No. 4 Kansas to Play Colorado State in M&I Bank Kansas City Shootout at Sprint Center Saturday

Dec. 9, 2010

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M&I Bank Kansas City Shootout

Fourth-ranked Kansas returns to the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., when it plays host to Colorado State in the M&I Bank Kansas City Shootout, Dec. 11 at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN2. Kansas is 8-0 after its 81-68 win against No. 14 Memphis in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Dec. 7. Colorado State is 4-2 on the season after its 90-83 loss at Colorado on Dec. 8.

About Kansas

Kansas is 8-0 for the second straight season and fourth time in the Bill Self era. KU leads the Big 12 in scoring (88,8), scoring margin (+28.3), field goal percentage (56.9), three-point field goal percentage (41.5), three-point field goal percentage defense (24.4), assists (20.9), blocked shots (6.3) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6). Junior forward Marcus Morris leads the team with an 18.0 scoring average and is second on the team with 10 three-pointers made, a 63.2 field goal percentage and a 6.5 rebound average. Marcus’ twin, Markieff, a junior forward, leads Kansas in rebounds with 8.9 per contest. He is scoring 12.4 points per game after his team-high 16 points against Memphis (Dec. 7). Junior Tyshawn Taylor leads the Big 12 in assists with 6.4 per contest and he is second on the team with 14 steals. Taylor scores 10.8 points per game. Senior guard Tyrel Reed averages 9.9 points per game and has made a team-best 13 three-pointers through eight games. Reed is also 16-for-16 from the free throw line for KU. Senior guard Brady Morningstar rounds out the Kansas starters. He leads the team with 15 steals, is second on the squad with 23 assists and is scoring 5.6 points per game. Top reserves for Kansas include sophomore forward Thomas Robinson (9.5 ppg, 6.4 rpg), sophomore guard Travis Releford (7.0 ppg, eight three-pointers made, team-best 64.7 field goal percentage), senior guard Mario Little (6.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg), sophomore guard Elijah Johnson (5.7 ppg, 2.8 assists) and sophomore center Jeff Withey (2.8 ppg, 11 blocked shots).

About Colorado State

Located in Fort Collins, Colo., with an enrollment of 26,348, Colorado State is 4-2 on the season after its 90-83 loss at Colorado on Dec. 8. The Rams defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff (82-51), Denver (77-66) and Drake (78-67) and lost to Sam Houston State (92-81) prior to their trip to Boulder, Colo. CSU averages 81.3 points and has a +8.0 scoring margin. The Rams hold a +2.8 rebound margin and average 7.3 three-pointers made per game. Senior forward Andy Ogide leads CSU with a 17.5 scoring average, an 8.0 rebound average and a 68.2 shooting percentage. Senior forward Travis Franklin is next in scoring at 16.2 points per game, is also second on the team with 4.7 rebounds per contest and leads CSU with eight steals. Sophomore guard Jesse Carr, a reserve through six games, is scoring 8.0 points per game and leads the team with 20 assists. Sophomore guard Wes Eikmeier (8.2 ppg), senior forward Andre McFarland (7.7 ppg) and sophomore guard Dorian Green (7.0 ppg, 15 assists) round out the CSU starters. McFarland leads the team with 12 three-pointers made this season, while Eikmeier and Green each have eight treys. Green is a former Lawrence High School standout. Top reserves for the Rams include sophomore forward Pierce Hornung (5.0 ppg, 4.2 rpg), sophomore forward Greg Smith (4.3 ppg) and senior guard Adam Nigon (3.5 ppg).

The KU-Colorado State Series

Kansas and Colorado State are meeting for the first time in men’s basketball. Kansas has faced eight of the nine current members of the Mountain West Conference (MWC), with the only exception being Colorado State. The Jayhawks are 17-4 against the conference and last played a MWC team when they defeated UNLV 75-56 in the 2008 NCAA Tournament Midwest Region second round in Omaha, Neb. KU went on to win the 2008 NCAA National title.

KU in Kansas City

Kansas City has been a second home of sorts for Kansas over the years. KU’s first ever game — a 16-5 loss to Kansas City YMCA on Feb. 3, 1899 — was played in Kansas City. The M&I Bank Kansas City Shootout on Dec. 11 will mark KU’s 272nd game all-time in Kansas City, and its 12th in the Sprint Center. KU is 9-2 in the Sprint Center after winning the 2010 Big 12 Championship in the venue. In 2009-10, Kansas went 4-0 in the Sprint Center. In 2008-09, KU went 1-2 in the venue. In 2007-08, Kansas went 4-0 in the venue, including winning the Big 12 Championship en route to its NCAA National Championship. KU played 104 games in Kemper Arena with an 80-24 record. KU is 194-76 in games played in Kansas City.

More Notes on the Jayhawks in Kansas City

–Kansas went 26-4 in Kemper Arena from 1997 until 2006, when it played its last game in the venue. Included in that run were Big 12 Championship titles in 1997, 1998 and 1999.

–Kemper Arena was the host of the 1988 NCAA Final Four when the Jayhawks won the national championship.

