No. 8/8 Kansas to Host Texas Tech on Senior Night Wednesday
Big 12 regular-season champion Kansas (22-7, 13-3) will host Texas Tech (13-16, 5-11) on Wednesday, March 5, at 7 p.m. on the Big 12 Network. KU is coming off of a 72-65 loss at Oklahoma State on March 1, while Texas Tech suffered a 59-49 loss at Baylor the same evening and now looks to end a five-game losing streak.
The Kansas-Texas Tech contest will mark the final home game for KU seniors Tarik Black, Niko Roberts and Justin Wesley. Kansas has won 30-straight home finales, including 29 consecutive Senior Nights dating back to the 1983-84 season. In 2006-07, Kansas did not have a senior on its roster. KU senior managers Corey Wacknov and Neal Stineman will also be recognized prior to tip off.
Despite a loss at Oklahoma State, No. 8/8 Kansas won the Big 12 Conference regular-season outright on Saturday, March 1. The title was KU’s mindboggling 10th-straight, 14th Big 12 and NCAA-leading 57th overall. Kansas averages 79.3 points per game and has a +9.9 scoring margin. KU has outrebounded 25 of 29 opponents, including 14 of 16 Big 12 foes, and holds a +7.8 rebound margin. KU leads the Big 12, and ranks in the top-five nationally, with a 49.8 field goal percentage. KU shot 50 percent or better in seven of its last 13 games. In all, KU has outshot 23 of its 29 opponents in 2013-14. KU also ranks in the top four in the Big 12 in scoring offense (fourth, 79.3), scoring margin (third, +9.9), rebounding (fourth, 38.3), rebounding margin (second, +7.8), assists (third, 15.5) and blocked shots (second, 5.7).
Freshman G Andrew Wiggins leads Kansas with a 16.3 scoring average, the best among Big 12 freshmen and 10th overall in the conference. He has made 36 threes this season and is the team leader with 30 steals. Wiggins’ 5.9 rebound average is third on the team and 18th in the conference. Sophomore F Perry Ellis was named the co-Big 12 Player of the Week (2/17) for the second time this season after his career-high 32 points against TCU (2/15). Ellis is KU’s second-leading scorer at 13.2 points per game, which is 15th in the Big 12. Ellis’ 6.5 rebound average is second on the team (12th in the Big 12) as are his 27 steals. On March 3, KU head coach Bill Self announced freshman C Joel Embiid will sit out the remaining two games due to a re-aggravated back injury. Embiid is coming off back-to-back double-doubles with 13 points and 13 rebounds at Oklahoma State (3/1) and 12 points and 13 rebounds against Oklahoma (2/24). He has broken the KU freshman record for blocked shots, currently at 72, and his 2.6 blocked shots per game are second in the league. Embiid leads KU with 8.1 rebounds per game, good for sixth in the Big 12. Embiid is shooting 62.6 percent from the field (which would lead the league if he made 5.0 per game) and averages 11.2 points per game. Freshman G Wayne Selden, Jr., is scoring 10.4 points per game and has three 20-point scoring games this season, all in league play. His 38 three-pointers and 76 assists each rank second among his teammates. Junior G Naadir Tharpe is scoring 8.9 ppg this season. His 5.1 assists rank third in the Big 12 and his 2.4 assist-to-turnover ratio is fourth. Tharpe has made a team-best 39 three-pointers in 2013-14.
Freshman G Frank Mason averages 5.9 points per game and is third on the team with 61 assists. Sophomore F Jamari Traylor leads KU with a 74.6 field goal percentage and is averaging 4.3 points and 3.6 rebounds per contest. Other contributors off the bench include senior F Tarik Black (4.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg), freshman G Brannen Greene (2.3 ppg), freshman G Conner Frankamp (1.9 ppg) and redshirt freshman F Landen Lucas (1.7 ppg).
ABOUT TEXAS TECH
Located in Lubbock, Texas, with an enrollment of 32,611, Texas Tech is 13-16 on the season and 5-11 in Big 12 play. The Red Raiders are coached by Tubby Smith who is 13-16 in his first season at Texas Tech and 524-242 in his 23rd season overall. Tech scores 69.4 points per game, is third in the Big 12 in scoring defense at 68.1 and has a +1.3 scoring margin. The Red Raiders lead the conference in rebounding defense at 29.7 and have a +3.1 rebound margin. They are second in the league in free throw percentage at 73.2 percent.
