Jayhawks Head to Waco for ESPN Big Monday Battle Against Baylor in Men's Hoops
Feb. 1, 2009
Kansas (17-4, 6-0) remains one of two Big 12 teams undefeated in conference play with Oklahoma at 7-0 as the Jayhawks continue Big 12 play at Baylor (15-6, 3-4) for ESPN’s Big Monday at 8 p.m. Kansas has won six straight and nine of its last 10 games after its 66-61 win against Colorado Saturday; its 36th straight home win, the longest home-court winning streak in the country. KU closed out January with an 8-1 record. Baylor looks to snap a three-game losing streak which includes an 89-72 loss at Missouri Saturday. This will be the second of four ESPN Monday appearances for Kansas. KU defeated Texas A&M 73-53 on Jan. 19 and will play at Missouri Feb. 9 and at Oklahoma Feb. 23. Kansas and Baylor tied for third in the Preseason Big 12 Coaches’ Poll behind #1 Oklahoma and #2 Texas.
Kansas is one of 14 teams in NCAA Division I that remains undefeated in conference play. KU takes its longest winning streak of the season, six games, into the Baylor contest. The Jayhawks are averaging 78.0 points per game and giving up 64.7 for a +13.3 scoring margin. KU leads the Big 12 in rebound margin at +6.6 and rebound defense at 31.8. KU has shot 50 percent or better in five of its six Big 12 games for a league-best 52.7 field goal percentage in conference play. Conversely, KU has held five of its last seven and 13 of 21 opponents this season to under 40 percent shooting.
Junior guard Sherron Collins leads KU in scoring at 18.3 points per game, which is third most in the Big 12. He has led the team in scoring in 16 of 21 games this season. He has a team-high 45 three-point field goals and 106 assists. Sophomore center Cole Aldrich is next in scoring at 15 points per game and he leads the Big 12 in blocked shots with a 2.5 per game average. He has a team-best 12 double-doubles on the season, second most in the Big 12, following his 15 points and 13 rebounds against Colorado Saturday. He leads the team with 9.9 rebounds per game, which is second in the conference. He is two rebounds shy of averaging a double-double. Aldrich has 53 of KU’s 98 blocked shots in 2008-09 for a conference-leading 2.5 per game. Freshman guard Tyshawn Taylor is scoring 9.7 points per game and is tied with Collins with a team-high 26 steals. He has been named Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week three times this season. Sophomore guard Brady Morningstar is a starter who is averaging 7.3 points per game with 56 assists and 22 steals. Freshman forward Marcus Morris has started the last four games for the Jayhawks and is scoring 7.3 points and pulling down 5.0 rebounds. Sophomore guard Tyrel Reed is a top reserve who is scoring 7.5 points per game. He is second on the team with 33 three pointers. Freshman forward Markieff Morris (5.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg) is coming off his first double-digit scoring game of the season with 10 points against Colorado. Junior guard Mario Little is averaging 12.2 minutes per game with 4.6 ppg and 2.8 rpg. Little is shooting 60.7 percent from the field and 70.8 percent in Big 12 games. He missed the first 12 games of the season due to injuries. Freshmen Travis Releford (2.7 ppg) and Quintrell Thomas (1.7 ppg) are also seeing the floor as of late.
Baylor (15-6, 3-4) is in the unfamiliar territory as the Bears have lost three straight games, its longest losing skein of the season. The Bears have been ranked in seven polls this season and as high as No. 19 by the Associated Press. BU averages 81.7 points per game and is giving up 70.5. The Bears are second in the Big 12 with 8.7 three-point field goals made per contest and even more impressive is they are second in the league in three-point field goal percentage at 38.3 percent. Baylor is outrebounding foes 36.8 to 35.9. BU is a balanced, veteran team with five seniors led by guard Curtis Jerrells who is scoring 16.8 points per game. Besides scoring, Jerrells also leads the Bears with 115 assists. Sophomore guard LaceDarius Dunn is a top reserve who is next in scoring at 16.5 points per contest, including 17.9 ppg in Big 12 play. Senior forward Kevin Rogers is averaging 12.6 points per game and he leads the team with a 53 percent field goal percentage and eight rebounds per game. Rogers has 20 blocked shots. Senior guard Henry Dugat has a team-high 41 steals to go along with his 12.3 scoring average. Junior guard Tweety Carter is the fifth Bear to average double figures with 10.6 ppg. He has made 38 three pointers – second most on the team behind Dunn’s 68. Freshman forward Quincy Acy (7.0 ppg) leads BU with 27 blocked shots. Freshman forward Anthony Jones (2.8 ppg), freshman forward Fred Ellis (2.0 ppg) and senior center Mamadou Diene (1.7 ppg, 13 blocked shots) are each averaging nine-plus minutes per game.
Kansas has won 13 of the 14 meetings with Baylor and has won seven straight in the series. Baylor’s lone win versus Kansas came in 2001 when it defeated the then-No. 5 Jayhawks 85-77 in Waco. KU leads the series in Waco 5-1. Since the inception of the Big 12, Kansas is 11-1 against Baylor. The two teams have yet to meet in the conference postseason championship. Last year, Kansas defeated Baylor 100-90, the first 100-point game in the series. The Jayhawks did not make a three-point field goal in the game. Current Jayhawks Sherron Collins (17 points, four assists) and Cole Aldrich (two points, two rebounds) are the only two who played in last year’s game. This series dates back to 1951 when KU defeated BU 57-46 on Dec. 3.; Kansas’ 1951-52 NCAA National Championship season.
