No. 2 Kansas Hosts No. 5 Kansas State Wednesday in Men's Basketball

March 1, 2010

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Kansas (27-2, 13-1) faces in-state rival Kansas State (24-4, 11-3) on the Jayhawks’ Senior Night. Since 1983-84, Kansas has won 26 straight home season finales, which includes 25 Senior Nights. In 2006-07, Kansas did not have a senior on its roster. KU senior Sherron Collins is the lone active senior on the Jayhawks’ roster as Mario Little is a redshirt this season. In addition to Collins, Kansas men’s basketball senior managers Joe Balestrieri (head manager), Ryan Davis and Lacie Reed will also be recognized prior to Wednesday’s game. This will mark the seventh game this season in which Kansas will square off against a ranked opponent. KU is 5-1 in those match-ups – 1-0 at home and 4-1 on the road.

Sherron Collins Notables

–During Collins’ stint, Kansas has won four Big 12 regular-season titles, two Big 12 postseason championship titles, advanced to three NCAA Tournament Sweet 16s, two Elite Eights, one Final Four and has won one NCAA National Championship.

–Collins has been part of the most wins in a four-year span in Kansas basketball history with 124 victories.

–While at Kansas, Collins has a 17-3 (85 percent) postseason record, which includes Big 12 and NCAA Tournament postseason play.

–As a junior in 2009, Collins was an All-Big 12 First Team and consensus second-team All-America selection.

–Including this season, Collins is a two-time Bob Cousy Award finalist for the nation’s top point guard.

–For his career, Collins has been named Big 12 Player of the Week three times.

–As a sophomore, Collins was named the 2008 Big 12 Sixth Man Award recipient and selected to the Big 12 All-Reserve Team.

–In 2007, Collins was selected to the Big 12 All-Rookie Team and was named All-Big 12 Honorable Mention.

–Collins is one of only three Jayhawks to have recorded 1,700 career points and 500 career assists, joining KU greats Darnell Valentine and Kirk Hinrich.

–Collins is 26 points from becoming only the seventh player in KU history to record 1,800 career points.

–Collins ranks fourth on the Kansas career three-point field goals made list with 221. His 582 three-pointers attempted are third.

–Collins is seventh on the KU all-time assists list with 517.

–Collins has 25 games of 20 or more points while at Kansas, including a 32-point effort against North Dakota State in last year’s NCAA Tournament and a 33-point game in KU’s come-from-behind victory versus Cornell earlier this season.

About Kansas

Kansas has the nation’s longest active home court winning streak at 58 games heading into the Kansas State contest. The streak ranks as the second longest in Kansas men’s basketball history. Kansas is 27-2 on the season, 13-1 in conference play, and has at least tied for its sixth straight, 10th Big 12 and NCAA-leading 53rd overall league title. KU averages 82.4 points per game and gives up 63.8 ppg for a Big 12-leading +18.6 scoring margin. In Big 12 play, Kansas is scoring 79.6 points per game and holds a +11.5 scoring margin. Senior guard Sherron Collins leads the team in scoring at 15.3 points per game and has scored in double figures 23 times this season following his 22-point performance at Oklahoma State Saturday. Collins is fourth in the Big 12 in free throw percentage at 84.3 percent and he leads KU in assists with 126 and three-pointers with 59, three ahead of freshman Xavier Henry. Henry, who was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week for the third time this season on Feb. 22, has averaged 21.3 points in his last three games and is scoring 14 points per game on the season. He averages 4.2 rebounds per game and leads KU with 45 steals. Junior center Cole Aldrich, who was named Academic All-American of the Year on Feb. 22, has seven double-doubles in his last 11 games and 13 DDs for the season. He is one of three Big 12 players to average a double-double with 11.4 ppg and 10.0 rpg this season. Aldrich’s 106 blocked shots are a KU single-season record. His 3.7 blocked shots per contest rank second in the Big 12 and sixth nationally. Sophomore forward Marcus Morris has stepped up his game in Big 12 play with a 14.9 ppg against conference foes and 12.6 ppg in all games. In league games he is pulling down 7.4 rebounds per game and 6.2 rpg in all games. Sophomore guard Tyshawn Taylor moved back into the starting lineup against Colorado (Feb. 20) and has started 18 games this season. He is second on the team with 93 assists and he has averaged 12 points per game in his last three contests. Taylor is scoring 7.4 ppg for the season. Junior Brady Morningstar is scoring 4.5 points per game and averaging 3.2 assists per contest. Sophomore forward Markieff Morris, twin of Marcus, is averaging 6.4 points and 5.2 rebounds. Junior guard Tyrel Reed averages 4.3 points per outing and has 30 three-pointers.

