Jayhawks to Face Flyers in NCAA Second Round in Minneapolis Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
March 21, 2009
Coming off an 84-74 win against North Dakota State, No. 3 seed Kansas (26-7, 14-2 Big 12) will face No. 11 seed Dayton (27-7, 11-5 Atlantic 10) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis on Sunday, March 22, at 1:30 p.m. (Central). KU’s victory was its third straight and its 24th of the last 26th NCAA Tournament first-round games dating back to 1981. Dayton won its first NCAA Tournament game since 1990 with a 68-60 win against West Virginia. The Flyers have won two of their last three heading into Sunday’s contest.
No. 14/13 Kansas has won seven of its last nine games heading into the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Jayhawks are the defending NCAA National Champions, yet return less than 20 percent of all but one statistical category.
The Jayhawks are averaging 77.3 points per game and giving up 66.1 for a +11.3 scoring margin. The Jayhawks shot 50 percent from the field against North Dakota State to mark the 16th time this season KU has shot 50 percent or better. Conversely, KU leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense at 38.9 percent and has held 71 consecutive opponents to under 50 percent shooting from the field dating back to the second game of the 2007-08 NCAA National Championship season.
Junior guard Sherron Collins leads KU in scoring at 18.7 points per game, including a career-high 32 in the NCAA Tournament opening round win against North Dakota State. Collins has averaged 21.9 points in his last eight games. An All-Big 12 First Team selection, Bob Cousy Award finalist, Oscar Robertson Trophy finalist, Wooden Award and Naismith Award mid-season candidate, Collins has led the team in scoring in 25 of 33 games this season. A three-time Big 12 Player of the Week, Collins has a team-high 74 three-point field goals and 169 assists. Also, named All-Big 12 First Team and co-Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, sophomore center Cole Aldrich has six double-doubles in his last eight games, following his 23 points and 13 rebounds against North Dakota State. Aldrich is averaging 14.8 points and 10.7 rebounds on the season. His 19 double-doubles on the season are second most in the Big 12. Aldrich leads the Big 12 in blocked shots with a 2.4 per game average. He is second in the league in field goal percentage at 60.7 and was 9-for-12 with eight dunks against NDSU. He and Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin are the only two Big 12 players to average a double-double. Freshman guard Tyshawn Taylor, a Big 12 All-Rookie Team selection, is averaging 13.8 points in his last six games and 10 points per contest on the season. Named Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week four times this season, Taylor is second on the team with 99 assists. He is third on the team with 36 steals, just behind sophomore guard Brady Morningstar’s 41 and Collins’ 38. Morningstar leads the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 44.2 percent and is scoring 6.8 points per game. Freshman Marcus Morris, a Big 12 All-Rookie Team selection, leads the Big 12 freshmen class with 5.0 rebounds per game, including seven boards with eight points against NDSU. Marcus is scoring 7.7 points on the season. Sophomore guard Tyrel Reed, an Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection, is a three-point threat whose last 14 field goals have come from behind the arc. Reed is averaging 6.5 points per game and is making 39.5 percent from three point range. Freshman forward Markieff Morris, twin of Marcus, is scoring 4.8 points per game and he has a 4.3 rebound average. Junior guard/forward Mario Little also averages 4.7 points and he is pulling down 3.1 rebounds per outing. He was named Phillips 66 co-Big 12 Rookie of the Week Feb. 9. He missed the first 12 games of the season due to injuries. Junior guard Tyrone Appleton tied for his season high by playing six minutes against North Dakota State (0 points, 2 rebounds). His other six-minute contest was game two against Florida Gulf Coast on Nov. 18. Freshman guard Travis Releford (2.8 ppg) and freshman forward Quintrell Thomas (1.6 ppg) also see time on the floor for the Jayhawks.
Dayton won the only meeting with Kansas on March 23, 1968, 61-48, in the finals of the 1968 NIT in New York. KU is familiar with the Atlantic 10 Conference having faced two A10 foes this season. KU lost to Massachusetts 61-60 on Dec. 13 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., and defeated Temple one week later, Dec. 20, 71-59, in Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks have actually played 12 members of the Atlantic 10 Conference with a 32-12 all-time record against A10’s current membership.
–Kansas leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense at 38.9, rebounding defense at 31.7 rpg, rebound margin at +7.2 and three-point field goal percentage defense at 33.8. KU also ranks among the Big 12’s top four teams in field goal percentage (second at 47.9), scoring margin (third at +11.3), free throw percentage (fourth at 73.0), three-point field goal percentage (second at 37.9), rebounding (third at 38.9), assists (second at 16.2) and blocked shots (third at 4.2).
–Kansas climbed back into the national polls on Feb. 2 and is ranked No. 14 in the Associated Press and No. 13 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ polls released March 16. On March 2, KU’s No. 9 ranking was the first time the Jayhawks had been ranked in the Top 10 since the final polls of the 2007-08 season when KU was No. 4 by AP (final poll released before the NCAA Tournament) and No. 1 in the coaches’ poll. Kansas went seven weeks out of the polls before making the Feb. 2 rankings in 2008-09.
–KU has outshot 26 of 33 opponents this season and has shot 50 percent or better in 16 games, including 50 percent against North Dakota State in its NCAA Tournament opener. Kansas is 24-2 when outshooting its opponent this season and 2-5 when outshot.
–KU has outrebounded six of its last eight opponents and 24 of 33 opponents this season, including a 39-34 advantage against NDSU. KU ended with a +8.2 rebound margin in Big 12 play and is +7.2 in all games.
