No. 8/9 Kansas to Play at Texas Tech Tuesday in Men’s Hoops
Kansas Continues Road Swing at Texas Tech
No. 8/9 Kansas (19-4, 8-2) continues its two-game road trip at Texas Tech (12-12, 2-9) on Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 8 p.m., on ESPN2. The Jayhawks had their five-game winning streak snapped at Oklahoma State, 67-62, on Feb. 7. Even with the loss, Kansas is still in first place in the 2015 Big 12 regular-season race by one game over Iowa State (17-5, 7-3). Texas Tech is looking to rebound from a 75-38 loss at Iowa State on Feb. 7.
Kansas head coach Bill Self is 344-73 in his 12th season at KU. In games following losses during his tenure, the Jayhawks are 64-8 (88.9 percent) with 40 of those victories in Allen Fieldhouse and 24 on the road or neutral courts.
Kansas Athletics is mourning the death of former KU men’s basketball player and college coaching legend Dean Smith who died Feb. 7 at his home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Smith was 83 years old. A native of Emporia, Kansas, who grew up in Topeka, Smith competed at Kansas from 1949-53 and was a part of the Jayhawks’ NCAA national championship team in 1952, under the guidance of head coach Dr. Forrest “Phog” Allen. Smith and the Jayhawks were national runners-up in 1953. After graduation from KU, Smith served as an assistant coach at Kansas under Allen for the 1953-54 season. He later went on to coach North Carolina from 1961-97, winning two NCAA national championships (1982 and 1993), and the 1971 NIT title. When he retired, he was the winningest coach in college basketball history compiling an 879-254 record. His 879 wins are currently fourth all-time in NCAA Division I.
No. 8/9 Kansas (19-4, 8-2), 10-time defending Big 12 regular-season champion, holds a one-game lead over Iowa State (17-5, 7-3) in the 2015 conference race. Kansas scores 72.1 points per game and has a +7.3 scoring margin. The Jayhawks have outrebounded six of their last nine opponents, average 39.0 boards per game and have a +5.3 rebound margin. KU leads the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 40.2 percent and averages 14.3 assists, 6.7 steals and 5.1 blocked shots per game.
Coming off his sixth double-double of the season, 12th of his career, with 10 points and 10 rebounds at Oklahoma State (2/7), junior F Perry Ellis leads Kansas with a 12.8 scoring average and 6.9 rebound average. He is the only player in the Big 12 to rank eighth or higher in scoring (eighth) and rebounding (fourth). Sophomore G Frank Mason III is just behind Ellis at 12.6 points per game, which is ninth in the Big 12. Mason has 20-straight games scoring in double figures and is fourth in the league in assists at 4.1, with a team-best 95, and eighth in field goal percentage at 46.0. His 28 three-pointers made this season are third most on the team. Sophomore G Wayne Selden, Jr., has averaged 16.3 points in his last three games. In that span he is 16-for-31 (51.6 percent) from the field, including 12-for-18 (66.7 percent) from three-point range. Selden leads KU with 39 three-pointers made, scores 9.7 points per contest and is second on the team with 69 assists. Rounding out the KU starters are freshman G Kelly Oubre, Jr., and junior F Jamari Traylor. Oubre has started 15 games this season, including the last 14 straight, and is averaging 9.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals in Big 12 play. He averages 8.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game overall in 2014-15. Oubre’s 24 steals are second on the team to Mason’s 31 thefts and Oubre has made 21 three-pointers. Traylor scores 5.0 points per contest and pulls down 3.9 rebounds. His 28 blocked shots for the season are second on the team.
Freshman F Cliff Alexander is 6-for-7 from the field in his last two games and leads Kansas with 30 blocked shots. Alexander has at least one block in 13 of his last 14 games. He also leads KU with a 57.9 field goal percentage and has two double-doubles this season. Alexander averages 8.0 points per game and his 5.7 rebounds per contest are second on the team and 16th in the Big 12. Sophomore G Brannen Greene has scored in double figures in each of his last three games. He is 15-for-21 (71.4 percent) from three-point range in his last six games. Greene has made 32 three-pointers this season which is second behind Selden’s team-high 39. Greene has two starts and is scoring 6.4 points per game in 2014-15. Freshman G Devonte’ Graham leads the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio in conference games only at 5.8 with an impressive 29 assists to five turnovers in nine league games played. Graham is scoring 5.2 points per game for the season and even though having missed seven games due to injury, is third on the team with 36 assists. Sophomore F Landen Lucas has averaged 16.2 minutes in his last five games played. He averages 2.4 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. Lucas, who has started eight games in 2014-15, pulled down six boards against Iowa State (2/2).
About Texas Tech
Located in Lubbock, Texas, with an enrollment of 33,111, Texas Tech is 12-12 overall and 2-9 in Big 12 play. The Red Raiders are coached by Tubby Smith who is 26-30 in his second season at TTU and 537-256 in his 24th season overall. Texas Tech is 12-3 at home and 0-9 (0-7 away and 0-2 on neutral courts) in games away from the United Supermarkets Arena formerly known as United Spirit Arena. The Red Raiders won nine of their first 10 games in 2014-15. Texas Tech averages 62.0 points per game and has a -1.4 scoring margin. The Red Raiders are efficient on the boards, averaging 35.3 rebounds per contest with a +2.7 margin. TTU averages 6.2 steals, 10.7 assists and 4.0 blocked shots per game.
