No. 7 Kansas Begins Second Half of Big 12 Play at TCU on Saturday
Jayhawks Travel to Fort Worth to Kick off Second Half of Big 12 Play
No. 7/6 Kansas (18-4, 6-3) hits the road to TCU (10-12, 1-8) for a morning contest on Saturday, Feb. 6, at 11 a.m. on ESPN at Schollmaier Arena. Kansas is coming off a 77-59 win against in-state rival Kansas State on Wednesday in Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks are looking to end a three-game Big 12 road losing streak. After defeating Tennessee, 75-63, in the Big 12/SEC Challenge on Jan. 30, TCU the lost at No. 1/1 Oklahoma, 95-72, on Feb. 2. The Horned Frogs have lost six straight conference contests, including two at home.
No. 7/6 Kansas is 18-4 overall and one game out of first place in the Big 12 standings at 6-3 in league play. KU is tied for third with Baylor and Texas at 6-3, while Oklahoma and West Virginia are at the top at 7-2 heading into the second half of the league race. KU averages 83.7 points per game and has a +14.2 scoring margin. KU pulls down an average of 38.3 rebounds per game and has a +4.9 rebound margin. The Jayhawks also average 16.4 assists, 7.3 steals and 3.9 blocked shots per contest.
Senior F Perry Ellis has scored 19 or more points in three of his last four games. Ellis is averaging 19.0 points and 6.9 rebounds in Big 12 play and 16.5 points and 6.6 rebounds overall. Ellis is the only player in the Big 12 to rank in the top seven in scoring (third) and rebounding (seventh). Junior G Wayne Selden Jr. posted a career-high 33 points in Kansas’ 90-84 overtime win versus No. 20/19 Kentucky (1/3). Selden is sixth in the Big 12 in scoring at 15.0 points per game, tied for second in the league in 3-points field goals made per game at 2.5 and fourth in 3-point field goal percentage at 46.2 percent. Junior G Frank Mason III is scoring 13.1 points per game which 12th in the Big 12. He is sixth in the league with a 4.7 assist average and eighth in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.2. Mason has a team-high 33 steals. Sophomore G Devonte’ Graham is scoring 10.5 points per game. He is second on the team with 31 steals and is third in the Big 12 with a 3.2 assist-to-turnover ratio. Junior F Landen Lucas rounds out the KU starters. He scores 4.2 points per game and is second on the team with a 5.1 rebound average, which is 19th in the Big 12.
Junior G Brannen Greene is a 3-point specialist who scores 6.9 points per game off the bench. He is 22-for-40 (55.0 percent) from beyond the arc this season. Sophomore G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk had 10 points against Kansas State (2/3) which was his most in Big 12 play. He has made 21 3-pointers made this season, helping him average 5.9 points per game. Freshman F Carlton Bragg Jr., is averaging 4.5 ppg and 2.6 rpg overall. Freshman Cheick Diallo (4.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg) has 13 blocked shots. Senior F Hunter Mickelson, who has started 10 games this season and has missed the last due contests due to an ankle sprain, is averaging 2.8 points and 2.7 rebounds and his 1.1 blocked shots per game are eighth in the Big 12. Senior F Jamari Traylor (2.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg) has scored five points in each of his last two game. Traylor is a high-energy forward who has started seven games in 2015-16.
Located in Fort Worth, Texas, with an enrollment of 10,033, TCU is 10-12 overall and 1-8 in Big 12 play after its 95-72 loss at No. 1/1 Oklahoma Feb. 2. The Horned Frogs are coached by Trent Johnson who is 48-70 in his fourth season at TCU and 274-255 in his 17th season overall. TCU is 8-5 in home games this season, including 4-3 in Schollmaier Arena. The Horned Frogs average 68.7 points and 35.6 rebounds per game. TCU shoots 41.5 percent from the field, makes 5.4 3-pointers per game and averages 12.4 assists, 6.1 steals and 3.5 blocked shots per game.
