Kansas Men's Basketball Hosts South Florida Saturday at 4:15 p.m.
Dec. 1, 2011
Kansas Faces Second BIG EAST Foe
No. 15/14 Kansas continues its five-game homestand when it plays host to the University of South Florida (USF), Saturday, Dec. 3 at 4:15 p.m. on ESPN2. The Jayhawks are 4-2 on the season and defeated Florida Atlantic, 77-54, on Nov. 30 in Allen Fieldhouse. USF is 5-3 on the season and looking to bounce back from a 69-46 loss at Virginia Commonwealth on Nov. 30. The 1966 Kansas men’s basketball team will celebrate its 45th anniversary this weekend in Lawrence. More on the 1966 KU squad later in this release.
No. 15/14 Kansas is 4-2 on the season after defeating Florida Atlantic (FAU), 77-54, on Nov. 30. Both of Kansas’ losses this season have been to teams ranked sixth or higher, including current No. 1 Kentucky. Kansas averages 73.7 points per game and allows 61.7 for a +12.0 scoring margin. KU is outrebounding foes by 8.2 per game after its 53-32 board advantage against FAU. Additionally, KU averages 14.0 assists per contest. The Jayhawks are led by junior forward Thomas Robinson who is scoring 16.5 points per game and senior guard Tyshawn Taylor who averages 16.3 points per contest. Robinson, an all-tournament selection at the Maui Invitational who was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Player of the Week Nov. 28, averages a double-double with his league-leading 12.8 rebounds per game this season. He had a career-high 17 rebounds against FAU and has six double-doubles in six games for KU in 2011-12. Taylor is second on the team with 20 assists, behind junior guard Elijah Johnson’s 22. Taylor has seven three-pointers made this season. Johnson averages 9.7 points per game and has made a team-best 10 three-pointers. He also leads the Jayhawks with 11 steals in 2011-12. Rounding out the KU starters are juniors Travis Releford and Jeff Withey. A guard, Releford averages 8.5 points per game and is second on the team with nine steals. Withey, KU’s center, has scored in double figures in each of his last two games and is averaging 8.2 points per contest. He had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds against No. 6 Duke (Nov. 23). Withey is second on the team with 5.7 rebounds per outing and leads KU with 13 blocked shots. Senior guard Conner Teahan scores 6.2 points per game and has made nine three-pointers. Sophomore Justin Wesley joins Teahan as the first two off the bench. Wesley averages 2.8 points and 2.8 rebounds per contest. Junior forward Kevin Young (4.0 ppg, 3.4 rpg) and freshman guard Naadir Tharpe (1.3 ppg, eight assists) are the other KU regulars.
Located in Tampa, Fla., with an enrollment of 47,576, USF looks to rebound from a 69-46 loss at VCU on Nov. 30. The Bulls are 5-3 on the season. A deep team, which has nine players averaging 19-plus minutes, USF averages 63.8 points and gives up 57.5 for a +6.3 scoring margin. The Bulls also lead opponents on the boards with a +3.6 rebound margin and average 4.1 blocked shots per game. Sophomore guard/forward Victor Rudd Jr. leads the team in scoring at 12.5 points per game. He has also made a team-best 16 three-pointers, averages 4.8 rebounds per contest and has seven steals. Senior forward Augustus Gilchrist is next in scoring at 11.6 points per game and he leads USF with 13 blocked shots. Gilchrist, a preseason All-BIG EAST selection, pulls down 6.8 rebounds per outing. He missed the last three games prior to Kansas with a shoulder injury but is expected to return Saturday. Senior forward Ron Anderson Jr. is a starter who scores 11.0 points per game and leads the team in rebounding with a 7.6 average. Junior forward Toarlyn Fitzpatrick (8.7 ppg) is just behind Anderson in rebounds with 7.3 per contest. Other USF regulars include sophomore guard Blake Nash (8.8 ppg, nine three-pointers, nine steals), freshman guard Anthony Collins (6.7 ppg, a team-best 19 assists), senior guard Hugh Robertson (5.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg, nine steals), junior guard Shaun Noriega (4.5 ppg, eight three-pointers) and sophomore guard LaVonte Dority (3.4 ppg, 16 assists).
