No. 18/19 Kansas Returns Home to Face Georgetown Saturday in Men's Hoops
HOME SWEET HOME
After 29 days away from Allen Fieldhouse, No. 18/19 Kansas returns home to host Georgetown, Saturday, Dec. 21, at 11 a.m. on ESPN. KU ended a two-game losing streak with an 80-63 victory against New Mexico in the Kansas City Shootout presented by Coventry Health Care at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo., on Dec. 14. Georgetown is 7-2 on the season and defeated Elon College, 85-76, on Dec. 17. The Hoyas bring a six-game winning streak to their first trip to Allen Fieldhouse and their first true road game of the season. Kansas, on the flip side, is ready for a home game as the Jayhawks last played in AFH on Nov. 22.
Through 10 games, Kansas averages 77.4 points per game and has a +9.5 scoring margin. The Jayhawks have outrebounded nine of 10 opponents, with an average of 38.0 boards per game and have a +6.8 rebound margin. KU is also winning the efficiency battle, having outshot nine of its 10 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 26.6 points per contest.
Freshman G Andrew Wiggins leads Kansas with a 15.9 scoring average. He is second on the team with nine steals and his 5.9 rebounds are third on the squad. Wiggins is tied for seventh in the Big 12 in scoring, tied for 19th in rebounds and eighth in field goal percentage (48.1). Sophomore F Perry Ellis is next in scoring at 14.1 points per game and his 21 points against New Mexico (12/14) marked his third 20-point effort of the season. Ellis leads Kansas in rebound average at 6.7. He ranks 12th in the conference in scoring, 11th in rebounds, second in field goal percentage (60.9) and 12th in free throw percentage (76.7). Freshman C Joel Embiid has a team-high 24 blocked shots and is tied for third in the Big 12 with 2.4 blocks per game. Embiid’s 6.5 rebounds are tied for 12th in the league and he is shooting a team-best 66.1 percent from the field. Embiid averages 9.8 points per game. Rounding out the KU starters are freshman G Wayne Selden, Jr. (8.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg) and junior G Naadir Tharpe (6.2 ppg). Tharpe is fourth in the league in assists at 5.1 per game and is tied for fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.4).
Freshman G Frank Mason scores 8.2 points per game and has started three games for the Jayhawks this season. Sophomore F Jamari Traylor is averaging 3.3 points per contest and is making 88.2 percent from the free throw line. Other contributors off the bench include sophomore G Andrew White III (4.1 ppg), freshman G Brannen Greene (3.0 ppg) and senior F Tarik Black (2.8 ppg). Redshirt freshman F Landen Lucas is coming off a career-high five rebounds against New Mexico.
Located in Washington, D.C. with an enrollment of 13,652, Georgetown is 7-2 on the season and brings a six-game winning streak into Allen Fieldhouse. The Hoyas are coached by John Thompson III who is 216-91 in his 10th season at GU and 284-133 in his 14th season overall. Georgetown is 5-0 at home and 2-2 on neutral floors in 2013-14. The Hoyas average 76.6 points per game and give up 64.8 for a +11.8 scoring margin. Averaging 36.2 rebounds per game, Georgetown has a +2.6 rebound margin. GU forces 13.0 turnovers per game and shoots an average of 26.1 free throws per contest, making 71.1 percent from the charity stripe. Georgetown also averages 5.6 three-pointers and 15.4 assists per game.
Sophomore G D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera leads Georgetown in scoring with a 16.9 ppg average. He has a team-best 22 three-pointers, is tied for the team-high with 13 steals and is 36-for-43 (83.7 percent) from the free throw line. Smith-Rivera is second on the team with 26 assists and third with 4.6 rebounds per game. Senior G Markel Starks is next in scoring 15.7 points per game. He has a team-best 90.9 free throw percentage, 43 assists and is second with 10 steals. Starks’ 15 three-pointers are second on the team. Junior C Joshua Smith, a transfer from UCLA, is scoring 14.1 points per game. Joining the aforementioned in the starting lineup are junior G Jabril Trawick (6.7 ppg) and senior F Nate Lubick (5.3 ppg, team-best 6.3 rebounds). Junior F Mikael Hopkins is a non-starter who leads Georgetown with nine blocked shots. He is scoring 7.7 points per game and is second on the team with a 5.8 rebound average. Other GU key contributors include senior F Aaron Bowen (4.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg), freshman F Reggie Cameron (3.1 ppg) and senior C Moses Ayegba (1.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg).