About Kansas State

Kansas State isone of the hottest teams in the nation having won seven-straight games since losing to Kansas 81-79 in overtime on Jan. 30. K-State (24-4, 11-3) has won 11 of its last 13 games and sits second in the Big 12 standings behind KU. Kansas State is 10-2 in games played away from Bramlage Coliseum this season, including 7-1 in true road games. KSU averages 80.4 points per game and gives up 68.3 for a +12.1 scoring margin. K-State attacks the basket as it leads the Big 12 in offensive rebounds with 15.1 per game and averages 20.4 free throws made per game. Junior guard Jacob Pullen leads K-State in scoring at 18.5 points per game, which ranks third in the Big 12. He has a team-high 78 three-pointers and 46 steals. He is second on the squad with 105 assists. Senior guard Dennis Clemente leads the Wildcats with 115 assists to complement his 15.8 point scoring average. He is also second on the team with 65 three-point field goals made. Sophomore forward Jamar Samuels, who comes off the bench, is scoring 11.9 points per outing and averages 5.2 rebounds, while junior forward Curtis Kelly is a starter who leads KSU with 6.5 rebounds per game and averages 11.4 points. Junior forward Dominique Sutton is second behind Kelly in rebounds at 5.5 rpg and scores 7.7 points per contest. Freshman guard Rodney McGruder (4.5 ppg, 3.0 ppg), freshmen forwards Wally Judge (3.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg) and Jordan Henriquez-Roberts (2.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg), senior center Luis Colon (3.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg) and freshman guard Martavious Irving (2.3 ppg) round out the 10 Wildcats who average 10-plus minutes per game.

The Series

Kansas has won 39 of the last 41 meetings with Kansas State dating back to the 1994 season. The Jayhawks hold a 178-90 all-time series advantage over the Wildcats, including an 80-35 mark in games played in Lawrence and a 39-18 record in Allen Fieldhouse. 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 31-2 record against Kansas State – 25-2 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. This will mark the second straight and 12th time in the series history both teams have been ranked by Associated Press at tip. Prior to this season, the last time the two teams were ranked at tip was March 10, 1958 – KU 10th, KSU 1st. The last time KU and KSU were ranked in the top five at tip was Feb. 3. 1958 and KSU won 79-75 in double overtime in Allen Fieldhouse. KU was No. 2 and KSU No. 3. Earlier this season, No. 2 Kansas edged No. 11 Kansas State 81-79 in overtime in Manhattan. ESPN Gameday originated from Manhattan and Sherron Collins made a key basket in overtime to give the Jayhawks the lead for good. Cole Aldrich had a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Collins scored 16 points. Marcus Morris also had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Jacob Pullen led KSU with 22 points.

Team Notables

–KU leads the Big 12 in scoring (82.4), scoring margin (+18.6), field goal percentage (48.8), three-point field goal percentage (40.0), scoring defense (63.8), field goal percentage defense (37.6), assists (17.3) 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’ victories this season have been by 25 or more points with eight of those by 30 points or more.

–KU averages 6.4 blocked shots per game to its opponents’ 3.6.

–Kansas has shot 50 percent or better in two of its last three contests and in 14 of 29 games overall this season.

–Kansas has also held 19 of 29 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 20 of 29 games this season.

–Kansas forces 14.7 turnovers per game and averages 16.8 points off turnovers per game. KU scored 27 points off turnovers at Texas (Feb. 8) and 23 points off turnovers against Colorado (Feb. 20).

