No. 8/8 Kansas Travels to Kansas State for ESPN Big Monday
Kansas to Play at Kansas State on ESPN Big Monday
No. 8/8 Kansas (22-5, 11-3) hits the road to face Kansas State in the Sunflower Showdown, presented by Dillons, on ESPN Big Monday Feb. 23 at 8 p.m. (Central). The Jayhawks are coming off an 81-72 win versus TCU on Feb. 21. Kansas State is coming off a 69-42 loss at No. 20/20 Baylor Feb. 21.
Kansas, 10-time defending Big 12 regular-season champion, holds a one-game edge over Iowa State (20-6, 10-4) in the 2015 Big 12 regular-season race. West Virginia (21-6, 9-5) and Oklahoma (19-8, 10-5) are next with two more losses than Kansas. At 11-3, Kansas has guaranteed itself of not playing on the first day of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship, March 11-14, at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.
No. 8/8 Kansas (22-5, 11-3) improved to 65-9 following a loss in the Bill Self era with its 81-72 win versus TCU Feb. 21. Kansas scores 72.1 points per game and has a +7.7 scoring margin. The Jayhawks average 38.0 boards per game and have a +4.4 rebound margin. KU leads the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 40.9 percent and averages 14.3 assists, 6.4 steals and 4.9 blocked shots per game.
Named the co-Big 12 Player of the Week Feb. 16, junior F Perry Ellis is coming off a 23-point performance where he was 9-for-10 from the field against TCU (2/21). Ellis leads Kansas with a 13.7 scoring average and 6.9 rebound average. He is the only player in the Big 12 to rank sixth or higher in scoring (sixth) and rebounding (fourth). Ellis has led KU in scoring in each of the last three games and 10 times this season. Sophomore G Frank Mason III has averaged 16.0 points in his last two games and is next in scoring for the Jayhawks at 12.4 points per contest, which is 10th in the Big 12. Mason has 35 assists in his last six games and is third in the league in assists at 4.4 and eighth in field goal percentage at 47.0, which is just ahead of Ellis who sits in ninth (46.8 percent). Mason leads KU with 36 steals and his 33 three-pointers made this season are third most on the team. Sophomore G Wayne Selden, Jr., has made a team-high 45 three-pointers and his 1.7 made per game are eighth in the Big 12. Selden scores 9.7 points per game and is second on the team with 81 assists. Rounding out the KU starters are freshman G Kelly Oubre, Jr., and freshman F Cliff Alexander. Oubre averages 9.4 points in Big 12 play and 8.4 in all games. He is second on the team with 28 steals, averages 4.8 rebounds and has made 29 three-pointers this season. Alexander started his fifth game of the season against TCU. He leads KU with 36 blocked shots and his 1.3 blocks per game are eighth in the Big 12. Alexander scores 7.4 points per game and his 5.3 rebound average is second on the team and 19th in the league.
Sophomore G Brannen Greene leads the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage in conference-games only at 55.0 percent. His 1.6 three-pointers made per conference contest are 12th in the league. For the season, Greene averages 6.3 points and is second on the team with 36 three-pointers made. Freshman G Devonte’ Graham is coming off a career-high 20 points against TCU (2/21). He is scoring 5.3 points per game and ranks 14th in the Big 12 with 2.6 assists per game in conference-only games. Graham is third on the team with 41 assists. Junior F Jamari Traylor has started 14 games this season, scores 4.7 points per contest and pulls down 3.7 rebounds. His 30 blocked shots are second on the team and his 1.2 blocks per game are 11th in the Big 12. Sophomore F Landen Lucas scored a career-high-tying nine points against Baylor (2/14) and he averages 2.6 points and 3.4 rebounds per game, which included six boards at West Virginia (2/16).