This series among national powers consists of only two meetings and both were at neutral venues. Georgetown won the first meeting 70-57 on March 19, 1987, in the Sweet 16 of the Southeast Region NCAA Tournament in Louisville, Ky. KU won the second meeting, 67-63, in the quarterfinals of the Maui Invitational on Nov. 21, 2011. Current Jayhawks Naadir Tharpe (two points, one rebound in eight minutes) and Justin Wesley (three points, one rebound in 13 minutes) each played against Georgetown in 2011 in Maui, Hawaii.
- Kansas has outrebounded nine of its 10 opponents this season.
- KU has held every opponent under 50 percent shooting this season, while the Jayhawks have shot 50 percent or better in six games, including two of the last three.
- Kansas is making 39.4 percent (13-for-33) from three-point range in the last two games. In the four games prior, KU was 15-for-65 (23.1 percent) from beyond the arc.
- KU’s bench has outscored its opponents’ bench in eight of 10 games this season. KU’s bench averages 26.6 points to per game.
- Freshman G Andrew Wiggins (5) and sophomore F Perry Ellis (4) have led Kansas in scoring in nine of 10 games this season. Freshman G Frank Mason led KU with 12 points versus Villanova (11/29).
- Ellis has led the Jayhawks in rebounding in six games, while junior G Naadir Tharpe has topped the team in assists six times.
- Freshman C Joel Embiid scored 16 of his 18 points against New Mexico (12/14) in the second half. Embiid was 5-for-6 (83.3 percent) from the field against the Lobos. In his last four games, Embiid has 15 blocked shots and is 11-for-14 (78.6 percent) from the free throw line.
- Wiggins has four blocked shots in his last two games and at least one swat in each of his last five outings. In his last three games Wiggins is averaging 19.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and is 20-for-23 (87.0 percent) from the free throw line.
- In his last three games, Ellis is 16-for-23 (70.0 percent) from the field.
- Freshman G Wayne Selden, Jr., has shot 50 percent or better in three of his last four games and six times this season. Selden has four games with 10-plus points including 10 versus New Mexcio (12/14).
- Freshman G Frank Mason has made three three-pointers in the last three games and has five made for the season.
- Averaging 6.2 ppg this season, Tharpe has scored eight or more points in three of his last four games.
- Sophomore F Jamari Traylor has 16 rebounds in his last three games, including a career-high nine at Florida. Traylor leads KU with an 88.2 free throw percentage (15-for-17).
- Freshman G Brannen Greene has made two of his three three-pointers this season in the last two games.
THAT’S A LONG TIME
Kansas last played in Allen Fieldhouse on Nov. 22, a 88-58 win against Towson. With the Dec. 21 game versus Georgetown, it will be 29 days since the Jayhawks last played in Allen Fieldhouse which is the longest stint between games in AFH in the Bill Self era. The previous longest in Self’s 10-plus seasons was 19 days twice – Nov. 12-30, 2011, and Dec. 11-29, 2003. Prior to this year’s break, the previous longest time was 31 days from Dec. 17, 2000 to Jan. 17, 2001.
IN THE POLLS
Kansas is ranked No. 18 by the Associated Press and No. 19 in the USA Today Coaches’ poll released Dec. 16. In the Bill Self era, this is the 157th week Kansas has been ranked in the AP top 25, which includes 112 times in the top 10. KU has been ranked in each of the last 91 polls dating back to the 2008-09 season. In the coaches’ poll, Kansas has been ranked 184 times, including 137 in the top 10 in the Self era. KU has been listed in each of the last 95 coaches’ polls.
Many experts have said Kansas has the toughest schedule in college basketball. KU’s 2013-14 men’s basketball schedule includes 13 opponents which advanced to the 2013 postseason (12 NCAA, one NIT), including six foes that either won their regular-season or conference tournament titles last year. The 12 NCAA participants on the KU schedule for 2013-14 include: Colorado, Duke, Georgetown, Florida, Iona, Iowa State, Kansas State, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, San Diego State and Villanova. Baylor won the 2013 NIT. Including today’s game against Georgetown (7-2), Kansas closes the non-conference season versus Toledo (10-0) and San Diego State (8-1), which are a combined 25-3 (89.3 percent) as of Dec. 18. The combined record of KU’s first 10 opponents is 72-26 (73.5 percent).
Kansas will take a holiday break and host Toledo on Dec. 30 at 7 p.m. on Jayhawk IMG TV and 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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