–Through 33 games, four different Jayhawks have scored 20 or more points. Sherron Collins has 12 games of 20 or more points, including six of his last eight games, while Cole Aldrich has seven. Tyshawn Taylor has three 20-point games, including a career-high 26 at Oklahoma (Feb. 23). Brady Morningstar has one 20-point effort.
–Kansas has held 143 of its last 146 opponents to under 50 percent shooting, including all 33 foes this season. Nineteen 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 72 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 111-17 (86.7 percent) in its last 128 games dating back to Jan. 21, 2006.
–Junior guard Sherron Collins scored a career-high 32 points in the win against North Dakota State in the NCAA Tournament first round. He has 12 games of 20 points or more this season. He has averaged 21.9 points in his last eight games. Collins was named All-Big 12 First Team and was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week three times this season. Making numerous All-America teams, Collins is a Bob Cousy Award finalist, Oscar Robertson Trophy finalist, Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy mid-season candidate and named to the NABC District 8 First Team March 5. Collins leads Kansas with an 18.7 point scoring average. He has led (or tied for the lead) Kansas in scoring in 25 games this season. At Baylor (Feb. 2), he set the Kansas record for consecutive free throws made with 35 before missing.
–Sophomore center Cole Aldrich, Big 12 co-Defensive Player of the Year, was also named All-Big 12 First Team and registered his 19th double-double of the season with 23 points and 13 rebounds against North Dakota State in the NCAA Tournament first round. Eight of Aldrich’s nine field goals against the Bison were dunks. In his last seven games he is averaging 16.2 points and 11.6 rebounds. Like Collins, Aldrich was named to the NABC District 8 First Team on March 5 and Athlon Sports’ National Most Improved Player on March 6. His 19 double-doubles on the season are second most in the league next to Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin’s 27. He and Griffin are the only two conference players to average a double-double. Aldrich has seven 20-point efforts in 2008-09. Aldrich currently ranks 12th on the Kansas career blocked shots list with 114. Aldrich leads the Big 12 in blocked shots with 2.4 per game. He is second in the Big 12 in rebounding at 10.7 rpg and second in field goal percentage at 60.7 percent.
–Freshman guard Tyshawn Taylor was named Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week for the fourth time this season on March 2. A CBSSports.com Freshman All-America Third Team selection, Taylor is scoring 13.8 points in his last six games and is 29-for-50 (58 percent) from the field in that span. Taylor has led Kansas in scoring four times this season. His 10 point average on the season is second most among Big 12 freshmen as he and OU’s Willie Warren (14.7 ppg) are the only two Big 12 frosh to average double figures. Taylor leads the Big 12 freshmen in assists with 3.0 per game. His 1.1 steals average is second among the Big 12 freshmen class.
–Sophomore guard Brady Morningstar had eight points on 3-of-5 shooting, 2-of-3 from three-point range, against North Dakota State. He leads the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 44.2 percent. He has multiple threes in 16 games this season. Except for Senior Day, Morningstar has started every game for Kansas in 2008-09. He is scoring 6.8 points on the season. He has at least one steal in his last five games and 17 of his last 20 outings. A lockdown defender, Morningstar is second on the team with 46 floor burns. He is behind Sherron Collins’ 58 floor burns and just ahead of Tyrel Reed’s 44.
–Freshman forward Marcus Morris has started 14 of the last 16 games for KU and 20 games this season. Named to the Big 12 All-Rookie Team, Marcus has shot 50 percent or better in four of his last five contests and is 18-for-29 (62.1 percent) from the field in that span. He was 3-for-3 with eight points and seven rebounds against North Dakota State. His 12 points against Baylor in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship (March 12) were his most in seven games. He has scored in double figures in 11 games this season. He is second on the team with 5.0 rebounds per game, which leads the Big 12 freshmen, and has two double-doubles on the season.
–Freshman forward Markieff Morris has shot 50 percent or better in six of his last nine games. He is scoring 4.8 points on the season. He has started seven games in 2008-09 and is third on the team with 4.3 rebounds per game. His 4.3 rpg on the season is third among Big 12 freshmen.
–Sophomore guard Tyrel Reed’s last 14 field goals have been three pointers dating back to Feb. 7 against Oklahoma State, a span of 11 games. He had three points, all free throws, against NDSU. He is averaging 20.7 minutes per contest and has been KU’s first player off the bench 13 times this season. An Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection, Reed has 17 games with multiple threes during 2008-09, including three of his last five. He has shot 50 percent or better in 15 games. Reed is making 39.5 percent from three point range.
–Junior guard Mario Little is averaging 4.7 ppg and 3.1 rpg. He has appeared in 21 games this season and has shot 50 percent or better in 10 of those contests. Little is averaging 12.6 minutes per game. He has pulled down six or more rebounds three times this season. Little, the Big 12 Preseason Newcomer of the Year, missed the first 12 games of the season due to injuries.
–Junior guard Tyrone Appleton tied for his season high by playing six minutes against North Dakota State (0 points, 2 rebounds) in the NCAA Tournament first round. His other six-minute contest was game two against Florida Gulf Coast on Nov. 18.
–Freshman guard Travis Releford has scored four points in two of his last three games and is averaging 2.8 points on the season. He did not play against NDSU. In his last three games he is a combined 3-for-3 from the field and 2-for-2 from the line. Releford has played in 31 of 32 games this season and averages 7.2 minutes per contest. He is making 56.9 percent from the field in 2008-09.
Should Kansas win against Dayton, it would play in the Sweet 16 in Indianapolis.