Senior F Jaye Crockett leads the team in scoring with 13.6 points per game, which is 14th in the Big 12. His 6.3 rebound average is a team best and 14th in the conference. Crockett’s 51.2 field goal percentage is third in the league while his 83.0 free throw percentage is also fourth in the Big 12. Junior F Jordan Tolbert is next in scoring at 10.9 points per game and he is shooting a team-best 55.6 percent from the field. His 6.0 rebounds per game are second on the team and 16th in the league. Tolbert’s 22 blocked shots are also second for the Red Raiders. Junior G Robert Turner scores 9.6 points per game and has a team-high 77 assists and 40 steals. Turner’s 22 three-pointers are third-most on the team. Rounding out the TTU starters are redshirt sophomore G Toddrick Gotcher (7.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 57 assists) and senior F Dejan Kravic (7.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, team-best 37 blocked shots). Sophomore G Dusty Hannahs has made a team-high 40 three-pointers this season and his 91.8 free throw percentage is also a team best. Hannah scores 8.3 points per game and his 39 assists are third on the squad. Other TTU contributors include freshman G Randy Onwuasor (3.1 ppg, 37 assists), senior G Jamal Williams, Jr. (2.4 ppg) and freshman F Alex Foster (1.8 ppg).
Kansas leads the overall series with Texas Tech 26-4 as the Jayhawks have won nine-straight in the series beginning on Jan. 16, 2010. Last year, KU defeated TTU three times, including 91-63 in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Championship in Kansas City, Mo., en route to the title. Kansas is 13-0 against Texas Tech in games played in Lawrence with all 13 meetings held inside Allen Fieldhouse. Since the inception of the Big 12 Conference in 1997, Kansas is 19-4 against Texas Tech; 16-4 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 13-6 all-time against Texas Tech, including 12-3 while at Kansas. Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith is 2-4 versus Kansas.
Earlier this season, Kansas freshman G Andrew Wiggins made a basket with 1.7 seconds remaining as Kansas edged Texas Tech, 64-63, on Feb. 18 in Lubbock. Wiggins led all scorers with 19 points, freshman C Joel Embid was the only other Jayhawk in double figures with 18 points to go along with eight rebounds. TTU was led by Jordan Tolbert with 16 points. He was one of five Red Raiders in double figures.
- Kansas has scored 80 or more points in five of its last seven games. The Jayhawks have six games of 90 or more points this season, including four in Big 12 play. In 17 of KU’s 22 victories, the Jayhawks have scored at least 80 points, including 10 Big 12 games. The Jayhawks are 17-1 when scoring 80 points or more in 2013-14.
- Kansas is 16-1 when shooting 50 percent or better in the game and has eclipsed the 50 percent field goal percentage in seven of its last 12 games and nine of 15 Big 12 games. KU’s 61.5 percent versus TCU (2/15) was a season best.
- KU has outrebounded 25 of its 29 opponents this season, including 14 of 16 Big 12 contests. After its 42-24 rebound advantage at Oklahoma State (3/1), KU has 14 games with a +10 rebound advantage.
- Kansas is 20-1 when leading at half this season, including 12-1 in Big 12 play. KU led at OSU 26-25 on March 1 for the only loss.
- KU has held all but one opponent (Duke, 51.7) under 50 percent shooting in 2013-14.
- Freshman G Andrew Wiggins has led Kansas in scoring in three of the last four games. He has led KU in scoring seven times in Big 12 play and 13 times this season.
- Wiggins has averaged 18.1 points in his last 11 contests. His 16.3 scoring average for the season would break the KU freshman record. Wiggins has eight games of 20-plus points, including four in Big 12 play.
- Freshman C Joel Embiid has 72 blocked shots this year, which is the KU freshman record. He has blocked at least one shot in each of his last 22 games played.
- Embiid is 22-for-33 (66.7 percent) from the field in his last six games.