Sophomore G Malique Trent leads TCU in scoring at 11.5 points per game. Trent also leads the team with 34 steals and his 2.9 assists per game rank 15th in the Big 12. Trent is third on the team with 17 3-pointers made this season. Sophomore F Vladimir Brodziansky comes off the bench and is second on the team with 11.0 scoring and 5.0 rebound averages. He has a team-high 21 blocked shots and his 54.5 field goal percentage is fifth in the Big 12. Sophomore G Chauncey Collins leads TCU in league games with a 12.1 scoring average. Overall, Collins scores 10.4 points and his 2.0 3-pointers made are fifth in the Big 12, while his 40.2 3-point field goal percentage is seventh in the conference. Junior F Chris Washburn has started eight of 11 games played this season and he averages 8.5 points and 4.4 rebounds per outing. Junior G Brandon Parrish is a starter is second on the team with 31 3-pointers made. Parrish averages 8.2 points and 3.4 rebounds and is making 44.9 percent from 3-point range. Junior F Karviar Shepherd has 19 starts this season and he leads TCU with a 6.0 rebound average which is 10th in the Big 12. Shepherd scores 8.3 points per game and is second on the team with 20 blocked shots. Senior F Devonta Abron (5.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg) is a starter while other TCU regulars include freshman F JD Miller (5.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg) and junior G Michael Williams (4.8 ppg, 2.3 rpg, a team-high 62 assists).
Though this is just the ninth conference meeting between Kansas and TCU, the men’s basketball series between the two schools dates back to 1952 when the Jayhawks defeated the Horned Frogs, 68-64, on March 21 in the NCAA Midwest Regional at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas is 11-1 against TCU and has won seven straight against the Horned Frogs which includes a 70-63 win on Jan. 16 in Allen Fieldhouse. Three series games have been on neutral floors with Kansas winning all three contests: the 1952 game, a KU 94-78 win vs. TCU on Dec. 20, 1997, at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri, and a KU 64-59 win in the quarterfinals of the 2015 Big 12 Championship at Sprint Center in Kansas City. KU swept a home-and-home series with TCU in 2003 and 2004 with an 85-66 win in Fort Worth on Dec. 1, 2003 and a 93-74 victory on Dec. 9, 2004 in Allen Fieldhouse. As members of the Big 12, KU leads the series 7-1, including a 3-1 record in Fort Worth. Kansas head coach Bill Self is 15-4 all-time against TCU, including 8-1 while at Kansas. TCU head coach Trent Johnson is 2-7 against Kansas, 1-7 while at TCU. In Self’s first season at Kansas, Johnson’s Stanford team defeated KU, 64-58, on Dec. 6, 2003, in Anaheim, California, in the Wooden Classic. Expect a close contest as each of the last four meetings have been decided by nine points or less.
Earlier this season, then-No. 1 Kansas defeated TCU, 70-63, in Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 16. KU showed a balanced attack as five players reached double figures led by Wayne Selden Jr. with 11. Perry Ellis, Frank Mason III, Devonte’ Graham and Carlton Bragg Jr. each had 10 points and Ellis just missed a double-double with a KU team-high nine rebounds. The Jayhawks led 37-28 at halftime and outrebounded TCU 44-37. TCU’s Michael Williams led all scorers with 13 points while Horned Frog Vlad Brodziansky pulled down a game high 12 rebounds.
• Kansas ranks in the top three in the Big 12 in scoring offense (second at 83.7), field goal percentage (second at 48.7), 3-point field goal percentage (second at 43.0), 3-point field goals made (second at 8.5), assists (tied for second at 16.4), scoring margin (third at +14.2), rebound margin (third at +4.9) and assist-to-turnover ratio (third at 1.3).
• Kansas’ 43.0 3-point field goal percentage is third nationally and just behind the KU season record of 43.3 set in 1989-90. Its 83.7 scoring average is the best in the Self era (81.6 in 2009-10) and the highest since a 90.9 scoring average in 2001-02.
• Out of its 18 victories of the season, Kansas has won by 10 or more points in 12 of those wins. Five of those wins have been by 30 points or more.
• Kansas has out-shot 18 of 22 opponents this season. The Jayhawks have also out-rebounded 16 of 22 foes, including a +11 (42-31) versus Kentucky (1/30).
• Kansas was 8-for-17 (47.1 percent) from 3-point range against Kentucky (1/30). KU has shot 40 percent or better from 3-point range in 15 of its 22 games.
• The KU bench has outscored its opponents’ bench in 15 of 22 games this season and is 14-1 in those contests.
• KU has made seven or more three-pointers in 16 of 22 games this season. KU has made 10 or more 3-pointers eight times, including 15 threes vs. Northern Colorado (11/13) and Chaminade (11/23), which were one off the school record.
