No. 1 Kansas Heads to Nationally-Ranked Texas for ESPN Big Monday in Men's Basketball
Feb. 7, 2010
Here are some notes heading into ESPN’s “Rivalry Week” between No. 1 Kansas (22-1, 8-0) and No. 9/10 Texas (19-4, 5-3):
–Kansas and Texas rank 1-2 in Big 12 wins since the league started in 1996-97. Kansas is 180-36 (83.3 percent), while Texas is 150-66 (69.4 percent).
–Kansas has won or tied for a league-best nine Big 12 regular-season championships, including each of the last five. Texas is next with three.
–Kansas and Texas have played in the Big 12 Championship title game three of the last four years, with all three going to KU.
–Since the start of the Big 12, Kansas (2002, 2003, 2008), Texas (2003), Oklahoma (2002) and Oklahoma State (2004) have advanced to the Final Four.
–Each of the last five KU-UT match-ups have been decided by 10 points or less with three of those by four points or less.
Kansas won its eighth-straight game with a 75-64 victory against Nebraska Saturday. The win extended the nation’s longest home court winning streak to 55 games, which ties for the second most in KU history. KU averages 83.7 points per game and gives up 62.7 ppg for a Big 12-leading +21 scoring margin. In Big 12 play, Kansas is scoring 81.2 points per game and holds a +13.1 scoring margin. Senior guard Sherron Collins leads the team in scoring at 15.6 points per game and has scored in double figures 17 times this season. Collins is tied for the Big 12 lead in free throw percentage at 84.1 percent and he leads KU in assists with 98 and three-pointers with 46. Sophomore forward Marcus Morris has stepped up his game in Big 12 play. Morris leads KU in scoring in league games at 17.8 points per game following his 20 points and 11 rebounds against Nebraska Saturday. Morris is pulling down 8.5 rebounds in conference play. In all games, Morris averages 13 points and 6.3 rebounds. Freshman guard Xavier Henry is tied with Morris in scoring at 13 ppg and he leads KU in steals with 41. His 44 three-pointers are two behind Collins. Junior center Cole Aldrich, an Academic All-America candidate, has four double-doubles in his last five games and 10 DDs for the season. He is one of three Big 12 players to average a double-double with 11.6 ppg and 10.3 rpg this season. Aldrich also leads the team in blocked shots at 3.7 per contest and has 19 blocked shots in his last four games. Junior guard Brady Morningstar had a season-high 14 points at Kansas State (Jan. 30) and has started each of the last six games. He is scoring 5.5 points per game, including 6.6 in Big 12 play. Sophomore guard Tyshawn Taylor is second on the team with 77 assists to complement his 7.0 scoring average. Sophomore forward Markieff Morris, twin of Marcus, is coming off the bench to average 6.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. Junior guard Tyrel Reed averages 4.6 points per outing. He has 27 three-pointers, including a 4-for-4 effort from beyond the arc against Missouri (Jan. 25). Freshman guard Elijah Johnson (3.1 ppg) has started two games this season. Thomas Robinson (3.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg) is another KU regular. Robinson started his first career game at Nebraska (Jan. 13).
Texas is 19-4 overall and 5-3 in Big 12 play after its 80-71 loss at Oklahoma Saturday. The Longhorns are 12-1 at home this season. Texas leads the Big 12 in scoring offense at 84.1 points per game and is second behind Kansas in scoring margin at +16.3. The Longhorns also lead the league in rebounding at 43.8 boards per game and they have a +7.3 rebound margin. Texas has eight players who average 17 or more minutes per game. Senior guard/forward Damion James leads UT in scoring at 17.8 points per game and leads the conference in rebounding with 11 boards per contest. He has a team-best 39 steals and is second on the squad with 25 blocked shots. Freshman guard Avery Bradley is next in scoring at 12.8 ppg and he is also second on the team with 52 assists and 32 three-pointers. Bradley is third on the squad with 33 steals. Senior center Dexter Pittman leads UT with 48 blocked shots to complement his 11.4 scoring average. His 6.2 rebounds per game are second behind James. Freshman guard J’Covan Brown comes off the bench to score 9.4 points per game. He has 51 assists and 25 three-pointers. Freshman guard/forward Jordan Hamilton scores 9.3 points per contest and he leads UT with 36 three-pointers. Junior forward Gary Johnson is third on the team with 5.0 rebounds per outing and he averages 8.3 points. Junior guard Dogus Balbay is a starter who averages 4.3 points per game and leads UT with 101 assists. He is second on the team with 33 steals. Junior guard Jai Lucas comes off the bench to score 3.9 points per game, while senior guard Justin Mason is a starter who scores 3.8 points per contest. Sophomore forward/center Alexis Wangmene, brother of KU junior Chase Buford, averages 8.9 minutes and 2.5 points for the Longhorns.
Year-in and year-out the Kansas-Texas battles are some of the biggest in the Big 12 and nationally. Kansas leads the overall series 16-6 and has won two straight and five of the last six meetings. These teams have met in three of the last four Phillips Big 12 Championship title games with KU claiming all three match ups – 80-68 in Dallas in 2006, 88-84 in overtime in Oklahoma City in 2007 and 84-74 in Kansas City in 2008. Texas is 5-3 against Kansas in games played in Austin, including a 4-2 record in the Erwin Center. UT has won each of the last three meetings in Austin. Since the inception of the Big 12, Kansas holds a 12-5 record against Texas with a 9-4 mark in regular-season play and 3-1 record in the Big 12 Championship. Expect a contest, as each of the last five have been decided by 10 points or less. This series dates back to 1938.
–KU leads the Big 12 in scoring margin (+21.0), field goal percentage (49.3), three-point field goal percentage (41.0), field goal percentage defense (36.6), assists (18.0) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4). The Jayhawks rank in the top three in all but three Big 12 statistical categories.
