Kansas to Face New Mexico in Kansas City Shootout Saturday in Men's Hoops
KANSAS TO HOST NEW MEXICO IN KANSAS CITY SHOOTOUT
No. 13/13 Kansas makes its annual trip to Sprint Center for the Kansas City Shootout presented by Coventry Health Care when it plays host to New Mexico on Dec. 14. The Jayhawks are 6-3 on the season after their 67-61 loss at No. 19/19 Florida on Dec. 10 in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. New Mexico is 7-1 on the season and has won four-straight games after its 63-54 win against Cincinnati on Dec. 7, in Albuquerque. KU and UNM are meeting for the first time since the 1964-65 season in men’s basketball.
Through nine games, Kansas averages 77.1 points and has a plus-8.7 scoring margin. The Jayhawks have outrebounded eight of nine opponents, average 38.0 per boards per game and have a plus-6.9 rebound margin. KU is also winning the efficiency battle, having outshot eight of its nine opponents. KU has shown its depth with nine players averaging nine or more minutes per game. KU’s bench has outscored all but two opponents this season and averages 28.2 points per contest. In its last game, Kansas started four freshmen and a sophomore.
Freshman G Andrew Wiggins is coming off a career-high 26 points at Florida. He has averaged 24 points in his last two games and, with 11 reobunds at Florida, he recorded his first career double-double. Wiggins leads KU with a 16.4 scoring average. He also has a team-high nine steals and his 6.1 rebounds are third on the squad. Sophomore F Perry Ellis is next in scoring at 13.3 points per game and his 6.4 rebounds are second-best on the team. Ellis is shooting 60.3 percent from the field. Freshman G Frank Mason has started the last two games for KU and is averaging 9.1 points per game. Mason is second on the team with 24 assists. Freshman C Joel Embiid started the Florida game and he leads the Jayhawks with a 6.6 rebound average and 20 blocked shots. Embiid is scoring 8.9 points per contest and he and Mason have eight steals apiece, one behind Wiggins. Freshman G Wayne Selden, Jr. rounds out the Kansas starters. Selden averages 8.9 points per game and is third on the team with 17 assists. Junior G Naadir Tharpe has started six of eight games played and leads Kansas with 37 assists to complement his 6.0 scoring average. Other contributors off the bench include senior F Tarik Black (3.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg), sophomore F Jamari Traylor (3.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg, nine blocked shots), sophomore G Andrew White III (4.1 ppg), freshman G Brannen Greene (2.7 ppg) and freshman G Conner Frankamp (1.9 ppg).
ABOUT NEW MEXICO
Located in Albuquerque, N.M., with an enrollment of 28,800, New Mexico is 7-1 on the season. The Lobos are coached by Craig Neal who is 7-1 in his first season at UNM and his first season as a head coach. Through eight games, New Mexico averaged 81.6 points and gave up 71.0 for a +10.6 scoring margin. The Lobos dominate the boards with a 43.5 per game average and a +9.0 rebound margin. UNM averages 16.1 assists and 6.9 blocked shots per game, which ranks 11th nationally.
Senior F Cameron Bairstow leads New Mexico in scoring at 19.8 points per game. He is second on the team in rebounds with a 7.1 average and also second in field goal percentage (55.1), free throw percentage (78.1) and blocked shots (11). Senior G Kendall Williams is next in scoring at 19.1 points per game and he leads UNM with 14 three-pointers, 46 assists and 12 steals this season. Junior C Alex Kirk leads the Lobos with 10.4 rebounds per game. He is scoring 18.6 points per contest and has a team-best 27 blocked shots. Junior Hugh Greenwood (5.1 ppg, 25 assists) and sophomore G Cleveland Thomas (5.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg) round out the New Mexcio starters. Freshman G Cullen Neal scores 7.0 points per game and he is second on the team with nine three-pointers made this season. Other UNM regulars include junior G Deshawn Delaney (2.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg) and sophomore F Nick Banyard (2.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg). Sophomore G Merv Lindsay is a Kansas transfer who lettered at KU during the 2011-12 NCAA runner-up season. Lindsay has played in four games this season for UMN averaging four minutes per contest.
Dating back to 1963 and 1964, the Kansas-New Mexico series is tied at 1-1 with each team claiming home victories. New Mexico won the first meeting 59-54 on Dec. 19, 1963, in Albuquerque, while Kansas won the following season, 59-40, on Dec. 3, 1964, in Allen Fieldhouse.
KANSAS IN KANSAS CITY
Kansas City has been a second home of sorts for Kansas over the years. KU’s first-ever game — a 16-5 loss to Kansas City YMCA on Feb. 3, 1899 — was played in Kansas City. The Dec. 14 game against New Mexico will mark KU’s 286th game played all-time in Kansas City, and its 27th in Sprint Center. KU is 22-4 in Sprint Center including winning the 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2013 Big 12 Championships in the venue. In 2009-10 and 2010-11, Kansas went 4-0 in Sprint Center. In 2008-09, KU went 1-2 in the venue. In 2007-08, Kansas went 4-0 in the venue, including winning the Big 12 Championship en route to its NCAA National Championship. Kansas went 8-0 in the Sprint Center in 2012-13 having won the CBE Classic (78-41 vs. Washington State 11/19 and 73-59 vs. St. Louis 11/20), defeating Oregon State 84-78 in the Kansas City Shootout (11/30), winning the Big 12 Championship (defeating Texas Tech 91-63, Iowa State 88-73 and Kansas State 70-54) and beating Western Kentucky 64-57 (3/22) and North Carolina 70-58 (3/24) in the NCAA Tournament. KU played 106 games in Kemper Arena with an 81-25 record. KU is 207-78 in games played in Kansas City.
MORE NOTES ON THE JAYHAWKS IN KC
- Kansas went 26-4 in Kemper Arena from 1997 until 2006, when it played its last game in the venue. Included in that run were Big 12 Championship titles in 1997, 1998 and 1999.
- Kemper Arena was the host of the 1988 NCAA Final Four when the Jayhawks won the national championship.
- With the Dec. 14, 2013, contest against New Mexico, Kansas will have played at least one regular-season game in Kansas City in 24 of the last 26 seasons, including every year Sprint Center has existed.
After nearly a month, Kansas returns to the friendly confines of Allen Fieldhouse on Dec. 21 when it plays host to Georgetown. The game will tip at 11 a.m. and be seen on ESPN. KU will then take a holiday break before hosting Toledo on Dec. 30 at 7 p.m. on Jayhawk IMG TV/ESPN3 and ESPN Full Court. KU will close out non-conference play when San Diego State comes to Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 5. That game will be televised on CBS and will start at either 12:30 or 3:30 p.m., depending on the NFL playoffs.
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