Jayhawks to Host Oklahoma State in Men's Basketball Saturday at 2:30 on ABC
Feb. 5, 2009
Kansas (18-4, 7-0 Big 12) looks to extend a couple of streaks as it continues conference play against Oklahoma State (14-7, 3-4) at Allen Fieldhouse. KU brings a seven-game winning streak into the contest, which ties for 15th longest in NCAA Division I. The Jayhawks have the nation’s longest home-court winning streak at 36 games. With its current winning streak, Kansas moved back into the national polls this week at No. 21 by the Associated Press and No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ polls. Oklahoma State snapped a two-game losing streak with a thrilling 81-80 win against Texas Tech on Wednesday.
Kansas is one of 11 teams in NCAA Division I that remain undefeated in conference play. KU takes its longest winning streak of the season, seven games, into the Oklahoma State contest. The Jayhawks are averaging 77.9 points per game and giving up 64.7 for a +13.2 scoring margin. KU leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 48.6 percent, field goal percentage defense at 38.4 percent and rebound defense at 31.7. KU has shot 50 percent or better in five of its seven Big 12 games for a league-best 52.1 field goal percentage in conference play. Conversely, KU has held six of its last eight and 14 of 22 opponents this season to under 40 percent shooting.
Junior guard Sherron Collins leads KU in scoring at 18.2 points per game, which is third most in the Big 12. He has led the team in scoring in 17 of 22 games this season. He has a team-high 45 three-point field goals and 112 assists. Sophomore center Cole Aldrich is next in scoring at 14.7 points per game and leads the Big 12 in blocked shots with a 2.5 per game average. He is tied for the league lead in field goal percentage at 62.6 percent with Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin. He has a team-best 12 double-doubles on the season, second most in the Big 12. Aldrich leads the team with 9.8 rebounds per game, which is second in the conference. He is four rebounds shy of averaging a double-double. Freshman guard Tyshawn Taylor is scoring 9.5 points per game and has 26 steals, one behind team leader Collins with 27. He has been named Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week three times this season. Freshman forward Marcus Morris (7.5 ppg) and sophomore guards Tyrel Reed (7.3 ppg) and Brady Morningstar (7.3 ppg) are next in scoring. Marcus Morris has started the last five games and is second on the team with 5.1 rebounds per contest which leads the Big 12 freshmen class. Morningstar leads the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 45.9 percent, while Reed is 13th at 40.7 percent. Both have made key threes for the Jayhawks. Junior guard/forward Mario Little is scoring 5.3 points per game in his 10 games played, including 7.1 ppg in Big 12 play. He missed the first 12 games of the season due to injuries. Freshman forward Markieff Morris, twin of Marcus, is scoring 5.2 points per outing with a 4.7 rebound average. He had nine points and nine rebounds at Baylor last Monday. Freshmen Travis Releford (2.7 ppg) and Quintrell Thomas (1.7 ppg) are also seeing the floor as of late.
About Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State is 13-7, including a 3-4 mark in Big 12 play, after its 81-80 win against Texas Tech Wednesday. The Cowboys overcame a 16-point deficit to edge the Red Raiders. The Cowboys are currently ranked 26th in the ratings percentage index according to CollegeRPI.com, with the toughest schedule in the Big 12, which is ranked fifth nationally. Oklahoma State averages 84 points per game – second in the Big 12 – and is giving up 75.1 for a +8.9 scoring margin. As a team, Oklahoma State leads the Big 12 in three-point field goals made per game at 9.9 and three point field goal percentage at 40 percent. Sophomore guard/forward James Anderson leads all OSU scorers with his 16.8 points per game average and is shooting 48.9 percent from the floor. Junior guard Obi Muonelo is chipping in 14.7 points per game and grabbing a team-leading 8.8 boards per contest. Senior guard Terrel Harris is averaging 14.6 points and shooting a team best 49.5 from the field, including 40 percent from three point range. Senior guard Byron Eaton had a career-high 29 points Wednesday against Texas Tech and is averaging 14.6 points and 5.8 assists per game. Freshman guard Keiton Page is averaging 9.8 points per game off the bench.
This series dates back to 1926 and Kansas leads Oklahoma State 101-52, including a 55-10 lead in games played in Lawrence (40-8 in Allen Fieldhouse). Kansas has won three of the last four and seven of the last 10 games in the series with OSU dating back to 2001. Since the inception of the Big 12, KU holds a 12-5 advantage – 9-3 in regular season and 3-2 in Big 12 Championship action. The five KU-OSU meetings in the Big 12 tourney makes OSU the second-most team Kansas has faced in the event – 6-0 vs. Kansas State. The winner of the last two KU-OSU meetings in the Big 12 Championship has gone on to win the event – OSU 78-75 in 2005 in Kansas City and KU 78-75 in Dallas in 2006. Expect a close battle as four of the seven KU-OSU meetings under KU coach Bill Self have been decided by three points or less. Last year, current Cowboy senior Byron Eaton scored 26 points to lead OSU to a 61-60 win in Stillwater. Current Jayhawk Sherron Collins played 11 minutes with no points, while Cole Aldrich had two points in nine minutes. During its 37-3 NCAA national championship run, the OSU loss was the only KU loss that was not later avenged on the season, yet Kansas did not have the opportunity. On Feb. 12, KU lost at Texas 72-69 and later defeated the Longhorns 84-74 in the finals of the Big 12 Championship on March 16. On Jan. 30 Kansas lost at Kansas State, 84-75, and the Jayhawks later defeated Wildcats 88-74 in Allen Fieldhouse on March 1.
