Kansas to Host Georgia Tech in Battle of Top 10 Teams

Dec. 29, 2004

Kansas kicks off the 2005 portion of the season Jan. 1 against No. 9 Georgia Tech. Tip is set for 1:30 p.m. at Allen Fieldhouse before an ESPN national audience. It will be the first ranked foe KU will play in 2004-05. The Jayhawks are ranked No. 2 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ polls while the Yellow Jackets sit at No. 9. KU is 8-0 after a 73-62 win over Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the Yellow Book Shootout on Dec. 22. Georgia Tech is 9-1 after a 92-58 win over Louisiana-Lafayette Dec. 28. The Yellow Jackets are one of four teams that defeated KU last season away from Lawrence who will visit the Jayhawks in 2004-05 (also Nevada, Texas and Oklahoma State). The Jayhawks avenged the Nevada loss with an 85-52 win on Nov. 29.

About Georgia Tech

No. 9 Georgia Tech returns four starters and eight letterwinners from last season’s NCAA Tournament runner-up team. Senior B.J. Elder leads the Yellow Jackets with a 14.2 scoring average. The guard is hitting 38 percent from three-point range with his team-high 23 threes this season. Junior guard Jarrett Jack is next in scoring at 13.1 points per game to go along with 4.9 assists. Senior center Luke Schenscher leads Georgia Tech in rebounding at 7.7 per contest. He is scoring 10.1 points per game and leads Tech with 20 blocked shots through 10 games. The Yellow Jackets’ only setback of the season was at the hands of Gonzaga (85-73) on Dec. 18. Senior guard Will Bynum scored 28 points in the loss.

Tech Head Coach Paul Hewitt

Paul Hewitt is in his fifth season at Georgia Tech where he is 84-55. Overall, Hewitt is in his eighth season as a head coach with a 150-82 record. He has guided Georgia Tech to two NCAA Tournament appearances and one NIT berth. Prior to Georgia Tech, Hewitt was head coach at Siena, where he was 66-27 in three seasons. Hewitt is 1-0 against Kansas.

About Kansas

No. 2 Kansas is 8-0 for the first time since the 1997-98 season. KU has been ranked in the top two nationally the entire season. The Jayhawks have held six of eight opponents to 62 points or less and all eight to under 50 percent shooting. Additionally, they average 18 assists per game and a 1.2 assist-to-turnover ratio. With senior Wayne Simien out four to six weeks due to injury, senior Keith Langford is the active scoring leader at 15.3 points per game, while sophomore J.R. Giddens is at 10.5 ppg. Senior Aaron Miles is scoring 8.5 points per game and leads the league with 7.8 assists per contest. Junior Christian Moody is averaging 5.9 points and is second on the team with 4.6 rebounds per game. Simien leads KU with 17.4 points and 12 rebounds per contest. Simien is the only player in the Big 12 who is averaging a double-double.

Kansas Head Coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self is 32-9 in his second season at KU and 239-114 in his 12th season overall. Last year, KU posted a 24-9 record and finished tied for second in the Big 12 race at 12-4. KU advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year, falling to Georgia Tech in overtime, 79-71. Self’s 24 victories tied Dick Harp for the most wins by a KU coach in his debut season at Kansas. Prior to KU, Self led Illinois to two Big Ten titles and three straight NCAA Tournament appearances. Before Illinois, he guided Tulsa to two WAC championships in 1999 and 2000 and was The Sporting News National Coach of the Year in 2000. A four-time Naismith Coach of the Year Award finalist, Self began his coaching career at KU in 1985-86 and was an assistant at his alma mater – Oklahoma State – from 1986 until 1993. His first head coaching stint was at Oral Roberts where he guided the Golden Eagles to the NIT in 1996-97, their first postseason appearance since 1983-84. Self is 1-1 against Georgia Tech. Self guided Illinois to a 105-66 win over Tech at the Las Vegas Invitational Nov. 23, 2001.

Last Game – Kansas 73, Wisconsin-Milwaukee 62

Kansas improved to 8-0 with a 73-62 victory over Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Dec. 22 at the Yellow Book Shootout at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Mo. The Jayhawks played without senior All-America candidate Wayne Simien for the first time this season. Freshmen Alex Galindo and Russell Robinson picked up the scoring slack as they combined for 26 points off the bench for KU. Galindo recorded career highs with 14 points and seven rebounds in 17 minutes of work, while Robinson chipped in with 12 points. Senior guard Keith Lanford led the Jayhawks with 21 points to go along with his seven rebounds and six assists. Senior Aaron Miles made history as the 6-1 point guard needed just three assists to become the Big 12’s all-time leader. Miles finished the game with a game-high nine assists for the milestone. Miles also chipped in six points and eight rebounds. The Jayhawks bench outscored Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s bench 32-13.

