No. 8/9 Kansas Heads to Oklahoma State Saturday in Men’s Hoops
Kansas Hits the Road to Oklahoma State
No. 8/9 Kansas (19-3, 8-1) begins a two-game road trip at Oklahoma State (15-7, 5-5) for a 1 p.m. (Central) game on Saturday, Feb. 7, on ESPN. Kansas won its fifth-straight game with an 89-76 win against No. 11/14 Iowa State on ESPN Big Monday, Feb. 2. Oklahoma State is coming off a 65-63 overtime win at No. 25 Texas on Feb. 4.
Historically, in Kansas’ 14 Big 12 Conference regular-season championship titles, the Jayhawks have been 8-1 or better in conference play 11 times, including seven times under head coach Bill Self. Kansas was 7-2 in 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2012-13 and went on to win the Big 12 regular-season titles.
No. 8/9 Kansas (19-3, 8-1), 10-time defending Big 12 regular-season champion, holds a two-game lead over West Virginia (18-4, 6-3) and Iowa State (16-5, 6-3) in the 2015 conference race. Kansas scores 72.6 points per game and has a +7.9 scoring margin. The Jayhawks have outrebounded six of their last eight opponents, average 39.2 boards per game and have a +5.5 rebound margin. KU leads the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 39.6 percent and averages 14.5 assists, 6.6 steals and 5.2 blocked shots per game.
Junior F Perry Ellis has averaged 16.5 points and 9.0 rebounds in his last two games, including his fifth double-double of the season with 16 points and 12 rebounds against Kansas State (1/31). Ellis leads KU in scoring at 13.0 points per game and rebounding at 6.8 boards per contest. His scoring ranks eighth in the Big 12 and his rebounding is fourth in the league. Sophomore G Frank Mason III is just behind Ellis at 12.7 points per game, which is 10th in the Big 12. Mason has 19-straight games scoring in double figures and is fourth in the league in assists at 4.1, with a team-best 91, and eighth in field goal percentage at 46.6 percent. His 25 three-pointers made this season are third most on the team. Sophomore G Wayne Selden, Jr., has averaged 17.0 points in his last two games, including a 20-point effort against Iowa State (2/2) on 7-of-12 shooting (5-for-7 from three-point range). He leads KU with 35 three-pointers made and is 8-for-13 from beyond the arc in his last two games. Selden scores 9.5 points per contest and is second on the team with 67 assists. Rounding out the KU starters are freshman G Kelly Oubre, Jr., and junior F Jamari Traylor. Oubre has started 14 games this season, including the last 13 straight, and is averaging 10.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.7 steals in Big 12 play. He averages 8.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game overall in 2014-15. Oubre’s 24 steals are second on the team to Mason’s 28 thefts and Oubre has made 21 three-pointers. Traylor scores 4.8 points per contest and pulls down 3.8 rebounds. His 27 blocked shots for the season are second on the team.
Named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week (1/26), freshman F Cliff Alexander leads Kansas with 30 blocked shots and has at least one block in each of the last 13 games. Alexander also leads KU with a 56.9 field goal percentage and has two double-doubles this season. Alexander averages 8.0 points per game and his 5.8 rebounds per contest are second on the team and 14th in the Big 12. Sophomore G Brannen Greene has scored 11 points in each of his last two games and has averaged 11 points in his last five contests with 16 three-pointers in that span. He has made 29 three-pointers this season which is second behind Selden’s team-high 35. Greene has two starts and is scoring 6.2 points per game in 2014-15. Freshman G Devonte’ Graham returned to the lineup against Texas Tech (1/10) after missing a month (six games) with a sprained toe. In his eight games back, Graham has averaged 5.3 points, 3.5 assists and has an amazing 9.3 assist-to-turnover ratio. In that span, he has dished out an impressive 28 assists with three turnovers. Graham is scoring 5.5 points per game for the season. Freshman G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk has made one three-pointer in each of his last three games played. He scores 4.0 points per game and has made 15 three-pointers this season. Mykhailiuk has started six games in his initial campaign as a Jayhawk. Sophomore F Landen Lucas tied his career-high with seven rebounds at TCU (1/28) and pulled down six boards against Iowa State (2/2). Lucas has started eight games in 2014-15 and averages 2.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game.
About Oklahoma State
Located in Stillwater, Oklahoma, with an enrollment of 35,214, Oklahoma State’s game with Kansas will be its fourth of five-straight contests against ranked competition. The Cowboys are 15-7, 5-5 in Big 12 play, and have won two of their last three games, including a 65-63 overtime victory at No. 25 Texas on Feb. 4. OSU is receiving votes in the Associated Press poll. The Cowboys are coached by Travis Ford who is 140-84 in his seventh season at OSU and 330-230 in his 18th season overall. OSU averages 68.1 points per game and has a +8.4 scoring margin. Oklahoma State averages 34.3 rebounds per contest. The Cowboys are second in the Big 12 in both three-point field goals made per game at 6.9 and steals at 8.7. OSU also averages 11.5 assists and 5.2 blocked shots per outing in 2014-15.
