Kansas to Host Missouri on ESPN Big Monday in Men's Basketball

Jan. 24, 2010

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It’s rivalry week for No. 3 Kansas (18-1, 4-0) starting with a Border Showdown match-up against Missouri (15-4, 3-1) on ESPN’s Big Monday Jan. 25 at 8 p.m. Kansas is 18-1 on the season and 4-0 in Big 12 play for the third-straight season after its 84-61 win at Iowa State Saturday. Missouri is 15-4 on the season and 3-1 in conference play after its 70-53 win against Nebraska Saturday in Columbia, Mo. Following Big Monday, Kansas will travel to nationally-ranked Kansas State Saturday, Jan. 30 at 6 p.m. ESPN’s College Gameday will originate from Manhattan on Saturday.

About Kansas

Kansas is 4-0 in Big 12 play for the third-straight season and has the nation’s longest home court winning streak at 53 games. The Jayhawks average 84.9 points per game and give up 61.5 ppg for a Big 12-leading +23.5 scoring margin. In Big 12 play, Kansas is scoring 84.5 points per game and holds a +16.8 scoring margin. Senior guard Sherron Collins leads the team in scoring at 16 points per game and has scored 22 or more points in four of his last six games, including 28 against Baylor (Jan. 20). Collins leads the team with 81 assists and with 40 three-pointers, one ahead of freshman guard Xavier Henry. Henry averages 14 points per game and also has a team-high 36 steals. He had seven steals against Baylor (Jan. 20). Junior center Cole Aldrich, an Academic All-America candidate, leads Kansas with 9.9 rebounds per game – one board shy of a 10 rpg average – to complement his 11.2 points per game. He has seven double-doubles on the year after his 19 points and 11 rebounds performance at Iowa State Saturday. Aldrich also leads the team in blocked shots at 3.4 per contest. Sophomore forward Marcus has really stepped up his game in his last four outings. In that span he has averaged 19.3 points and 7.5 rebounds. For the season Morris averages 12.4 ppg and 5.6 rpg. Junior guard Brady Morningstar made his first start of the season against Baylor (Jan. 20) and is scoring 4.8 points per game. He averages 3.2 assists and has a 3.2 assist-to-turnover ration. Sophomore guard Tyshawn Taylor is scoring 6.9 points per game, is second on the team with 68 assists and third with 21 steals this season. Sophomore forward Markieff Morris, twin of Marcus, is coming off the bench to score 6.3 points per game. He is third on the team with a 4.9 rebound average. Junior guard Tyrel Reed had 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting at Nebraska (Jan. 13) and scores 4.5 points per outing. He has 22 three-pointers and 30 field goals made this season. Freshman guard Elijah Johnson (3.3 ppg) has started two games this season. Thomas Robinson (3.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg) is another KU regular. Robinson started his first career game at Nebraska (Jan. 13). At Iowa State, freshman center Jeff Withey posted career highs with eight points and five rebounds.

About Missouri

Missouri is 15-4 on the season and 3-1 in Big 12 play after its 70-53 win against Nebraska Saturday, extending its home court winning streak to 31 games (12-0 this season). The Tigers average 81.6 points per game and give up 63.1 points per game for a +18.6 scoring margin, which ranks third in the Big 12. Missouri uses a pressure defense that forces 20.9 turnovers per contest. The Tigers lead the Big 12 in steals with 12.1 per game, while Kansas is next at 9.2. MU’s +7.3 turnover margin is also tops in the conference. Sophomore guard Kim English leads MU in scoring at 14.8 points per game. He is second on the team with 32 steals and 40 three-pointers. Sophomore guard Marcus Denmon is scoring 11.2 points per game and has a team-high 43 three-pointers. Sophomore forward Laurence Bowers leads the Tigers with a 60.6 field goal percentage, 5.9 rebounds per game and 32 blocked shots. He scores 10.9 points per game. Senior forward Keith Ramsey is second in rebounds with a 5.8 rpg average. Ramsey is scoring 5.7 points per outing. Senior guard J.T. Tiller is a starter who averages 8.6 points and 1.5 steals per game. Freshman guard Michael Dixon scores 8.4 points, while senior guard Zaire Taylor (8.1 ppg) and junior forward Justin Safford (7.8 ppg) round out the MU regulars. Taylor leads the team with 55 assists and 36 steals.

