Kansas Men's Basketball to Face Sunflower State Rival Kansas State in Manhattan Saturday
Feb. 12, 2009
No. 16/16 Kansas (19-5, 8-1 Big 12) continues its rival road swing at Kansas State (17-7, 6-4) on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. on ABC. The Jayhawks are coming off a 62-60 loss at No. 17 Missouri on ESPN Big Monday. The loss snapped a Kansas 12-game conference win streak. Kansas State defeated Texas Tech, 85-73, on Wednesday and has won six straight heading into Saturday.
Kansas looks to rebound from its first conference loss of the season at Missouri, 62-60, on Monday. The Jayhawks, 19-5 overall (8-1 Big 12), have won eight of their last nine and four of their last five true road games, all against Big 12 foes. The Jayhawks are averaging 77.2 points per game and giving up 64.7 for a +12.5 scoring margin. KU leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense at 38.1 percent, rebound defense at 31.6 and rebound margin at +7.5. KU at 50.1 and Oklahoma at 50.8 are the only two league teams to shoot better than 50 percent in league play. Conversely, the Jayhawks also lead the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense in league games at 37.5 percent.
Junior guard Sherron Collins leads KU in scoring at 17.6 points per game, which is third most in the Big 12. Named a Bob Cousy Award finalist and Wooden Award Mid-Season candidate, Collins has led the team in scoring in 17 of 24 games this season. He has a team-high 49 three-point field goals and 119 assists. Sophomore center Cole Aldrich is next in scoring at 14.3 points per game and leads the Big 12 in blocked shots with a 2.6 per game average. He is second in the league in field goal percentage at 61.0 percent. He and Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin are the only two Big 12 players to average a double-double with Aldrich at 14.6 ppg and 10.4 rpg and Griffin at 22.1 ppg and 13.8 rpg. Aldrich has a team-best 13 double-doubles on the season. After his team-high 11 points at Missouri, freshman guard Tyshawn Taylor is scoring 9.7 points per game and he leads the team with 29 steals, one ahead of Collins. He has been named Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week three times this season. Freshman forward Marcus Morris (7.4 ppg) and sophomore guards Tyrel Reed (7.3 ppg) and Brady Morningstar (7.1 ppg) are next in scoring. Marcus Morris has started the last seven games and is second on the team with 5.0 rebounds per contest, which leads the Big 12 freshmen class. Morningstar is third in the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 44.4 percent, while Reed is 14th making 39.6 from beyond the arc. Junior guard/forward Mario Little, who was named Phillips 66 co-Big 12 Rookie of the Week Monday, has averaged 11.3 points in his last three games and is scoring 6.3 on the season. He is shooting 62.0 percent from the field in his 12 games played this year. Little is scoring 8.0 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 4.9 points per outing with a 4.5 rebound average, third among Big 12 freshmen. Freshmen Travis Releford (3.0 ppg) is coming off his career high with nine points at Missouri last Monday.
About Kansas State
Like Missouri on Monday, Kansas’ next opponent, Kansas State, is one of the hottest teams in the nation bringing a six-game winning streak into Saturday’s contest. The Wildcats opened Big 12 play 0-4 yet currently have moved up to fourth in the Big 12 standings with a 5-4 conference record. The Wildcats are 13-2 at home this season, 4-3 away and 0-2 in neutral contests. Kansas State is scoring 76.9 points per game and giving up 65.4 for a +11.5 scoring margin. The Wildcats average 6.9 three-pointers per game and have a +3.8 turnover margin. K-State is balanced as six Wildcats average between 9.0 points and 14.3 points per outing and no player averages more than 30 minutes per game. Junior guard Denis Clemente leads the team in scoring at 14.3 points, including 44 points in KSU’s win at then-nationally-ranked Texas on Jan. 31. He is second on the team with 73 assists behind sophomore guard Jacob Pullen’s 79 assists. Pullen is scoring 13.6 points per contest and he has a team-best 52 three-point field goals. He also leads the team with 40 steals. Sophomore guard Fred Brown and senior forward Darren Kent are each scoring 9.2 points per game. Brown has made 49 three-pointers and is second in the Big 12 with his 45 percent three point field goal shooting. Kent leads the team in rebounds with 5.9 per game. Freshman forward Jamar Samuels leads the team with 23 blocked shots to go along with his 9.0 scoring and 4.8 rebound averages. Sophomore forward Dominique Sutton is at 7.8 ppg and 4.9 rpg. Sophomore forward Ron Anderson is a top reserve who is second on the team with 5.4 rebounds per game. He is scoring 4.8 ppg. Junior center Luis Colon (5.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg), Pullen, Sutton, Kent and Clemente are K-State’s starters.