Player Notables

–Senior Sherron Collins had his sixth game of 20 or more points with 22 at Oklahoma State (Feb. 27). He leads Kansas in scoring for all games with 15.3 ppg. He has 17 assists in his last three games and has had five-plus assists in six of the last eight games. Collins has shot 50 percent or better in 11 games this season. He is fourth in the Big 12 with his 84.3 free throw percentage. Collins’ 15.3-point scoring average is 12th 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 (12th at 37.8), three-point field goals made (tied for 10th at 2.0) and assist-to-turnover ratio (eighth at 1.9).

–Junior Cole Aldrich, the 2010 Academic All-American of the Year, has three double-doubles in his last five games. He has seven double-doubles in his last 11 games and 35 for his career (13 this season). Aldrich is one of three Big 12 players averaging a double-double (11.4 ppg and 10.0 rpg) this season. Aldrich has pulled down at least nine rebounds in 15 of his last 20 games and double-digit boards in his four of his last five outings. 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. Aldrich is third in the Big 12 in rebounding at 10.0 rpg.

–Freshman Xavier Henry has averaged 21.3 points in his last three games with 17 points at Oklahoma State (Feb. 27), 23 points against Oklahoma (Feb. 22) and 24 versus Colorado (Feb. 20). He averages 14 ppg for the season. Henry has been named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week three times this season (Dec. 7, Dec. 14 and Feb. 22) and has led KU in scoring in 10 games in 2009-10. Henry leads Kansas with 45 steals and had a Kansas freshman-record-tying seven steals against Baylor (Jan. 20). Henry is second on the team with 56 three-point field goals made. He has made multiple three-pointers in 17 contests. He is seventh in the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 40.0 percent. He ranks 17th in the Big 12 in scoring at 14 ppg, seventh in steals at 1.6 and 12th in three-pointers made at 1.9.

–Sophomore Marcus Morris averages 15.9 points per game in Big 12 play, 15th in the league. 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 55.9 percent shooting from the field, while his 7.4 rebounds are 10th. For the season, he is averaging 12.6 ppg and 6.2 rpg (13th in the Big 12). Morris has started 26 of 29 games in 2009-10.

–Sophomore Tyshawn Taylor has averaged 12 points in his last three games. In that span, Taylor is 12-for-21 (57.1 percent) from the field. He is averaging 7.4 points on the season and 7.5 in conference action. He has scored in double figures in eight games this season. Taylor has shot 50 percent or better in 14 games, including eight times in Big 12 play. He has 10 games with five-plus assists and ranks 14th in the Big 12 in assists at 3.2 per game and 11th in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.8.

–Junior Brady Morningstar leads the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.1 in league games (46 assists, 15 turnovers) after his two assists and no turnovers at Oklahoma State (Feb. 27). He is scoring 4.5 ppg in all games. In addition to his assist-to-turnover ranking, in league play, Morningstar ranks among the conference leaders in assists (tied 10th at 3.3). 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 solid off the bench for Kansas as he averages 6.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. He has pulled down six-plus rebounds in five of his last six games and 15 times this season. His 5.2 rpg are third on the KU team. Morris had a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds against La Salle (Dec. 12). He is second on the team with 25 blocked shots and is shooting 56.2 percent from the field on the season.

–Junior Tyrel Reed tied his season high with three steals at Oklahoma State (Feb. 27). Reed has made 30 three-pointers this season and 66.7 percent of his field goals made have been from beyond the arc. He is 13-for-26 (50 percent) from three-point range in Big 12 play and 42.9 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 4.3 points per game for the season.

–Freshman Thomas Robinson had four points against Oklahoma (Feb. 22) which matched his conference high. Robinson averages 7.9 minutes per game with 2.9 ppg and 2.9 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.

Up Next

Kansas closes out the regular season at Border Showdown foe Missouri on Saturday, March 6 at 1 p.m. on CBS. Kansas will then play in the quarterfinal round of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., March 11-13. The event starts March 10. NCAA Tournament selection Sunday is March 14.