–Kansas leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage (48.6), field goal percentage defense (38.4) and rebounding defense at 31.7 rpg. KU also ranks among the Big 12’s top four teams in scoring margin (third at +13.2), three point field goal percentage (fourth at 37.4), free throw percentage (third at 72.6), three point field goal percentage defense (fourth at 32.7), rebounding (fourth at 38.4), rebound margin (second at +6.7), assists (second at 16.4), blocked shots (third at 4.6) and assist-to-turnover ratio (tied for third at 1.3).
–Kansas climbed back into the national polls this week – No. 21 by Associated Press and No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls. The 21st ranking by AP is the highest this season. Kansas went seven weeks out of the polls before making this week’s lists.
–KU has outshot 17 of 22 opponents this season and has shot 50 percent or better in 11 games, including five of seven Big 12 contests. Kansas is 16-1 when outshooting its opponent this season and 2-3 when outshot.
–Kansas has outrebounded its last four opponents and 16 of 22 opponents this season.
–Kansas is 35-for-40 (87.5 percent) from the free throw line in its last two games (19-for-20 vs. Colorado and 16-for-20 at Baylor). KU has shot 80 percent or better from the free throw line in eight games this season.
–Through 22 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 132 of its last 135 opponents to under 50 percent shooting, including all 22 foes this season. Thirteen of those opponents have shot below 40 percent, including Baylor at 35.3 percent last Monday. 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 61 straight foes to under 50 percent shooting.
–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 103-14 (88 percent) in its last 117 games dating back to Jan. 21, 2006.
–Junior guard Sherron Collins was named a Bob Cousy Award finalist on Thursday. Collins leads Kansas with an 18.2 scoring average, which is third in the Big 12. He has led (or tied for the lead) Kansas in scoring in 17 games this season. Last game, he set the Kansas record for consecutive free throws made with 35 before missing. Collins also ranks among the league leaders in assists (fifth at 5.1), free throw percentage (tied for third at .846), field goal percentage (12th at .429), three-point field goals made (12th 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 tied with OU’s Blake Griffin for the conference lead in field goal percentage at 62.6 percent. He has multiple blocked shots in two straight, 10 of his last 11 and 18 of 22 contests this season. His 89 career blocked shots are 18th on the school list. He is four 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 last Saturday. Aldrich has 40 of KU’s 65 dunks this season. Aldrich is also second in the Big 12 in rebounding at 9.8 rpg, ninth in free throw percentage at 78.4 percent and tied for 12th in scoring at 14.7 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 9.5 points on the season, third most among Big 12 freshmen. Taylor is 15th in the league in assists at 3.0 apg (first among Big 12 freshmen) and 13th 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 7-for-10 from the field in his last four games, including 6-for-8 from three-point range. Reed is 9-for-14 (64.3 percent) from beyond the arc in his last six games and did not attempt one at Baylor. Nominated for Academic All-American, Reed has 13 games with multiple threes this season and has shot 50 percent or better in 13 games this season. Reed ranks 13th in the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 40.7 percent.
–Sophomore guard Brady Morningstar leads the Big 12 in three point field goal percentage at 45.8 percent as he has gone 6-for-12 in his last three games from beyond the arc. He is scoring 7.3 points on the season, including 9.0 in his last three games. He played all 40 minutes at Baylor and scored six points on 2-of-4 shooting, 2-of-3 from three point range. Morningstar is 13-for-24 (54.2 percent) from the field in his last four games, including 8-for-15 (53.3 percent) from three-point range. He has at least one steal in eight of his last nine outings. Morningstar has made multiple three pointers in each of his last three games and 10 games this season. A lockdown defender, Morningstar is second on the KU team with 34 floor burns, behind Sherron Collins (36) and ahead of Cole Aldrich (29) and Tyrel Reed (28).
–Junior guard Mario Little scored 12 points in 13 minutes at Baylor Monday on 4-of-7 shooting. It was his second double figure scoring game of the season as he had 15 against Texas A&M (Jan. 19). Little is scoring 5.3 points on the season and 7.1 ppg in Big 12 play. He is shooting 60 percent from the field, including 67.7 percent in Big 12 action. Little, the Big 12 Preseason Newcomer of the Year, missed the first 12 games of the season due to injuries. In his first three outings, Little was 0-for-4 from the field. Since then he is 21-for-31 (67.7 percent).
–Freshman forward Marcus Morris had 13 points, including eight straight to start the second half, at Baylor on Monday. His 13 points were his most since he also had 13 against Jackson State Dec. 6. Marcus has started the last five games for KU and 11 games this season.. He has shot 50 percent or better in three straight and eight of his last nine games, including 5-for-9 at Baylor. He has shot 50 percent or better in 15 games this season. He is second on the team with 5.1 rebounds per game which leads the Big 12 freshmen in rebound average and is 19th overall.
–Freshman forward Markieff Morris had nine points on 4-of-8 shooting and pulled down nine rebounds at Baylor on Monday. He made his only three-point attempt at BU, draining his third trey of the season. He is scoring 5.2 points on the year and 9.5 in his last two games as he had 10 against Colorado (Jan. 31). His nine rebounds at Baylor were his second most dating back to his 15 boards in the season opener against UMKC (Nov. 16). He has started seven games this season and is third on the team with 4.7 rebounds per game. His 4.7 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 hits the road for an ESPN Big Monday battle at Border Showdown foe Missouri on Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. KU will then play at Kansas State on Valentine’s Day at 2:30 p.m. on ABC and return home the following Wednesday to host Iowa State on Jan. 18 at 7 p.m.