No. 1 Kansas to Host Michigan in Men's Basketball Saturday at 11 a.m.
Dec. 17, 2009
No. 1 Kansas (9-0) took this week off for final exams and hosts Big Ten Conference foe Michigan (5-4) Saturday, Dec. 19, at 11 a.m. The game will be televised on ESPN, which is promoting the game as a Green Game. In that, ESPN has been on campus filming the University of Kansas and the city of Lawrence sustainability efforts. These efforts will be featured throughout the telecast.
–Green Game promotion in conjunction with Kansas Athletics and ESPN (see note later).
–Kansas Director of Athletics Lew Perkins will present former KU great John McLendon’s widow, Joanna, with a check from Kansas Athletics to the McLendon Foundation (see note later).
–New Kansas football coach Turner Gill will be introduced at halftime and will address the Allen Fieldhouse crowd.
Kansas posted a 90-65 win against La Salle in the M&I Bank Kansas City Shootout on Dec. 12 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. Freshman Xavier Henry had a career-high 31 points in the game and was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week for the second-straight week for his efforts. Kansas averages 90.3 points per game, is giving up 57.7 points and ranks in the top five nationally with a +32.7 scoring margin. KU is shooting 51.2 percent from the field, while its opponents are shooting 34.3 percent. Only one KU opponent, Radford, has shot above 40 percent against the Jayhawks this season. Xavier Henry leads the team with an 18 point scoring average. He is making 53.3 percent of his shots from three-point range and leads KU with 24 threes and 16 steals. Senior guard Sherron Collins scores 13.3 points per game and he has made 19 three pointers. Collins leads the team with 40 assists, which are five ahead of sophomore guard Tyshawn Taylor (7.3 ppg). Taylor has 14 steals, two ahead of Collins (12). Junior center Cole Aldrich leads the team in rebounds with 9.6 per game. He also leads KU and the Big 12 in blocked shots with 3.6 per outing. Sophomore forward Marcus Morris is a starter who is scoring 9.8 points and pulling down 5.3 rebounds per game. Sophomore forward Markieff Morris is coming off the bench to score 8.9 points per game. Markieff, who recorded his first career double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds against La Salle on Dec. 12, is second on the team with his 6.2 rebound average and leads KU with a 69.8 percent field goal shooting. Junior guard Tyrel Reed scores 4.8 points per outing and he has 10 three-pointers this season. Freshman guard Elijah Johnson (4.3 ppg) has started the last two games. Thomas Robinson (5.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg) is another regular who scored 10 points with seven rebounds against Radford (Dec. 9).
Kansas is the five-time defending Big 12 champion, finished 27-8 last season and won the 2009 league title outright with a 14-2 conference record. The Jayhawks advanced to their third-straight NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 before falling to NCAA runner-up Michigan State in Indianapolis last year.
Located in Ann Arbor, Mich., and coached by John Beilein, Michigan has won two of its last three games and is 5-4 on the season following its 75-64 win against Detroit on Dec. 13 in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines average 71.1 points and give up 63.9 per game for a +7.2 scoring margin. U-M averages 8.2 steals per game and forces 15.6 turnovers per contest. Michigan is one of the youngest teams in America with 12 players redshirt sophomores or younger. Junior guard Manny Harris leads the team with 22.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. Harris also has a team-high 18 steals and 45 assists. He is tied for the team lead with 13 three pointers along with sophomore guard Laval Lucas-Perry, who is scoring 7.4 points per game. Senior forward DeShawn Sims is second on the team in scoring at 15.6 points per contest and he is just behind Harris in rebounds with a 7.4 average. Sophomore guard Zack Novak and freshman guard Darius Morris round out the starters. Novak scores 6.3 points per game, while Morris averages 4.8 ppg. Senior forward Zack Gibson (6.0 ppg) and sophomore guard Stu Douglass (4.7 ppg) each average more than 24 minutes per game for the Wolverines.
