|G33: #9/10 Kansas at Big 12 Semifinal
||March 13, 2015/6 p.m. (Central)
||Kansas City, Missouri
||Sprint Center (18,972)
||Kansas is 37-9 in the Big 12 Championship
||Jayhawk Radio Network
Bob Davis (Play-by-Play)
Greg Gurley (Analyst)
Bob Newton (Engineer)
|Stats at a Glance
BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP SEMIFINAL
Big 12 Conference regular-season champion Kansas (25-7, 13-5) advanced to the Big 12 Championship semifinal for the 17th time in the 19-year history of the league with a 64-59 win against TCU on March 12. KU will face Baylor (24-8, 11-7) on Friday, March 13 at 6 p.m. (Central) on ESPN2. The Bears defeated West Virginia, 80-70, in its quarterfinal contest on March 12.
Kansas is 10-6 in Big 12 Championship semifinal games and 18-16 in all-time postseason tournament semifinal contests.
No. 9/10 Kansas (25-7, 13-5) scores 71.7 points per game and has a +6.8 scoring margin. The Jayhawks average 38.0 boards per game and have a +3.8 rebound margin. KU averages 13.4 assists, 6.6 steals and 5.2 blocked shots per game.
All-Big 12 First Team selection, junior F Perry Ellis, KU’s leading scorer, has not played the last two games at Oklahoma (3/7) and versus TCU (3/12) due to a sprained right knee suffered against West Virginia (3/3). A 2015 Academic All-Big 12 First Team honoree, Ellis leads KU with a 14.2 scoring average and 7.0 rebound average. He is the only player in the Big 12 to rank sixth or higher in scoring (sixth) and rebounding (fourth). Sophomore F Landen Lucas, who has 10 starts in 2014-15, replaced Ellis in the starting spot at OU and responded with his first career double-double with personal highs in points (13), rebounds (12) and minutes (33). Against TCU (3/12), he recorded 13 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots. Lucas averages 3.3 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. All-Big 12 Second Team selection, sophomore G Frank Mason III, is second in scoring at 12.4 points per game. He scored a career-high-tying 21 points at OU (3/7) in the regular-season finale. Mason leads KU with 4.0 assists and 1.4 steals per game. His 36 three-pointers made this season are tied for second-most on the team. All-Big 12 Honorable Mention selection, sophomore G Wayne Selden, Jr., has made a team-high 45 three-pointers. Selden scores 9.0 points per game and is second on the team with 91 assists. All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honoree, freshman G Kelly Oubre, Jr., scored a career-high 25 points against TCU (3/12), which included 15 free throws made. He also pulled down six rebounds, two blocked shots and three steals against the Horned Frogs. In the game prior, Oubre recorded his third double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds at OU (3/7). Oubre averages 9.5 and 5.1 rebounds this season and is second on the team with 38 steals. Junior F Jamari Traylor rounds out the KU starters. He has averaged 10.7 points in his last three games and 5.0 ppg and 3.6 rpg for the season. Traylor has started 18 games for the Jayhawks and his 36 blocked shots are second on the team. Traylor replaced freshman F Cliff Alexander (7.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.3 blocked shots per game, six starts) in the starting lineup versus Texas (2/28). Alexander has sat out the last four KU contests as a precautionary measure after the NCAA alerted KU about issues that could affect Alexander’s eligibility.
Sophomore G Brannen Greene was suspended for the regular-season finale at Oklahoma (3/7). He averages 5.9 points and is tied for second on the team with 36 three-pointers made. He makes 41.4 percent from beyond the arc in 2014-15. Freshman G Devonte’ Graham scored eight points and pulled down four rebounds at OU (3/7). He is scoring 5.1 points per game and is third on the team with 50 assists. Redshirt junior F Hunter Mickelson has averaged 13.7 minutes in his last three game and averages 7.3 for the season. Mickelson scored five points and pulled down six rebounds at Oklahoma (3/7) and averages 2.4 points and 1.9 boards for the season.
