KU Men's Basketball Hits Road to Nebraska Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2
Jan. 26, 2009
Kansas (15-4, 4-0) remains one of two Big 12 teams to be undefeated in conference play with Oklahoma at 5-0 as the Jayhawks continue Big 12 play at Nebraska on Wednesday, Jan. 28, at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2. Kansas has won four straight and seven of its last eight games. The Jayhawks are 4-0 in Big 12 play for the second straight season after their 82-67 win at Iowa State Saturday. Nebraska is currently 12-6 on the season and 2-3 in Big 12 play. The Huskers are coming off a 76-74 overtime loss to Oklahoma State in Lincoln, Neb., on Saturday.
Kansas is 15-4 (4-0 Big 12) on the season after its 82-67 win at Iowa State Saturday. The win made the four-time defending Big 12 regular-season champions 4-0 for the second straight season. The Jayhawks are averaging 79.2 points per game and giving up 65.1 for a +14.2 scoring margin. KU has shot a 50 percent or better in each of its Big 12 games for a league-best 54.8 field goal percentage in conference play. Conversely, KU has held its last five and 13 opponents in 19 games to under 40 percent shooting.
Junior guard Sherron Collins leads KU in scoring at 18.7 points per game, which is third most in the Big 12. He has led the team in scoring in 15 of 19 games this season. He has a team-high 43 three-point field goals and 101 assists. While scoring a career-high-tying 26 points at Iowa State Saturday, Collins became the 51st Jayhawk to score 1,000 points for his career, currently with 1,025 points. Sophomore center Cole Aldrich is next in scoring at 15.4 points per game and after his 16 points and 12 rebounds at Iowa State, he has a team-best 11 double-doubles on the season, second most in the Big 12. He leads the team with 9.8 rebounds per game, which is third in the conference and he leads the league in field goal percentage at 63.6 percent and blocked shots per game at 2.7. Aldrich is 26-of-37 (70.3 percent) from the field in Big 12 games. Aldrich has 51 of KU’s 88 blocked shots in 2008-09. Freshman guard Tyshawn Taylor is scoring 10.2 points per game and has a team-best 26 steals. He is averaging 13 points in his first four conference games and was named Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week for the third time on Jan. 19. Sophomore guard Brady Morningstar is a starter who is averaging 7.0 points per game with 56 assists and 21 steals. He has 21 assists, four turnovers and eight steals in his last six games. Freshman forward Marcus Morris has started the last two games for the Jayhawks and is scoring 7.5 points and pulling down 5.2 rebounds. Over the last four-plus games, junior guard Mario Little has made his last 11 field goals, including a 4-for-4 effort at Iowa State Saturday. He is scoring 5.0 points in seven games played this season. He missed the first 12 games of the season due to injuries. Freshman forward Markieff Morris (4.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and sophomore guard Tyrel Reed (7.5 ppg) are KU’s top reserves. Reed has scored in double figures in two of his last three games, including 10 points at Iowa State on 2-of-3 shooting from three-point range.
Nebraska is looking to rebound from a 76-74 overtime loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday in Lincoln. The Huskers are 12-6 on the season, 2-3 in Big 12 play and have lost two straight and three of their last four. Nebraska is 11-2 at home this season. Nebraska averages 67 points per game and has a stifling defense giving up 57.8 ppg. The Huskers have a balanced scoring attack with only two players averaging double figures and they are second in the conference with 7.1 steals per game. Senior guard Steve Harley leads NU in scoring with 12.1 points per game. He is second on the team in assists with 41 and steals with 25. Senior guard Ade Dagundero is the only other Husker averaging double figures at 10.7 points per game. He is shooting a team-best 51.8 percent from the field. Senior guard Paul Velander comes off the bench to score 9.3 points per contest and he leads the team with 49 three-point field goals. Junior guard Sek Henry is just behind Velander with 9.1 points per contest, while sophomore guard Cookie Miller (7.2 ppg) has a team-high 71 assists and is making 81.6 percent of his free throws. Freshman guard Toney McCray’s 11 blocked shots are a team best. He is scoring 6.4 points per game. Junior guard Ryan Anderson (6.3 ppg) leads the team with a 4.8 rebound average to go along with his 6.3 ppg. Junior forward Chris Balham (2.1 ppg, 2.2 rpg) is a starter, while freshman guard Brandon Richardson (3.9 ppg) is averaging nearly 15 minutes a game for the Huskers.
This series dates back to 1900 and Kansas leads 164-71. Kansas is 60-44 against Nebraska in games played in Lincoln, yet the series is tied at the Bob Devaney Center at 16-16. Kansas has won 11 straight against Nebraska and 20 of the last 21 dating back to the 1998-99 season. The last Nebraska victory in the series was 74-55 on Feb. 15, 2004, in Lincoln, Bill Self’s first season at KU and his only loss to Nebraska. The previous NU win was 64-59 on Feb. 10, 1999, in Lawrence. Kansas holds a 25-3 record against Nebraska since the inception of the Big 12 and has swept the season series 10 times, including each of the last four seasons. KU and NU have played each other four times in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship with the Jayhawks winning all four contests, including last year, 64-54, in the quarterfinals of the event at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.
–Kansas ranks among the Big 12’s top four teams in scoring margin (third at +14.2), free throw percentage (third at 71.4), field goal percentage (second at 48.6), field goal percentage defense (second at 38.0), three-point field goal percentage (third at 37.9) rebound defense (second at 32.7), rebound margin (second at +5.9), assists (second at 17.2), blocked shots (third at 4.6) and assist-to-turnover ratio (second at 1.2).
