No. 1 Kansas Heads to Texas A&M for ESPN Big Monday in Men's Basketball

Feb. 14, 2010

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No. 1 Kansas (24-1, 10-0) plays in its second straight and third ESPN Big Monday battle at Texas A&M (18-9, 7-3). KU extended the nation’s longest home court winning streak to 56 games with a 73-59 win against Iowa State Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse. The victory was Kansas head coach Bill Self’s 400th all-time win. Texas A&M won its fourth-straight game with a 67-65 victory at Texas Tech Saturday.

About Kansas

Kansas won its 10th conference game for a remarkable 16th-straight season with its win against Iowa State Saturday. The Jayhawks are 24-1, which is its best record since the 1996-97 team was also 24-1 and eventually went 34-2. KU averages 83.2 points per game and gives up 62.8 ppg for a Big 12-leading +20.4 scoring margin. In Big 12 play, Kansas is scoring 80.3 points per game and holds a +13.1 scoring margin. Senior guard Sherron Collins leads the team in scoring at 15.4 points per game and has scored in double figures 20 times this season. Collins is second in the Big 12 in free throw percentage at 85.6 percent and he leads KU in assists with 108 and three-pointers with 50. Sophomore forward Marcus Morris has stepped up his game in Big 12 play. Morris leads KU in scoring in league games at 17.1 points per game and is pulling down 8.6 rebounds against league foes. In all games, Morris averages 13.2 points and 6.5 rebounds. He has three double-doubles in his last five games. Freshman guard Xavier Henry is coming off his Big 12 high of 16 points against Iowa State. He is scoring 13.2 points per game overall and leads KU in steals with 43. His 48 three-pointers are two behind Collins. Junior center Cole Aldrich, an Academic All-America candidate, has five double-doubles in his last seven games and 11 DDs for the season. He is one of three Big 12 players to average a double-double with 11.4 ppg and 10.1 rpg this season. Aldrich also leads the team in blocked shots at 3.7 per contest and has 28 blocked shots in his last five games. Junior guard Brady Morningstar is a starter who is scoring 5.4 points per game and averages 3.3 assists per contest. Sophomore guard Tyshawn Taylor is second on the team with 81 assists to complement his 7.0 scoring average. Sophomore forward Markieff Morris, twin of Marcus, is coming off the bench to average 6.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. Junior guard Tyrel Reed averages 4.6 points per outing. He has 28 three-pointers. Freshman guard Elijah Johnson (3.0 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).

About Texas A&M

Texas A&M is one of the hottest teams in the Big 12 having won four straight and six of its last seven games. Coached by former KU guard Mark Turgeon, the Aggies are 18-9 and 7-3 in Big 12 play. Texas A&M is 13-0 at home, including 5-0 against Big 12 foes this season. A&M averages 73.4 points per game and gives up 65.6 for a +7.8 scoring margin. The Aggies are outrebounding foes 37 to 34.3 and force 14.4 turnovers per game. Senior guard Donald Sloan leads the team in scoring at 18.3 points, which ranks fourth in the Big 12. Sloan is second on the team with 31 three-pointers and with 51 assists. Senior forward Bryan Davis is next in scoring at 10.4 points per game and he leads the team with 7.6 rebounds per contest and 45 blocked shots. Davis is shooting 53.1 percent from the field. Junior guard B.J. Holmes comes off the bench to score 9.5 points per game. He leads A&M with 41 three-pointers. Sophomore forward David Loubeau is a starter who averages 8.6 points and shoots 55.5 percent from the field. He is second on the team with 4.5 rebounds per outing. Sophomore guard Dash Harris leads A&M with 79 assists and 38 steals on the season to complement his 5.0 scoring average. Junior forward Nathan Walkup (6.0 ppg), freshman forward Kris Middleton (5.8 ppg) and freshman guard Naji Hibbert (2.1 ppg) round out the A&M regulars.

The Series

Kansas and Texas A&M are meeting for the 16th time in a series that dates back to 1967. KU leads the overall series 14-1 and has won the last three meetings. In 2008, then-No. 5 KU defeated Texas A&M, 72-55, in College Station, to win its fourth-straight Big 12 regular-season championship. One week later the Jayhawks defeated the Aggies 77-71 in the semifinals of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship. Last year was the first time Mark Turgeon faced his alma mater in Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas won the game 73-53. Since the Big 12 started, Kansas is 13-1 against A&M. Texas A&M handed Kansas its last home loss on Feb. 3, 2007. Since then, KU has won an NCAA-leading 56-straight home games. Kansas is 6-0 against Texas A&M in Reed Arena. The first game of the series was played in 1967 in the Sunflower Doubleheader in Manhattan, Kan., with KU winning 78-52. Ever since, the series has been during the Big 12 era.

Team Notables

–KU leads the Big 12 in scoring margin (+20.4), field goal percentage (48.6), three-point field goal percentage (40.3), field goal percentage defense (36.5), assists (17.7) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4). The Jayhawks rank in the top three in all but five Big 12 statistical categories.

–Ten of Kansas’ 24 victories this season have been by 25 or more points with eight of those by 30 points or more.

–KU averages 6.5 blocked shots per game to its opponents’ 3.7.

–Kansas has shot 50 percent or better in 12 of 24 games this season.

–Kansas has also held 19 of 25 opponents this season to under 40 percent from the field, including six of 10 Big 12 foes.

–KU’s bench has outscored its opponents’ bench in 17 of 25 games this season.

–Through 25 games, nine different Jayhawks have led the team in steals, seven in points and six in assists.