–Kansas leads the Big 12 in rebounding defense at 31.8 rpg and rebound margin at +6.6. KU also ranks among the Big 12’s top four teams in field goal percentage (second at 48.5), scoring margin (third at +13.3), free throw percentage (third at 72.3), field goal percentage defense (second at 38.5), assists (second at 16.4), blocked shots (second at 4.7) and assist-to-turnover ratio (fourth at 1.2).
–KU has outshot 16 of 21 opponents this season and has shot 50 percent or better in 11 games, including five of six Big 12 contests. Kansas is 15-1 when outshooting its opponent this season and 2-3 when outshot.
–Kansas has outrebounded 15 of 21 opponents this season, including four of the last five opponents.
–Through 42 halves, Kansas has held its opponent to under 30 points 16 times, including seven of 12 Big 12 halves.
–Kansas has shot 80 percent or better from the free throw line in seven games this season, including a remarkable 19-for-20 (95 percent) against Colorado Saturday.
–Through 21 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 131 of its last 134 opponents to under 50 percent shooting, including all 21 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 60 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 102-14 (87.9 percent) in its last 116 games dating back to Jan. 21, 2006.
–Junior guard Sherron Collins leads Kansas with an 18.3 scoring average, yet is coming off an 11-point game against Colorado. He has led (or tied for the lead) Kansas in scoring in 16 games this season. He is 25-for-25 from the free throw line in Big 12 play and has made 29 straight – which is third best in school history. Collins ranks third in the Big 12 in scoring at 18.3 ppg. He also ranks among the league leaders in assists (fifth at 5.0), free throw percentage (fifth at .844), field goal percentage (11th at .431), three-point field goals made (11th at 2.1) and assist-to-turnover ratio (12th at 1.5).
–Sophomore center Cole Aldrich leads the Big 12 in blocked shots at 2.5 per game and is second in field goal percentage at 62.8 percent. He has multiple blocked shots in nine of his last 10 games and 17 of 21 contests this season. His 87 career blocked shots are 18th on the school list. Aldrich is making 65.4 percent from the field in Big 12 play. He is three rebounds shy of averaging a double-double and his 12 double-doubles this season are second most in the Big 12. He posted his 12th DD with 15 points and 13 rebounds against Colorado Saturday. Aldrich has 40 of KU’s 64 dunks this season. Aldrich is also second in the Big 12 in rebounding at 9.9 rpg, ninth in free throw percentage at 78.9 percent and 13th in scoring at 15 ppg.
–Freshman guard Tyshawn Taylor has been named Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week three times this season, including once in league play. He is scoring 9.7 points on the season and 10.3 in conference play. His 9.7 scoring average is third most among Big 12 freshmen. Taylor is 15th in the league in assists at 3.0 apg (first among Big 12 freshmen) and 14th in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.4. His 1.2 steals average is second among the Big 12 freshmen class.
–Sophomore guard Tyrel Reed is 6-for-9 from the field in his last three games, including 6-for-8 from three-point range. Reed is 9-for-14 (64.3 percent) from beyond the arc in his last five games. Nominated for Academic All-American, Reed has 13 games with multiple threes this season and has shot 50 percent or better in 12 games this season. Reed ranks 13th in the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 40.7 percent.
–Sophomore guard Brady Morningstar has scored in double digits in each of the last two games with 10 points against Colorado Saturday and 11 at Nebraska Wednesday. It marks the first time this season he has scored 10-plus points in consecutive games. Morningstar is 11-for-20 (55 percent) from the field in his last three games, including 6-for-12 from three-point range. He has pulled down five or more rebounds in three of his last five games and is averaging 5.2 rpg in that span. He has at least one steal in seven of his last eight outings. Morningstar has made multiple three pointers in each of his last two games and nine games this season. A lockdown defender, Morningstar leads KU with 34 floor burns through 21 games. He is ahead of Sherron Collins (32), Cole Aldrich (29) and Tyrel Reed (28).
–Junior guard Mario Little played a season-high 30 minutes at Nebraska (Jan. 28) and is scoring 4.6 points through nine games played. He is shooting 60.7 percent from the field, including 70.8 percent in Big 12 action. He is averaging 6.3 points 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 forward Marcus Morris has started the last four games for KU and 10 games this season. He scored six points on 1-for-2 shooting and 4-for-4 free throw line against Colorado Saturday. He has shot 50 percent or better in seven of his last eight games. He has shot 50 percent or better in 14 games this season. He is second on the team with 5.0 rebounds per game which leads the Big 12 freshmen in rebound average.
–Freshman forward Markieff Morris scored 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting against Colorado Saturday. The 10 points marked his first double-figure scoring game of the season as he also had three assists and two blocked shots against the Buffaloes. He has started seven games this season and is third on the team with 4.5 rebounds per game. His 4.5 rebounds on the season are fourth among Big 12 freshmen.
–Freshman Travis Releford scored five points (2-for-2 shooting) with three rebounds in only six minutes at Nebraska (Jan. 28). His five points against the Huskers were the most since he had five points against Siena on Jan. 6.
Kansas returns home to host Oklahoma State on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 2:30 p.m. on ABC, and then hits the road for games at Missouri, Monday, Feb. 9 on ESPN, and at Kansas State, Saturday, Feb. 14, at 2:30 p.m. on ABC.