No. 10 Kansas to Host Lafayette in Men’s Hoops Saturday
Jayhawks to Host Leopards
No. 10/10 Kansas (8-1) returns home to host Lafayette (7-2) out of the Patriot League Saturday, Dec. 20, at 2 p.m. (Central) on Jayhawk IMG TV/ESPN Full Court/ESPN3. Kansas has a seven-game winning streak after its 63-60 win against then-No. 13/14 Utah on Dec. 13 in the Kansas City Shootout presented by Aetna at Sprint Center. Lafayette has won four straight after defeating Susquehanna, 91-66, on Dec. 16 in Easton, Pennsylvania. Starting in 2003-04, Kansas is 92-4 against non-conference opponents in Allen Fieldhouse under Bill Self.
No. 10/10 Kansas (8-1) won its seventh-straight game with a 63-60 win versus then-No. 13/14 Utah Dec. 13 in Kansas City. KU’s seven-game win streak matches last season’s longest. The Jayhawks average 69.3 points per game and have a +6.1 scoring margin. Kansas has outrebounded seven of nine opponents this season and has a +6.0 rebound margin. KU averages 11.8 assists, 6.2 steals and 4.6 blocked shots per game. KU has 10 players who average 10 or more minutes per game.
Following his 5-for-7 shooting performance in scoring 14 points, with six rebounds, against Utah (12/13), junior F Perry Ellis leads KU with 14.3 points per game and 7.0 rebounds per contest. Named the Big 12 Player of the Week (12/1), Ellis has scored double-digit points in seven-straight games. Sophomore G Frank Mason III leads KU with 32 assists and 13 steals through nine games. He has multiple steals in each of his last three games, is scoring 10.6 points per contest and, at 5-11, pulls down 3.8 rebounds per outing. Sophomore G Wayne Selden, Jr., is second on the team with 28 assists and has a 9.1 scoring average. Selden scored a season-high 21 points against Florida (12/5). Selden is second on the team having made 11 three-pointers. Rounding out the KU starters are sophomore G Brannen Greene and sophomore F Landen Lucas. Greene has made a team-best 12 three-pointers, including a 5-for-5 effort at Georgetown (12/10). He is scoring 6.3 points per game, while Lucas is averaging 3.1 points and 3.4 rebounds, which includes a career-high six boards against Florida (12/5).
Freshman F Cliff Alexander is fourth on the team in scoring with 8.7 points per game and leads the Jayhawks with 11 blocked shots. Alexander’s 6.4 rebounds per contest are second on the team. He recorded his first double-double as a Jayhawk with 12 points and 10 rebounds against Florida (12/5). Freshman G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk has six starts and scores 4.6 points per game. Svi has made eight three-pointers this season. Junior F Jamari Traylor is coming off his best game of the season where he tallied 13 points against Utah (12/13). He also was 5-for-5 from the line, had five rebounds and two steals against the Utes. Traylor is second on the team with 10 blocked shots, which complement his 4.5 scoring and 4.0 rebounding averages. Freshman G Kelly Oubre, Jr., has been solid in his last two outings, averaging 8.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in that span. Included was a season-high nine points versus Utah (12/13). Oubre is scoring 3.4 points for the season. Ellis, Selden, Alexander and Oubre are on the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 list as KU is one of only two schools, Kentucky being the other, to have four on the list.
On Dec. 13, KU head coach Bill Self announced freshman G Devonte’ Graham (5.9 ppg, seven steals) has a sprained toe and will miss four weeks due to the injury suffered at Georgetown (12/10).
Located in Easton, Pennsylvania, with an enrollment of 2,400, Lafayette brings a four-game winning streak to Allen Fieldhouse after its home win against Susquehanna, 91-66, on Dec. 16. The Leopards are coached by Fran O’Hanlon who is in his 20th season at Lafayette, and 20th overall, with a 276-297 record. Lafayette was preseason picked No. 4 in the Patriot League behind No. 1 American, No. 2 Army and No. 3 Holy Cross. The Leopards average 79.0 points and have a +6.8 scoring margin. They shoot 50.6 percent from the field, including 42.4 percent from three-point range. Lafayette averages 8.1 three-pointers, 16.6 assists and 7.2 steals per game.
Senior F Dan Trist leads Lafayette in scoring at 17.0 points per game and rebounding at 6.0 boards per contest. Senior G Seth Hinrichs, a preseason All-Patriot League selection, is next in scoring at 12.6 points and rebounding at 4.7 boards. Hinrichs also has 24 assists, 12 steals and five blocked shots for Lafayette. Senior G Joey Ptasinski has made a team-best 29 three-pointers this season and also leads the Leopards with 16 steals. Ptasinski scores 12.0 points and pulls down 3.9 rebounds per game. Rounding out the Lafayette starters are junior G Bryce Scott and sophomore G Nick Lindner. Scott tallies 9.2 points per contest and is second on the team with 28 assists and 13 steals. Lindner averages a team-best 5.3 assists per game to complement his 9.0 scoring average.
Lafayette has four players coming off the bench in freshman F Matt Klinewski (5.2 ppg), sophomore G Monty Boykins (4.4 ppg), junior G Zach Rufer (3.6 ppg) and sophomore F Michael Hoffman (2.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg). Rufer has made six three-pointers, while Boykins has made five treys for the Leopards in 2014-15.