–KU has outshot 15 of 19 opponents this season and has shot 50 percent or better in 10 games, including all four Big 12 contests. Kansas is 14-1 when outshooting its opponent this season and 1-3 when outshot.
–Kansas has outrebounded 13 of 19 opponents this season.
–Through 38 halves, Kansas has held its opponent to under 30 points 14 times, including five of eight Big 12 halves.
–Kansas has shot 80 percent or better from the free throw line in six games this season.
–Through 19 games, four different Jayhawks have scored 20 or more points this season. Sherron Collins has six 20-point games, while Cole Aldrich has four. Tyshawn Taylor picked up his second in the conference opener with 20 points against Kansas State (Jan. 13), while Brady Morningstar has one 20-point effort.
–Kansas has held 129 of its last 132 opponents to under 50 percent shooting, including all 19 foes this season. Twelve 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 57 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 100-14 (87.7 percent) in its last 114 games dating back to Jan. 21, 2006.
–Junior guard Sherron Collins leads Kansas with an 18.7 scoring average after his career-high-tying 26 points at Iowa State Saturday. He is scoring 21 points in Big 12 play. Collins has 44 assists in his last seven games. He has led (or tied for the lead) Kansas in scoring in 15 games this season. He is 19-for-19 from the free throw line in Big 12 play and has made 23 straight – which ties for fourth best in school history. Collins ranks third in the Big 12 in scoring at 18.7 ppg. He also ranks among the league leaders in assists (fourth at 5.3), free throw percentage (fifth at .833), field goal percentage (12th at .438), three-point field goals made (eighth at 2.3), three-point field goal percentage (13th at 39.8) and assist-to-turnover ratio (12th at 1.6).
–Sophomore Cole Aldrich leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 63.6 percent and blocked shots at 2.7 per game. He has multiple blocked shots in each of his last eight games and 16 of 19 contests this season. His 85 career blocked shots are 19th on the school list. Aldrich is 26-of-37 (70.3 percent) from the field in Big 12 play. He is three rebounds shy of averaging a double-double and his 11 double-doubles this season are second most in the Big 12. Aldrich has 39 of KU’s 63 dunks this season. Besides leading the league in field goal percentage and blocked shots, Aldrich is second in the Big 12 in rebounding at 9.8 rpg, sixth in free throw percentage at 80 percent and 12th in scoring at 15.4 ppg.
–Freshman guard Tyshawn Taylor was named Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week for the third time this season on Jan. 19 after averaging 17 points in his first two conference games. He is scoring 13 points in Big 12 play and 10.2 ppg on the season. His 10.2 scoring average is third most among Big 12 freshmen. Taylor is 15th in the league in assists at 3.1 apg (second among Big 12 freshmen) and 13th in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.5. His 1.4 steals are tied for 14th in the conference and lead the Big 12 freshmen class.
–Sophomore guard Tyrel Reed is coming off a 2-for-3 performance at Iowa State with all three shots being three pointers. He is 5-for-9 (55.6 percent) from beyond the arc in his last three games. He has 11 games with multiple threes this season. Nominated for Academic All-American, Reed has scored in double figures in two of his last three games and eight contests this season.
–Sophomore guard Brady Morningstar scored nine points on 4-of-7 shooting at Iowa State. He has seven assists, no turnovers and three steals in his last four games. Morningstar has no turnovers in five of his last six games. He has pulled down 17 rebounds (5.7 rpg) in his last three games. He has at least one steal in each of his last six outings. Morningstar has made multiple three pointers in seven games this season. A lockdown defender, Morningstar leads KU with 31 floor burns through 19 games. He is ahead of Sherron Collins (29) and Tyrel Reed (27) and Cole Aldrich (26).
–Freshman forward Marcus Morris has started the last two games for KU. He pulled down six rebounds at Iowa State yet did not score a point for the first time this season. He has shot 50 percent or better in five of his last six games and is 13-for-24 (54.2 percent) in that span. He has shot 50 percent or better in 12 games this season. Marcus has eight starts for KU this season. He is second on the team with 5.2 rebounds per game which leads the Big 12 freshmen in rebound average. His 5.2 boards are 18th overall in the conference.
–Freshman forward Markieff Morris has started seven games this season and is third on the team with 4.5 rebounds per game. His 4.7 rebounds on the season are fourth among Big 12 freshmen.
–Junior guard Mario Little has made his last 11 shots dating back to the Kansas State contest on Jan. 13. In his last two games he was 6-for-6 against Texas A&M and 4-for-4 at Iowa State. He is averaging 5.0 points on the season and 8.0 in Big 12 play. Little, the Big 12 Preseason Newcomer of the Year, missed the first 12 games of the season due to injuries and has been working his way into the lineup.
–Freshman Travis Releford played a season-high 21 minutes at Michigan State (Jan. 10) and is averaging 7.7 minutes per contest.
More than 20 student camping groups were out Monday at 9 a.m. as Kansas returns home to host Colorado on Sarturday, Jan. 31 at 3 p.m. on ESPNU. Each camping group can represent up to 30 students who are looking for the best seats in the student section as they already have tickets. The Jayhawks will then make a trip to Baylor for ESPN’s Big Monday on Feb. 2 before returning home to host Oklahoma State on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 2:30 p.m. on ABC.