Junior G Phil Forte III and senior F Le’Bryan Nash rank second and third, respectively in Big 12 scoring with Forte at 17.1 points per game and Nash at 16.9 ppg. Forte also leads the conference with 2.2 steals per contest and his 2.5 three-pointers per game are third in the league. Nash is second on the team with 40 assists and tied for the team lead with a 5.7 rebound average. Senior G Anthony Hickey, Jr., a transfer from LSU, leads Oklahoma State with 78 assists to complement his 8.9 scoring average. He is second on the team with 32 three-pointers made and 47 steals. Redshirt senior F Michael Cobbins is second in the Big 12 with 2.2 blocked shots per game. He is tied for the team lead with a 5.7 rebound average and has a 59.8 field goal percentage. He scores 6.5 points per contest. Redshirt junior G Jeff Newberry rounds out the OSU starters. He scores 5.7 points per game, has made 15 threes and has 22 steals.
Redshirt freshman F Jeffrey Carroll has started nine of 16 games in 2014-15 with a 4.1 scoring average and 12 three-pointers made. Freshman F Tavarius Shine has made 14 three-pointers and scores 3.6 points per game. Other regulars for OSU include redshirt junior C Anthony Allen, Jr. (2.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg), freshman G Tyree Griffin (1.4 ppg) and freshman F Mitchell Solomon (0.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg).
The Kansas-Oklahoma State Series
The Kansas-Oklahoma State series dates back to 1926 with KU holding a 110-55 all-time advantage. KU has won eight of the last 10 meetings and the series is 12-4 in favor of KU in the last 16 matchups. KU is 35-32 against OSU in games played in Stillwater, including a 33-32 mark in Gallagher-Iba Arena. Since the inception of the Big 12, Kansas is 21-8 versus OSU: 16-6 in regular-season play and 5-2 in the Big 12 Championship. The Jayhawks have defeated the Cowboys in each of their last three Big 12 Championship meetings with identical scores, 63-62, in the 2011 quarterfinals and the 2006 quarterfinals and 77-70 in overtime last season. Kansas head coach Bill Self is 14-9 all-time against his alma mater, including a 13-6 record at Kansas, while Travis Ford is 3-9 versus KU.
Earlier this season Kansas defeated Oklahoma State, 67-57, on Jan. 13, in Allen Fieldhouse. Led by sophomore G Frank Mason III with 16 points and nine rebounds, Kansas made a season-high 32 free throws and attempted a season best 46 charity shots. Freshman G Kelly Oubre, Jr., was the only other Jayhawk in double figures with 14 points. Junior F Perry Ellis scored seven points and pulled down eight rebounds in the win. Oklahoma State’s Le’Bryan Nash led all scorers with 21 points, while Phil Forte III had 18 points.
- The NCAA is listing statistics and Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) on a regular basis. Through games as of Feb. 3, Kansas is No. 1 nationally in the RPI and No. 1 nationally in the toughest schedule.
- In the last five games, KU’s bench has outscored the opponent’s bench 131-36 for a 26.2 to 7.2 average.
- Including six of the last eight games, Kansas has outrebounded 16 of 22 opponents this season, compiling a 15-1 record in those contests. Seven of those games have been by double figures, including two in Big 12 play.
- Kansas leads the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 39.6 percent. The Jayhawks also rank in the upper half of the conference in scoring offense (third at 72.6), free throw percentage (fourth at 70.5), rebounding (third at 39.2), rebound margin (third at +5.5), blocked shots (fifth at 5.2), steals (fourth at 6.6), assist-to-turnover ratio (third at 1.2) and three-point field goals made (fifth at 6.6).
- Kansas made 10 three-pointers against Iowa State (2/2) and has made 10 or more threes five times in 2014-15 with three in Big 12 play.
- KU’s 22 assists against Iowa State (2/2) were two shy of its season high. Kansas has four games of 22 or more assists this season with two in Big 12 play.
- Sophomore G Wayne Selden Jr., scored 19 of his 20 points in the second half against Iowa State (2/3) which included five three-pointers made. Selden has made multiple threes in three of his last four games and is 57.9 percent from beyond the arc in his last four outings. His 11 games of multiple threes is best on the KU team this season. Selden’s 20 points against the Cyclones were his most in Big 12 play this season and second most overall.
- Sophomore G Brannen Greene is 16-for-26 (61.5 percent) from the field, including 12-for-16 (75.0 percent) from three-point range, in his last five games and has averaged 11.0 points in that span. For the season, Greene is scoring 6.2 points per contest. Greene has seven games of 10 or more points this season with five of those against Big 12 teams.
