No. 17/18 Kansas Returns Home to Face Howard Thursday at 7 p.m. in Men's Hoops
Dec. 27, 2011
Kansas Returns Home
No. 17/18 Kansas (8-3) returns home following its 63-47 win at Southern California in its first true road game on Dec. 22. The Jayhawks are 5-0 in Allen Fieldhouse this season and take an 11-game home court winning streak into the Howard contest. Howard is 4-9 on the season after its 88-83 overtime win against Delaware on Dec. 22. The Bison are in the middle of playing five games in 12 days. Howard will travel to KansasState on Dec. 31 before returning to Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) action on Jan. 4 versus CoppinState. KU will be the third ranked foe Howard will have faced this season.
Kansas (8-3) won its first true road game of the season, 63-47, at Pac-12 foe USC on Dec. 22. Kansas averages 74.1 points per game and allows 62.4 for a +11.7 scoring margin. KU is using solid defense as five opponents have scored 56 or less points this season. KU is outrebounding foes by 7.7 per game, including four games of +10 or better. Additionally, KU averages 15.0 assists per contest. The Jayhawks are led by All-American candidate Thomas Robinson, who is the only player in the Big 12 Conference this season to average a double-double with 17.4 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. He has posted three 20-point games in his last four contests, including a career-high 26 against Long BeachState (12/6), 21 versus OhioState (12/10) and 21 versus Davidson (12/19). Also against Davidson, Robinson pulled down a career-high 18 rebounds. He just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds at USC. Robinson has a league-leading eight double-doubles on the season. Senior guard Tyshawn Taylor is next in scoring at 15.3 points per game. Taylor, who leads Kansas with 58 assists, underwent knee surgery on Dec. 11 and returned to start against Davidson. Junior guard Elijah Johnson has made 10 three-pointers in his last three games. He is scoring 10.3 points per game, leads KU with 22 threes and is second on the squad with 39 assists. Johnson also has 16 steals, including four at USC. Rounding out the KU starters are juniors Travis Releford and Jeff Withey. A guard, Releford averages 7.9 points per game and leads the team with 17 steals, including a career-high four against Davidson. Withey, KU’s center, had a near triple-double with 13 points, 13 rebounds and nine blocked shots against Long BeachState. Withey is averaging 8.0 points and 6.4 rebounds per contest. He leads KU with 29 blocked shots. Senior guard Conner Teahan, who started against Long BeachState, scores 7.8 points per game and has made 21 three-pointers, which is second most on the team. Sophomore forward Justin Wesley joins Teahan as the first two off the bench. Wesley averages 2.2 points and 2.5 rebounds per contest. Junior forward Kevin Young (4.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg) and freshman guard Naadir Tharpe (0.8 ppg, nine assists) are the other KU regulars.
Located in Washington, D.C., with an enrollment of 10,500, Howard is 4-9 on the season. The Bison are 4-1 at home, 0-7 on the road and 0-1 at neutral sites. Howard has eight new players on its 2011-12 roster, including six freshmen. Senior guard Glen Andrews has played in just three of Howard’s 12 games and is the team’s leading scorer with 14.0 points per game. He averages three three-pointers made per game and averages 4.3 rebounds per contest. Junior guard Calvin Thompson, who missed three games due to a groin injury, is next in scoring at 11.3 points per game. He averages 4.5 rebounds and is second on the team with 21 assists. Junior forward Mike Phillips leads the Bison in rebounding with 6.9 boards per contest to complement his 10.2 scoring average. Rounding out the Howard starters are sophomore center Alphonso Leary (5.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg) and freshman guard/forward Prince Okoroh (8.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg). Top reserve freshman guard Simuel Frazier lead the team with 15 steals. Frazier scores 9.2 points per game. Sophomore guard Tre Lee (4.0 ppg) is like, Andrews, has played in only three games and has averaged 22 minutes per contest. Other Howard regulars include junior forward Dadrian Collins (6.2 ppg, including a team-high 15 three-pointers) and junior guard Anton Dickerson (4.7 ppg).
The KU-Howard Series
Kansas won the only meeting with Howard 100-67 on March 20, 1992, in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament at the Midwest Regional in Dayton, Ohio. Greg Ostertag paced KU with 16 points, while Adonis Jordan scored 15 and Eric Pauley 12. Richard Scott led all rebounders with eight boards to go along with his eight points. The 100 points marked the first time the Jayhawks had reached the century mark in NCAA Tournament play, a feat that has been accomplished five times since. The 1992 Jayhawks finished the season with a 27-5 record, won the Big Eight Conference regular season and tournament titles and finished ranked No. 2 in the national polls.
–Kansas has outrebounded its 10 of 11 opponents this season, including the last 10 games. The Jayhawks have four games with a +10 rebound margin: 34-21 vs. UCLA (11/2), 53-32 vs. Florida Atlantic (11/30) , 41-24 vs. Long BeachState (12/6) and 39-29 at USC (12/22).