• Senior F Perry Ellis is the only player in the Big 12 to rank in the top seven in scoring (third at 16.5 ppg) and rebounding (seventh at 6.6).
• Ellis has pulled down nine or more rebounds in seven games this season.
• Junior G Wayne Selden Jr., is tied second the Big 12 in 3-point field goals made per game at 2.5 and fourth in 3-point field goal percentage at .462 for all games. Selden has made three or more 3-pointers in 12 games this season.
• Kansas is 32-6 when following a conference loss under Self with only one of those losses coming in Allen Fieldhouse (Feb. 19, 2005 vs. Iowa State).
In the Polls
In the most recent national rankings released on Feb. 1, Kansas is No. 7 in the Associated Press Top 25 and No. 6 the USA Today Coaches’ Poll. The Jayhawks now hold the longest active streak for consecutive weeks in the AP Top 25 (136) after Duke fell out of the poll for the first time in eight seasons, ending a 167-week streak.
KU spent two weeks ranked No. 1 in the AP poll (Jan. 4, Jan. 11) and one week at No. 1 in the Coaches’ poll (Jan. 11). On Jan. 11, the Jayhawks were ranked No. 1 in both national polls for the first time since Feb. 14, 2011.
The last time Kansas was not ranked by AP was during the 2008-09 season. Under coach Bill Self, Kansas has been ranked in the AP Top 25 for 222 weeks, which includes 160 weeks in the Top 10, 92 times in the Top 5 and 22 times at No. 1. In the coaches’ poll, under Self, Kansas has been ranked 235 times with 173 in the top 10 and 106 in the top five.
Kansas entered the 2015-16 season ranked No. 4 by AP and No. 5 in the coaches’ polls. This season’s AP poll is the highest ranking for the Jayhawks since 2009-10 when they entered the season No. 1 in the country. The preseason ranking is the 10th time in the Bill Self era that the Jayhawks enter the season slotted seventh or higher, including each of the last four seasons – No. 5 in 2015-16 and 2014-15, No. 6 in 2013-14, and No. 7 in 2012-13.
Last season, KU entered the year No. 5 nationally in the coaches’ poll and ended up No. 17. The Jayhawks were ranked in the top 10 in 12 times during the 2014-15 season.
Ellis and Selden Finalists for Naismith Hall Awards
Kansas senior Perry Ellis and junior Wayne Selden Jr., have been named finalists for two national honors presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Ellis is one of 10 finalists for the 2016 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year and Selden is one of 10 finalists for the 2016 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award. Both the Karl Malone and the Julius Erving awards are in their second year of existence. A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 candidates in October, which has now been narrowed to the 10 finalists. In March, the two 10-person lists will be narrowed to five. The winners of the two honors will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s from Club Nokia in Los Angeles on Friday, April 8, 2016.
• Senior F Perry Ellis is only the 20th Jayhawk to reach the 1,500 point plateau reaching the milestone against Kentucky (1/30). Ellis has 1,519 career points, which is 19th on the KU career scoring list. Earlier this month, Ellis became the 16th player in KU history to reach 700 career rebounds, currently 15th at 757. Ellis is on pace to become the eighth player in KU history to rank in the top 15 in both career points and career rebounds: Danny Manning (2,951 points/1,187 rebounds), Nick Collison (2,097 points/1,143 rebounds), Raef LaFrentz (2,066 points/1,186 rebounds), Clyde Lovellette (1,979 points/839 rebounds), Dave Robisch (1,754 points/815 rebounds), Mark Randall (1,627 points/723 rebounds) and Wayne Simien (1,593 points/884 rebounds).
• Junior G Wayne Selden Jr. had 33 points against Kentucky (1/30) and in the process became the 57th Jayhawk to reach the 1,000-point plateau. He is 55th on the KU scoring list at 1,010 and ranks 15th on the KU career 3-pointers made list at 142 and tied for 13th on the 3-pointers attempted list at 371.
• With his four assists against TCU (1/16), junior G Frank Mason III surpassed the 300 career assists mark, currently at 317. Mason has 101 career steals.
Kansas returns home to host No. 12/14 West Virginia on Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. on ESPN2. The Jayhawks will then travel to Norman, Oklahoma, to take on No. 1/1 Oklahoma on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 1:30 p.m. on ESPN. Two days later, KU will host Oklahoma State on ESPN Big Monday on Feb. 15 at 8 p.m.
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