Kansas returns home for the first time in two weeks to host Big 12 Conference foe Nebraska tonight at Allen Fieldhouse, 7 p.m. The Jayhawks (13-0, 3-0 Big 12) will look to remain undefeated with a win over the Huskers (8-5, 2-1 Big 12) in Lawrence.

About Kansas

No. 2 Kansas has been ranked in the top two nationally the entire season after opening as the nation’s preseason No. 1 in both polls. The Jayhawks are coming off a 76-61 victory at Colorado on Saturday. Earlier in the week, the Jayhawks defeated Iowa State 71-66 in Ames, Iowa. KU is 3-0 in conference play for the 10th straight season after Saturday’s win over the Buffaloes. Senior forward Wayne Simien scored 23 points and pulled in 17 rebounds, tying his career-high. KU’s leading scorer (17.6 ppg) and rebounder (12.2 rpg), Simien missed four games this season (Dec. 22-Jan. 9) after having surgery on Dec. 20. The Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year, Simien is the only player in the Big 12 averaging a double-double. Senior guard Keith Langford (14.7 ppg) bounced back from a severe concussion at Kentucky on Jan. 9 to score 32 points in his last two outings (18 at Iowa State, 14 at Colorado). After being held without a three-point goal for two consecutive contests, sophomore guard J.R. Giddens (10.3 ppg) regained his touch from the outside and is 6-of-12 from behind the arc for a two-game total of 24 points. Senior point guard Aaron Miles ranks fourth on the team in scoring at 8.7 points per game. He also boasts a league-best 7.0 assists per contest. Junior forward Christian Moody came back to the lineup against Colorado after sitting out the Iowa State contest with an injury. Moody, a walk-on, is averaging 6.8 points and is second on the team with 5.2 rebounds per game. Freshman forward Alex Galindo (5.6 ppg) made his first start for the Jayhawks at Colorado, while freshman center C.J. Giles (3.8 ppg) has started four times for KU this season.

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self is 37-9 in his second season at KU and 244-114 in his 12th season overall. Last year, KU posted a 24-9 record and finished tied for second in the Big 12 race at 12-4. KU advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year, falling to Georgia Tech in overtime, 79-71. Self’s 24 victories tied Dick Harp for the most wins by a KU coach in his debut season at Kansas. Prior to KU, Self led Illinois to two Big Ten titles and three straight NCAA Tournament appearances. Before Illinois, he guided Tulsa to two WAC championships in 1999 and 2000 and was The Sporting News National Coach of the Year in 2000. A four-time Naismith Coach of the Year Award finalist, Self began his coaching career at KU in 1985-86 and was an assistant at his alma mater – Oklahoma State – from 1986 until 1993. His first head coaching stint was at Oral Roberts where he guided the Golden Eagles to the NIT in 1996-97, their first postseason appearance since 1983-84. Self is 3-1 against Nebraska including 1-1 while head coach at KU.

Last Game – No. 2 Kansas 76, Colorado 61

Kansas won its third straight road game Saturday to remain undefeated with a 76-61 victory over Colorado, in Boulder, Colo. In just his second game back from thumb surgery, KU senior Wayne Simien posted a game-high 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the field and 7-of-8 from the free throw line. Simien also logged his seventh double-double of the season as he tied a career-high with 17 rebounds. KU continued its good free throw shooting connecting on 27-of-37 from the charity stripe. Senior Keith Langford added 14 points, while sophomore J.R. Giddens chipped in with 11, including three three-pointers. Freshman Sasha Kaun came off the bench to score eight points in the win. KU controlled the game early by holding Colorado to just 24 percent shooting in the first half to take a 38-25 lead into halftime. In the second half, the Buffaloes came to life, cutting the KU lead to 60-56 at the 6:42 mark when Eddy Glean connected on a three-point play. The Jayhawks would go on a 9-0 run to pull away and seal the victory. Colorado was led by Chris Copeland, who scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Richard Roby added 14 points, while Glean added five points and a team-high 12 rebounds.

KU-Colorado Leftovers

Freshman forward Alex Galindo made his first career start for the Jayhawks… The Kansas senior class of Aaron Miles, Keith Langford, Wayne Simien and Michael Lee enjoyed their 100th career win… Simien notched his third first-half double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds… He finished the game with 23 points and 17 boards (ties his career-high) in a game-high 38 minutes… Simien surpassed Jacque Vaughn, Scot Pollard and Greg Dreiling and jumped into 27th place on the KU all-time scoring list with 1,223 points for his career… With his six assists, Miles moved into the NCAA Top 20 career assists leaders list. Miles now has 829 for his career and needs five to surpass Pooh Richardson of UCLA for 19th place in the record book… Freshman center Sasha Kaun scored a career-best eight points (3-for-3, 2-for-3 from the free throw line) in 11 minutes of play… Langford has played and scored in all 121 of his games at Kansas… KU’s 27 free throws made and 37 attempted marked season-highs. The Jayhawks’ 17 offensive rebounds also tied a season-best (17 vs. Vermont)… Colorado’s 12 two-point field goals made and two steals marked KU opponent season-lows… The Buffaloes’ 22 offensive rebounds, two disqualifications and 24 fouls marked KU opponent season-highs.

About Nebraska

Nebraska had a four-game win streak snapped by No. 9 Texas 63-53 Saturday afternoon at the Bob Devaney Center in Lincoln, Neb. The Huskers (8-5, 2-1 Big 12 Conference) have claimed league wins over Kansas State (95-85 2OT) and at Colorado (68-61) and are 2-2 on the road this season. Talented freshman Joe McCray leads Nebraska with 15.2 and adds a solid 5.5 boards per game. McCray posted a game-high 21 points including five three-pointers and added 11 rebounds in Nebraska’s loss to Texas. Senior guard Marcus Neal Jr. adds 11.3 points and 3.6 assists per game for the Huskers. Freshman center Aleks Maric paces the Husker rebounding with 7.5 boards per game. Nebraska is averaging 41.8 rebounds per game and holds its opponents to just 34.2 rpg on the season.