About Kansas State
Located in Manhattan, Kansas, with an enrollment of 24,766, Kansas State (13-15, 6-9) looks to end a two-game losing streak after its 69-42 loss at No. 20/20 Baylor (2/21). KSU is coached by Bruce Weber who is 60-36 in his third season at K-State and 373-191 in his 17th season overall. Kansas State averages 62.9 points per game and has a -0.7 scoring margin. K-State averages 31.5 rebounds per game and has a +1.9 rebound margin. The Wildcats keep opponents off the boards as they lead the Big 12 in rebounding defense at 29.6. KSU also averages 13.1 assists, 6.1 steals and 2.3 blocked shots per game.
Sophomore G Marcus Foster leads Kansas State in scoring at 13.4 points per game which is seventh in the Big 12. He leads K-State with 57 three-point field goals made and his 2.3 made per game are fourth in the league. He ranks eighth in the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 37.5 percent. Senior F Nino Williams leads KSU in rebounds at 5.2 per game. He averages 11.4 points per game and is sixth in the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 48.7 percent. Williams’ 81.5 free throw percentage is fifth in the league. Senior F Thomas Gipson leads KSU with 16 blocked shots. He is just behind Williams in rebounding at 4.8 boards per contest and he scores 11.0 points per game. Sophomore F Wesley Iwundu (5.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg) and sophomore G Jevon Thomas (4.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg) round out the K-State starters. Thomas is 10th in the Big 12 in assists at 3.4 per game and leads KSU with 34 steals. Freshman G Tre Harris (4.2 ppg, 19 threes) started the Baylor contest in place of Foster.
Redshirt junior G Justin Edwards has 14 starts this season and is second on the team with 32 steals. He is fourth on the team in scoring at 6.2 points per game. Other KSU regulars include junior F Stephen Hurt (4.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg), sophomore G Nigel Johnson (4.2 ppg, 15 three-pointers, 28 steals) and freshman F Malek Harris (2.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg).
The Kansas-Kansas State Series
Kansas has won 49 of the last 53 meetings with Kansas State dating back to the 1994 season. KU has won seven of the last eight games, 14 of the last 16 matchups and holds a 188-92 all-time series advantage over KSU, which dates back to 1907. KU is 75-46 in games played in Manhattan, including 23-3 in Bramlage Coliseum. KU is a mind-boggling 28-3 vs. K-State in Manhattan beginning in 1984. Since the inception of the Big 12 Conference, KU is 41-4 against KSU (33-4 in regular-season battles and 8-0 in the Big 12 Championship). Kansas head coach Bill Self is 24-4 all-time against K-State, including 23-4 while at KU. Bruce Weber is 1-6 against Kansas, including 1-5 while at K-State.
Earlier this season, four Jayhawks scored in double figures as Kansas defeated Kansas State 68-57 on Jan. 31 in Allen Fieldhouse. Junior F Perry Ellis led KU with a double-double, scoring 16 points and pulling down 12 rebounds. Sophomore G Wayne Selden, Jr., scored 14 points, while sophomore G Brannen Greene added 11 and sophomore G Frank Mason III 10. KU led 33-17 at halftime and ended the contest outscoring KSU 38-24 in the paint.
- The NCAA is listing statistics and Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) on a regular basis. Through games as of Feb. 21, Kansas is No. 1 nationally in the RPI and No. 1 nationally in the toughest schedule.
- Kansas’ bench has outscored its opponent’s bench in 10 of the last 12 games, including 37-19 against TCU (2/21). Kansas’s bench has outscored its opponent’s bench 281-124 for a 23.4 to 10.3 average in the last 12 games.
- Kansas leads the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 40.9 percent. The Jayhawks also rank in the upper half of the conference in scoring offense (fourth at 72.1), field goal percentage (second at 44.9), free throw percentage (fourth at 70.6), three-point field goal percentage defense (third at 32.0), assists (third at 14.3), rebounding (third at 38.0), rebound margin (third at +4.4), blocked shots (fifth at 4.9), steals (fifth at 6.4), assist-to-turnover ratio (fourth at 1.1) and three-point field goals made (tied for fourth at 6.7).
- Over the last four games the Jayhawks have shot 51.8 percent (100-of-198) from the field.