The Series

Kansas leads the all-time series with Missouri, 167-94, including an 86-33 record in games played in Lawrence and 39-14 in Allen Fieldhouse match-ups. The Jayhawks have won the last 10 meetings with the Tigers in Allen Fieldhouse dating back to 2000. Overall, Kansas has won six of the last seven and 10 of the last 13 meetings with Missouri. Since the inception of the Big 12, KU holds a 20-9 series advantage against Missouri – 18-8 in regular-season play and 2-1 in the conference postseason championships. Tonight’s game will mark the 40th KU-MU game with one or both of the teams ranked. The Jayhawks lost the first-ever meeting with Missouri, 34-31, on March 11, 1907, in Lawrence.

Border Showdown

Tonight’s game marks the 10th Kansas-Missouri meeting in all sports of the 2009-10 academic year in the annual Border Showdown sponsored by M&I Bank. The winner of the KU-MU head-to-head competition is awarded points. Currently, Missouri holds an 8.5-6.0 advantage against Kansas. Though the state rivalry dates back to the pre-Civil War era, the athletics rivalry started in 1891 with football and 1907 in men’s basketball. The Border Showdown trophy has been presented seven times with MU winning five times – 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009 – and KU twice in 2004 and 2006.

Team Notables

–KU leads the Big 12 in scoring margin (+23.5). The Jayhawks also lead the Big 12 in assists at 18.4 and assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.4. The Jayhawks rank in the top three in all but five Big 12 statistical categories.

–Through 19 games, Bill Self has used at least nine players in the first half of every game. He has used a season-high 11 players in the first half twice – against Baylor (Jan. 20) and Central Arkansas (Nov. 19).

–Ten of Kansas’ 18 victories this season have been by 25 or more points with eight of those by 30 points or more.

–KU averages 6.3 blocked shots per game to its opponents’ 3.5.

–Kansas has shot 50 percent or better in 11 of 19 games this season, including seven of its last 12 contests.

–Kansas has also held 13 of 18 opponents this season to under 40 percent from the field. Iowa State shot 37.7 percent Saturday.

–KU’s bench has outscored its opponents’ bench in 14 of 19 games this season. KU’s bench outscored Iowa State’s bench 27-10 Saturday.

–Through 19 games, nine different Jayhawks have led the team in steals, seven in points and six in assists.

–Kansas forces 15.4 turnovers per game and averages 18.5 points off turnovers per game.

Player Notables

–Senior Sherron Collins has scored 22 or more points in four of his last six games, including 28 against Baylor (Jan. 20). In his last six games, he is averaging 20.8 points. He had a career-high 33 points in the come-from-behind win against Cornell (Jan. 6). Collins is Kansas’ leading scorer for the 2009-10 season with 16.0 points per game. Collins has shot 50 percent or better in five of his last eight games. He leads the Big 12 with his 87.0 free throw percentage. Collins’ 16.0-point scoring average is tied for 10th in the Big 12. Collins also ranks among the league leaders in field goal percentage (seventh at 46.4), assists (tied for seventh at 4.3), three-point field goal percentage (eighth at 40.8), three-point field goals made (tied for sixth at 2.1) and assist-to-turnover ratio (sixth at 2.3).

–Junior Cole Aldrich, an Academic All-America candidate, is coming off his seventh double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds at Iowa State (Jan. 23). He is one rebound shy of averaging a double-double and is scoring 11.2 points per game in 2009-10. He has pulled down at least nine rebounds in eight of his last 10 games and had a season-high 18 rebounds at Tennessee (Jan. 10). Aldrich has at least three blocked shots in 10 of his last 11 contests. Aldrich was named Big 12 co-Player of the Week (Jan. 4) after posting two-straight double-doubles in wins against Belmont and at Temple. He is second in the Big 12 and ranks in the top 10 nationally with 3.4 blocked shots per game. Aldrich is third in the Big 12 in rebounding at 9.9 rpg. He has 29 career double-doubles.