Kansas and Lafayette are meeting for the first time in men’s basketball. The Jayhawks are 8-2 all-time against current membership of the Patriot League and have played eight of the 10 members. The two who KU has not faced are Army and Navy. The last KU contest versus a Patriot League member was on Dec. 29, 2012, an 89-57 Kansas win versus American in Allen Fieldhouse.
- In Kansas’ seven-game winning streak, the Jayhawks are averaging 73.6 points and have a +11.0 scoring margin compared to 69.3 ppg and +6.1 for the season. Additionally, KU is shooting 44.9 percent from the field and averaging 13.0 assists and 6.1 steals per game during its streak.
- In its last three games, Kansas is making 83.9 percent (73-87) from the free throw line.
- In the last two contests, KU is 16-for-28 (57.1 percent) from three-point range.
- KU has outrebounded seven of eight opponents this season, including two by double-digits (42-31 vs. UCSB on 11/14 and 44-22 vs. Tennessee on 11/28).
- Sophomore G Brannen Greene is 6-for-10 (60 percent) from the field in his last two games, including 5-for-8 from three-point range. Greene has made 17-straight free throws dating back to last season, including 13-for-13 in 2014-15.
- Sophomore G Frank Mason III has shot 50 percent or better in four of his last six games.
- Junior F Jamari Traylor’s 13 points versus Utah (12/13) were his season high. He has just three games of 10-plus points for his career.
- Junior F Perry Ellis has pulled down six or more rebounds in four of his last five games. He is 11-for-13 (84.6 percent) from the free throw line in his last three games.
- Freshman G Kelly Oubre, Jr., is averaging 8.0 points per game in his last two contests and is 9-for-10 from the line in that span.
- Of the six Big 12 teams ranked in the top 35 of the daily Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) released by the NCAA, Kansas is the highest at No. 2.
- Since Dec. 6, Big 12 teams are 22-0 against non-conference competition, which includes two Kansas victories. There are three games prior to KU’s home game against Lafayette (Dec. 20).
- Including Kansas at 8-1, eight Big 12 teams are unbeaten or have one loss which is more than any other conference in the nation.
Jayhawks Doing It From the Line
Riding a seven-game winning streak heading into final exams, free throw shooting has been a key for the 10th-ranked Jayhawks men’s basketball team.
Kansas has made 77.8 percent from the charity stripe over in the last eight games compared to 74.7 for the season. More impressive is that KU has shot 83.9 percent from the line in the last three games, all narrow wins for the Jayhawks. KU was 84.4 percent (27-37) in the 71-65 victory against Florida (12/5), 78.1 percent (25-32) in the 75-70 win at Georgetown (12/10) and 91.3 percent (21-23) in the 63-60 triumph of Utah (12/13). Making 20-straight free throws in each of the last three games is a feat the Jayhawks did not accomplish last season.
At 74.7 percent free throw shooting for the season, the 2014-15 Jayhawks are on pace to set the single-season record for percentage, and would surpass a record that has been held for 35 years — when the 1979-80 KU team shot 73.7 percent from the line.
In the Polls
In the Dec. 15 national polls, Kansas men’s basketball is ranked No. 10 in both the Associated Press and the USA Today Coaches’ polls. The Jayhawks have been ranked in each of the last 110 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 116 polls and in the top five on 54 occasions.
Versus Ranked Teams
With its win versus No. 13 Utah on Dec. 13, under KU head coach Bill Self, since the 2003-04 season, Kansas is 56-30 against Associated Press-ranked teams. In each of the last five seasons the Jayhawks have a winning record versus ranked foes, including a 7-3 mark in 2013-14. Since the 2009-10 season, KU is 34-13 against AP ranked teams.
Kansas Men’s Hoops to Host Holiday Clinic Dec. 28
Kansas men’s basketball program will hold its annual Men’s Basketball Holiday Clinic for boys and girls ages first through sixth grade on Sunday, Dec. 28, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., in Allen Fieldhouse. The clinic, hosted by current KU players, coaches and staff, will include fundamental instruction, an official camp T-shirt, a Junior Jayhawk basketball and one general admission ticket to KU’s Dec. 30 home game against Kent State. Additionally, there will be an autograph session with the current KU team and coaches following the clinic.
The cost of the clinic is $85 and pre-registration must be done online at www.billselfbasketballcamp.com. No walk-up registration will be taken on the date of the clinic. Families with a child attending the clinic can purchase a maximum of two additional Kent State tickets at check-in on Dec. 28 ($50/per ticket). These can be purchased only at check-in (cash or credit card) and will not be available to be purchased online. Check-in begins at 11 a.m., and lasts until 11:50 a.m., in the south end of Allen Fieldhouse. Parents are welcome to watch and take pictures from the second level of Allen Fieldhouse during the clinic.
Kansas will play at Temple on Monday, Dec. 22, at 6 p.m. (Central) on ESPN2 before taking a short holiday break and returning home to Allen Fieldhouse for a Dec. 30 game versus Kent State at 7 p.m., on Jayhawk IMG Network/ESPN Full Court/ESPN3. The Jayhawks will close out non-conference play when they host UNLV on Sunday, Jan. 4, at either 12:30 or 3:30 p.m. (Central), on CBS. The time will be determined once the NFL playoff schedule set for that weekend.
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