- Sophomore G Frank Mason III has scored 16 or more points five times in 2014-15, including three against Big 12 foes. He has scored in double figures in each of KU’s last 19 contests, which is tops on the KU team and tied for the fourth-longest double-figure scoring streak under head coach Bill Self.
- Junior F Perry Ellis notched his team-leading fifth double-double of the season with 16 points and 12 rebounds against Kansas State (1/31). He answered that with a 17-point effort against Iowa State (2/2), which included a season-high four assists. He has shot 50 percent or better in four of his last six games. Ellis has scored in double figures in five of his last six contests.
- In conference games, freshman G Devonte’ Graham leads the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover at 9.3. Iowa State’s Monte’ Morris is second at 3.7. Graham has 28 assists and three turnovers over the last eight games. Graham has at least one steal in three of his last four games.
- Freshman G Kelly Oubre, Jr.’s 16 points against Iowa State (2/2) were his most in four games. He has pulled down nine or more boards four times this season with two in league play. A two-time Big 12 Newcomer of the Week, Oubre has scored in double figures seven times this season, including five in Big 12 play.
- After his 2-for-6 effort from three-point range against Iowa State (2/2), the Jayhawks are 6-0 when Oubre connects on two or more three-pointers this season.
- Freshman F Cliff Alexander, who was Big 12 Newcomer of the Week Jan. 26, is 28-for-44 (63.6 percent) from the field in Big 12 play with 13 blocked shots. Alexander has 13-straight games with at least one blocked shot which is the seventh-longest for a Jayhawk in the Bill Self era.
- Six Big 12 teams are ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 (Feb. 2) which is more than any other conference. Nine of the 10 Big 12 teams have been ranked at one point during the 2014-15 season.
- At 104-22 (82.5 percent), the Big 12 is the only league nationally to have an 80 percent or better winning percentage against non-conference foes.
In the Polls
In the Feb. 2 national polls, Kansas is ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press and No. 9 in the USA Today Coaches’ polls, the highest rank in both polls since Nov. 17. This season, the Jayhawks have been ranked in the top 10 in the AP and coaches’ poll eight and seven weeks, respectively. The Jayhawks have been ranked in each of the last 117 Associated Press polls dating back to the 2008-09 season, including in the top five 50 times. In the coaches’ poll, the Jayhawks have been ranked in each of the past 123 polls and in the top five on 54 occasions.
Versus Ranked Teams
With its 75-62 win against No. 17 Texas on Jan. 24, Kansas is 60-31 against Associated Press-ranked teams, including 6-2 in 2014-15, under head coach Bill Self. In each of the last five seasons, the Jayhawks have a winning record versus ranked foes, including a 7-3 mark in 2013-14. Since the 2009-10 season, KU is 38-14 against AP ranked teams.
Ellis Approaching 1,000 Career Points
Junior F Perry Ellis is at 973 career points entering Saturday’s game at Oklahoma State. Once he gets to 1,000 points Ellis will become the 56th KU player to accomplish the feat. He will be the first Jayhawk to reach that plateau since Thomas Robinson did it toward the end of 2011-12 season. Tyshawn Taylor also scored his 1,000th point during the 2011-12 season, but it was long before Robinson. Jayhawks Kevin Young in 2012-13 and Tarik Black in 2013-14 each scored their 1,000th career point while wearing a KU uniform but had combined college points from their previous schools with Young at Loyola-Marymount and Black at Memphis.
KU Not Being Swept
In regular-season play, Kansas has not been beaten twice by the same Big 12 opponent in the Bill Self era. When including the Big 12 Championship, Kansas has been beaten by the same opponent twice in a season only once (67-82 at Texas, 2/23/04; 60-64 vs. Texas, 3/13/04) in Self’s 12 years. Note: Kansas has yet to play West Virginia in 2014-15.
On Jan. 29, Kansas Athletics and adidas released the Heritage Classic uniform the Jayhawks will wear during their matchup against the Texas Longhorns on Feb. 28. Inspired by the Jayhawks’ 1988 National Championship uniform, the Heritage Classic uniform pays homage to the successful history of Kansas basketball. Featuring the best of the past and present, the new uniform is made with the same lightweight Revolution 30 technology used in the NBA and showcases throwback letters, numbering and logos inspired by the 1988 uniform.
Kansas continues its road swing on Tuesday, Feb. 10, at Texas Tech at 8 p.m., on ESPN2. The Jayhawks will return to Allen Fieldhouse on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, to host Baylor at 12 p.m., on CBS, and will then play at West Virginia on Feb. 16, in their third of four ESPN Big Monday appearances of the 2014-15 season.
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