No. 6/5 Kansas to Host West Virginia Saturday Afternoon in Men's Hoops
Feb. 28, 2013
LAST HOMESTAND OF 2012-13
Kansas returns to Allen Fieldhouse to host West Virginia in the first of its final two home contests, March 2, at 1 p.m. on CBS. The Jayhawks are coming off a 108-96 overtime victory at Iowa State on ESPN’s Big Monday, Feb. 25. The game marked the 500th all-time victory for KU head coach Bill Self.
With its win at Iowa State on Monday, Kansas has guaranteed itself a spot in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship. First-round matchups between the Nos. 8-9 and Nos. 7-10 seeds will be Wednesday, March 13. Quarterfinals are Thursday, March 14, with the semifinals March 15 and the championship game March 16. In the 17-year history of the Big 12, Kansas has only played in the first round once, that being in 2000 as a No. 5 seed.
Kansas, ranked No. 6 in the Associated Press and No. 5 in the USA Today Coaches’ polls released Feb. 25, is 24-4 (12-3 Big 12). The Jayhawks are 15-1 at home, 7-2 in road games and 2-1 on neutral courts in 2012-13. In his 10th season at KU, Bill Self holds a 293-57 record for an 83.7 winning percentage. Self won his 500th career game in overtime at Iowa State (2/25) and is 500-162 in his 20th season as a head coach. KU averages 74.5 points per game and is giving up 61.1 for a Big 12-leading +13.4 scoring margin. KU also leads the league in rebound margin at +6.7, field goal percentage at 47.1, field goal percentage defense at 35.5, which leads the nation, and blocked shots at 6.6.
Kansas starts four seniors, including three fifth-year seniors, and one freshman. Named to the Sporting News Mid-Season All-American team Jan. 15, redshirt freshman G Ben McLemore leads the team in scoring at 15.9 points per game, which leads all Big 12 freshmen in scoring and ranks second overall in the conference. The Jan. 14 Big 12 Player of the Week and two-time conference Rookie of the Week, McLemore leads the league in free throw percentage (88.0) and is third in the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage (42.3). McLemore, who is listed on the USBWA Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Year Award Midseason list, has a team-high 52 three-pointers made and is second on the team with 33 steals. All-America candidate senior C Jeff Withey, who on Feb. 25 was named the Big 12 Player of the Week for the second-straight week and third time in 2012-13, leads Kansas in rebounding (8.5 rpg) and has 11 double-doubles this season, including four in his last five games. Withey leads the league in blocked shots at 3.8 per game, which ranks third nationally. Withey is Kansas’ and the Big 12’s all-time blocked shots leader with 272. Withey is scoring 13.5 points per outing. Withey and McLemore are on the USBWA Oscar Robertson National Player of the Year Midseason list, Wooden Award Mid-Season list and are Naismith Award Top-30 candidates. Senior G Travis Releford leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 60.3 percent. The Nov. 26 Big 12 Player of the Week, Releford is scoring 12.4 points per contest and contributed 19 points at Iowa State (2/25) in the Jayhawks’ OT win. Senior G Elijah Johnson is coming off a career night at Iowa State where he scored 39 points. He has a team-high 125 assists and is second on the team with 42 three-pointers made to complement his 10.2 scoring average. Senior F Kevin Young rounds out the KU starters; he is scoring 7.8 points per contest and is second on the team with 7.1 rebounds per outing. Young has 998 career points between Loyola-Marymount (658) and Kansas (340). Other KU regulars include freshman F Perry Ellis (4.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg), sophomore G Naadir Tharpe (5.4 ppg, 2.9 apg) and redshirt freshman F Jamari Traylor (2.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg).
ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA
Located in Morgantown, W.Va., with an enrollment of 29,306, West Virginia is 13-15 on the season and 6-9 in Big 12 play after its 65-62 lost to Baylor on Wednesday, Feb. 27. The Mountaineers are coached by Bob Huggins who is 133-71 in his sixth season at WVU, his alma mater, and 723-282 in his 31st season overall. West Virginia is 8-5 at home, 3-7 in road games and 2-3 on neutral courts in 2012-13. WVU averages 65.6 points per game and gives up 66.1. The Mountaineers are outrebounding foes 35.8 to 33.7 and average 7.4 steals per contest. WVU forces 14.4 turnovers per game.
