Jayhawks and Minutemen to Play in M&I Bank Kansas City Shootout Saturday at 1 p.m.

Dec. 11, 2008

Kansas notes for UMass game in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

Kansas returns to the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., for the third time this season when it plays host to Massachusetts in the M&I Bank Kansas City Shootout, Dec. 13 at 1 p.m. on ESPN. Kansas has won three straight and is 7-1 on the season. Massachusetts is 2-6 after its 73-59 win against Holy Cross Wednesday. The UMass game is considered a home game for Kansas as it is part of the KU season ticket package. Kansas has won 30 straight home games, the fourth longest streak in the nation.

About Kansas

Kansas is 7-1 after defeating Jackson State 86-62 last Saturday. Kansas has won its last 30 home games dating back to the last four contests in Allen Fieldhouse of the 2006-07 season. Included was last season’s win against Ohio in the Sprint Center and this contest against Massachusetts is also a home game for KU. Kansas is scoring 83.5 points per game and giving up 62.2 for a Big 12-leading +21.3 scoring margin. The Jayhawks force 16.8 turnovers per game. KU leads the Big 12 in free throw percentage at 73.8 percent. KU is outrebounding foes by a +9.9 rebound margin and outshooting opponents 48.2 percent to 36 percent. KU’s lone loss on the season was 89-81 in overtime to Syracuse in the championship game of the CBE Classic at the Sprint Center in Kansas City.

Junior guard Sherron Collins leads KU in scoring at 17.8 points per game. Collins has led the team in scoring in six of eight games this season and has a team-high 17 three-point field goals and 39 assists. Sophomore center Cole Aldrich is one of two players in the Big 12 who average a double-double with 14.4 points and 10.1 rebounds. The other is Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin. Aldrich has recorded a double-double in four of his last five games. Aldrich has 22 of KU’s 45 blocked shots for a Big 12-leading 2.8 per game. Freshman guard Tyshawn Taylor became the fourth Jayhawk to score 20-plus points this season with his career-high 23 points against New Mexico State on Dec. 3. He is averaging 11.8 points on the season and is second on the team with 30 assists. Freshman forward Marcus Morris (8.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg) is a starter who has two double-doubles in 2008-09. Sophomore guard Brady Morningstar rounds out the KU starters. He is scoring 7.1 points per game. Sophomore guard Tyrel Reed (7.3 ppg) and freshman forward Markieff Morris (5.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg) are the first KU subs. Freshman forward Quintrell Thomas (3.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg) and freshman guard Travis Releford (4.4 ppg) are also in KU’s rotation.

About Massachusetts

After winning its season opener, Massachusetts lost six straight and is 2-6 on the season after its 73-59 win against Holy Cross Wednesday. Four of the six losses have been by seven points or less, including an 85-80 overtime loss to Boston College on Dec. 6. Massachusetts is scoring 71.5 points per game and giving up 73.9. The Minutemen are outrebounding opponents 36.9 to 36.5 and have 21 more blocked shots and 19 more three pointers than their foes. Junior guard Ricky Harris leads UMass with 21.3 points per game. He has made a team-high 29 three pointers. Senior guard Chris Lowe is scoring at 12.6 ppg and he leads the team with 49 assists. Senior forward Tony Gaffney is dominating the boards with a 12.9 rebound average to go along with his 13.3 points per game. He has 43 of UMass’ 55 blocked shots this season. Sophomore guard Anthony Gurley (12.4 ppg, 15 three-pointers) and freshman forward/center Tyrell Lynch (3.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg) round out the Massachusetts starters. Freshman guard David Gibbs (2.4 ppg) and sophomore guard Matt Glass (2.1 ppg) are top reserves for the Minutemen.

The Series

Kansas leads the overall series with Massachusetts 3-1, with UMass winning the last meeting 64-60 on Jan. 16, 1999, in Amherst, Mass. Then-No. 6 KU won the first meeting 86-75 against then-No. 15 Massachusetts in the championship of the 1993 Preseason NIT at Madison Square Garden. The following season, No. 7 KU defeated No. 1 UMass 81-75 on Dec. 3, 1994, in the John Wooden Classic in Anaheim, Calif. Three seasons later, Kansas edged Massachusetts 73-71, in Allen Fieldhouse on Dec. 10, 1997.

Team Notables

–After going 32-for-36 from the free throw line vs. Kent State,15-for-17 vs. New Mexico State and 14-of-17 vs. Jackson State, Kansas leads the Big 12 in free throw percentage at 73.8 percent. KU has shot 80 percent or better from the line in four games this season, including its last three.

–Besides free throw percentage, Kansas leads the Big 12 in rebounding (42.5), rebound margin (+9.9) and rebound defense (32.6).

–KU is 77-9 (89.5 percent) in its last 86 games.

–KU has outshot seven of eight opponents this season and has shot 50 percent or better in three games – 50 percent vs. Washington, 52.7 percent vs. Coppin State and a season-best 54.9 percent against New Mexico State. Syracuse outshot KU 48.3 percent to 41.9 percent. Last year, KU outshot 39 of 40 opponents.