–Kansas forces 14.7 turnovers per game and averages 17.5 points off turnovers per game. KU scored 27 points off turnovers at Texas (Feb. 8).

–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 three consecutive OT games. It was the first time since Dec. 20 and Dec. 28, 1976, that KU has won back-to-back OT games.

Player Notables

–Senior Sherron Collins leads Kansas in scoring for all games at 15.4 ppg. At Texas (Feb. 8) he scored 15 points and was 8-for-8 from the free throw line. He averages 4.3 assists per game and has had five-plus assists in each of his last four games. Against Iowa State (Feb. 13), Collins had five assists and no turnovers. 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 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 second in the Big 12 with his 85.6 free throw percentage and has made 11 straight FTs heading into the Texas A&M contest. Collins’ 15.6-point scoring average is 14th in the Big 12. Collins also ranks among the league leaders in field goal percentage (12th at 43.0), assists (fifth at 4.3), three-point field goal percentage (10th at 37.6), three-point field goals made (12th at 2.0) and assist-to-turnover ratio (fifth at 2.1).

–Junior Cole Aldrich, an Academic All-America candidate, had 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting and 12 rebounds against Iowa State (Feb. 13). He has five double-doubles in his last seven games and 33 for his career (11 this season). Aldrich is one of three Big 12 players averaging a double-double (11.4 ppg and 10.1 rpg). Aldrich has pulled down at least nine rebounds in 12 of his last 16 games and had a season-high 18 rebounds at Tennessee (Jan. 10). He has 28 blocked shots in his last six games, including six at Texas (Feb. 8) and a season-high seven blocked shots against Missouri (Jan. 25). He has at least three blocked shots in 23 of 25 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 sixth nationally with 3.7 blocked shots per game and his 3.7 blocks in conference play lead the league. Aldrich is third in the Big 12 in rebounding at 10.1 rpg.

–Sophomore Marcus Morris has 49 points in his last three games for a 16.3 ppg in that span. He has five double-doubles this season, with three in the last five games. Morris has four 20-point efforts, with three of those in Big 12 play. Morris leads Kansas in conference play with a 17.1 scoring average, which is 10th in the Big 12. Also in league play, Morris leads the Big 12 with his 57.3 percent shooting from the field and his 8.6 rebounds are seventh. For the season, he is averaging 13.2 ppg (20th in the Big 12) and 6.5 rpg (11th in the Big 12). Morris has started 22 games in 2009-10.

–Junior Brady Morningstar has 16 assists and four turnovers in his last five games. At Texas (Feb. 8) he was 2-for-2 from three-point range to record his third game with multiple threes made this season. At K-State (Jan. 30), Morningstar was 4-for-5 from the field, 2-for-3 from three-point range and 4-for-4 from the line in scoring 14 points. He is scoring 5.4 ppg in all games and 6.3 in Big 12 play. Also in league play, Morningstar ranks among the conference leaders in assists (10th at 3.5) and assist-to-turnover ratio (second at 2.7). 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 scored 16 points against Iowa State (Feb. 13), the most he had since his career-high of 31 against La Salle (Dec. 12). He was 5-for-9 from the field against the Cyclones, including 3-for-5 from three-point range. He has scored 31 points in his last two games and is averaging 13.2 ppg for the season. His five rebounds at Texas (Feb. 8) were the most since his seven boards against Missouri (Jan. 25). Henry has been named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week twice this season (Dec. 7 and Dec. 14) and has led KU in scoring in seven games this season. Henry leads Kansas with 43 steals and had a Kansas freshman-record-tying seven steals against Baylor (Jan. 20). His 43 steals are sixth on the KU freshman record list. Henry is second on the team with 48 three-point field goals made. He has made multiple three-pointers in 14 contests. He is ninth in the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 39.3 percent. He ranks 20th in the Big 12 in scoring at 13.2 ppg, fourth in steals at 1.7 and 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. He is averaging 7.0 points on the season and 6.5 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 13th in the Big 12 in assists at 3.2 per game and 11th in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.7.

–Junior Tyrel Reed had seven points against Iowa State, which were his most since 14 points against Missouri (Jan. 25). Against ISU, Reed was 2-for-3 from the field and 2-for-2 from the free throw line. Reed has made 28 three-pointers this season and 68.3 percent of his field goals made have been from beyond the arc. He is 11-for-20 (55.0 percent) from three-point range in Big 12 play and 43.8 percent from beyond the arc for the season. Reed has made at least one three in 18 games this season and multiple threes in five contests. Reed is averaging 4.6 points per game for the season.

–Sophomore Markieff Morris has pulled down 15 rebounds in his last two games with nine at Texas (Feb. 8) and six against Iowa State (Feb. 13). He also had eight points at Texas on 2-of-3 shooting and three blocked shots. His nine boards were his third highest for a game this season. Morris has pulled down six or more rebounds in 12 games this season and is third on the team with a 5.1 rebound average. Morris is scoring 6.2 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 22 blocked shots and is shooting 56.4 percent from the field on the season.

–Freshman Thomas Robinson missed the Feb. 8 Iowa State game due to a concussion suffered in practice on Feb. 11. He 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 (Feb. 6). Withey has appeared in eight games this season and averages 2.4 ppg.

Up Next

Kansas returns home to face Colorado on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 3 p.m. KU will then make its fourth ESPN Big Monday appearance of 2010 when it hosts Oklahoma on Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. The Jayhawks will then play at Oklahoma State on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 3 p.m. on CBS.