- Freshman G Wayne Selden, Jr., had 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting at Oklahoma State (3/1). Selden has shot 50 percent or better in four of his last seven games and seven of his last 11. He has three 20-point efforts this season, all against Big 12 competition.
- Sophomore F Perry Ellis has shot 60 percent or better in 12 games this season, including four conference contests. The Jayhawks are 12-0 when Ellis shoots 60 percent or better this season.
- Junior G Naadir Tharpe has scored in double figures in seven league games and 10 times this season. His 19 points against Oklahoma (2/24) were the most since his 22 points at Baylor (2/4).
- Tharpe has two career double-doubles, both in league competition this season. He has three games with 10 or more assists this season and three of his four 20-point scoring games in 2013-14 came against Big 12 opponents.
- Senior F Tarik Black is averaging 4.3 points for the season but has averaged 6.3 ppg in his last eight games. Black is 26-for-36 (72.2 percent) from the field in his last 11 games played. He is averaging 3.1 rebounds for the season yet has pulled down 5.0 boards in his last eight contests.
- Sophomore F Jamari Traylor has missed only eight shots in 15 conference games. He scored a career-high 10 points versus TCU (2/15) and is 29-of-37 (78.4 percent) in Big 12 games this season.
- Freshman G Frank Mason scored 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting against Texas (2/22). His 14 points were a conference-play best and one shy of his career-high 15 against Duke (11/12/13).
- Freshman G Conner Frankamp scored five points on 2-of-4 shooting with two assists against Texas (2/22). Ten of his 14 field goals this season have come from behind the arc and he has made at least one three-pointer in four of his last six games played.
Including 2013-14, Kansas has won 14 of the 18 Big 12 regular-season titles (includes ties), including the last 10, which ranks tied for third on the NCAA all-time consecutive list. Kansas’ 57 conference titles are the most in NCAA Division I. Kentucky is second with 51 and Penn third at 37. KU’s 10-straight league titles are the longest active streak in NCAA Division I and the longest streak in school history. Including 2013, Belmont (Atlantic Sun/Ohio Valley East) and Murray State (Ohio Valley West) are next at four on the active league title list.
CONSECUTIVE CONFERENCE REGULAR-SEASON WINNERS
(source: NCAA Record Book; *active streak)
No. Team Conference Seasons
13 UCLA PAC-10 1967-79
11 Gonzaga West Coast 2001-11
10* KANSAS Big 12 2005-14
10 Connecticut Yankee 1951-60
10 UNLV Big West 1983-92
9 Idaho St. Rocky Mountain 1953-61
9 Kentucky Southeastern 1944-52
MORE ON 10 STRAIGHT BIG 12 TITLES
- Bill Self passed coaching legends John Wooden (UCLA) and Adolph Rupp (Kentucky) who won nine-straight conference titles during their schools’ respective runs. Only Mark Few’s 11 consecutive Big West titles are more than Self’s 10.
- Including the 2014 campaign, three of Kansas’ 10-consecutive Big 12 titles were accomplished with no returning starters from the previous season (2005-06, 2008-09, 2013-14).
- In the 10-year run, Kansas has never been swept in a conference two-game round-robin series, while the Jayhawks have swept Big 12 foes 43 times with two pending in 2014 – Texas Tech and West Virginia.
- Kansas’ worst record in the streak was 12-4, which happened twice (2005 and 2006), and was still eight games above .500. Every other Big 12 team in that stretch has had at least one losing league record.
- Every player in the Bill Self era has won at least one Big 12 regular-season championship with the exception of David Padgett and Omar Wilkes who was a freshman in 2003-04. Note: Jeff Graves and Brett Olson who played for Self in 2003-04, won a Big 12 title in 2002-03.
- In the 10 titles, KU tied for the title four times: with Oklahoma in 2005, Texas in 2006, Texas in 2008 and Kansas State in 2013.
- Including being the top-rated conference in the nation in RPI in 2013-14, the Big 12 has ranked among the top five leagues in the final RPI (post-NCAA Championship) for seven-straight seasons and 12 times in the last 13 years. In six of the last seven campaigns, the conference will be in the top three, including the No. 1 finish in 2009-10 and most likely 2013-14.