Junior G Devaugntah Williams leads Texas Tech in scoring at 10.5 points per game. He has made a team-best 36 three-pointers and is second on the squad with 41 assists. His 23 steals are third on the team. Senior G Robert Turner is next in scoring at 9.0 points per game. He leads TTU with 42 assists and has made 24 three-pointers. Freshman C Norense Odiase is second on the team with 4.3 rebounds per game and in field goal percentage at 49.5 percent. His 13 blocked shots are second on the team and he scores 6.0 points per contest. Rounding out the Texas Tech starters are freshman F Zach Smith and sophomore G Randy Onwuasor. Smith has started every game this season and leads the team with 5.1 rebounds per game and 34 blocked shots. He is scoring 5.3 points per outing. Onwuasor has a team-best 27 steals and scores 5.1 points per game.
Redshirt junior G Toddrick Gotcher has two starts and scores 6.8 points per game. Gotcher is second on the team with 27 three-pointers made this season. Other TTU regulars include freshman G Keenan Evans (5.4 ppg, 13 threes) and freshman C Isaiah Manderson (4.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, team-best 51.9 field goal percentage).
The Kansas-Texas Tech Series
Kansas leads the overall series with Texas Tech 28-4 as the Jayhawks have won 11-straight in the series beginning on Jan. 16, 2010. Kansas is 10-4 against Texas Tech in games played in Lubbock, including a 6-3 record in United Supermarkets Arena. Since the inception of the Big 12 Conference in 1997, Kansas is 21-4 against Texas Tech; 18-4 in regular-season match-ups and 3-0 in conference championship meetings. The first meeting between the two schools took place in Allen Fieldhouse on Dec. 7, 1959, an 85-71 Kansas victory. Kansas head coach Bill Self is 15-6 all-time against Texas Tech, including 14-3 while at Kansas. Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith is 2-6 versus Kansas, 0-3 while at TTU.
Earlier this season then-No. 12/13 Kansas defeated Texas Tech, 86-54, on Jan. 10. KU junior F Perry Ellis led all scorers with 15 points, including three three-pointers, while freshman G Kelly Oubre, Jr., added 14 points. The Jayhawks led 42-25 at halftime and shot 52.5 percent for the game.
- The NCAA is listing statistics and Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) on a regular basis. Through games as of Feb. 7, Kansas is No. 1 nationally in the RPI and No. 1 nationally in the toughest schedule.
- In the last six games, KU’s bench has outscored the opponent’s bench 149-40 for a 24.8 to 6.7 average.
- Including six of the last nine games, Kansas has outrebounded 16 of 23 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 40.2 percent. The Jayhawks also rank in the upper half of the conference in scoring offense (fourth at 72.1), free throw percentage (fourth at 69.9), three-point field goal percentage defense (third at 31.9), rebounding (third at 39.0), rebound margin (third at +5.3), blocked shots (fifth at 5.1), steals (fifth at 6.7), assist-to-turnover ratio (third at 1.1) and three-point field goals made (tied for third at 6.7).
- Kansas made 10 three-pointers at Oklahoma State (2/7) and against Iowa State (2/2) and has made 10 or more threes six times in 2014-15 with four 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., is 12-for-18 (66.7 percent) from three-point range in his last three games, including 9-for-12 (75.0) in his last two contests. Selden’s 12 games of multiple threes are best on the KU team this season. Selden’s 20 points against Iowa State (2/2) were his most in Big 12 play this season and second most overall this season.
- Sophomore G Brannen Greene is 15-for-21 (71.4 percent) from three-point range in his last six games and has averaged 10.8 points in that span. For the season, Greene is scoring 6.4 points per contest. Greene has eight games of 10 or more points this season with six 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 20 contests, which is tops on the KU team and the fourth-longest double-figure scoring streak under head coach Bill Self.
- Junior F Perry Ellis notched his team-leading sixth double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds at Oklahoma State (2/7). He has shot 50 percent or better in four of his last seven games. Ellis has scored in double figures in six of his last seven contests.
- Ellis’ six double-doubles on the season are tied for third in the Big 12 and he is the only player in the conference to rank in the top eight in scoring (eighth at 12.8 ppg) and rebounding (fourth at 6.9 rpg).
- Freshman F Cliff Alexander, who was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week on Jan. 26, is 32-for-49 (65.3 percent) from the field in Big 12 play with 13 blocked shots. Alexander has at least one blocked shot in 13 of his last 14 games.
- In conference games, freshman G Devonte’ Graham leads the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover at 5.8. Iowa State’s Monte’ Morris is second at 4.1. Graham has 29 assists and five turnovers over the last nine games. Graham has at least one steal in four of his last five 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.
- Six Big 12 teams are ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 (Feb. 9) 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.
It’s all about that Bench
Kansas’ bench in 2014-15 has outscored its opponents bench in each of the last seven games and 16 times this season. Through 23 games, Kansas’ bench is scoring 24.2 points per game while its opponent averages 14.7 points per contest. In the Bill Self’s 12 seasons at Kansas, the 2014-15 Jayhawks currently rank second behind the 2010-11 team’s 24.4 bench scoring average. KU’s +9.5 bench scoring differential is tops in the Self era with the 2007-08 NCAA National Championship team second at +8.4.
In the Polls
In the Feb. 9 national polls, Kansas remained the same from the Feb. 2 ratings at No. 8 in the Associated Press and No. 9 in the USA Today Coaches’ polls. This season, the Jayhawks have been ranked in the top 10 in the AP and coaches’ poll nine and eight weeks, respectively. The Jayhawks have been ranked in each of the last 118 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 124 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 983 career points entering Tuesday’s game at Texas Tech. 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 returns to Allen Fieldhouse on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, to host No. 16/16 Baylor at 12 p.m., on CBS. The Jayhawks will then play at West Virginia on Feb. 16 in their third of four ESPN Big Monday appearances of the 2014-15 season. The Jayhawks will return home to host TCU on Saturday, Feb. 21, at 3 p.m., on either ESPN or ESPN2.
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