Kansas Men's Basketball Hits the Road to Nebraska
Feb. 3, 2005
Kansas (17-1, 7-0) heads to Lincoln, Neb., for its fourth Big 12 road game of the season against the Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-8, 3-4) for an 11 a.m. start on ESPN. The Jayhawks are coming off a 73-61 win against Border Showdown foe Missouri on ESPN’s Big Monday. The win marked the fifth time this season KU has overcome a halftime deficit. The Jayhawks edged the Huskers 59-57 on January 19 in Allen Fieldhouse. Last season NU defeated KU 74-55 in Lincoln.
Kansas looked to enjoy some time off after playing three games in seven days. Fortunately, KU posted victories at Baylor last Tuesday and home wins against then-No. 16/13 Texas Saturday and Border Showdown rival Missouri Monday. In the last three games, the Jayhawks have won by an average of 19 points, while shooting 50.5 percent from the field and 53.7 percent from three-point range. Also in that span, Kansas has been sharing the wealth averaging 21.3 assists per contest. Senior Wayne Simien leads KU in scoring at 18 points per game, including 19.2 ppg in Big 12 play. The Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year had a season-high 27 points against Texas Saturday and 22 versus Missouri Monday. Senior Keith Langford is next in scoring at 14.1 ppg. Langford is third on the team in rebounding (4.3 rpg), second in assists with 56 and has averaged 15 points and four assists in his last three games. Sophomore J.R. Giddens has made multiple three pointers in six of his last seven games and is averaging 10.7 ppg. Senior Aaron Miles has crushed every KU and Big 12 assists record and is averaging a league best 7.3 assists per game. Miles has been on fire as of late, having made eight of his last nine three-point attempts in the last three games. He leads KU in three-point field goal percentage at 59 (23-for-39). Junior Christian Moody is another starter who is second on the team with a 4.8 rebound average to go along with his 6.1 ppg. Moody’s nine points against Missouri were his most in six outings. Kansas’ bench is deep andhas outscored 12 of 18 foes this season.
Kansas Head Coach Bill Self
Kansas coach Bill Self is 41-10 in his second season at KU and 248-115 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 4-1 against Nebraska, which includes a 2-1 mark while at KU.
Nebraska (10-8, 3-4) is looking to turn things around. The Huskers have lost four of their last five Big 12 contests, which includes the Jan. 19 loss at Kansas 59-57. Three of the four losses have been by 10 points or less and the Huskers defeated Texas A&M 77-67 in that span. NU defeated Utah Valley State 91-57 on Tuesday. Freshman Joe McCray leads Nebraska in scoring at 14.7 points per game. He is also the team leader in three-point field goals made with 52, steals with 20 and his 5.1 rebounds per contest or second most for this season’s Huskers. Senior Marcus Neal is next in scoring at 10.4 ppg. He is also second in three-pointers made with 30. Four other Huskers – John Turek (9.1 ppg), Jason Dourisseau (8.4 ppg), Wes Wilkinson (8.3 ppg) and Aleks Maric (8.0 ppg) – are averaging eight points or better for NU.
Nebraska Head Coach Barry Collier
In his fifth season at Nebraska, Barry Collier holds a record of 66-72 with the Huskers and is 262-203 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 1-8 all-time versus the Jayhawks with his lone win (74-55) in Lincoln on Feb. 15, 2004.
Kansas leads the all-time series with Nebraska, 155-71… Last meeting saw the Jayhawks defeat the Cornhuskers, 59-57, on Jan. 19, 2005 in Lawrence, Kan… KU is on a two-game winning streak against NU… Coach Bill Self is 4-1 against the Cornhuskers, and NU head coach Barry Collier is 1-8 versus the Jayhawks… Kansas is 1,019-464 all-time against schools in the Big 12 Conference… The Jayhawks are 164-78 all-time versus schools from the state of Nebraska… KU is 57-43 all-time versus the Huskers in Lincoln… Kansas is 13-15 all-time when playing NU in the Devaney Center… The Jayhawks lost the first-ever meeting with Nebraska, 48-8, on March 2, 1900 in Lincoln, Neb.
Did You Know?
Kansas is the only team in the Big 12 to have finished in the upper half of the league race since the inception of the conference in 1996-97.
Kansas stays on the road when it travels to Manhattan, Kan., to face Kansas State Wednesday, Feb. 9. The game will tip at 8 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN Regional on the Big 12 Conference syndicated network. Kansas has won the last 21 meetings with Kansas State in Manhattan dating back to 1984. The Jayhawks are 16-0 in Bramlage Coliseum.