Nebraska Head Coach Barry Collier

In his fifth season at Nebraska, Barry Collier holds a record of 64-68 with the Huskers and is 260-200 in his 16th year as a head coach overall. Nebraska earned its first postseason berth in five years – and first under Collier – while posting an 18-13 record in 2003-04. In 15 seasons as a head coach, Collier has led his team to winning campaigns 10 times, including eight seasons with at least 18 victories. Prior to Nebraska, Collier was the head coach at Butler from 1989-2000 and an assistant at five different institutions since 1977. Collier is 1-7 all-time versus the Jayhawks with his lone win (74-55) in Lincoln on Feb. 15, 2004.

Series History

Kansas leads the all-time series with Nebraska, 154-71… Last meeting saw the Jayhawks defeat the Cornhuskers, 78-67, on March 3, 2004 in Lawrence, Kan…. KU is on a one-game winning streak against NU… Coach Bill Self is 3-1 against the Cornhuskers, and NU head coach Barry Collier is 1-7 versus the Jayhawks… Kansas is 1,015-464 all-time against schools in the Big 12 Conference… The Jayhawks are 163-78 all-time versus schools from the state of Nebraska… KU is 81-23 all-time versus the Huskers in Lawrence… Kansas is 44-7 all-time when playing NU at Allen Fieldhouse… The Jayhawks lost the first-ever meeting with Nebraska, 48-8, on March 2, 1900 in Lincoln, Neb.

KU-NU Connections

– Kansas sophomore guard Nick Bahe is a native of Lincoln, Neb., and a graduate of Lincoln Southeast High School. Bahe’s father and uncle played football for the Cornhuskers.

– KU assistant Tim Jankovich played against Nebraska while he was a guard for the Kansas State Wildcats. The Gary, Ind., native was 5-2 during his time in Manhattan.

– Jayhawk head coach Bill Self also faced the Cornhuskers while he played for Oklahoma State. The Edmond, Okla., native finished with a 4-6 mark against NU as a Cowboy.

– University of Kansas Chancellor Dr. Robert Hemenway graduated from Hastings (Nebraska) High School and later gained a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

– Former Nebraska athletics department employees Brad Nachtigal (facilities) and Mike Lickert (video) are now employed by the Kansas athletics department.

– Third-year Nebraska assistant coach Doug Novsek was an assistant coach on the Illinois State team that was defeated by the Jayhawks, 80-61, on Nov. 30, 2000 in Lawrence.

Getting it Done at the Line Down the Stretch

Despite shooting 66.1 percent from the free throw line this season, the Jayhawks have proved that they are better at the stripe when the clock winds down. In the last five minutes of its games, KU is 64-of-89 (71.9 percent) from the charity stripe. Five Jayhawks – Russell Robinson (87.5 percent); Keith Langford (70.5); Aaron Miles (80); Micheal Lee (100); and Christian Moody (77.8) – are making 70 percent or better down the stretch for KU.

KU Dominant in Big 12 Play

Since the inception of the Big 12 Conference in the 1996-97 season, Kansas has been the dominating force in the league. KU is the only league team to have won more than 100 games in regular season play. The Jayhawks are 110-22, which is 19 more wins than the next team on that list, Texas (91-40). In addition, the Jayhawks have won four of the eight regular-season Big 12 titles and KU won the first three Big 12 Tournament crowns.

Bucking the Trend

Last season, Kansas was 0-8 when trailing with 5:00 remaining. The Jayhawks have already bucked that trend twice this season as Vermont held a 58-56 lead at the 5:00 mark in KU’s 68-61 season-opening win and Georgia Tech was up 57-51 in the Jayhawks’ 70-68 overtime victory. Kansas has actually been down five times in the final five minutes. Including Vermont and Tech, South Carolina was up 58-57 with 2:14 remaining, Texas A&M held a 52-51 lead with 4:04 to play and Kentucky was winning 54-53 at the 3:35 mark.

Kansas Celebrating 50 Years of Allen Fieldhouse

Named in honor of the late Dr. F.C. “Phog” Allen, the Jayhawks’ head coach for 39 years, Allen Fieldhouse is labeled by many as one of the best places in America to watch a college basketball game. The Fieldhouse was dedicated on March 1, 1955, as the Jayhawks defeated Kansas State, 77-66, before an overflow throng of 17,228. This season, Allen Fieldhouse will celebrate its 50th year of existence.Ceremonies for the anniversary of the Fieldhouse are being planned around the March 2 game against Kansas State — the first opponent for KU in the facility.

Up Next

Kansas will hit the road again Saturday (Jan. 22) as it travels to Philadelphia, Pa., to take on Villanova at the Wachovia Center (20,444). Tip off is set for 11 a.m. (CST) and the game will air live on ESPN. The contest will mark the Jayhawks’ final regular-season non-conference matchup. After visiting the Wildcats, KU will travel to Waco, Texas, to take on Big 12 foe Baylor on Tuesday, Jan. 25.

Stewart Transfers to Kansas

Head coach Bill Self announced Tuesday (Jan. 11) that wing/guard Rodrick Stewart is enrolled at the University of Kansas and has started to practice with the team. The 6-4 Stewart (Seattle, Wash.) will not be eligible to play for the Jayhawks until January 2006, in accordance with NCAA transfer rules. He played last season as a freshman at Southern California with his twin brother, Lodrick, but did not play last semester because of academic reasons.