No. 1 Kansas Plays at Colorado Wednesday in Men's Basketball
Feb. 1, 2010
No. 1 Kansas continues its two-game road swing at Colorado on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at 8 p.m. (Central) on ESPN2. The Jayhawks are 20-1 and 6-0 in Big 12 play after their 81-79 overtime win at Kansas State Saturday. KU has won 20 games in each of the last 21 seasons, which is the longest active streak in NCAA Division I. Colorado is 11-10 on the season and 2-5 in conference play. The Buffaloes lost at Iowa State 64-63 Saturday.
Kansas, who is ranked No. 1 for the 10th time this season, is 6-0 in Big 12 play for the second-straight year. The Jayhawks average 84.7 points per game and give up 62.9 ppg for a Big 12-leading +22.2 scoring margin. In Big 12 play, Kansas is scoring 83.9 points per game and holds a +14.7 scoring margin. Senior guard Sherron Collins leads the team in scoring at 15.5 points per game and has scored in double figures 15 times this season. Collins is first in the Big 12 Conference in free throw percentage at 86.1 percent and leads KU with 87 assists. He and freshman guard Xavier Henry are tied for the team lead in three-pointers with 42 on the season. Henry averages 13.7 points per game and leads the team with 39 steals. He had a Kansas freshman record-tying seven steals against Baylor (Jan. 20). Junior center Cole Aldrich, an Academic All-America candidate, has three-straight double-doubles after his 18 points and 11 rebounds at Kansas State (Jan. 30) and nine DDs for the season. He is one of three Big 12 players to average a double-double with 11.8 ppg and 10.3 rpg this season. Aldrich also leads the team in blocked shots at 3.6 per contest. Sophomore forward Marcus Morris leads Kansas in scoring in conference play with 17.8 ppg. He is shooting 62.1 percent from the field and pulling down 8.2 rebounds in league action. For the season Morris averages 12.6 ppg and 6.0 rpg. Junior guard Brady Morningstar had a season-high 14 points at Kansas State and has started each of the last four games. He is scoring 5.9 points per game, including 7.8 in Big 12 play. He averages 3.3 assists and has a 2.8 assist-to-turnover ration. Sophomore guard Tyshawn Taylor’s 12 points at Kansas State were his most in five games. Taylor is scoring 7.1 points per game and is second on the team with 73 assists this season. Sophomore forward Markieff Morris, twin of Marcus, is coming off the bench to average 6.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. Junior guard Tyrel Reed tied his career high with 14 points against Missouri (Jan. 25) and averages 4.8 points per outing. He has 26 three-pointers, including a 4-for-4 effort from beyond the arc against Missouri. Freshman guard Elijah Johnson (3.1 ppg) has started two games this season. Thomas Robinson (3.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg) is another KU regular. Robinson started his first career game at Nebraska (Jan. 13).
Colorado has lost four of its last five games with three of those losses coming by six points or less. The Buffs are 10-1 at home this season. CU averages 75.8 points per game and gives up 71.9. The Buffs lead the Big 12 in free throw percentage at 76.7 percent, while Kansas is sixth at 71 percent. Junior guard Cory Higgins leads Colorado in scoring at 18.3 points per game, which is fifth in the Big 12. Higgins is one of four CU players who have made 20 three-pointers this season and he leads the team with 39 steals. His 51 assists are second on the squad and he is third in the Big 12 with an 83.1 free throw percentage. Freshman guard Alec Burks is next in scoring with 16.3 ppg and he leads CU with 4.7 rebounds per contest. Junior forward Marcus Relphorde is a starter who scores 10.4 points per game and has 22 three-pointers, while senior guard Dwight Thome II comes off the bench to score 8.9 ppg and has a team-high 27 threes. Sophomore forward Austin Dufault (6.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg) and sophomore guard Nate Tomlinson (5.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg) are both starters. Tomlinson has 20 three-pointers, leads the team with 90 assists and his 4.3 assists per game average is sixth in the Big 12. Junior forward Casey Crawford (4.2 ppg) and junior guard Levi Knutson (2.8 ppg) are both regulars off the bench for CU.
This series dates back to 1931 and Kansas leads 117-39, including a 37-26 record in Boulder (22-7 in the Coors Events Conference Center). Kansas has won 13 straight and 40 of the last 41 meetings with CU dating back to 1991. The last Colorado win in the series was a 60-59 thriller on Jan. 22, 2003, in Boulder. The previous CU win was a 79-71 victory on Feb. 20, 1991, also in Boulder. Kansas has won the last six meetings with Colorado in the Coors Events Conference Center starting in 2004. Since the inception of the Big 12, Kansas is 26-1 against Colorado – 25-1 in regular-season play and 1-0 in the league championship.
–KU leads the Big 12 in scoring margin (+22.2), field goal percentage (49.6), field goal percentage defense (36.3), assists (18.1) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4). The Jayhawks rank in the top three in all but two Big 12 statistical categories.
–Ten of Kansas’ 20 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 12 of 21 games this season, including eight of its last 14 contests.
–Kansas has also held 16 of 21 opponents this season to under 40 percent from the field, including two of the last three opponents – 27.9 percent by Missouri (Jan. 25) and 37.7 percent by Iowa State (Jan. 23).
–KU’s bench has outscored its opponents’ bench in 15 of 21 games this season.
–Through 21 games, nine different Jayhawks have led the team in steals, seven in points and six in assists.
