No. 15 Kansas Brings No. 12 Baylor to Lawrence for ESPN Big Monday
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Looking to finish the grueling stretch of four-straight top-25 opponents unscathed, No. 15/18 Kansas will welcome the No. 12/13 Baylor Bears to Allen Fieldhouse for ESPN Big Monday at 8 p.m.
ESPN BIG MONDAY No. 15/18 Kansas continues its two-game homestand when it plays host to No. 12/13 Baylor on ESPN Big Monday, Jan. 20 at 8 p.m. The contest is the second of four ESPN Big Monday appearances for the Jayhawks. Kansas is 13-4 overall and remains the only team undefeated in Big 12 play at 4-0 after its 80-78 win versus No. 9/8 Oklahoma State Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse. Baylor is 13-4 overall, 1-3 in conference action, and looking to end a two-game losing skid when it comes to Lawrence. BU lost 66-64 to No. 25 Oklahoma Saturday in Waco, Texas. Should Baylor remain in the polls, which come out Monday afternoon, the Bears would be the fourth-straight nationally-ranked team KU will face. Kansas’ four losses have been by a combined 17 points with three versus teams currently ranked in the top 10 (No. 6 Villanova, No. 7 Florida, No. 10 San Diego State) and the fourth against No. 21 Colorado. ABOUT KANSAS Kansas averages 79.0 points per game and has a +9.7 scoring margin. The Jayhawks have outrebounded 15 of 17 opponents, including all four conference contests, and hold a +7.4 rebound margin. Kansas boasts a league-best 50.3 field goal percentage and has shot 50 percent or better in three of its last four games and four of its last six contests. In all, KU has outshot 15 of its 17 opponents in 2013-14. KU’s bench has outscored 10 opponents this season and averages 22.9 points per contest. Freshman G Andrew Wiggins leads Kansas with a 15.1 scoring average, which also leads the Big 12 freshman class and is 10th overall in the conference. Wiggins is 40-of-47 (85.1 percent) from the free throw line in his last nine games and is coming off a season-low three points against Oklahoma State (1/18). He has made 19 threes this season. He leads KU with 16 steals and his 6.0 rebound average is third on the team. Sophomore F Perry Ellis is next in scoring at 12.9 points per game, 17th in the league. He has five 20-point games in 2013-14 and his 6.5 rebound average is second on the team and 13th in the Big 12. Freshman C Joel Embiid has a team-high 49 blocked shots, including a KU and Big 12 freshman-record eight versus Oklahoma State (1/18). His 2.9 blocked shots per game average leads the conference. Embiid is second on the team with 15 steals, while his 7.6 rebounds per game are a team best, lead the Big 12 freshmen and rank fifth in the conference. Embiid is shooting 68.7 percent from the field, averages 11.0 points per game and has three double-doubles in his last six games after his 13 points and 11 rebounds versus OSU. Freshman G Wayne Selden, Jr. is averaging 15.0 points in Big 12 play and 10.0 in all games. He has two 20-point efforts in Big 12 action and his 22 three-pointers are second most in the team as are his 42 assists. Junior G Naadir Tharpe is coming off back-to-back 20-point efforts versus top-10 teams (23 points at No. 8/10 Iowa State and 21 versus No. 9/8 Oklahoma State). He leads KU in conference games with a 16.3 ppg. Tharpe’s 5.3 assists are third in the Big 12. Freshman G Frank Mason averages 6.8 points per game and is third on the team with 40 assists. Sophomore F Jamari Traylor leads KU with a 71.9 field goal percentage (23-for-32) and is averaging 4.1 points and 3.3 rebounds per contest. Other contributors off the bench include senior F Tarik Black (3.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg), freshman G Brannen Greene (2.2 ppg) and freshman G Conner Frankamp (1.8 ppg). ABOUT BAYLOR Located in Waco, Texas, with an enrollment of 15,616, Baylor is 13-4 (1-3) after its 66-64 loss to No. 25 Oklahoma Saturday. BU is coached by Scott Drew who is 191-142 in his 11th season at Baylor and 211-153 in his 12th season overall. Baylor averages 77.7 points per game and has a +10.9 scoring margin. BU leads the Big 12 in rebound margin at +9.7 as it averages 40.1 boards per game. The Bears also lead the league in three-point field goal percentage (39.3) and are second in the conference in assists (15.8). Baylor is a deep team as nine Bears average 12-plus minutes per game. Senior F Cory Jefferson leads Baylor in scoring at 13.1 points per game and in rebounding with an 8.4 average. Jefferson is second on the team with 26 blocked