–Freshman Xavier Henry has been named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week twice this season and is second on the team in scoring with 14.3 ppg. He has led KU in scoring in six games this season, including a career-high 31 points against La Salle (Dec. 12). He has scored in double figures in all but three games. Xavier leads Kansas with 36 steals and had a Kansas freshman-tying record seven against Baylor (Jan. 20). He is second on the team with 39 three-point field goals made. He has made multiple three-pointers in 11 contests. He is ninth in the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 40.8 percent. He also ranks 17th in the Big 12 in scoring at 14.3 ppg, 11th in free throw percentage at 77.9, tied for second in steals at 1.9 and tied for eighth in three-pointers made at 2.1.

–Sophomore Marcus Morris has averaged 19.3 points and 7.5 rebounds in his last four games and is 30-for-45 (66.7 percent) from the field in that span. He is third on the team in scoring at 12.4 points per game and second in rebounds with 5.6 rpg (19th in the Big 12). Morris has pulled down 30 rebounds in the last four games. He has two double-doubles on the season – vs. Michigan (Dec. 19) and vs. Oakland (Nov. 25). He has started 16 games in 2009-10.

–Junior Brady Morningstar had seven points and a season-high seven rebounds at Iowa State. He made his first start of the season against Baylor (Jan. 20) and had five points, three assists and two steals. Morningstar had a season-high eight points and six rebounds against Texas Tech (Jan. 16). He has 32 assists and 10 turnovers in his nine games played for a 3.2 assist-to-turnover ratio. A defensive stopper who started all but one game last season, Morningstar missed the first nine games of the season due to breaking team rules. Morningstar is a redshirt junior who is the oldest player in the Big 12 at 23.

–Junior Tyrel Reed, an Academic All-America candidate, scored 11 points at Nebraska (Jan. 13), which was one shy of his season-high of 12 against Central Arkansas (Nov. 19). He had five points against Texas Tech (Jan. 16) and set his career high with three steals. Reed has made 22 three-pointers this season and 73.3 percent of his field goals made in 2009-10 have been from beyond the arc. Reed has made at least one three in 15 games this season and multiple threes in four contests. Reed is averaging 4.5 points per game.

–Sophomore Tyshawn Taylor had seven points and five rebounds in 13 minutes of play at Iowa State (Jan. 23). He has scored in double figures in five games this season, including 11 points at Nebraska (Jan. 13) and 13 points at Tennessee (Jan. 10). Taylor is averaging 6.9 ppg and has shot 50 percent or better in nine games, including 3-for-5 at Iowa State. He ranks tied 11th in the Big 12 in assists at 3.6 and 10th in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.1.

–Sophomore Markieff Morris is third on the team with a 4.9 rebound average and is scoring 6.3 points per game. He was perfect at Nebraska (Jan. 13) going 2-for-2 from the field and making his only three-point attempt in scoring five points. He has pulled down six or more rebounds in eight games this season. Morris had a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds against La Salle (Dec. 12). He is second on the team with 15 blocked shots and is shooting 57.1 percent from the field on the season.

–Freshman Thomas Robinson scored six points at Iowa State (Jan. 23) were the most he had since he scored 10 points against Radford (Dec. 9). His 12 minutes at ISU were also the most since the Radford game where he played 16 minutes. He made his first career start at Nebraska (Jan. 13). Robinson averages 9.7 minutes per game with 3.7 ppg and 3.6 rpg. He is third on the team with 13 blocked shots. Robinson has had two games of double-figure scoring and had his first career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds against Alcorn State (Dec. 2). He has pulled down four or more rebounds in eight games.

–Freshman Jeff Withey had a season-high eight points on 4-of-6 shooting, including two dunks, at Iowa State (Jan. 23). Withey has appeared in four games and is scoring 3.0 points and pulling down 2.3 rebounds per game this season.

–Freshman C.J. Henry did not make the trip to Iowa State because he was injured in practice on Jan. 22. He has appeared in 11 games this season and has a 3.6 ppg average. He is 14-for-23 (60.9 percent) from the field, including 11-for-20 (55 percent) from three-point range.

Up Next

Kansas hits the road again when it plays at nationally-ranked Kansas State on Jan. 30 on ESPN Gameday at 6 p.m. This marks the fifth time in the six-year history of ESPN Gameday that Kansas has been featured. KU hosted ESPN Gameday in 2005, 2007 and 2008 and was the visiting team at Texas in 2006. Following the KSU game, Kansas will travel to Colorado Feb. 3 at 8 p.m. (Central) on ESPN2. Kansas returns home Feb. 6 against Nebraska at 5 p.m. on ESPNU.