Michigan has won all five meetings with Kansas in men’s basketball. This is a rarity for Kansas – the third-winningest program in NCAA Division I – because of teams with multiple games played against Kansas, Bradley (2-0) and UTEP (3-0) are the only teams that have undefeated records versus KU. The Kansas-Michigan series dates back to 1949 and runs through 1992. Two of the matchups have been on neutral floors with a 49-47 Michigan win in 1949 in Kansas City and the last meeting, an 86-74 Michigan victory on Dec. 30, 1992, at the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu. This will be the second meeting between the schools in Allen Fieldhouse as Michigan defeated Kansas 64-52 during the 1980-81 season.
–Kansas remains one of 11 undefeated teams in NCAA Division I (Dec. 13). Others include Georgetown, Kentucky, Missouri State, New Mexico, Purdue, Seton Hall, Syracuse, Texas, Texas Tech and West Virginia.
–Seven of Kansas’ nine victories this season have been by 25 or more points with six of those by 30 points or more.
–Entering the week, Kansas led the nation in scoring margin at +32.7. The Jayhawks also ranked in the top 10 nationally in scoring offense (third at 90.3), field goal percentage (seventh at 51.2), field goal percentage defense (second at 34.3), three-point field goal percentage (fifth at 44.2), assists (fourth at 19.7), assist-to-turnover ratio (fourth at 1.65) and blocked shots (seventh at 7.4).
–KU averages 7.4 blocked shots per game to its opponents’ 3.2.
–Kansas has shot 50 percent or better in six of nine games this season.
–The Jayhawks’ bench outscored La Salle’s bench 25-3 in its last game. KU’s averages 31.3 points per game compared to 13.6 by its opponents.
–Through nine games, seven different Jayhawks, including ties, have led the team in steals, seven in points and five in assists.
–Kansas forces 16.7 turnovers per game and averages 21.3 points off turnovers per game.
–Senior Sherron Collins has scored in double figures in seven games this season. He has 12 assists in his last two games and averages 4.4 assists on the season. He is second on the team in scoring and his 13.3 ppg ranks 19th in the Big 12. Collins also ranks among the league leaders in assists (sixth at 4.4), three-point field goal percentage (seventh at .432), three-point field goals made (eighth at 2.1) and assist-to-turnover ratio (fourth at 2.9).
–Junior Cole Aldrich, an Academic All-America candidate, is coming off a season-high 19 points against La Salle (Dec. 12). He leads the Big 12 and is seventh nationally with 3.6 blocked shots per game. Aldrich tied his season high with five blocked shots against La Salle (Dec. 12) and has had at least three blocked shots in all but one game this season. He led the league with 2.7 blocked shots per game last year and his 160 career blocked shots are sixth on the KU list. Aldrich has pulled down 10 or more rebounds in three of his last five games and is third in the Big 12 in rebounding at 9.6 rpg. He has three double-doubles this season.
–Freshman Xavier Henry was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week for the second-straight week on Dec. 14 following his career-high 31 points against La Salle on 10-of-15 shooting. He has led KU in scoring in five of nine games this season and has a team-best and Big 12 freshmen-leading 18.0 scoring average. He has shot 50 percent or better from the floor in all but one game this season and is making 53.3 percent from three-point range. The last KU freshman to lead the team in scoring was Brandon Rush in 2005-06 at 13.5 ppg. Henry ranks seventh in the Big 12 in scoring at 18.0 ppg, fourth in field goal percentage at .556, second in three-point field goal percentage at .533 and third in three pointers made at 2.7.
–Sophomore Markieff Morris scored nine points on 4-of-6 shooting against La Salle (Dec. 12). He has pulled down six or more rebounds in four of his last six games. He also had a career-high four blocked shots against the Explorers. Two games earlier, Markieff had a career-high 19 points at UCLA (Dec. 6) on 8-of-11 shooting. He is shooting 69.8 percent from the field on the season and had made 15 consecutive shots at one point. Markieff ranks 13th in the Big 12 in rebounding at 6.2 rpg.
