Kansas Men's Hoops Returns Home to Host Iowa State Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Feb. 16, 2009
Kansas returns home to the friendly confines of Allen Fieldhouse to host Iowa State in Big 12 play. The Jayhawks are 20-5 on the season and 9-1 in Big 12 play. With its 85-74 win at Kansas State Saturday, KU has now won 20 or more games in each of the last 20 seasons. Kansas puts the nation’s longest home court winning streak on the line at 37 games. Iowa State is 13-12 on the season and 2-8 in conference play. The Cyclones have lost seven of their last eight games and are coming off an 86-67 loss at Oklahoma State Saturday.
Kansas rebounded from its first conference loss of the season at Missouri with a gritty victory at Sunflower State rival Kansas State Saturday (85-74). The Jayhawks, 20-5 overall (9-1 Big 12), sit in second place in the conference standings, one game behind Oklahoma (25-2, 10-0 Big 12) and one game ahead of Missouri (22-4, 9-2). The Jayhawks are averaging 77.5 points per game and giving up 65.1 for a +12.4 scoring margin. KU leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense at 38.3 percent, rebound defense at 31.5 and rebound margin at +7.1. KU at 50.7 percent and Oklahoma at 51.1 percent 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 38 percent.
Junior guard Sherron Collins leads KU in scoring at 17.6 points per game, which is fifth 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 25 games this season. He has a team-high 51 three-point field goals and 125 assists. Sophomore center Cole Aldrich is next in scoring at 14.6 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 10.2 rpg and Griffin at 22.8 ppg and 14.2 rpg. Aldrich has a team-best 13 double-doubles on the season. His 21 points at Kansas State Saturday were his fifth 20-point effort of the season. Freshman guard Tyshawn Taylor is scoring 9.5 points per game and he leads the team with 30 steals, one ahead of freshman forward Marcus Morris and sophomore guard Brady Morningstar and two ahead of Collins. Taylor has been named Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week three times this season. Marcus Morris had 15 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals at Kansas State. He is scoring 7.7 points per game and leads the Big 12 freshmen class with five rebounds per contest. Morningstar leads the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 47.1 percent following his 4-for-4 three-point perfection at K-State scoring 12 points Saturday. He averages 7.3 points per game, as does sophomore guard Tyrel Reed. Reed is second on the team with a 39.8 three-point shooting percentage. Junior guard/forward Mario Little, who was named Phillips 66 co-Big 12 Rookie of the Week Feb. 9, is averaging 7.2 points in Big 12 play and 5.8 on the season. He is shooting 67.4 percent from the field in league games. He missed the first 12 games of the season due to injuries. Freshman forward Markieff Morris, twin of Marcus, is scoring 4.8 points per outing with a 4.4 rebound average, third among Big 12 freshmen. Freshmen guard Travis Releford has combined for 13 points in 13 minutes in his last two games, including a career-high nine points at Missouri Feb. 9.
About Iowa State
Iowa State is 13-12 on the season and 2-8 in Big 12 play. The Cyclones are 11-5 at home this season and 2-7 on the road. The Cyclones average 65.2 points per game and are giving up 63.8. Sophomore forward Craig Brackins leads the team in scoring at 19.7 points per game, which is second in the Big 12. He is also averaging a team-best 9.1 rebounds, which is third in the conference. Sophomore guard Diante Garrett is next in scoring at 9.9 points per game and he has a team-leading 136 assists and 23 steals. Sophomore guard Lucca Staiger has made a team-high 60 three-point field goals and is scoring 8.4 points per game. Senior guard Bryan Petersen is second on the team in rebound average at 4.0 rpg and also has 69 assists to complement his 6.1 scoring average. Freshman center Justin Hamilton (4.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg) rounds out the Iowa State starters. Junior forward Jamie Vanderbeken (5.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg), freshman guard Wes Eikmeier (3.1 ppg), sophomore guard Charles Boozer (2.7 ppg), senior forward Alex Thompson (2.5 ppg, 2.6 rpg) and senior guard Sean Haluska (2.5 ppg) round out the ISU regulars.
Dating back to 1908, Kansas leads the all-time series with Iowa State, 165-58, and the Jayhawks have won seven straight against the Cyclones with ISU’s last win in Allen Fieldhouse – 63-61 in overtime on Feb. 19, 2005. KU is 18-7 in Big 12 regular-season play against ISU (20-7 including two Big 12 Championship contests). Prior to KU sweeping the last three season series, each team won seven games against the other from 1999-2005. KU is 84-15 against Iowa State in games played in Lawrence, including a 43-9 mark in Allen Fieldhouse. In Bill Self’s six seasons at Kansas, Iowa State (in 2005) is one of three league teams to have won at Allen Fieldhouse. The other two are Kansas State in 2006 and Texas A&M in 2007. On Jan. 24, 2009, Sherron Collins scored a career-high-tying 26 points as KU defeated ISU 82-67 in Hilton Coliseum. Iowa State was led by sophomore forward Craig Brackins who scored 42 points, the most against KU since Oklahoma State’s Randy Rutherford scored 45 during the 1994-95 season, i.e. pre-Big 12 era.