shots. Junior G Kenny Chery is a starter who averages 11.9 points per game and is fourth in the league with 5.1 assists per outing. Senior G Brady Heslip comes off the bench to score 10.8 points per game, while ranking second the Big 12 with a 45.5 three-point field goal percentage and 2.7 threes made per contest. Sophomore C Isaiah Austin is second in the conference in blocked shots per game at 2.8 to complement his 10.4 scoring average. Austin’s 5.7 rebound average is third best on the squad. Rounding out the Baylor starters is senior G Gary Franklin (6.6 ppg, 42 assists) and junior F Royce O’Neale (6.1 ppg, 48 assists). Sophomore F Taurean Prince comes off the bench to score 8.5 points per game, while sophomore F Rico Gathers leads BU in rebounds with a 7.7 per game average to match his 7.7 points per game. Freshman G/F Ish Wainright (2.4 ppg) is also a key contributor for the Bears. THE SERIES The Kansas-Baylor series dates back to 1951 with the Jayhawks leading 19-4. Baylor has won two of the last three meetings, both being away from Allen Fieldhouse: 81-72 in the semifinals of the 2012 Big 12 Championship in Kansas City, Mo., and 81-58 last season in the regular-season finale for both teams in Waco, Texas. The Jayhawks are 11-0 versus the Bears in games played in Lawrence, including a 10-0 record inside Allen Fieldhouse. Since the inception of the Big 12, KU is 17-4 versus BU: 17-2 in regular-season play and 0-2 in the Big 12 Championship. Kansas head coach Bill Self is 11-4 all-time against Baylor, including 11-3 while at Kansas, while Baylor’s Scott Drew is 3-11 versus Kansas. Current KU players’ stats versus Baylor are on the last page of the KU game notes. A KANSAS WIN WOULD… Improve KU to 14-4 on the season… Keep Kansas as the only undefeated team in Big 12 play at 5-0… Make KU 5-0 in conference play for the third-straight season and the seventh time in the Bill Self era… Make the Kansas-Baylor series 20-4 in favor of KU, including 18-4 in the Big 12 era and 11-0 in Allen Fieldhouse… Make KU 707-109 all-time in Allen Fieldhouse, including 169-9 in the Bill Self era and 8-1 this season… Make Bill Self 12-4 all-time against Baylor, 314-63 while at Kansas and 521-168 overall… Make KU 2,115-816 all-time. A KANSAS LOSS WOULD… Drop Kansas to 13-5 on the season… Makes Kansas 4-1 in Big 12 play, making the 2002 Jayhawks the only team to have gone through the Big 12 regular-season undefeated (16-0)… Make KU 4-1 in Big 12 play for the first time since 2010-11 when KU was also 4-1… Make the Kansas-Baylor series 19-5 in favor of the Jayhawks… Be Baylor’s first win in Allen Fieldhouse in 11 tries… Give KU its second home loss in the same season for the first time since 2006-07… Make KU 7-2 in Allen Fieldhouse this season, 168-10 under Bill Self and 706-110 all-time in the facility… Make Bill Self 11-5 all-time against Baylor (11-4 while at Kansas), 313-64 in his 11th season at Kansas and 520-169 in his 21st season overall… Make KU 2,114-817 all-time. KANSAS ON ESPN BIG MONDAY Kansas will appear on ESPN’s Big Monday four times in 2014 with the win at Iowa State (1/13) being the first occasion. Since the inception of the Big 12 in 1996-97, Kansas is 50-16 all-time on ESPN’s Big Monday (27-1 at home, 23-15 on the road), including 31-8 under head coach Bill Self. Additionally, KU has won 20-straight Big Monday games in Allen Fieldhouse, which includes a 16-0 mark under Self. KANSAS VS. RANKED FOES UNDER BILL SELF Should Baylor remain in the rankings, the Bears will be the seventh ranked team Kansas has faced in 2013-14. The Jayhawks are 4-2 against ranked foes this season having defeated then-No. 4 Duke, 94-83, in the State Farm Champions Classic on Nov. 12 at the United Center in Chicago, lost at then-No. 19 Florida, 67-61 on Dec. 10, lost to then-No. 21 San Diego State, 61-57 on Jan. 5, defeated then-No. 25 Kansas State 86-60 on Jan. 11, won at No. 8/9 Iowa State, 77-70 on Jan. 13 and defeated No. 9/8 Oklahoma State, 80-78, on Jan. 18. Kansas has played 80 games against Associated Press-ranked opponents in the 10-plus seasons under head coach Bill Self. Last year, Kansas went 5-2 against ranked foes. Under Self, KU is 52-28 (65.0 percent) against ranked competition. That percentage has an upward trend since the 2007-08 season as the Jayhawks are 42-18 (70.0 percent) versus ranked foes.
UP NEXT Kansas will play at TCU on Saturday, Jan. 25, at 8 p.m. on ESPNU. The Jayhawks will then host No. 8/10 Iowa State on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 8 p.m. on ESPNU.