–Sophomore Marcus Morris had nine points and six rebounds against La Salle (Dec. 12). He has started the last seven games and is third on the team with 5.3 rebounds per contest. Marcus has pulled down six or more boards in four of his last six games. He recorded his third career double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds against Oakland (Nov. 25).
–Sophomore Tyshawn Taylor had 10 points against La Salle (Dec. 12) to mark his second double figure scoring game of the season. He has 12 assists in his last two games and five or more assists in three of his last four contests. Taylor’s five rebounds against Radford (Dec. 9) were a season high. Taylor had a career-high five steals against Alcorn State (Dec. 2). Taylor ranks tied for 11th in the Big 12 in steals at 1.6, eighth in assists at 3.9 and 10th in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.9.
–Freshman Elijah Johnson has started the last two games and had a career-high 11 points in his starting debut against Radford (Dec. 9). Johnson had nine assists against Alcorn State (Dec. 2) in addition to four rebounds. He is third on the team with 24 assists.
–Junior Tyrel Reed, an Academic All-America candidate, has made 10 three pointers and 15 field goals on the season. He played a season-high 22 minutes at UCLA (Dec. 6) with five points. He is averaging 4.8 points per game.
–Freshman Thomas Robinson had 10 points against Radford (Dec. 9) to record his second double-figure scoring game of the season. He has pulled down four or more rebounds in seven of nine games this season, including seven against Radford, 11 against Central Arkansas (Nov. 19) and 10 versus Alcorn State (Dec. 2). He recorded his first career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds against Alcorn State. For the season, he is scoring 5.4 points and pulling down 5.1 rebounds per game.
–Freshman C.J. Henry had a career-high 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting against Radford (Dec. 9). Henry was 3-for-4 from three-point range versus RU with one blocked shot in 10 minutes. C.J. is 9-for-15 (60 percent) from the field this season, including 7-of-13 (53.8 percent) from three-point range.
Kansas Athletics to Donate to McLendon Foundation
Kansas native John McLendon was a true basketball pioneer with a long list of remarkable achievements. As a student at the University of Kansas in the 1930’s, McLendon was the first African-American to study under James Naismith, and he became Dr. Naismith’s advisee during his time here in Lawrence. McLendon, who passed away in 1999, broke down racial barriers to become an outstanding, innovative coach, winning several championships during his groundbreaking career. His first came in 1957, when he coached Tennessee A&I State University to the first of three-straight NAIA championships. He made his mark internationally as well, assisting as a coach on the U.S. Olympic team in 1968 and 1972. In 1966 he was hired by Cleveland State University, and became the first African-American head basketball coach at a predominantly white institution. In addition to his coaching achievements, McLendon held administrative positions at several colleges, including North Carolina College, Hampton Institute, Tennessee State University and Cleveland State University. In 1998 the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics honored him by founding the McLendon Foundation to aid minority students pursuing a graduate degree in athletics administration. The McLendon Scholarship program has provided more than 30 postgraduate scholarships, each in the amount of $10,000. Additionally, in 2007 the McLendon Foundation established the McLendon Minority Athletics Administrators Hall of Fame to recognize and honor the dedication of longtime minority athletics administrators. Last June, KU’s Gale Sayers was inducted into the McLendon Minority Athletics Administrators Hall of Fame. At halftime of the Michigan game, KU Director of Athletics Lew Perkins will present McLendon’s widow, Joanna McLendon, and Mike Cleary, executive director of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, a $10,000 donation from Kansas Athletics to the McLendon Foundation.
Kansas hosts Pac-10 foe California on Tuesday, Dec. 22 at 8 p.m. The Jayhawks will then host Belmont the following Tuesday, Dec. 29 at 8 p.m. to close out the 2009 calendar year.