- Kansas has shot 50 percent or better from three-point range in three of its last five games. In that span the Jayhawks are 37-for-79 (46.8 percent) from beyond the arc. The Jayhawks have made 10 or more threes in three of their last six contests and seven times this season with five of those in Big 12 play.
- Kansas has outrebounded 17 of 27 opponents this season, compiling a 16-1 record in those contests. Seven of those games have been by double figures, including two in Big 12 play.
- Reigning co-Big 12 Player of the Week, junior F Perry Ellis, is coming off a 23-point performance against TCU (2/21) which was one point shy of his season-high 24 points against Tennessee (11/28). Ellis has averaged 20.0 points and is 23-for-35 (65.7 percent) from the field in his last three games which included a 9-for-10 effort versus TCU. Ellis has shot 50 percent or better in seven Big 12 games this season with four contests at 63 percent or better. His six double-doubles in 2014-15 are fourth in the Big 12 and he is the only player in the conference to rank in the top six in scoring (sixth at 13.7 ppg) and rebounding (fourth at 6.9 rpg).
- Sophomore G Frank Mason III had his string of double-figure scoring games end at 21 when he scored five points against Baylor on Valentine’s Day. In his two games since, Mason has averaged 16.0 points and is 12-for-21 (57.1 percent) from the field (3-for-6 from three-point range).
- Mason has multiple steals in three of his last six games and nine games this season. He has 11 steals in his last seven contests.
- Freshman G Devonte’ Graham is coming off a nearly perfect game against TCU (2/21) where he scored a career-high 20 points on 7-for-7 shooting, including 2-for-2 from three-point range. Graham was 4-for-6 from the free throw line with three assists. He has three or more assists in nine games this season, with eight against Big 12 teams.
- Sophomore G Wayne Selden Jr., has scored in double figures in five of his last seven games. His five straight 10-plus point games prior to West Virginia (2/16) marked his longest consecutive double-figure scoring mark as a Jayhawk. Selden’s 13 games of multiple threes are best on the KU team this season. Selden is averaging 12.7 points in his last seven games and 9.7 for the season.
- Sophomore G Brannen Greene is 19-for-32 (59.4 percent) from three-point range in his last 10 games and leads the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage in conference games at 55.0 percent. Greene’s nine points against TCU (2/21) were his most in four games.
- Freshman F Cliff Alexander is 39-for-63 (61.9 percent) from the field in Big 12 play with 19 blocked shots. Alexander has at least one blocked shot in 16 of his last 18 games, including a career-high-tying four at Texas Tech (2/10).
- After his 2-for-2 effort from beyond the arc at West Virginia (2/16), freshman G Kelly Oubre, Jr., has made multiple three-pointers in four of his last six games and nine times this season. Six of those have been against Big 12 competition. The Jayhawks are 8-1 when Oubre connects on two or more three-pointers this season.
- Oubre, who averages 4.8 rebounds per game for the season, has averaged 5.7 rebounds in his last three games. A two-time Big 12 Newcomer of the Week, Oubre has scored in double figures 10 times this season, including seven in Big 12 play.
- Sophomore F Landen Lucas pulled down six rebounds at West Virginia (2/16). He tied his career high with nine points against Baylor (2/14). He also scored nine points against Rider (11/24) earlier this season.
- Six Big 12 teams are ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 (Feb. 16) 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.
Kansas on ESPN Big Monday
For the ninth-straight season, the Kansas men’s basketball team will make four appearances on ESPN’s Big Monday in 2014-15 with the Kansas State contest being the fourth of four this season. Since the inception of the Big 12 in 1996-97, Kansas is 54-18 all-time on ESPN’s Big Monday (31-1 at home, 23-17 on the road), including 35-10 under head coach Bill Self. Additionally, KU has won 24-straight ESPN Big Monday games in Allen Fieldhouse, which includes a 20-0 mark under Self. KU is 2-1 on ESPN Big Monday in 2014-15.