West Virginia has a balanced team as 11 different Mountaineers average 11-plus minutes per game and 10 have started at least two games in 2012-13. Freshman G Eron Harris leads WVU in scoring with 9.3 points per game and with 37 three-pointers this season. Junior C Aaric Murray averages 8.8 points per game and leads the Mountaineers in rebounding at 6.2 boards per contest. Murray has a team-high 38 blocked shots. Senior F Deniz Kilicli also averages 8.8 points per game and his 4.4 rebound average is third best on the team. Sophomore G Juwan Staten scores 8.4 points per game and leads WVU with 87 assists and 35 steals. Sophomore G Jabarie Hinds has started all but two games for the Mountaineers and scores 7.5 points per outing. Freshman G Terry Henderson is second on the team with 33 three-pointers made and averages 7.5 points per contest. Sophomore G Gary Browne (6.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg) is second on the team with 27 steals. Other WVU regulars include senior G Matt Humphrey (4.3 ppg), sophomore F Keaton Miles (2.8 ppg), sophomore F Kevin Noreen (2.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg) and senior F Dominique Rutledge (2.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg).
Kansas and West Virginia are meeting for only the second time in men’s basketball with the previous being earlier this season when the Jayhawks defeated the Mountaineers 61-56 on Jan. 28 in Morgantown. Kansas seniors Jeff Withey and Travis Releford led the Jayhawks by scoring 15 points apiece. Withey had four blocked shots for the game and tied fellow senior Kevin Young with a team-high seven rebounds. Redshirt freshman G Ben McLemore contributed 13 points in the win. West Virginia’s Aaric Murray led all scorers with 17 points. Kansas head coach Bill Self is 1-0 all-time against West Virginia, while Bob Huggins is 0-5 versus Kansas.
KANSAS TEAM NOTABLES
–Kansas leads the NCAA Division I in field goal percentage defense at 35.5 percent and is fourth nationally in blocked shots at 6.6 per game. Both stats lead the Big 12 and KU also leads the conference in scoring margin (+13.4), field goal percentage (47.1), rebounding (39.7) and rebound margin (+6.7). The Jayhawks also rank in the top four of the Big 12 in scoring (third, 74.5), free throw percentage (fourth, 72.4), rebound defense (second, 33.0), assists (fourth, 14.9) and assist-to-turnover ratio (fourth, 1.1).
–Kansas has held a double-digit lead in all but six contests this season. KU has held the lead in all but one game in 2012-13.
–Out of its 28 games, KU has held 17 of its opponents to 60 points or less, including eight of the last 13 conference foes: 46 at Texas Tech, 44 vs. Baylor, 59 at Texas, 55 at Kansas State, 54 vs. Oklahoma, 56 at West Virginia, 47 vs. Texas and 48 vs. TCU.
–KU has outrebounded 23 of 28 opponents this season, including 19 of its last 22 foes. After its 36-22 rebound advantage against TCU (2/23), KU has had seven games with 10-plus rebounds over its opponent. Kansas’ 50 rebounds at Oklahoma State (2/20) were a season high.
–Kansas has out shot all but four opponents in 2012-13. Additionally, KU has shot 50 percent or better in 10 games this season. KU’s 54.4 percent at Iowa State (2/25) was its league best during 2012-13.
–With its 10 steals against TCU (2/23), Kansas has recorded double-figure steals in eight games this season, including two of the last four contests. KU averages 7.2 steals per game.
–Kansas has held a 40-plus point lead in four different games this season.
–Kansas has had four players score in double figures in 10 times this season, including five against Iowa State (1/9).
SELF WINS 500TH CAREER VICTORY
With Kansas’ 108-96 win at Iowa State Monday, Feb. 25, Kansas coach Bill Self won his 500th all-time game. He became tied for the ninth-fastest coach to accomplish the feat, tying John Chaney (Cheyney and Temple) in doing it in 662 games. Additionally, Self is one of only four coaches to reach the milestone in his 20th season or earlier joining Roy Williams, who reached it in his 19th, Jerry Tarkanian (20th) and John Calipari (20th).
Kansas’ 54.4 percent shooting at Iowa State (2/25) was its best in conference play this season. The Jayhawks have out shot all but four opponents in 2012-13 and have shot 50 percent or better from the field in 10 games. KU leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 47.1 percent. Individually, senior G Travis Releford leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 60.3 and has shot 70 percent or better in 13 games, including six league contests. Redshirt freshman G Ben McLemore has six games of 60 percent or better shooting this season. He has shot 50 percent or better from three-point range in seven conference games. Senior C Jeff Withey has shot 50 percent or better in 22 of 28 games this season, including 12 games of 62.5 percent or better after his 5-for-7 (71.4 percent) game at Iowa State. Senior F Kevin Young is 9-for-12 (75.0 percent) in his last two games and has 11 games of shooting 60.0 percent or better, including six in conference play. Senior G Elijah Johnson was 6-for-10 from three-point range at Iowa State and 13-for-22 (59.1 percent) for the game. He has shot 54.3 percent (25-for-46) in his last four games and is shooting 39.8 percent for the season.
