No. 4 Kansas to Host UCLA in Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series Thursday
Nov. 30, 2010
Storied Match Up
Two of the most storied men’s basketball programs will battle in the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series when No. 4 Kansas (6-0) plays host to UCLA (3-2) Thursday, Dec. 2, at 8 p.m. (Central) on ESPN2. Last year Kansas defeated UCLA 73-61 in historic Pauley Pavilion. Kansas ranks third in NCAA Division I history in all-time wins with 2,009, while UCLA is eighth with 1,689 victories. UCLA has won 11 NCAA titles, while Kansas has won five national championships. The Bruins have appeared in the Final Four 17 times and Kansas on 13 occasions. Basketball Hall of Famer Larry Brown coached at UCLA from 1979-81, and then guided Kansas to two Final Fours – 1986 and 1988 – including the 1988 NCAA National Championship.
Kansas is coming off an 87-79 win against Arizona in the championship game of the Las Vegas Invitational on Nov. 27. UCLA is looking to rebound from a two-game losing streak and brings a 3-2 record into Allen Fieldhouse. The Bruins advanced to the Preseason NIT semifinals before losing their last two contests in New York City.
Kansas takes the nation’s active longest home court winning streak and school-record 63 wins in Allen Fieldhouse into the UCLA contest. KU is 6-0 for the second-straight season and fourth time under head coach Bill Self. KU is coming off its second Las Vegas Invitational title having won the 2006 event as well. Kansas leads the Big 12 in scoring at 92 points per game, scoring margin at +35.3, field goal percentage at 57.8, three-point field goal percentage defense at 21.1, assists at 22.0, blocked shots at 6.5, and assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.9. Junior forward Marcus Morris leads the team with a 19-point scoring average, which is fourth in the Big 12. Morris is third in the Big 12 with his 67.7 shooting percentage and averages 6.3 rebounds per contest. His twin, Markieff, is next in scoring at 12.3 points per game and he leads KU with 9.5 rebounds per contest. Marcus was the Las Vegas Invite most valuable player, while Markieff and sophomore guard Travis Releford (8.3 ppg) were named to the all-tournament team. Releford is tied for the team lead with eight three-pointers along with Marcus Morris and senior guard Tyrel Reed (9.0 ppg). Junior guard Tyshawn Taylor (9.3 ppg) and senior guard Brady Morningstar (5.5 ppg) join the twins and Reed in the starting lineup. Taylor leads the Big 12 in assists at 7.2 per game. Top reserves for Kansas include sophomore forward Thomas Robinson (10.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg), sophomore guard Elijah Johnson (6.5 ppg), senior guard Mario Little (6.5 ppg) and sophomore center Jeff Withey (3.5 ppg). Withey leads KU with 11 blocked shots.
Located in Los Angeles, Calif., with an enrollment of 37,500, UCLA is 3-2 on the season. The Bruins average 74.8 points and are giving up 66.8 for a +8.0 scoring margin. The Bruins average 16.8 assists per game and are outrebounding foes by four boards per contest. Sophomore forward Reeves Nelson averages a double-double for UCLA with 17.6 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. Sophomore forward Tyler Honeycutt leads the team in three-pointers with eight and he is second in scoring at 14.6 ppg and rebounding at 8.0 rpg. Junior guard Lazeric Jones leads UCLA with 20 assists to complement his 12.6 points per contest. Junior guard Malcom Lee (11.5 ppg) and freshman center Joshua Smith (7.4 ppg) round out the UCLA starters. Top reserves for UCLA include sophomore forward Brendan Lane (5.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg), freshman guard Tyler Lamb (3.8 ppg) and junior guard Jerime Anderson (2.6 ppg).
The KU-UCLA Series
UCLA leads the all-time series with Kansas 10-5 yet the Jayhawks won the last meeting last season in the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series 73-61 in Los Angeles. UCLA won the previous meeting 68-55 in the West Regional finals of the 2007 NCAA Tournament in San Jose, Calif. Five of the 15 matchups have come in NCAA Tournament play with UCLA winning each of those battles. This series dates back to 1958 and UCLA won the first eight meetings, but Kansas has won five of the last seven.
Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series
Heading into the 2010-11 season, the Big 12 holds a 20-16 advantage in all matchups against the Pac-10 in the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series. Kansas is 2-1 in the series and faced Arizona in the first two years of the event and UCLA last year. The Jayhawks defeated Arizona 76-72 in overtime in 2007-08 in Allen Fieldhouse and the Wildcats won 84-67 in 2008-09 in Tucson. Last year, KU won at UCLA 73-61.