–Through eight games, four different Jayhawks have scored 20 or more points this season. Sherron Collins leads the list with two 20-point efforts (25 vs. Florida Gulf Coast and 21 vs. Syracuse). Other 20-point scorers include Brady Morningstar (21 vs. Coppin State), Cole Aldrich (23 vs. Coppin State) and Tyshawn Taylor (23 vs. New Mexico State).

–Kansas has held 118 of its last 121 opponents to under 50 percent shooting, including all eight foes this season.

–Kansas is 4-0 against opponents with preseason conference player(s) of the year – Jon Brockman of Washington, Tywain McKee of Coppin State, Al Fisher of Kent State and Grant Maxey of Jackson State.

–KU won its 30th straight home game with an 86-62 win against Jackson State Dec. 6. The 30-game home winning streak is the fourth longest nationally. It also ranks as the fourth longest home winning streak in KU history.

–Kansas posted its 100th game of scoring 100 points in the 100-79 win against defending WAC champion New Mexico State Dec. 3.

Player Notables

–Junior guard Sherron Collins is Kansas’ leading scorer with 17.8 ppg (sixth in Big 12) and has led KU in scoring in six of eight games this season. Collins posted his first double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 assists against New Mexico State Dec. 3. He also leads Kansas in three-pointers with 17, assists with 39 and steals with 13. Collins is ninth in the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 46.4, fifth in assists at 4.9, third in free throw percentage at 84, tied for 12th in steals at 1.6, 15th in three-point field goal percentage at 39.5, tied for 12th in three-pointers made at 2.1 and 10th in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.6.

–Sophomore center Cole Aldrich is in good company as he and Oklahoma standout Blake Griffin are the only two Big 12 players to average a double-double. Aldrich is at 14.4 ppg and 10.1 rpg, while Griffin is at 24.8 ppg and 16.3 rpg. Aldrich has recorded a double-double in four of his last five games and just missed with 11 points and eight rebounds against Jackson State. Aldrich leads the Big 12 in free throw percentage at 88.6 and in blocked shots at 2.8 per game. He is second in the conference in rebounds at 10.1 rpg, 15th in scoring at 14.4 and third in field goal percentage at 57.5.

–Freshman guard Tyshawn Taylor has scored in double digits in each of the last six games. He led Kansas in scoring with a career-high 23 points against New Mexico State on Dec. 3. Averaging 27 minutes per contest, Taylor has started all but the opener for KU and has scored in double digits in six straight games. He is 12-for-13 from the free throw line in his last four games and has six steals in his last three outings. Taylor ranks 13th in the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.6.

–Sophomore Brady Morningstar has started all eight games for KU with a 7.1 ppg and 2.2 assist-to-turnover ratio. His 27.1 minutes per game are third most on the team.

–Freshman Marcus Morris has scored in double digits in two of his last three games with 14 points against Kent State Dec. 1 and 13 in his last game versus Jackson State. Marcus has two double-doubles on the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds against Syracuse and 14 points and 10 rebounds against Kent State. Marcus leads the Big 12 freshmen in rebounding at 6.5 rpg, which ties for ninth overall in the conference.

–Freshman Markieff Morris has scored eight points in each of his last two games. His 5.6 rebounds per game are 19th in the Big 12 and are second among league freshmen behind brother Marcus’ 6.5 rpg.

–Freshman Quintrell Thomas is 8-for-10 (80 percent) from the field in his last three games, including a 5-for-5 effort against New Mexico State Dec. 3. His 10 points against the Aggies was his first double digit scoring game of the season.

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. Saturday’s game will mark KU’s 267th game all-time in Kansas City, and its seventh in the Sprint Center. Last season, KU defeated Ohio, 88-51, on Dec. 15 in the Kansas City Shootout and won the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship going 3-0 en route to its NCAA national championship. Earlier this season Kansas defeated Washington 73-54 and lost to Syracuse 89-81 in overtime at the CBE Classic at the Sprint Center. The loss dropped KU to 5-1 in the Sprint Center in only two seasons. KU played 104 games in Kemper Arena with an 80-24 record. KU is 190-75 in games played in Kansas City. Kansas is 28-1 in its last 29 regular-season games 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 Tournament titles in 1997, 1998 and 1999.

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

–When KU faces UMass on Dec. 13, 2008, at the Sprint Center for the M&I Bank Kansas City Shootout, Kansas will have played at least one regular-season game in Kansas City in 18 of the last 20 seasons. The loss to Syracuse on Nov. 25 was KU’s first regular-season loss in Kansas City since losing to Ohio State, 64-61, on Jan. 2, 1983.

Up Next

Kansas takes a week off for fall semester final exams and returns to Allen Fieldhouse to face Temple on Saturday, Dec. 20 at 1:30 p.m. (Central). The game will be televised on ESPN2. KU will then play at Arizona on Tuesday, Dec. 23 at 9:30 p.m. (Central) before returning home to host Albany on Dec. 30.