–Kansas leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense (38.3), rebounding defense at 31.5 rpg and rebound margin at +7.1. KU also ranks among the Big 12’s top four teams in field goal percentage (second at 48.4), scoring margin (third at +12.4), free throw percentage (third at 73.0), three point field goal percentage defense (second at 32.4), rebounding (fourth at 38.6), assists (second at 16.4), blocked shots (third at 4.5) and assist-to-turnover ratio (fourth a 1.1).
–Kansas climbed back into the national polls on Feb. 2 and is ranked No. 16 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls on Feb. 9. 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. 12 in the Feb. 15 ESPN.com RPI rating which is second in the Big 12 behind Oklahoma (2).
–KU has outshot 15 of 25 opponents this season and has shot 50 percent or better in 12 games, including six of 10 Big 12 contests. KU shot 56.8 percent at Kansas State Saturday. Kansas is 18-2 when outshooting its opponent this season and 2-3 when outshot.
–Kansas has outrebounded six of its last seven opponents and 19 of 25 opponents this season. Kansas has a +8.2 rebound margin in Big 12 play, +7.1 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 five games (80 percent at Baylor Feb. 2, 95 percent vs. Colorado Jan. 31).
–Through 25 games, four different Jayhawks have scored 20 or more points. Sherron Collins has six 20-point games, while Cole Aldrich has five, including 21 at Kansas State Saturday. Tyshawn Taylor and Brady Morningstar each have one.
–Kansas has held 135 of its last 138 opponents to under 50 percent shooting, including all 25 foes this season. Fourteen of those opponents have shot below 40 percent. 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 64 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 105-15 (87.5 percent) in its last 120 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. 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 .821), field goal percentage (10th at .422), three-point field goals made (tied for 12th at 2.0) and assist-to-turnover ratio (12th at 1.4).
–Sophomore center Cole Aldrich leads the Big 12 in blocked shots at 2.6 per game. Aldrich is one of two conference players, along with OU’s Blake Griffin, to average a double-double with 14.6 ppg and 10.2 rpg. He has 40 rebounds in his last three games for a 13.3 average in that span. His 21 points at Kansas State Saturday were his league high and his fifth 20-point effort of the season. His 98 career blocked shots are tied with Paul Pierce for 16th on the school list. His 13 double-doubles this season are second most in the Big 12. Aldrich has 45 of KU’s 74 dunks this season. Aldrich is second in the Big 12 in rebounding at 10.2 rpg, second in field goal percentage at 61.0 percent, ninth in free throw percentage at 79.0 percent and 13th in scoring at 14.6 ppg.
–Freshman guard Tyshawn Taylor led Kansas in scoring for the second time this season with 11 points at Missouri (Feb. 9) but had four points at Kansas State Saturday. Taylor is 9-for-13 (69.2 percent) in his last three games. Taylor has been named Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week three times this season, including once in league play. His 9.5 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 1.2. His 1.2 steals average is second among the Big 12 freshmen class.
–Sophomore guard Brady Morningstar scored 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting (4-for-4 from three-point range) at Kansas State Saturday. His 12 points were a conference high and the most since he had 12 points against Tennessee on Jan. 3. Morningstar leads the Big 12 in three point field goal percentage at 47.1 percent. He is scoring 7.3 points on the season. He has at least one steal in 10 of his last 12 outings and five in his last two games (two at Kansas State, three at Missouri). Morningstar has made multiple three pointers in five of his last six games and 12 games this season. A lockdown defender, Morningstar is second on the team with 38 floor burns, behind Sherron Collins (45).
–Freshman forward Marcus Morris is coming off a career-high 15 points on 4-of-7 shooting, with seven rebounds, four assists and three steals at Kansas State Saturday. He has started seven of the last eight games for KU and 13 games this season. He has shot 50 percent or better in five of his last six and 10 of his last 12 games. He is second on the team with 5.0 rebounds per game which leads the Big 12 freshmen and is 20th overall.
–Sophomore guard Tyrel Reed started his second game of the season at Kansas State and responded with seven points, including 1-for-2 from three point range and 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Nominated for Academic All-American, Reed has 14 games with multiple threes this season. He has shot 50 percent or better in 13 games this season. Reed is making 39.8 percent from three point range.
–Junior guard Mario Little started his third game of the season at Kansas State, played nine minutes, did not score but had two rebounds and three assists. Little is scoring 7.2 points in Big 12 play and 5.8 on the season. 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).
–Freshman forward Markieff Morris is scoring 4.8 points on the year, yet has only scored four points in his last three 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 4.4 rebounds per game. His 4.4 rebounds on the season are third among Big 12 freshmen.
–Freshman Travis Releford has scored 13 points in 13 minutes of action over his last two games with a career-high nine points at Missouri (Feb. 9) on 3-of-4 shooting in only eight minutes of action and four points in five minutes at Kansas State. Releford is 6-for-9 (66.7 percent) from the field in his last three games.
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. The Jayhawks return home on Sunday, March 1, at 1 p.m. against Border Showdown foe Missouri on CBS.