Kansas has won 37 of the last 39 meetings with Kansas State dating back to the 1994 season. The Jayhawks hold a 176-90 all-time series advantage over the Wildcats, including a 71-44 mark in games played in Manhattan and a 19-1 record in Bramlage Coliseum. Since 1984, Kansas is a mindboggling 24-1 in games played in Manhattan. K-State ended KU’s 24-game win streak on its home court with an 84-75 victory last season in Manhattan. The win also gave KU its first of three losses on its NCAA National Championship season. From Feb. 2, 1994, Kansas won 31 straight against Kansas State before the Wildcats halted the streak with a 59-55 victory in Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 14, 2006. Since the inception of the Big 12, KU holds a 29-2 record against Kansas State – 23-2 in league play and 6-0 in Big 12 Championships. The Jayhawks won the first-ever meeting with K-State, 54-39, on Jan. 25, 1907, in Lawrence. Earlier this season (Jan. 13), Sherron Collins scored 24 points, while freshman Tyshawn Taylor recorded 20 points to lead Kansas to an 87-71 victory against in-state rival Kansas State. Cole Aldrich added 15 points on five of six shooting while pulling down eight rebounds, while Mario Little got his first start of the season and scored eight points in the victory. Jacob Pullen led KSU with 13 points, while Luis Colon added 12 and Jamar Samuels 11.
–Kansas leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense (38.1), rebounding defense at 31.6 rpg and rebound margin at +7.5. KU also ranks among the Big 12’s top four teams in field goal percentage (second at 48.2), scoring margin (third at +12.5), free throw percentage (third at 72.7), three point field goal percentage defense (second at 32.0), rebounding (fourth at 39.1), assists (second at 16.3) and blocked shots (third at 4.7).
–Kansas climbed back into the national polls on Feb. 2 and is currently ranked No. 16 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls. The No. 16 ranking is the highest this season for KU. Kansas went seven weeks out of the polls before making last week’s lists.
–Kansas currently ranks No. 18 in the Feb. 11 ESPN.com RPI rating which is third in the Big 12 behind Oklahoma (3) and Missouri (17). Kansas State is at No. 72.
–KU has outshot 14 of 24 opponents this season and has shot 50 percent or better in 11 games, including five of nine Big 12 contests. Kansas is 17-2 when outshooting its opponent this season and 2-3 when outshot.
–Kansas outrebounded Missouri 48-28 and has outboarded its last six opponents and 18 of 24 opponents this season. Kansas has a +9.3 rebound margin in Big 12 play, +7.5 in all games.
–KU has shot 80 percent or better from the free throw line in eight games this season, including two of its last four games (80 percent at Baylor Feb. 2, 95 percent vs. Colorado Jan. 31).
–Through 24 games, four different Jayhawks have scored 20 or more points. 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 134 of its last 137 opponents to under 50 percent shooting, including all 24 foes this season. Fourteen of those opponents have shot below 40 percent, including Missouri at 35.6 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 63 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 104-15 (87.4 percent) in its last 119 games dating back to Jan. 21, 2006.