–Ten of Kansas’ 22 victories this season have been by 25 or more points with eight of those by 30 points or more.
–KU averages 6.4 blocked shots per game to its opponents’ 3.4.
–Kansas has shot 50 percent or better in 12 of 22 games this season.
–Kansas has also held 17 of 23 opponents this season to under 40 percent from the field, including four of seven Big 12 foes.
–KU’s bench has outscored its opponents’ bench in 16 of 23 games this season.
–Through 23 games, nine different Jayhawks have led the team in steals, seven in points and six in assists.
–Kansas forces 14.9 turnovers per game and averages 17.4 points off turnovers per game.
–At Kansas State (Jan. 30) and at Colorado (Feb. 3), the Jayhawks played their first back-to-back overtime games since the 2004-05 season. It was the fifth time in KU history the Jayhawks have played back-to-back OT contests – Dec, ’76; Dec, ’86; Feb, ’97; Feb, ’05; Jan-Feb, ’10. KU has never had 3 consecutive OT games. It was the first time since Dec. 20 and Dec. 28, 1976, that KU has won back-to-back OT games
–Senior Sherron Collins scored 17 points against Nebraska Saturday, which was the most since he had 28 points versus Baylor (Jan. 20). Collins scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half and overtime at Colorado (Feb. 3) and 12 of his 16 points after halftime at Kansas State (Jan. 30). He leads KU in scoring (for all games) with 15.6 points per game and has scored in double figures in nine of his last 12 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 is tied for the Big 12 lead with his 84.1 free throw percentage. Collins’ 15.6-point scoring average is 13th in the Big 12. Collins also ranks among the league leaders in field goal percentage (10th at 44.7), assists (sixth at 4.3), three-point field goal percentage (10th at 38.7), three-point field goals made (ninth at 2.0) and assist-to-turnover ratio (ninth at 2.0).
–Junior Cole Aldrich, an Academic All-America candidate, has four double-doubles in his last five games and 32 for his career. He had 16 points and 14 rebounds at Colorado (Feb. 3), 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 11 of his last 14 games and had a season-high 18 rebounds at Tennessee (Jan. 10). He has 19 blocked shots in his last four games, including a season-high seven blocked shots against Missouri. He has at least three blocked shots in 21 of 23 games. Aldrich has been named Big 12 Player of the Week twice (Feb. 1 and Jan. 4). He is second in the Big 12 and ranks in the top 10 nationally with 3.7 blocked shots per game and his 3.5 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 his fourth double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 rebounds against Nebraska Saturday. It was his fourth 20-point effort of the season and third in Big 12 play. Morris leads Kansas in conference play with a 17.8 scoring average, which is tied for seventh in the Big 12. Also in league play, Morris leads the Big 12 with his 58.9 shooting percent and his 8.5 rebounds are sixth. For the season, he is averaging 13.0 ppg and 6.3 rpg. Morris’ 6.3 rebound average is 12th in the Big 12. Morris has started 20 games in 2009-10.
–Junior Brady Morningstar had a season-high 14 points at Kansas State (Jan. 30), 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 is scoring 5.5 ppg in all games and 6.6 in Big 12 play. Also in league play, Morningstar ranks among the conference leaders in assists (tied for seventh at 3.9) and assist-to-turnover ratio (second at 2.6). 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 (Dec. 7, Dec. 14) and is second on the team in scoring with 13.0 ppg. He has led KU in scoring in six games this season, including a career-high 31 points against La Salle (Dec. 12). Henry leads Kansas with 41 steals and had a Kansas freshman-record-tying seven steals against Baylor (Jan. 20). His 41 steals are sixth on the KU freshman record list. Henry is second on the team with 44 three-point field goals made. He has made multiple three-pointers in 13 contests. He is ninth in the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 38.9 percent. He also ranks 20th in the Big 12 in scoring at 13.0 ppg, tied for fourth in steals at 1.8 and tied for 13th in three-pointers made at 1.9.
–Sophomore Tyshawn Taylor scored 12 points at Kansas State (Jan. 30), 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 7.0 points on the season and 6.4 in conference action. He has scored in double figures in six games this season. Taylor has shot 50 percent or better in 11 games, including five times in Big 12 play. He has nine games with five-plus assists and ranks 12th in the Big 12 in assists at 3.3 per game and 11th in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.8.
–Junior Tyrel Reed tied his career high with 14 points against Missouri (Jan. 25) on 5-of-6 shooting, including 4-for-4 from three-point range. Reed has made 27 three-pointers this season and 71.1 percent of his field goals made have been from beyond the arc. He is 10-for-17 (58.8 percent) from three-point range in Big 12 play and 44.3 percent from beyond the arc for the season. Reed has made at least one three in 17 games this season and multiple threes in five contests. Reed is averaging 4.6 points per game for the season.
–Sophomore Markieff Morris had nine points against Nebraska Saturday, which tied his Big 12 high – nine vs. Missouri (Jan. 25). He has pulled down six or more rebounds in 10 games this season and is third on the team with a 4.9 rebound average. Morris is scoring 6.3 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 19 blocked shots, including three against Nebraska Saturday and is shooting 58.2 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). He made his first career start at Nebraska (Jan. 13). Robinson averages 8.7 minutes per game with 3.1 ppg and 3.2 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.
–Freshman Jeff Withey had four points with career-highs for rebounds with six and blocked shots with two in nine minutes against Nebraska Saturday. Withey has appeared in seven games this season and averages 2.4 ppg.
Kansas returns home to face Iowa State on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. on ESPNU. KU will make its third ESPN Big Monday appearance of 2010 when it travels to Texas A&M on Feb. 15. Kansas will then host Colorado on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 3 p.m. on the Big 12 Network.