Kansas to Play at Florida in Big 12/SEC Challenge Tuesday in Men's Hoops
BIG 12/SEC CHALLENGE, KANSAS AT FLORIDA
No. 13/13 Kansas (6-2) continues its six-game swing away from Allen Fieldhouse when it plays at No. 19/19 Florida (6-2) in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 6 p.m. (Central) on ESPN. The Jayhawks are coming off a 75-72 loss at former conference foe Colorado (9-1) on Dec. 7. Florida has won five of its last six games, but is coming off a one-point loss, 65-64, at Connecticut on Dec. 2. This is the ninth of 10 games in the inaugural Big 12/SEC Challenge. Through the first eight matchups the Big 12 leads 6-2.
2013 Big 12/SEC Challenge (Big 12 leads 6-2)
Thursday, November 14
at Alabama 76, Texas Tech 64
Monday, December 2
at Iowa State 99, Auburn 70
at Texas 70, Vanderbilt 64
Thursday, December 5
TCU 71, at Mississippi State 61
at Kansas State 61, Mississippi 58
at Missouri 80, West Virginia 71
Friday, December 6
at Oklahoma State 79, South Carolina 52
Baylor 67, Kentucky 62 (AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas)
Tuesday, December 10
Kansas at Florida, ESPN, 6 p.m.
Saturday, December 21
Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M, 6 p.m. (Toyota Center, Houston, Texas)
Through eight games, Kansas averages 79.1 points and has a plus-10.5 scoring margin. The Jayhawks have outrebounded seven of eight opponents, average 37.8 per boards per game and have a plus-6.5 rebound margin. KU is also winning the efficiency battle, having outshot seven of its eight opponents. KU has shown its depth with nine players averaging nearly 10 or more minutes per game. KU’s bench has outscored all but one opponent this season and averages 30.3 points per contest.
Freshman G Andrew Wiggins tied his career high with 22 points at Colorado (12/7) and leads KU with a 15.3 scoring average. He also has a team-high nine steals and his 5.5 rebounds are third on the squad. Sophomore F Perry Ellis leads KU in rebounding at 6.8 boards per game after his eight rebounds at Colorado. Scoring 14.5 points per game and shooting 60 percent from the field, Ellis was named to the Battle 4 Atlantis All-Tournament Team. Freshman G Wayne Selden, Jr., is a starter who is scoring at 9.1 points per outing. He, Ellis and Wiggins are joined in the starting lineup by freshman G Frank Mason, who is also scoring 9.1 points per game and senior F Tarik Black (3.5 ppg). Freshman C Joel Embiid is second on the team with 6.6 rebounds per game and leads KU with 17 blocked shots and a 65.9 field goal percentage. Embiid’s 9.3 scoring average is third-best on the team. Junior G Naadir Tharpe has started six of seven games played and leads Kansas with 32 assists to complement his 6.6 scoring average. Other contributors off the bench include sophomore F Jamari Traylor (3.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg, nine blocked shots), sophomore G Andrew White III (4.6 ppg) and freshman G Conner Frankamp (2.1 ppg).
Located in Gainesville, Fla., with an enrollment 49,913, Florida is 6-2 on the season. Coached by Billy Donovan, who is 421-168 in his 19th season at Florida and 456-188 in his 21st season overall, Florida is 5-0 at home and has won by an average of 14.6 points in O’Connell Center. The Gators average 72.4 points and give up 60.9 for a +11.5 scoring margin. UF wins the battle of the boards over its opponents averagin 35.8 rebounds for a +3.9 rebound margin. Florida outshoots its opponents 46.5 percent to 40.5 percent and averages 7.9 steals and 12.6 assists per game.
Senior F Casey Prather leads Florida in scoring with 19.1 points per game and 20 assists through eight games. Prather has made a team-best 40 free throws and is second on the squad with a 5.9 rebound average. Sophomore G Michael Frazier II is next in scoring at 13.5 points per contest and has made a team-high 23 three-point field goals this season. He and fellow starters senior G Scottie Wilbekin and senior C Patric Young are tied for the team lead with 10 steals. Wilbekin is scoring 11.3 points per game and has 17 assists, while Young has a 10.3 scoring average and a team-best 10 blocked shots. Senior F Will Yeguete (5.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg, nine steals) rounds out the Florida starters. Redshirt sophomore F Dorian Finney-Smith is a top player off the bench, who averages 10.3 points and a team-best 8.2 rebounds per game. Freshman G Kasey Hill suffered a high ankle sprain against Southern on Nov. 18 and has missed the last four games. Hill started the first four contests averaging 10.3 points with 17 assists and nine steals. Other reserves include junior F Jacob Kurtz (3.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg) and sophomore G/F DeVon Walker (3.4 ppg).
THE KANSAS-FLORIDA SERIES
Though there have only been four games in this series, the Kansas-Florida matchups have been highly touted. Kansas leads 3-1; three of the four meetings have pitted top-10 nationally ranked contests and every game has had at least one team ranked in the top 10. In the first meeting, No. 5 Kansas defeated No. 6 Florida 69-63 in Allen Fieldhouse on Dec. 7, 1994. KU was ranked No. 3 when the Jayhawks defeated the Gators 69-64 on Jan. 11, 1996, in Gainesville No. 7 Florida bested No. 2 Kansas in the third meeting 83-73 on Nov. 29, 2003, in the consolation finals of the Preseason NIT at Madison Square Garden. In their last meeting, No. 10 Kansas defeated top-ranked Florida 82-80 in overtime on Nov. 25, 2006, in the championship game of the Las Vegas Invitational. Florida went on to win its second-straight NCAA National Championship that season, while Kansas claimed the national title the following year in 2008.
Kansas concludes its six-game stand away from Lawrence when it plays New Mexico on Saturday, Dec. 14 in the Kansas City Shootout at Sprint Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ESPN2. The Jayhawks return to Allen Fieldhouse on Dec. 21 to host national power Georgetown. ESPN will televise the 11 a.m. game between the Jayhawks and Hoyas.