–Kansas forces 14.8 turnovers per game and averages 17.3 points off turnovers per game.
–Senior Sherron Collins scored 12 of his 16 points after halftime at Kansas State. He leads KU in scoring (for all games) with 15.5 points per game and has scored in double figures in seven of his last 10 games. He had a career-high 33 points in the come-from-behind win against Cornell (Jan. 6). Collins has shot 50 percent or better in 11 games this season. He leads the Big 12 with his 86.1 free throw percentage. Collins’ 15.5-point scoring average is 11th in the Big 12. Collins also ranks among the league leaders in field goal percentage (eighth at 45.3), assists (eighth at 4.1), three-point field goal percentage (11th at 38.9), three-point field goals made (tied for ninth at 2.0) and assist-to-turnover ratio (eighth at 2.0).
–Junior Cole Aldrich, an Academic All-America candidate, has three double-doubles in each of his last three games and 31 for his career. He had 18 points and 11 rebounds at Kansas State (Jan. 30), 12 points and 16 rebounds against Missouri (Jan. 25) and 19 points and 11 rebounds at Iowa State (Jan. 23). He is one of three Big 12 players averaging a double-double (11.6 ppg and 10.3 rpg). Aldrich has pulled down at least nine rebounds in 10 of his last 12 games and had a season-high 18 rebounds at Tennessee (Jan. 10). His seven blocked shots against Missouri were the most since he broke the school record with 10 blocked shots against Dayton in last season’s NCAA Tournament. He has at least three blocked shots in 19 of 21 games. 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 3.6 blocked shots per game and his 3.2 blocks in conference play lead the league. Aldrich is third in the Big 12 in rebounding at 10.3 rpg.
–Sophomore Marcus Morris is coming off a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds at Kansas State (Jan. 30). He leads Kansas in conference-play with a 17.8 scoring average, which is tied for sixth in the Big 12. Also in league play, Morris leads the Big 12 with his 62.1 shooting percent and his 8.2 rebounds are seventh. For the season, he is averaging 12.6 ppg and 6.0 rpg. Morris’ 6.0 rebound average is 15th in the Big 12. He has three double-doubles on the season – at Kansas State (Jan. 30), vs. Michigan (Dec. 19) and vs. Oakland (Nov. 25). Morris has started 18 games in 2009-10.
–Junior Brady Morningstar had a season-high 14 points at Kansas State Saturday, which surpassed his previous season-high of nine points versus Missouri (Jan. 25). At K-State, Morningstar was 4-for-5 from the field, 2-for-3 from three-point range and 4-for-4 from the line. He has started each of the last four games. He is scoring 5.9 ppg in all games and 7.8 in Big 12 play. Also, in league play he averages 3.5 assists and 1.7 steals per game. 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 24.
–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 13.7 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 five games. Xavier leads Kansas with 39 steals and had a Kansas freshman-record-tying seven steals against Baylor (Jan. 20). His 39 steals are tied for seventh on the KU freshman record list. Henry is tied with Collins for the team lead with 42 three-point field goals made. He has made multiple three-pointers in 12 contests. Kansas State (Jan. 30) was the only game this season he did not attempt a three. He is 10th in the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 40.4 percent. He also ranks 17th in the Big 12 in scoring at 13.7 ppg, tied for 11th in free throw percentage at 77.9, tied for second in steals at 1.9 and tied for ninth in three-pointers made at 2.0.
–Sophomore Tyshawn Taylor scored 12 points at Kansas State, his highest output in Big 12 play this season. At KSU, he was 2-for-4 from the field and 8-for-9 from the free throw line. He is averaging 7.1 points on the season and 6.8 in conference action. He has scored in double figures in six games this season. Taylor has shot 50 percent or better in 10 games, including four times in Big 12 play. He has nine games with five-plus assists and ranks tied for 12th in the Big 12 in assists at 3.5 per game and 12th in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.8.
–Junior Tyrel Reed, an Academic All-America candidate, tied his career high with 14 points against Missouri (Jan. 25) on 5-of-6 shooting, including 4-for-4 from three-point range. Against Texas Tech (Jan. 16), he had a career high with three steals. Reed has made 26 three-pointers this season and 72.2 percent of his field goals made have been from beyond the arc. He is 9-for-15 (60 percent) from three-point range in Big 12 play and 44.1 percent from beyond the arc for the season. Reed has made at least one three in 16 games this season and multiple threes in five contests. Reed is averaging 4.8 points per game for the season.
–Sophomore Markieff Morris had six rebounds at Kansas State (Jan. 30). He scored nine points and had 11 boards against Missouri (Jan. 25). He has pulled down six or more rebounds in 10 games this season and is third on the team with a 5.2 rebound average. Morris is scoring 6.1 points per game. Morris had a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds against La Salle (Dec. 12). He is second on the team with 16 blocked shots and is shooting 56.5 percent from the field on the season.
–Freshman Thomas Robinson scored six points at Iowa State (Jan. 23), the most 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 9.0 minutes per game with 3.3 ppg and 3.4 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.
Kansas returns home Saturday, Feb. 6, against Nebraska at 5 p.m. on ESPNU. The Jayhawks defeated the Huskers 84-72 on Jan. 13 in Lincoln, Neb. Two days later, Kansas will travel to nationally-ranked Texas for an ESPN Big Monday match-up.