No. 1 Kansas to Host Oklahoma on ESPN Big Monday

Feb. 21, 2010

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No. 1 Kansas (26-1, 12-0) hosts Oklahoma (13-13, 4-8) in its fourth ESPN Big Monday appearance of the season. The Jayhawks won their 12th straight game with a 94-74 victory against Colorado Saturday. Kansas’ 12-0 record in league play is the second best in Big 12 history next to KU’s 16-0 mark in 2002. A Jayhawk victory against OU would guarantee its sixth-straight Big 12 regular-season conference championship. Oklahoma lost its fourth-straight game with an 83-68 loss to No. 7 Kansas State in Norman Saturday. Feb. 21-28, 2010, is Love College Hoops…Beat Cancer Week sponsored by the NABC. Fans are encouraged to wear a headband to support Coaches vs. Cancer.

About Kansas

Kansas won its 12th conference game for a remarkable 10th-straight season with its win against Colorado. The Jayhawks have the nation’s longest active home court winning streak at 57 games. Kansas’ 26-1 record is its best record since the 1996-97 team was also 26-1 and eventually went 34-2. KU averages 82.7 points per game and gives up 62.9 ppg for a Big 12-leading +19.8 scoring margin. In Big 12 play, Kansas is scoring 79.7 points per game and holds a +13 scoring margin. Senior guard Sherron Collins leads the team in scoring at 15.0 points per game and has scored in double figures 21 times this season. Collins is third in the Big 12 in free throw percentage at 85.4 percent and he leads KU in assists with 116 and three-pointers with 53, one ahead of freshman Xavier Henry. Henry is coming off his league-high 24 points versus Colorado and is scoring 13.6 points per game. He averages 4.2 rebounds per game and leads KU with 44 steals. Sophomore forward Marcus Morris has stepped up his game in Big 12 play and leads KU in scoring with 15.7 points per game and is pulling down 7.8 rebounds in league games. In all games, Morris averages 12.8 points and 6.3 rebounds. Junior center Cole Aldrich, an Academic All-America candidate, has seven double-doubles in his last nine games and 13 DDs for the season. He is one of three Big 12 players to average a double-double with 11.6 ppg and 10.1 rpg this season. He has 10 blocked shots in his last two games and his 103 blocked shots are a KU single-season record. Aldrich’s 3.8 blocked shots per contest rank second in the Big 12 and sixth nationally. Sophomore guard Tyshawn Taylor moved back into the starting lineup against Colorado and has started 16 games this season. He is second on the team with 89 assists and his 17 points against Colorado were one shy of his season high. Junior guard Brady Morningstar is scoring 4.8 points per game and averaging 3.3 assists per contest. Sophomore forward Markieff Morris, twin of Marcus, had 11 points and seven rebounds against Colorado Saturday. He is averaging 6.5 points and 5.2 rebounds. Junior guard Tyrel Reed averages 4.5 points per outing and has 30 three-pointers. Freshman guard Elijah Johnson (2.9 ppg) and freshman forward Thomas Robinson (3.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg) also see time for KU.

About Oklahoma

Oklahoma looks to snap a four-game losing streak after its 83-68 loss to No. 7 Kansas State Saturday. OU averages 73.3 points and gives up 72.9 for a +0.5 scoring margin. OU leads the Big 12 in three-point field goals made per game at 8.4 and is a solid free throw shooting team, ranking second in the Big 12 with a 73.5 percent. Sophomore guard Willie Warren leads Oklahoma in scoring at 16.3 points per game, which is ninth in the Big 12. He is second on the team with 86 assists for the season. Freshman guard Tommy Mason-Griffin is next in scoring at 14 points per game and he leads OU with 64 three-point field goals and 118 assists. His 4.5 assists per game are fourth in the conference. Senior guard Tony Crocker is scoring 11.6 points per outing and he is second on the team with 6.5 rebounds per game and 15 blocked shots. Freshman forward Tiny Gallon leads OU in rebounds with 8.1 rpg, which ranks seventh in the Big 12. Gallon has a team-high 18 blocked shots and he is scoring 10.1 ppg. Junior guard Cade Davis is just behind Gallon with a 10-point scoring average and he leads OU with 39 steals. Davis is second on the team with 48 three-pointers made. Freshman guard Steven Pledger (6.0 ppg), senior forward Ryan Wright (4.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and freshman forward Andrew Fitzgerald (4.3 ppg) round out the OU regulars.

The Series

This series dates back to 1920 when both schools were members of the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association and Kansas leads 134-64. Since 2006, the Jayhawks have won five straight against the Sooners. Kansas is 67-16 against Oklahoma in games played in Lawrence, including a 40-7 record in Allen Fieldhouse. Since 1994, KU has won nine straight versus OU in Allen Fieldhouse. Since the inception of the Big 12, Kansas is 13-4 against Oklahoma – 11-2 in regular-season play and 2-2 in the Big 12 Championship. Kansas coach Bill Self is 6-3 all-time against Oklahoma, including a 6-1 mark while at KU. OU’s Jeff Capel is 0-4 against Kansas.

Team Notables

–KU leads the Big 12 in scoring margin (+19.8), field goal percentage (48.7), three-point field goal percentage (39.8), scoring defense (62.9), field goal percentage defense (36.7), assists (17.6) 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’ 25 victories this season have been by 25 or more points with eight of those by 30 points or more.