KU-UWM Leftovers

Freshman forward Darnell Jackson made his first career start…Kansas donned its red uniforms for the first time since March 7, 2004, when the Jayhawks wore them in a win at Missouri. KU also wore red on Dec. 20, 2003, at Santa Barbara for the first time since the 1986 Final Four. Kansas is 4-0 in red uniforms under Self…With his nine assists, senior guard Aaron Miles surpassed Oklahoma State’s Doug Gottlieb to become the Big 12 Conference’s all-time career assists leader. Miles’ career total now sits at 800 and he is just four shy of the KU record held by Jacque Vaughn (804)…Miles made his 115th career start. He surpassed Darnell Valentine and moved into the eighth spot with Tony Guy on KU’s all-time career games started list…With his 21 points, senior Keith Langford surpassed Drew Gooden (1,526 points) to move into 14th place on the KU all-time scoring list with 1,531 for his career…Freshman forward Alex Galindo tallied a career-best 14 points, seven rebounds and four field goals in a career-high 17 minutes… KU was without the services of leading scorer and rebounder Wayne Simien. The senior forward missed his first game of the season with a thumb injury. The last game Simien missed due to an injury was Dec. 10, 2003, against Fort Hays State…Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s 27.3 free throw percentage (3-for-11) was the lowest for a KU opponent since UNLV shot 23.1 percent on Nov. 27, 1998.

The Series

This is the fifth meeting between Kansas and Georgia Tech with KU leading 3-1. The series dates back to 1971 as the Jayhawks defeated Tech in the first three meetings – 84-71 in 1971 in Atlanta, 93-65 in 1972 in Lawrence and 84-70 in 1999 in Anchorage, Alaska, in the Great Alaska Shootout. Last season, the teams met in the NCAA Regional finals where Georgia Tech won 79-71 in overtime.

Miles Shatters Big 12 Assists Record, School Mark Next

With his nine assists against Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Dec. 22, senior guard Aaron Miles surpassed Oklahoma State’s Doug Gottlieb (793) to become the Big 12 Conference’s all-time career assists leader. Miles’ career total now sits at 800 and he is just four shy of the KU record held by Jacque Vaughn (804). Miles has had seven or more assists in seven of eight games this season. His season high was 10 assists against Nevada and he leads the Big 12 with 7.8 assists per game. He is also only 200 assists from becoming the fourth player in NCAA Division I history to amass 1,000 for his career. He also leads the team in steals with 20 on the year. In addition, Miles made his 115th career start against the Panthers. He surpassed Darnell Valentine and moved into the eighth spot with Tony Guy on KU’s all-time career games started list.

Langford on a Roll

Senior Keith Langford is averaging 18.8 points in his last five games and is shooting 55 percent (33-for-60) from the field in that span. The Fort Worth, Texas, guard has scored in double figures in all but one game this season. Langford has three games with 20 or more points, all within the last five games, including 21 against UW-Milwaukee. He had a season-high 24 points in 23 minutes versus Louisiana-Lafayette. In the TCU win, Langford had 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting. A preseason Wooden and Naismith awards watch lists selection, Langford had 21 points versus Pacific with career-high seven assists. Against South Carolina Langford became the 16th player in KU history to score 1,500 points for his career. He currently ranks 14th on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,530 points.

Moody Making Mark

Junior walk-on Christian Moody has been in the starting line up since the first game of the season. The Asheville, N.C., forward is shooting 62.5 percent (20-for-32) from the field which included a 4-for-5 effort against Wisconsin-Milwaukee in his last outing. Against TCU, Moody produced his first double-double with career-highs in points (10) and rebounds (10). He also matched his personal best with two assists. His second assist was a blind kick out to a J.R. Giddens three-pointer that ended up on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 list. Moody has pulled down six or more rebounds four times this season. He is averaging 20.4 minutes, 5.9 points and is second on the team with 4.6 rebounds per game in 2004-05. Last year, he averaged seven minutes, 1.4 points and one rebound in 25 games for KU.

Robinson Earning Time

Freshman Russell Robinson has played 20 or more minutes in each of his last two games. The New York City guard scored 12 points against Wisconsin-Milwaukee which included two three pointers. He was a clutch performer against South Carolina as he made his lone field goal and two free throws in the final 38 seconds in the 64-60 win. Robinson is shooting 48.9 percent from the field (23-for-47) and is averaging 7.9 points per contest. He is tied for second on the team with 11 steals and has at least one steal in seven of eight games this year.

Status of Simien’s Thumb

Senior Wayne Simien underwent surgery on his left thumb Dec. 20, which he injured in the second half of the South Carolina contest. He is expected to be out four to six weeks, according to head coach Bill Self. He did return in the second half against USC to record his sixth double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 rebounds.

Simien Steady

Senior Wayne Simien has shot 50 percent or better in six of seven games this season. The Leavenworth, Kan., forward has four games with 20 points or more this year and leads the Big 12 with six double-doubles. In his first two games this season, Simien recorded a double-double in each of the first halves. Against Vermont, he had 10 points and 11 rebounds in the first 20 minutes. His 25 points and 14 rebounds for the game earned Simien Big 12 Player of the Week honors. Against Saint Joseph’s, Simien had 14 points and 11 rebounds in the opening half. Simien has 28 career double-doubles, which is fifth on the KU career chart and tied for ninth (James Thomas of Texas) on the Big 12 all-time list.