–Kansas has outrebounded five of its six opponents this season, including 53-32 against Florida Atlantic on Nov. 30.
–Three different Jayhawks – Thomas Robinson, Tyshawn Taylor and Elijah Johnson – have led Kansas in scoring through six games.
–Kansas has shot 75 percent or better from the free throw line in four of its last five games. Kansas is third in the Big 12 in free throw percentage at 75.0 percent.
–KU has blocked four or more shots in five of six games this season, including a season-high 13 against Florida Atlantic.
–Junior Thomas Robinson leads the Big 12 in rebounds with 12.8 boards per contest. Robinson is fifth in the league in scoring at 16.5 ppg, is ninth in field goal percentage at 45.7 percent and tied for seventh in blocked shots at 1.5 per contest.
–Senior Tyshawn Taylor is averaging 19.5 points against ranked teams this season – 22 vs. Kentucky and 17 vs. Duke. He is sixth in the Big 12 in scoring at 16.3 ppg, tied for 10th in assists at 3.3, ninth in free throw percentage at 80.4 and 12th in assist-to-turnover ratio at 0.9.
–Junior Elijah Johnson has had at least one steal in every game this season and multiple steals in three contests. Johnson is tied for fourth in the Big 12 in steals at 1.8 per game and ninth in assists at 3.7. His 1.7 three-pointers made per game are tied for 13th in the league.
–Junior Jeff Withey leads KU with 13 blocked shots this season. Withey ranks fifth in the Big 12 with 2.2 blocked shots per game and his 5.7 rebound average is tied for 15th in the conference.
–Junior Travis Releford had 11 points and a season-high six rebounds against Florida Atlantic (Nov. 30). His 1.5 steals per game are tied for 11th in the Big 12.
–Senior Conner Teahan went 3-for-5 from three-point range against Florida Atlantic in scoring nine points, his most since 11 in the season opener against Towson (Nov. 11). Teahan’s 45.0 percent from three-point range is fifth in the Big 12.
–Sophomore Justin Wesley averages 15.5 minutes per game and is 6-for-10 (60 percent) from the field.
1966 Team Celebrates 45th Anniversary This Weekend
The 1966 Kansas men’s basketball team will celebrate its 45th anniversary this weekend and will be recognized during the KU-South Florida contest Saturday. The majority of the team plans to attend the weekend festivities. In head coach Ted Owens’ second season, the 1965-66 Jayhawks posted an impressive 23-4 record and won the Big Eight Conference regular-season title going 13-1. The Jayhawks won the Big Eight Holiday Tournament in Kansas City and would later advance to the NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional finals falling to Texas Western, now UTEP, in an 81-80 double-overtime thriller. KU would end the year ranked No. 4 in the national polls. Two members of the 1966 team, Walt Wesley and Jo Jo White, have had their KU jerseys retired. Wesley led the 1966 team in scoring with 20.7 points per game and rebounding with an 8.8 average. White scored 11.3 points per outing as a freshman on the 1966 squad. Al Lopes contributed 12.4 points per game for the Jayhawks and Delvy Lewis chipped in 10.9 per outing. Ron Franz was also a starter on the team who scored 9.6 points per contest.
Men’s Basketball General Admission Tickets On-Sale December 5
General Admission tickets for upcoming Kansas men’s basketball games will go on sale to the general public Monday, December 5. The games included in the December 5 on-sale date are Howard, North Dakota, Iowa State, Baylor, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma. Reserved tickets are currently available for Iowa State, Baylor, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Texas Tech. Reserved tickets are $80 and general admission tickets will be $50. If available, general admission tickets to remaining home games against Oklahoma State and Texas Tech will go on sale January 23. The Kansas State, Missouri and Texas games are sold out.
Kansas will host Long Beach State in its third game of a five-game homestand on Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 8 p.m. on ESPNU in Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks will then host current No. 2 Ohio State on Saturday, Dec. 10, at 2:15 p.m. on ESPN. KU will play Davidson in the M&I Kansas City Shootout at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., on Monday, Dec. 19, at 8 p.m. on ESPN. The KU-Davidson contest is part of the Kansas home season ticket package.