Not to overshadow the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series, but Kansas has become familiar with the Pac-10 Conference since the arrival of Bill Self in 2003-04. Under Self, Kansas has played 12 Pac-10 teams heading into 2010-11. KU has already played Arizona (a Kansas 87-79 win Nov. 27 in Las Vegas) this season and after its matchup with UCLA Thursday, the Jayhawks will face USC Dec. 18 and travel to California Dec. 22. Kansas is 8-4 against Pac-10 foes in the Bill Self era.
–Kansas leads the nation in scoring margin (+35.3), field goal percentage (57.8), assists (22.0) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.9). KU also ranks in the top five nationally in scoring offense (third at 92.0) and three-point field goal percentage defense (third at 21.1). The aforementioned is also first in the Big 12.
–Under Bill Self, Kansas has led the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense all but one season and that year KU was second. The Jayhawks’ field goal percentage defense through three games is 35.8 percent. Last year KU led the league and was fourth nationally with a 37.9 field goal percentage defense.
–Kansas’ bench averages 36.5 points compared to its opponents’ 19.5 ppg.
–Kansas’ 57-point win against Ohio (98-41) in the Las Vegas Invitational was the third-largest margin of victory in the Bill Self era and the largest in a game away from Allen Fieldhouse in the Self era.
–Kansas went 6-0 in the month of November and has 12 straight wins in the month dating back to the 2008-09 season. In the Bill Self era, KU is 31-4 (88.6 percent) in the month of November.
–Kansas has used the starting line-up of Tyshawn Taylor, Brady Morningstar, Tyrel Reed, Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris in each of the last three games.
–Junior Marcus Morris was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week on Nov. 29 following his Las Vegas Invitational MVP honors. Morris leads KU in scoring at 19.0 and has three games of 20-plus points this season. He has led Kansas in scoring in five of six games this season and has pulled down 17 rebounds in his last two games. Morris’ 19.0 ppg is fourth in the Big 12. Morris’ 67.7 shooting percentage is third in the Big 12.
–Junior Markieff Morris, twin of Marcus, was named to the Las Vegas Invitational all-tournament team. He is averaging 12.3 points per game, has scored in double figures in all but one game this season and had a season-high 15 points against Arizona (Nov. 27). Markieff’s 9.5 rebound average is fourth in the Big 12 as he has pulled down eight-plus boards in five games this season. Markieff has led KU in rebounds in four games this season.
–Junior Tyshawn Taylor leads the Big 12 and is seventh nationally in assists per game at 7.2 and has led KU in assists in five of six games this season. In his last four games, Taylor is 12-for-19 (63.2 percent) from the field. He is scoring 9.3 points per game compared to 7.2 ppg last season. Taylor is third in the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.5.
–Senior Tyrel Reed has started all six games and is averaging 9.0 points per contest. He is tied for the team lead with eight three-pointers made and is 10-for-10 from the free throw line. One of 30 nominees for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, Reed has 10 assists and six steals this season.
–Senior Brady Morningstar leads the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.6. He leads Kansas with 12 steals on the season and his 2.0 spg average is tied for seventh in the Big 12. Scoring 5.5 points per game, Morningstar had a career-high 10 assists against North Texas on Nov. 19 and is tied for 13th in the Big 12 in assists at 3.0 per game.
–Sophomore Thomas Robinson scored 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting against Arizona. He had two dunks and was 4-for-5 from the free throw line against the Wildcats. Robinson averages 6.3 rebounds which is tied for 16th in the Big 12 and his 1.2 blocked shots per game are tied for 13th.
–Sophomore Travis Releford was a Las Vegas Invitational all-tournament selection that has made five three-pointers in his last two games and eight for the season. Releford is tied for the team high with eight three-pointers made. He has scored 10-plus points in each of his last three games, including a career-high 13 points against Ohio.
–Senior Mario Little is scoring 6.5 points per game and is shooting 61.5 percent from the field. He is averaging 4.3 rebounds in his last three games. Little, 6-6, has five blocked shots on the season.
–Sophomore Jeff Withey leads Kansas with 11 blocked shots and his 1.8 blocks per game are fourth in the Big 12. He is scoring 3.5 points per game. Withey averages 8.8 minutes per game compared to 3.0 last season.
Kansas will next face Memphis on Tuesday, Dec. 7, in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The game will be televised on ESPN with a 6 p.m. (Central) start and on ESPN 3D. KU will then play Colorado State on Saturday, Dec. 11, in the M&I Bank Kansas City Shootout at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. The game will tip at 5:30 p.m. and be televised on ESPN2.