THE KANSAS-BAYLOR SERIES
The Kansas-Baylor series dates back to 1951 with the Jayhawks leading 23-4. Kansas has won four-straight in the series and holds a 5-2 advantage in the last seven meetings with Baylor’s wins in that span having been away from Allen Fieldhouse: 81-72 in the semifinals of the 2012 Big 12 Championship in Kansas City, Missouri and 81-58 in the 2013 regular-season finale for both teams in Waco, Texas. Since the inception of the Big 12, KU is 21-4 versus BU: 21-2 in regular-season play and 0-2 in the Big 12 Championship. BU is 2-0 versus Kansas in the Big 12 Championship with the aforementioned 2012 semifinal and 71-64 in the 2009 quarterfinals at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City. Kansas head coach Bill Self is 15-4 all-time against Baylor, including 15-3 while at Kansas, while Baylor’s Scott Drew is 3-15 versus Kansas.
Earlier this season, Kansas opened its Big 12 season with a 56-55 nail-biting victory at Baylor on Jan. 7. KU swept the regular-season series with a 74-64 win in Allen Fieldhouse on Valentine’s Day.
• Kansas is 98-for-129 (76.0 percent) from the free throw line in its last four games. The Jayhawks have shot 80 percent or better in seven games this season, including five against Big 12 competition.
• KU averages 5.2 blocked shots per game in 2014-15, yet has 31 blocks in its last four games for a 7.8 per game average. Included were 10 blocks versus Texas (2/28) and nine blocked shots against TCU (3/12).
• Kansas has outrebounded 20 of 32 opponents this season, compiling an 18-2 record in those contests. Seven of those games have been by double figures, including two in Big 12 play.
• Kansas had nine steals against TCU (3/12) and has averaged 8.3 steals in its last three games. Included were a season-high 13 steals against West Virginia (3/3). KU averages 6.6 steals for the season.
• Freshman G Kelly Oubre, Jr., registered his career-high with 25 points against TCU (3/12). It was his third 20-point effort of the season. In his previous game, Oubre recorded his third double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds at Oklahoma (3/7). Oubre, who averages 9.5 points for the season, has averaged 15.6 points in his last five games. Oubre has pulled down seven or more rebounds 11 times this season, including three of his last five contests.
• Sophomore G Frank Mason III has led KU in scoring seven times this season, including two of his last three games. He scored a career-high-tying 21 points at Oklahoma (3/7). Mason had three steals against TCU (3/12) and has 10 steals in his last five games.
• Sophomore F Landen Lucas has scored 13 points in each of his last two games and averages 3.3 points for the season. He has averaged 8.3 rebounds in his last three games and 3.9 boards for the year. Lucas recorded his first career double-double with 13
points and 12 rebounds at Oklahoma (3/7) in the regular-season finale. After his 6-for-7 effort against TCU (3/12), Lucas is 14-for-20 (70.0 percent) from the floor in his last four games.
• Junior F Jamari Traylor is scoring 10.7 points in his last three games, which included 14 points against West Virginia (3/3) and 12 points at Oklahoma (3/7).
• Freshman G Devonte’ Graham has three or more assists in 11 games this season, with 10 against Big 12 teams. He had four dimes and zero turnovers against TCU (3/12).
• Redshirt junior F Hunter Mickelson has at least one blocked shot in each of KU’s last four games and in each of his last six games played. Mickelson has six blocks in the last four games and averages 0.9 blocks for the season.
• Junior F Perry Ellis has scored 23 or more points in three of his last four games played. Despite only scoring four points before leaving the West Virginia (3/3) game with a sprained knee, Ellis has averaged 19.8 points in his last four games. Ellis missed the season finale at Oklahoma (3/7).
• Ellis shot 50 percent or better in eight Big 12 games this season with four contests at 62.5 percent or better. His seven double-doubles in 2014-15 are tied for second in the Big 12 and he is the only player in the conference to rank in the top six in scoring (sixth at 14.2 ppg) and rebounding (fourth at 7.0 rpg).
A Kansas win in the Big 12 Championship semifinals would give the Jayhawks their 19th all-time appearance in a championship game of the conference tournament, including their 11th in the Big 12 event. The title game would be Saturday, March 14, at 5 p.m. (Central)
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