Kansas to Host ESPN College GameDay Feb. 28
For the second time this season and 11th time overall, the Kansas men’s basketball team take part on ESPN’s College GameDay when the Jayhawks host Texas Saturday, Feb. 28. The GameDay show will originate from Wichita State for its normal morning portion, but then conduct an hour-long pregame show from Allen Fieldhouse beginning at 3 p.m., previewing the Texas at Kansas contest set to tip at 4 p.m., on ESPN. The 2014-15 season marks the 11th year for ESPN’s College Gameday. KU has hosted the morning show five times (2005, 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2013) and has been the road team on five occasions (2006, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015), including its Jan. 17 game at Iowa State. Kansas is 5-5 all-time on GameDay with (4-1 home and 1-4 away).
In the Polls
In the Feb. 16 national polls, Kansas is No. 8 in the Associated Press and No. 8 in the USA Today Coaches’ polls. This season, the Jayhawks have been ranked in the top 10 in the AP and coaches’ poll 10 and nine weeks, respectively. The Jayhawks have been ranked in each of the last 119 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 125 polls and in the top five on 54 occasions.
Kansas leads the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 40.9 percent. Historically, Kansas has shot 40 percent or better from three-point range five times with the single-season record being 43.3 percent in 1989-90 (41.6 in 1988-89, 40.8 in 1992-93, 41.8 in 2001-02 and 40.4 in 2009-10). In the Bill Self era, the 2014-15 Jayhawks are on pace to have their best three-point shooting season surpassing the 40.4 percent in 2009-10.
From the Line
Kansas enters the Kansas State game making 70.6 percent of its free throws in 2014-15. In the Bill Self era, the Jayhawks have made 70 percent or better from the charity stripe each of the last two seasons and five times in the previous 11 years. In 2012-13, KU set the single-season free throw percentage record at 73.7 percent.
Kansas’ bench has outscored its opponents bench in 10 of the last 12 games and 19 times this season. Through 27 games, Kansas’ bench is scoring 23.4 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 third behind the 2010-11 team’s 24.4 and the 2007-08 team’s 24.2 bench scoring averages. KU’s current +8.7 bench scoring differential is first in the Self era with the 2007-08 NCAA National Championship team second at +8.4.
Ellis Eclipses 1,000 Career Points
Junior F Perry Ellis scored his 1,000th career point against Baylor (2/14). He became the 56th Jayhawk to accomplish the feat and the 11th in the Bill Self era with the previous being 2012 Consensus All-American Thomas Robinson. At 1,057 all-time points, Ellis is already tied for No. 44 on the KU all-time scoring list with Kelly Knight (1980, 1982-84).
On Feb. 16, junior F Perry Ellis was named the men’s basketball co-Big 12 Player of the Week on Feb. 16, along with Le’Bryan Nash of Oklahoma State. Ellis averaged 16.0 points and 7.5 rebounds as the No. 8/9 Jayhawks won at Texas Tech, 73-51, and defeated then-No. 16/16 Baylor, 74-64. The Wichita forward shot 52.2 percent from the field and 87.5 percent from the free throw line. He opened the week by just missing a double-double with 14 points and nine boards at Tech. He then tied for the game-high in scoring with 18 points against the Bears. Ellis earned the honor for the second time this season and fourth time for his career.
On Feb. 17, Ellis was one of 16 student-athletes named to the watch list for the 2015 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The award is in its inaugural year and the list will be narrowed down to five finalists in early March with the winner being named April 10, 2015.
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 conference 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: West Virginia defeated Kansas 62-61 on Feb. 16 and will face KU March 3 in Allen Fieldhouse.
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 KU’s 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 home to host Texas on Feb. 28 at 4 p.m. (Central) on ESPN. ESPN College GameDay will conduct an hour pregame show from 3-4 p.m., in Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas’ senior night, with Christian Garrett being the lone KU senior on the roster, will be Tuesday, March 3, against West Virginia on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. The Jayhawks will close out the regular season at nationally-ranked Oklahoma on Saturday, March 7, which will be televised on ESPN with a 3 p.m. tip.
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