No. 8/9 Kansas to Host West Virginia Saturday in Men's Basketball
JAYHAWKS RETURN HOME TO HOST WEST VIRGINIA
Sitting atop the Big 12 standings, No. 8 Kansas (17-5, 8-1) returns to Allen Fieldhouse to host West Virginia on Saturday, Feb. 8, at 3 p.m. on ESPN. The Jayhawks are coming off a 69-52 win at Baylor on Tuesday, and have a one-game lead on Texas in the 2014 Big 12 race. West Virginia brings a three-game winning streak to Allen Fieldhouse after its 91-86 overtime win against No. 21 Oklahoma Wednesday in Morgantown. Tied for third, the Mountaineers are 6-4 in the conference. Kansas has won 110-straight games in Allen Fieldhouse against non-ranked opponents. Saturday’s game will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Kansas’ 1974 Final Four team. Head coach Ted Owens and players will be on hand and recognized during the KU-WVU game.
Kansas averages 79.2 points per game and has a +9.7 scoring margin. KU has outrebounded 18 of 22 opponents, including seven of nine Big 12 contests, and holds a +7.1 rebound margin. KU boasts a league-best 50.1 field goal percentage and has shot 50 percent or better in four of its last six games. In all, KU has outshot 19 of its 22 opponents in 2013-14. KU also ranks in the top four in the Big 12 in scoring offense (fourth, 79.2), scoring margin (third, +9.7), rebound margin (third, +7.1), assists (second, 15.9) and blocked shots (second, 6.0).
Freshman G Andrew Wiggins leads Kansas with a 15.9 scoring average, the best among Big 12 freshmen and ninth overall in the conference. He is 70-of-83 (84.3 percent) from the free throw line in his last 14 games. He has made 29 threes this season, including a half-court shot in KU’s most recent win at Baylor, and is the team leader with 22 steals. Wiggins’ 6.0 rebound average is third on the team and 16th in the conference. Sophomore F Perry Ellis is next in scoring at 13.2 points per game, good for 16th in the league. Ellis has six 20-point games on the season with his last being 20 points versus Iowa State (1/29). His 6.7 rebound average is second on the team and 11th in the Big 12. He pulled down a career-high 14 rebounds at TCU (1/25) and had 10 boards and 14 points for his third double-double of the year at Baylor (2/4). Freshman C Joel Embiid has a team-high 57 blocked shots, which ranks second on the all-time KU freshman list. A two-time Big 12 Newcomer of the Week and the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week (1/21), Embiid’s 2.6 blocked shots per game average is second in the conference. Embiid is second on the team with 18 steals, while his 7.6 rebounds per game are a team best, lead the Big 12 freshman class and rank tied for seventh overall in the conference. Embiid is shooting 61.6 percent from the field, which would lead the Big 12 had he made 5.0 per game. He is averaging 10.9 points per game, has five double-doubles on the season and six games with 10-plus rebounds. Freshman G Wayne Selden, Jr., has three 20-point scoring games this season, all in league play. He earned National Freshman of the Week accolades by multiple outlets (1/10), is scoring 10.2 in all games and his 27 three-pointers are third on the team while his 58 assists are second. Junior G Naadir Tharpe scored 22 points at Baylor (2/4) and had his first career double-double with 12 points and 12 assists versus Iowa State (1/29). Tharpe earned Big 12 and Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week accolades (1/21) and is scoring 9.5 points per game. His 5.2 assists rank third in the Big 12 and his 2.7 assist-to-turnover ratio is second. Tharpe has made a team-best 33 three-pointers this season.
Freshman G Frank Mason averages 6.4 points per game and is third on the team with 52 assists. Sophomore F Jamari Traylor leads KU with a 70.5 field goal percentage and is averaging 4.0 points and 3.5 rebounds per contest. Other contributors off the bench include senior F Tarik Black (3.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg), freshman G Brannen Greene (2.4 ppg), freshman G Conner Frankamp (1.8 ppg) and redshirt freshman F Landen Lucas (1.8 ppg). Black, a transfer from Memphis, scored six points and pulled down a season-high nine rebounds in 23 minutes of action at Baylor (2/4).
ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA
Located in Morgantown, W.Va., with an enrollment of 32,595, West Virginia is 14-9 on the season and 6-4 in Big 12 play. The Mountaineers are coached by Bob Huggins who is 147-84 in his seventh season at WVU, his alma mater, and 736-295 in his 32nd season overall. West Virginia averages 78.9 points per game and has a +7.4 scoring margin. WVU pulls down 36.3 rebounds per game and has a +0.5 rebound margin. The Mountaineers are second in the Big 12 in turnover margin at +3.9 and their 1.4 assist-to-turnover ratio is also second in the conference. West Virginia also averages 6.6 steals per game and forces 13.6 turnovers per outing.
Junior G Juwan Staten leads WVU in scoring at 18.1 points per game, which is second in the Big 12. He leads the conference with 6.0 assists per game and his 1.3 steals average is also a team best and tied for third in the league. Sophomore G Eron Harris is next in scoring at 17.5 points per game, third in the league. He makes 2.8 three-pointers per game and shoots 83.1 percent from the free throw line. Sophomore G Terry Henderson scores 12.5 points per game and his 37 three-pointers made are tied for second most on the team. Freshman F Devin Williams leads WVU in rebounds with 7.3 per contest, ninth in the conference, to complement his 8.8 scoring average. He has started 21 of 23 games for West Virginia. Junior G Gary Browne comes off the bench and scores 5.9 points per game. He is second on the team with 36 assists. Other WVU contributors include freshman G Nathan Adrian (5.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg), freshman F Brandon Watkins (2.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg) and junior F Kevin Noreen (1.9 ppg, 2.7 rpg).
Kansas and West Virginia are meeting for only the third time in men’s basketball with the Jayhawks claiming both wins in the first two meetings last season – 61-56 on Jan. 28, 2013, in Morgantown and 91-56 on March 2, 2013, in Allen Fieldhouse. KU head coach Bill Self is 2-0 against West Virginia, while WVU’s Bob Huggins is 0-6 all-time versus Kansas.
- Kansas is 13-1 when shooting 50 percent or better in the game and has eclipsed the 50 percent field goal percentage in four of its last six games and six of nine Big 12 games.
- In 13 of KU’s 17 victories, the Jayhawks have scored at least 80 points.
- KU has outrebounded 18 of its 22 opponents this season, including seven of nine Big 12 contests. KU has 10 games with a +10 rebound advantage after its 45-31 advantage at Baylor (2/4). Kansas’ +17 margin at Iowa State (1/13) was a season best and its +16 at TCU (1/25) is tied for second. KU has a +10 rebound advantage in eight of its last 13 contests.
- KU has held all but one opponent (Duke, 51.7) under 50 percent shooting this season.
- Junior G Naadir Tharpe is shooting 65.9 percent (29-for-44) from the field in his last seven games, including 15-for-22 (68.2 percent) from three-point range.
- Tharpe leads the Big 12 with a 2.9:1 assist-to-turnover ratio in league-only games.
- After his 22 points at Baylor (2/4), Tharpe is now scoring 12.0 ppg in league games and has three of his 20-point scoring games in 2013-14 against Big 12 opponents.
- Sophomore F Perry Ellis has shot 60 percent or better in 11 games this season, including three conference contests. The Jayhawks are 11-0 when Ellis shoots 60 percent or better this season. Ellis has missed just two free throws in his last five games.
- Ellis recorded his third double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds at Baylor (2/4). Two of his three DDs have been against Big 12 foes, as have three of his four 10-plus rebound games this season.
- Freshman C Joel Embiid pulled down 10 rebounds at Texas (2/1) and has 28 boards in his last three games. Embiid has six games of 10-plus rebounds this season, including three in Big 12 play.
- Embiid has 48 blocked shots in his last 16 games including a KU and Big 12-tying freshman eight against Oklahoma State (1/18). Embiid now has 57 blocks on the season which is second on the all-time freshman blocks list at Kansas, trailing only Eric Chenowith (62, 1998).