IN THE POLLS
Kansas is ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press in the poll released March 3. The Jayhawks were in the AP top 10 the first five polls of 2013-14 and 12 total in 2013-14. KU is No. 8 in the March 3 USA Today Coaches’ poll. In the Bill Self era, this is the 168th week Kansas has been ranked in the AP top 25, which includes 119 times in the top 10. KU has been ranked in each of the last 102 polls dating back to the 2008-09 season. In the coaches’ poll, Kansas has been ranked 195 times, including 143 in the top 10 in the Self era. KU has been listed in each of the last 106 coaches’ polls.
AFTER ONLY ONE SEASON
Last season, Ben McLemore broke the Kansas freshman scoring record, which was held for 28 years by KU legend Danny Manning, set in 1985. Manning scored 496 points, while McLemore became the first freshman in school history to surpass the 500-point barrier with 596 in 2012-13. This season, KU freshman G Andrew Wiggins’ 16.3 points per game is ahead of McLemore’s KU frosh-record average of 15.9 ppg and Wiggins’ 472 points rank fourth on the KU freshman list. Wiggins already owns the KU freshman record for free throw attempts (179) and free throws made (136).
EMBIID KU FROSH RECORD HOLDER
Freshman C Joel Embiid is the Kansas freshman blocked shots record holder, currently at 72, as he passed former KU center Eric Chenowith’s 62 in 1997-98 on Feb. 22. Embiid has blocked at least one shot in 22-consecutive games played. Chenowith’s longest streak stopped at five-straight. Embiid’s eight blocked shots against Oklahoma State (1/18) set the KU freshman game record and tied the Big 12 freshman game record. Embiid is second in the Big 12 with 2.6 blocked shots per game and he has six outings with four or more blocks.
Embiid’s 8.1 rebound average in 2013-14 is ahead of Danny Manning’s KU freshman record of 7.6 set in 1985, while his 227 boards rank fifth on the KU freshman list. Also if maintained, Embiid’s 62.6 field goal percentage would set the KU freshman record (59.5 by Jeff Gueldner in 1987) and rank tied for fourth on KU’s overall single-season list with Darnell Jackson (62.6 in 2008).
COACHING 700 GAMES
The Kansas at Oklahoma State game marked the 700th career game coached for KU head coach Bill Self. Self’s 529 career wins ranks eighth on the NCAA Division I all-time win list for coaches in their first 700 games coached. He is third among active coaches who have coached 700 games.
NCAA DIVISION I MOST WINS IN FIRST 700 GAMES COACHED
Wins Coach, School(s) (seasons)
593 Adolph Rupp, Kentucky (1931-52, 54-72)
575 Jerry Tarkanian, LBSU (1969-73), UNLV (74-92), Fresno St. (96-2002)
566 Roy Williams, Kansas (1989-2003), North Carolina (04-present)
558 John Kresse, College of Charleston (1980-2002)
545 John Wooden, Indiana State (1947-48), UCLA (49-75)
539 Dean Smith, North Carolina (1962-97)
538 John Calipari, UMass (1989-96), Memphis (2001-09), Kentucky (10-present)
529 Bill Self, ORU (1994-97), Tulsa (98-2000), Illinois (01-03), KU (04-present)
526 Ed Diddle, Western Kentucky (1923-64)
522 Jim Boeheim, Syracuse (1977-present)
HOME SWEET HOME
Bill Self is 174-9 in games played at Allen Fieldhouse for a 95.1 winning percentage. Self’s Big 12 Conference titles (10) are more than 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 120-3 in Allen Fieldhouse in its last 123 games and has won 112-straight games against non-ranked teams in the venue dating back to the 2006-07 season. Kansas is 712-109 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 close out the Big 12 regular season at West Virginia on Saturday, March 8, at 11 a.m. (Central) on ESPN. Kansas will enter the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship (March 12-15) at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., as the No. 1 seed and play its first game in the event’s quarterfinals on Thursday, March 13, at 2 p.m. against the winner of the No. 8 vs. No. 9 game, which takes place March 12. KU has had a first-round bye in 17 of the 18 Big 12 Championships. KU has been the No. 1 seed in the event 11 times, including each of the last six seasons.