–Three different Jayhawks – Thomas Robinson, Tyshawn Taylor and Elijah Johnson – have led Kansas in scoring through 11 games.
–KU has shot a higher percentage than nine of 11 opponents this season.
–Kansas has shot 70 percent or better from the free throw line in six games this season.
–KU has blocked four or more shots in eight of 11 games this season, including a season-high 13 against Florida Atlantic (11/30). KU had 12 blocked shots against Long BeachState (12/6).
–Kansas has 55 dunks to its opponents’ 16 through nine games. Thomas Robinson leads KU with 26 dunks, while Jeff Withey has 10.
–Junior Thomas Robinson has scored 21-plus points in three of his last four games and has four 20-point efforts this season. He pulled down a career-high 18 rebounds against Davidson (12/19) to go along with 21 points. Robinson, who just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds at USC (12/22), is the only player in the Big 12 who is averaging a double-double with 17.4 ppg and 11.8 rpg. His eight double-doubles, like his 11.8 rebounds per game, lead the Big 12. Robinson’s 17.4 points are fourth in the league and he also ranks seventh in field goal percentage (50.3) and tied for ninth in blocked shots (1.2).
–Senior Tyshawn Taylor underwent knee surgery on Dec. 11 but returned to start the Davidson contest on Dec. 19, where he scored 15 points and had seven assists. Taylor’s 15.3 points per game are sixth in the Big 12. Also in the league, he is third in assists at 5.3 and 11th in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.3. He has averaged 9.7 assists over his last three games. Taylor has two 20-point efforts this season and has scored in double figures in 10 of 11 games played.
–Junior Elijah Johnson led Kansas in scoring for the second time this season with 14 points at USC (12/22). He set his career high with four steals against the Trojans. He has averaged 14.7 points in his last three games and has scored 10.3 ppg for the year. Johnson has started every game this season for KU and leads the team with 22 three-pointers made. He is second on the team in assists with 39. Johnson is 10th in the Big 12 in assists at 3.5, ninth in steals at 1.5, ninth in three-pointers made at 2.0 and eighth in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.6.
–Junior Jeff Withey just missed his third double-double of the season with nine points and nine rebounds at USC (12/22). He scored nine points on 4-of-6 shooting against Davidson (12/19). He nearly had a triple-double with 13 points, 13 rebounds and nine blocked shots against Long BeachState (12/6). His nine blocked shots rank No. 2 on the KU single-game records list and were just one shy of Cole Aldrich’s 10 against Dayton in the 2009 NCAA Tournament. Withey leads KU with 29 blocked shots this season and has multiple blocks in each of his last four games and eight contests in 2011-12. Withey is tied for first in the Big 12 with 2.6 blocked shots per game and his 6.4 rebound average is 10th in the conference.
–Junior Travis Releford tied his career high with six rebounds against Davidson (12/19). He has started every game this season and has scored in double figures three of his last six games and five times in 2011-12. Releford leads KU with 17 steals, including a career-high four against Davidson. His 1.5 steals per game are fifth in the Big 12.
–Senior Conner Teahan has made 15 three-pointers in his last six games, including a career-high four twice — at USC (12/22) and against Long Beach State (12/6). He scored a career-high 14 points versus LBSU and had 13 at USC. Through 11 games, Teahan’s 86 points are a career best for a season. His previous high was 46 back in 2007-08, Kansas’ national championship season. Teahan is ninth in the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 41.2 and 10th in three-pointers made at 1.9.
–Sophomore Justin Wesley averages 12.8 minutes per game and is 9-for-17 (52.9 percent) from the field.
–Junior Kevin Young’s best performance of the season came against No. 2 Ohio State (12/10) with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting. He has pulled down four or more rebounds in four of his last six games and five times this season.
Jayhawks on NBA Opening Day Rosters
A total of 12 Kansas Jayhawks appeared on NBA opening-day rosters for the 2011-12 season. NBA Finals MVP Paul Pierce leads the list heading into his 13th season with the Boston Celtics. The Memphis Grizzlies have three Jayhawks on their roster – Darrell Arthur, Xavier Henry and Josh Selby, while the Oklahoma City Thunder has two – Cole Aldrich and Nick Collison. Other KU players on opening day NBA rosters include Mario Chalmers (Miami), Drew Gooden (Milwaukee), Kirk Hinrich (Atlanta), Marcus Morris (Houston), Markieff Morris (Phoenix) and Brandon Rush (GoldenState).
Kansas will remain at home to close out the 2011 calendar year hosting North Dakota on Saturday, Dec. 31 at 3 p.m. on ESPNU. The Big 12 season starts for Kansas on Jan. 4 when the Jayhawks host KansasState at 7 p.m. on the Big 12 Television Network.