IN THE POLLS
Kansas is ranked No. 6 in the Associated Press and No. 5 in the USA Today Coaches’ polls released Feb. 25. Kansas’ No. 1 ranking in the Jan. 28, 2013, coaches’ poll was its first since Feb. 14, 2011, and KU has been the nation’s top team 38 times, including 20 weeks in the Bill Self era. Also in the coaches’ polls, Kansas has been ranked in each of the last 79 week, including 65 times in the Top 10. In the Associated Press poll and dating back to the final three polls of the 2008-09 season, this marks the 74th-straight poll in which the Jayhawks have been ranked in the AP poll, including 63 times in the Top 10.
ELIJAH’S 39 AT IOWA STATE
Senior G Elijah Johnson’s 39 points at Iowa State on Monday (2/25) was the most scored by a player in the Big 12 this season. It was the most scored by a Jayhawk since Terry Brown had 42 points against North Carolina State on Jan. 2, 1991, when Johnson was five months old. The previous high before Brown’s 42 was 34 points by Paul Pierce against Vanderbilt (12/29/97). Johnson scored eight points in the game’s final 35.7 seconds, including two three-pointers and a pair of free throws to tie and send the game to overtime. He then scored 12 points in overtime, which is the most by a Jayhawk in a single overtime.
Senior G Elijah Johnson became the second Jayhawk to record 30 or more points this season with his 39 scored at Iowa State (2/25). Redshirt freshman G Ben McLemore had 33 points against Iowa State on Jan. 9. This marks the second time in the Bill Self era at Kansas that two different players have scored 30 or more points in a game during the same season.
30-Point Games in the Bill Self Era at Kansas
39, Elijah Johnson at Iowa State, 2-25-13
33, Ben McLemore vs. Iowa State, 1-9-13
33, Marcus Morris vs. Iowa State, 1-12-11
33, Sherron Collins vs. Cornell, 1-6-10
33, Julian Wright at Missouri, 2-10-07
32, Sherron Collins vs. North Dakota State, 3-20-09
32, Wayne Simien vs. Oklahoma State, 2-27-05
31, Xavier Henry vs. La Salle, 12-12-09
31, Wayne Simien vs. Missouri, 3-12-04
30, Ben McLemore vs. Kansas State, 2-11-13
30, Thomas Robinson vs. North Dakota, 12-31-11
30, Mario Chalmers vs. Texas, 3-16-08
30, Wayne Simien vs. Oklahoma State, 3-12-05
30, Wayne Simien vs. UAB, 3-26-04
Here are some block party notables for Kansas All-American candidate Jeff Withey:
–Withey leads the Big 12 and is third nationally with 3.8 blocked shots per game. KU’s record for single-season blocked shot average is 3.6 set by Withey in 2012.
–The 2012 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, Withey set the KU and Big 12 single-game record with 12 blocked shots versus San Jose State (11/26).
–A three-time Big 12 Player of the Week, including twice in 2012-13, Withey’s 107 blocks in 2012-13 are more than six Big 12 teams this season and rank third on the KU single-season list.
–Earlier this season, Withey broke the Kansas and Big 12 Conference career blocked shots record, currently at 272. He passed Greg Ostertag who had 258 blocks at Kansas from 1992-95 and Chris Mihm of Texas’ 264 from 1998-2000.
–For his career, Withey has had 10 games with seven or more blocked shots, including three in 2012-13.
–Withey broke the NCAA Tournament record for blocked shots with 31 in the 2012 event.
–Withey broke the Kansas and Big 12 single-season blocked shots record with 140 last year (3.6 per game). He is only the second Jayhawk to pass 100 blocked shots for a single season with his 140 last year and 104 this year. The other was Cole Aldrich with 125 in 2009-10.
Kansas guard Ben McLemore leads the Big 12 freshman class with a 15.9 scoring average, which is second overall in the conference. A two-time Big 12 Rookie of the Week and one-time Player of the Week honoree, McLemore leads the Big 12 in free throw percentage at 88.0 and also ranks among the league leaders in field goal percentage (eighth, 49.3), rebounding (tied for 20th, 5.4), three-point field goal percentage (third, 42.3), three-pointers made (eighth, 1.9) and blocked shots (14th, 0.8). KU’s leading scorer, McLemore has seven games with 20 points or more this season, including a 30-point effort against Kansas State (2/11) and 33-point performance against Iowa State (1/9) in the Big 12 opener. He is the only freshman in KU history to have two 30-point games in conference play.
Kansas freshman record-wise, McLemore’s:
…15.9 ppg would surpass the KU freshman record of 14.6 ppg held by Danny Manning in 1985.
…5.4 rebound average would rank eighth on the KU freshman list.
…52 three-pointers made in 2012-13 are for fourth on the KU freshman list.
…42.3 three-point field goal percentage is fifth on the KU freshman list.
…88.0 free throw percentage is first on the Kansas freshmen list.