–KU averages 6.6 blocked shots per game to its opponents’ 3.6.

–Kansas has shot 50 percent or better in 13 of 27 games this season.

–Kansas has also held 19 of 27 opponents this season to under 40 percent from the field, including seven of 12 Big 12 foes.

–KU’s bench has outscored its opponents’ bench in 18 of 27 games this season.

–Through 27 games, nine different Jayhawks have led the team in steals, seven in points and six in assists.

–Kansas forces 14.8 turnovers per game and averages 17.6 points off turnovers per game. KU scored 27 points off turnovers at Texas (Feb. 8) and 23 points off turnovers against Colorado (Feb. 20).

–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 with 15.0 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 five of the last six games, including seven against Colorado (Feb. 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 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 third in the Big 12 with his 85.4 free throw percentage. Collins’ 15.0-point scoring average is 13th in the Big 12. Collins also ranks among the league leaders in field goal percentage (11th at 42.2), assists (fifth at 4.3), three-point field goal percentage (13th at 36.8), three-point field goals made (11th at 2.0) and assist-to-turnover ratio (sixth at 2.0).

–Junior Cole Aldrich, an Academic All-America candidate, has three straight double-doubles after his 17 points and 10 rebounds against Colorado (Feb. 20). He has seven double-doubles in his last nine games and 35 for his career (13 this season). Aldrich is one of three Big 12 players averaging a double-double (11.6 ppg and 10.1 rpg). Aldrich has pulled down at least nine rebounds in 14 of his last 18 games. He has 10 blocked shots in his last two games and 38 in his last eight contests. 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 3.8 blocked shots per game. Aldrich is third in the Big 12 in rebounding at 10.1 rpg.

–Sophomore Marcus Morris leads Kansas in scoring in Big 12 play with 15.7 ppg, which ranks tied for 12th in the conference. He has five double-doubles this season, with three in Big 12 play. Morris has four 20-point efforts, with three of those in league action. Also in league play, Morris leads the Big 12 with his 57.9 percent shooting from the field and his 7.8 rebounds are seventh. For the season, he is averaging 12.8 ppg and 6.3 rpg (13th in the Big 12). Morris has started 24 games in 2009-10.

–Freshman Xavier Henry is coming off a 24-point effort against Colorado, which were his most points in 18 games. He has averaged 16.8 points in his last four games and 13.6 ppg for the season.

Henry has pulled down six rebounds in each of his last two games. 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 nine games in 2009-10. Henry leads Kansas with 44 steals and had a Kansas freshman-record-tying seven steals against Baylor (Jan. 20). His 44 steals are tied for fifth on the KU freshman record list. Henry is second on the team with 52 three-point field goals made. He has made multiple three-pointers in 15 contests, including a 4-for-7 effort against. He is 10th in the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 40.0 percent. He ranks 18th in the Big 12 in scoring at 13.6 ppg, fifth in steals at 1.6 and 12th in three-pointers made at 1.9.

–Sophomore Tyshawn Taylor scored 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting and 4-for-4 free throws against Colorado (Feb. 20), his highest output in Big 12 play and second highest of the season. He is averaging 7.2 points on the season and 7.2 in conference action. He has scored in double figures in seven games this season. Taylor has shot 50 percent or better in 13 games, including seven times in Big 12 play. He has 10 games with five-plus assists and ranks 12th in the Big 12 in assists at 3.3 per game and 10th in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.7.

–Junior Brady Morningstar leads the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.0 in league games (42 assists, 14 turnovers). He had five assists and no turnovers at Texas A&M (Feb. 15). 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 to score 14 points. He is scoring 4.8 ppg in all games. In addition to his assist-to-turnover ranking, in league play, Morningstar ranks among the conference leaders in assists (10th at 3.5). 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.

–Sophomore Markieff Morris is coming off a solid game where he scored 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting and pulled down seven rebounds against Colorado (Feb. 20). Morris has pulled down 28 rebounds in his last four outings. Morris has pulled down six or more rebounds in 14 games this season and is third on the team with a 5.2 rebound average. Morris is scoring 6.5 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 24 blocked shots and is shooting 56.1 percent from the field on the season.

–Junior Tyrel Reed has made at one three-pointer in each of the last three games. He had seven points against Iowa State (Feb. 13), 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 30 three-pointers this season and 69.8 percent of his field goals made have been from beyond the arc. He is 13-for-25 (52 percent) from three-point range in Big 12 play and 43.5 percent from beyond the arc for the season. Reed has made at least one three in 20 games this season and multiple threes in five contests. Reed is averaging 4.5 points per game for the season.

–Freshman Thomas Robinson missed the Feb. 13 Iowa State game due to a concussion suffered in practice on Feb. 11. He has returned to the lineup in the past two games. Robinson averages 8.2 minutes per game with 3.0 ppg and 3.0 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 nine games this season and averages 2.1 ppg.

Up Next

Kansas will play at Oklahoma State on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 3 p.m. on CBS. KU then returns home for Senior Night, honoring Sherron Collins, when it hosts Kansas State Wednesday, March 3 at 7 p.m. That game will be televised on the Big 12 Network. KU has won 26 straight final home games, including 25 straight Senior Nights. Kansas closes out the regular season at Border Showdown foe Missouri on Saturday, March 6 at 1 p.m. on CBS.