Kansas Quick Hits

-Tip time for the Kansas at Kentucky game has been set for 3:30 p.m. (Central) on CBS.

-Against Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Kansas wore red uniforms for the first time this season. The Jayhawks are 4-0 when wearing uniforms under head coach Bill Self.

-KU has held all eight opponents to under 50 percent shooting this season. Additionally, the Jayhawks have out shot each opponent in 2004-05.

-Kansas is 128-7 (94.8 percent) in Allen Fieldhouse over the past 11 seasons. Included in that run are five undefeated seasons – 14-0 in 1994-95; 13-0 in 1995-96; 15-0 in 1996-97; 16-0 in 1997-98; and 13-0 in 2001-02.

-KU’s bench is outscoring its opponents’ bench 216-107 this season.

-Kansas’ biggest deficit this season has been 11 points when South Carolina opened the game with an 11-0 run on the Jayhawks.

-The Jayhawks have outrebounded seven of eight opponents this season.

-Kansas has won seven of eight tips this season, losing one to South Carolina. Junior Christian Moody has jumped in all eight games for KU.

-Kansas has registered 10 or more steals in five of eight games this season. Last year, KU had seven games with 10-plus steals.

-Last season, Kansas was 0-8 when trailing with 5:00 remaining. The Jayhawks have already bucked that trend as Vermont held a 58-56 lead at the 5:00 mark in KU’s 68-61 season-opening win.

KU Player Quick Hits

-Sophomore J.R. Giddens has made at least one three-pointer in every game this season and three or more from beyond the arc five times.

-Freshman Darnell Jackson started the first game of his career against Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

-Freshman Alex Galindo scored a career-high 14 points in only 17 minutes against Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Galindo has made five three-pointers in his last three games.

-Freshman C.J. Giles has four blocked shots in his last two games. He had three against South Carolina and one versus Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Giles’ six points versus UWM were the most since his eight against Saint Joseph’s in game two.

Records, Milestones, Streaks to Watch

-Against UW-Milwaukee, senior Aaron Miles became the Big 12 Conference career assists leader, currently at 800. He passed Doug Gottlieb of Oklahoma State who had 793 from 1998-2000. Miles is also four from the KU career mark of 804 held by Jacque Vaughn from 1994-97.

-The Jayhawks have held their opponents under 100 points for 92 straight games. The last team to score 100 points on KU was Texas on Feb. 11, 2002.

-KU has hit at least one three-pointer in 154 straight games. Kansas last failed to hit a long ball in a loss to Texas in 2000.

-Miles is tied for eighth with Tony Guy (1979-82) on the all-time games started list at KU with 115. He is three from seventh spot.

-Miles’ next 10-assist game will pass Jacque Vaughn for the most career double-figure assist games at KU. Both stand atop the KU list with 18 games.

-Wayne Simien ranks 13th on the KU career rebound list at 681. Simien is 42 shy of the 12th spot.

-Keith Langford has played and scored in all of his 116 games while at Kansas.

Former KU Great Darnell Valentine to Have Jersey Retired at Georgia Tech Game

Darnell Valentine will be the third of five KU former men’s basketball greats to have his jersey retired this season. The guard’s jersey will be retired at halftime of the Georgia Tech game on Jan. 1. Valentine was named an All-American following his senior season in 1981, and earned Academic All-American honors three times – in 1979, ’80 and ’81. He is the only KU player to be named first-team all-conference four times. He still ranks No. 1 at Kansas in most free throws made with 541 and most steals with 336. A 6-2 guard from Wichita, Kan., Valentine is fifth on the school career scoring list with 1,821 points; the top four are listed as forwards and centers. A four-time team most valuable player, Valentine ranks fifth on the KU career assists list at 609. He wore No. 14 while at KU.

Kansas Celebrating 50 Years of Allen Fieldhouse

Named in honor of the late Dr. F.C. “Phog” Allen, the Jayhawks’ head coach for 39 years, Allen Fieldhouse is labeled by many as one of the best places in America to watch a college basketball game. The Fieldhouse was dedicated on March 1, 1955, as the Jayhawks defeated Kansas State, 77-66, before an overflow throng of 17,228. This season Allen Fieldhouse will celebrate its 50th year of existence. Ceremonies for the anniversary of the Fieldhouse are being planned around the March 2 game against Kansas State — the first opponent for KU in the facility.

Did You Know?

As of Dec. 28, Kansas is one of 11 schools in NCAA Division I to remain undefeated. Two undefeated NCAA Division I schools are in the state of Kansas – KU at 8-0 and Wichita State is 8-0.

Up Next

Kansas opens Big 12 play when it plays host to Texas A&M on January 5. The Jayhawks have yet to lose to the Aggies in eight seasons of Big 12 play and in nine meetings overall. The game will air on ESPN Regional television.