- Freshman G Andrew Wiggins is 9-for-15 (60.0 percent) from three-point range in his last four games. From the free throw line, Wiggins is 30-for-36 (83.3 percent) in his last five games. KU’s leading scorer at 15.9 ppg, including 16.1 in league games, Wiggins has seven games of 20-plus points, including three in Big 12 play.
- After his 21 points at Texas (2/1), freshman G Wayne Selden, Jr., has three 20-point efforts this season, all against Big 12 competition. Selden has made two three-pointers in two of his last three games and multiple threes in six games this season.
- Freshman G Frank Mason has shot 50 percent or better in six of his last 10 games.
- Sophomore F Jamari Traylor is 11-for-15 from the field and 7-for-9 from the line in his last six games, which included a career-high nine points against Oklahoma State (1/18). Traylor is 25-for-33 (75.7 percent) from the field in his last 15 games. He had six rebounds in three of his last five games (at UT, vs. ISU and vs. BU).
- Senior F Tarik Black pulled down a season-high nine rebounds at Baylor (2/4). He is 12-for-18 (66.7 percent) from the field in his last six games played. His 23 minutes at Baylor were also a season best.
- Freshman G Brannen Greene has made a three-pointer in five of KU’s last six games.
THE 1973-74 JAYHAWKS
At Kansas’ game against West Virginia, KU will recognize the 40th anniversary of the 1974 KU Final Four team. Head coach Ted Owens, staff and players will be on hand for the weekend. Led by All-Big Eight Conference guard Tom Kivisto, Kansas went 23-7 overall and won the Big Eight regular-season title with a 13-1 conference record. Kansas had a balanced team with center Danny Knight leading the Jayhawks with a 12.4 scoring average followed closely by forward Roger Morningstar’s 12.3, guard Dale Greenlee’s 11.8, forward Norm Cook’s 11.4 and center Rick Suttle’s 11.3. Kivisto averaged 7.6 points in 1973-74, was an Academic All-American and he and Greenlee were Academic All-Big Eight selections. Kansas opened the NCAA Tournament with a 55-54 win versus Creighton and a 93-90 overtime win against Oral Roberts in Tulsa to advance to the Final Four in Greensboro, N.C. KU lost both Final Four contests to Marquette (64-51) and UCLA (78-61) in the consolation game.
IN THE POLLS
Kansas is ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press in the poll released Feb. 3. The Jayhawks were in the AP top 10 the first five polls of 2013-14 and eight total in 2013-14. KU is No. 9 in the Feb. 3 USA Today Coaches’ poll. In the Bill Self era, this is the 164th week Kansas has been ranked in the AP top 25, which includes 115 times in the top 10. KU has been ranked in each of the last 98 polls dating back to the 2008-09 season. In the coaches’ poll, Kansas has been ranked 191 times, including 139 in the top 10 in the Self era. KU has been listed in each of the last 102 coaches’ polls.
HOME SWEET HOME
Bill Self is 170-9 in games played at Allen Fieldhouse for a 95.0 winning percentage. Self’s Big 12 Conference titles (nine) match his home losses while at Kansas (nine). Included was a school-record 69-game home-court winning streak which led the nation for more than two seasons and ranks 11th all-time in the NCAA records book as well as a 33-game home-court winning streak that ended Feb. 2, 2013, tied for fourth most in KU history. Kansas is 116-3 in Allen Fieldhouse in its last 119 games. Additionally, Kansas had won 68-consecutive games in Allen Fieldhouse against non-conference foes until falling to San Diego State on Jan. 5, 2014. Kansas is 708-109 all-time in Allen Fieldhouse in regular-season games and won victory No. 700 in the 2013-14 season opener against ULM, 80-63, on Nov. 8.
Kansas will play at Kansas State on its third of four ESPN Big Mondays on Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. The Jayhawks will host TCU on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 3 p.m. on the Big 12 Television Network and then travel to Texas Tech on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 6:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
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