–Kansas has played at least one regular-season game in Kansas City in 20 of the last 22 seasons, including every year the Sprint Center has existed.

Team Notables

–Kansas leads the Big 12 in scoring (88,8), scoring margin (+28.3), field goal percentage (56.9), three-point field goal percentage (41.5), three-point field goal percentage defense (24.4), assists (20.9), blocked shots (6.3) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6).

–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 seven games is 37.6 percent. Last year, KU led the league and was fourth nationally with a 37.9 field goal percentage defense.

–Kansas’ bench averages 31.9 points compared to its opponents’ 20.4 ppg.

–KU is 1-0 against ranked foes this season with its win against No. 13/14 Memphis (Dec. 7) in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden.

–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 ended the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series with a 3-1 record (1-1 vs. Arizona, 2-0 vs. UCLA).

–Kansas has used the starting line-up of Tyshawn Taylor, Brady Morningstar, Tyrel Reed, Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris in each of the last six games.

Individual Notables

–Junior Marcus Morris led Kansas with five assists against Memphis (Dec. 7). He has led KU in every stat at least once this season. Marcus leads KU in scoring at 18.0 ppg and has three games of 20-plus points in 2010-11. He has led Kansas in scoring in five of eight games this season and has pulled down 31 rebounds total in his last four games. Marcus’ 18.0 ppg is third in the Big 12. He also ranks among conference leaders in shooting percentage (second at 63.2) and rebounding (16th at 6.5).

–Junior Markieff Morris, twin of Marcus, led Kansas in scoring for the first time this season with 16 points against Memphis (Dec. 7). He is averaging 12.4 points per game and has scored in double figures in six contests this season. Markieff has a team-best 8.9 rebounds per game, which is fifth in the Big 12. Markieff has pulled down eight-plus boards in five games this season and has been the leading rebounder for KU in four of eight games.

–Junior Tyshawn Taylor leads the Big 12 and ranks in the top 15 nattionally in assists per game at 6.7. Taylor has led KU in assists in six of eight games this season. In his last six games, Taylor is 23-for-37 (62.1 percent) from the field. He had a season-tying 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting against UCLA (Dec. 2) with four assists and five steals and had 13 points and four rebounds against Memphis (Dec. 7). Taylor is scoring 10.8 points per game in 2010-11 compared to 7.2 ppg last season. Taylor is fifth in the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.1.

–Senior Tyrel Reed is 5-for-7 from three-point range in his last two games. Reed had eight points and tied his season high with three rebounds against Memphis (Dec. 7). He scored a career-high 17 points on 5-of-7 shooting against UCLA (Dec. 2). Reed has started all eight games and is averaging 9.9 ppg. He leads the team with 13 three-pointers made and is 16-for-16 from the free throw line. One of 30 nominees for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, Reed is ninth in the Big 12 in three-point percentage at 37.1.

–Senior Brady Morningstar is 5-for-5 form the field in his last two games and his 2-for-2 against Memphis (Dec. 7), both of which were three-pointers. Morningstar leads KU with 15 steals on the season and his 1.9 spg average are fifth in the Big 12. Scoring 5.6 points per game, Morningstar had a career-high 10 assists against North Texas (Nov. 19) and is tied for 12th in the Big 12 in assists at 2.9 per game.

–Sophomore Thomas Robinson is coming off his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds against Memphis (Dec. 7) in only 15 minutes. Robinson scored 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting against Arizona (Nov. 27). Robinson leads Kansas with eight dunks this season. He averages 9.5 points and his 6.4 rebounds are 17th in the Big 12. He has pulled down 10-plus rebounds in three games.

–Sophomore Elijah Johnson had seven points on 3-for-3 shooting (1-1 three-point range) against Memphis (Dec. 7). He also had three assists and no turnovers against the Tigers. Johnson averages 5.7 points, 2.8 assists and has a 4.3 assist-to-turnover ratio.

–Sophomore Travis Releford had six points on 2-of-3 shooting and was 2-for-2 from the free throw line against Memphis (Dec. 7). A Las Vegas Invitational all-tournament selection, Releford averages 15.5 minutes per game with a 7.0 scoring average. He has scored 10-plus points three games this season, including a career-high 13 points against Ohio (Nov. 26).

–Senior Mario Little led Kansas with eight rebounds against UCLA (Dec. 2). He also scored nine points against the Bruins, including the game-winning free throw. Little is scoring 6.0 points per game and is shooting 54.3 percent from the field. Little, 6-6, has five blocked shots on the season.

–Sophomore Jeff Withey leads Kansas with 11 blocked shots and his 1.4 blocks per game are seventh in the Big 12. He is scoring 2.8 ppg. Withey averages 7.9 minutes per game compared to 3.0 last season.

Up Next

Kansas will take a week break from the court to focus on final exams. The Jayhawks will play host to Southern California on Saturday, Dec. 18 at 11 a.m. (Central) on ESPN2. KU will then play at California on Dec. 22 at 10 p.m. (Central) on Fox Sports Net. Kansas will close out the 2010 calendar year by hosting Texas-Arlington on Dec. 29 at 8 p.m. on ESPNU.