–Junior guard Sherron Collins was named a Bob Cousy Award finalist (Feb. 5) and made the Wooden Award Mid-Season top 30 list (Feb. 6). Collins leads Kansas with a 17.6 scoring average, which is third in the Big 12, and has scored in double figures in all but two games this season, including nine at Missouri. He has led (or tied for the lead) Kansas in scoring in 17 games this season. At Baylor (Feb. 2), 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 5.0), free throw percentage (seventh at .817), field goal percentage (10th at .421), three-point field goals made (tied for 12th at 2.0) and assist-to-turnover ratio (12th at 1.5).
–Sophomore center Cole Aldrich leads the Big 12 in blocked shots at 2.6 per game after his five blocked shots at Missouri last Monday. Aldrich is one of two conference players, along with OU’s Blake Griffin, to average a double-double with 14.3 ppg and 10.4 rpg. He has 33 rebounds in his last two games – 15 at Missouri and a career-high 18 against Oklahoma State. He has multiple blocked shots in his last four games and 12 of his last 13 contests. In his last four he has 12 blocked shots. His 97 career blocked shots are 17th on the school list. His 13 double-doubles this season are second most in the Big 12 and he has two DDs in his last four games. Aldrich has 42 of KU’s 67 dunks this season. Aldrich is second in the Big 12 in rebounding at 10.4 rpg, second in field goal percentage at 61.0 percent, 10th in free throw percentage at 78.0 percent and 16th in scoring at 14.3 ppg.
–Freshman guard Tyshawn Taylor led Kansas in scoring for the second time this season with 11 points at Missouri last Monday. With his 12 points against Oklahoma State last Saturday, he is scoring 11.5 points in his last two games and 9.7 on the season. Taylor has been named Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week three times this season, including once in league play. His 9.7 points on the season are second 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 1.3. His 1.2 steals average is second among the Big 12 freshmen class.
–Sophomore guard Brady Morningstar is third in the Big 12 in three point field goal percentage at 44.4 percent. He is scoring 7.1 points on the season. He has at least one steal in nine of his last 11 outings and his three at Missouri were one shy of his season high four versus Kent State (Dec. 1). Morningstar has made multiple three pointers in four of his last five games and 11 games this season. A lockdown defender, Morningstar is tied with Tyrel Reed for second on the KU team with 34 floor burns, behind Sherron Collins (42).
–Junior guard Mario Little has averaged 11.3 points in his last three games and 6.3 on the season. He has pulled down nine rebounds in his last two games and is averaging 3.1 on the year. Little is scoring 8.0 points in Big 12 play. He is shooting 62.0 percent from the field, including 67.4 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 31-for-46 (67.4 percent).
–Sophomore guard Tyrel Reed is 11-for-22 (50 percent) from the field in his last six games, including 9-for-16 (56.3 percent) from three-point range. Nominated for Academic All-American, Reed has 14 games with multiple threes this season, including two at Missouri last Monday. He has shot 50 percent or better in 13 games this season. Reed is making 39.6 percent from three point range, which ranks 14th in the Big 12.
–Freshman forward Marcus Morris has started the last seven games for KU and 13 games this season. He has shot 50 percent or better in four of his last five and nine of his last 11 games. He is second on the team with 5.0 rebounds per game which leads the Big 12 freshmen and is 20th overall.
–Freshman forward Markieff Morris is scoring 4.9 points on the year, yet has only scored two points in his last two outings. His nine rebounds at Baylor (Feb. 2) 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 4.5 rebounds per game. His 4.5 rebounds on the season are third among Big 12 freshmen.
–Freshman Travis Releford is coming off a career-high nine points at Missouri on 3-of-4 shooting in only eight minutes of action. In his last two games, Releford has scored 14 points in 15 minutes on the floor.
Kansas returns home Wednesday to host Iowa State Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. on the Big 12 Television Network. On Saturday, KU will host Nebraska at 3 p.m. on the Big 12 Television Network and then head to Norman to face No. 2 Oklahoma on ESPN Big Monday on Feb. 23 at 8 p.m.