McLemore’s 33 points against Iowa State (1/9):
–Were the most by a Jayhawk since Marcus Morris tallied 33 points against Iowa State on Jan. 12, 2011.
–Are the most points scored in a game this season in the Big 12 Conference for all players.
–Were the most by a Kansas freshman since Danny Manning scored 35 points against Oklahoma State on March 2, 1985.
–Consisted of him connecting on 6-of-6 three-point field goal attempts, marking the best three-point field goal percentage since Rex Walters went 6-for-6 from beyond the arc against Ball State in 2003.
KANSAS AND THE BIG 12 WEEKLY HONORS
Kansas senior C Jeff Withey was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week Feb. 25 for the second consecutive week and third time this season. Withey averaged 17.5 points and 10.0 rebounds in two Jayhawk victories with 17 points and a season-high 14 rebounds at No. 14 Oklahoma State (2/20) and 18 points and six rebounds versus TCU (2/23). It was the fourth time in his career he has been named Big 12 Player of the Week.
Kansas redshirt freshman G Ben McLemore was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Rookie of the Week (1/21) after averaging 16.5 points in KU wins against Baylor and at Texas. It was the second time McLemore has won the accolade this season. The previous week (1/21), McLemore was named the conference’s player of the Week.
Historically, McLemore is the first KU player since Josh Selby in 2010-11 to be named Big 12 Rookie of the Week twice in one season. Additionally, he became only the second Jayhawk in the 17-year history of the Big 12 to have earned Big 12 Player and Rookie of the Week in the same season. Mario Chalmers also accomplished the feat during the 2005-06 season.
McLemore was the third different Jayhawk to be named Big 12 Player of the Week this season. He joins KU seniors Travis Releford (11/26) and Withey (12/3 and 2/18) as honorees. This is the second-straight season Kansas has had three different players earn the weekly honor. Last year, KU had four different players named Big 12 Player of the Week – Releford, Withey, Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor – which was a Big 12 first for one season.
MCLEMORE AND WITHEY NAMED TO NATIONAL WATCH LISTS
On Feb. 25, Kansas’ Ben McLemore and Jeff Withey were named to Naismith Top 30 candidates. The duo were named to the USBWA Oscar Robertson Player of the Year Midseason Watch List on Jan. 31 and on Jan. 10 were selected to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 announced by The Los Angeles Athletic Club. The Naismith Award had three schools with two players listed (Kansas, Duke and Indiana). The Oscar Robertson award consisted of 12 players and Kansas and Indiana were the only schools with multiple players listed with two each. For the Wooden Award, Kansas is one of three schools to have two players among the 25, along with Duke and Missouri. The 2013 Wooden Award Gala will take place April 11-13, 2013, at The Los Angeles Athletic Club. The Gala will honor the Men’s and Women’s Wooden Award winners, All Americans and the Legends of Coaching Award winner, Kansas head coach Bill Self.
MCLEMORE SPORTING NEWS MID-SEASON ALL-AMERICAN
Kansas redshirt freshman G Ben McLemore was named to the Sporting News Mid-Season All-America First Team it was announced Jan. 15. McLemore is joined on the first team by Oklahoma State freshman Marcus Smart, Michigan sophomore Trey Burke, Creighton junior Doug McDermott and Duke senior Mason Plumlee.
HOME SWEET HOME
Since his arrival at KU, Bill Self is 159-8 in games played at Allen Fieldhouse for a 95.2 winning percentage. Self’s Big 12 conference titles (eight) equal his home losses while at Kansas. Included was a school-record 69-game home-court winning streak which led the nation for more than two seasons and ranks 11th all-time in the NCAA records book as well as a 33-game home-court winning streak, that ended Feb. 2, tied for fourth most in KU history. Kansas is 104-2 in Allen Fieldhouse in its last 106 games. Additionally, Kansas has won 63-consecutive games in Allen Fieldhouse against non-conference foes.
Kansas has won 12 of the 16 Big 12 regular-season titles (includes ties), including the last eight. Kansas’ 55 conference titles are the most in NCAA Division I. Kentucky is second with 51 and Penn third at 37. Kansas’ eight-straight league titles is the longest active streak in NCAA Division I and the longest streak in school history. Ohio State (Big Ten), Belmont (Atlantic Sun) and Murray State (Ohio Valley) are next at three on the active league title list.
Kansas will host Texas Tech on Monday, March 4, at 6 p.m. on ESPNU for Senior Night, honoring Elijah Johnson, Travis Releford, Jeff Withey and Kevin Young. Kansas will close out the regular season at Baylor on Saturday, March 9, at 5 p.m. on ESPN. KU will then participate in the Big 12 Championship, March 13-16, at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. Its first action will be in the quarterfinals on Thursday, March 14.