|G12: UC Irvine at No. 2/3 Kansas
||Dec. 29, 2015/8 p.m. (Central)
||Allen Fieldhouse (16,300)
Dave Armstrog, Tim Welsh
||Jayhawk Radio Network
Bob Davis (Play-by-Play)
Greg Gurley (Analyst)
Bob Newton (Engineer)
Big 12 Conference
|Stats at a Glance
Jayhawks Closes Out Non-Conference Play
No. 2/3 Kansas (10-1) closes out the 2015 calendar year and non-conference play when it hosts UC Irvine (10-4) on Tuesday, Dec. 29, at 8 p.m. (Central) on ESPNU. Kansas won its ninth-straight game with a 70-57 victory at San Diego State on Dec. 22. UC Irvine brings a three-game winning streak to Allen Fieldhouse. The Anteaters are coming off an 80-62 win against Norfolk State in the title game of the Sun Bowl Invitational on Dec. 22.
Kansas has a high-octane offense as the Jayhawks rank fourth in NCAA Division I in scoring at 88.0 points per game. Kansas is second in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage at 46.3 percent. KU is also fourth nationally in scoring margin at +22.7 and seventh in field goal percentage at 51.7 percent. KU pulls down an average of 37.3 rebounds per game, which helps give the Jayhawks a +6.1 rebounding margin. The Jayhawks also average 18.6 assists, which stands 14th nationally, 8.5 steals and 4.5 blocked shots per contest.
Junior G Wayne Selden Jr. leads Kansas in scoring at 15.5 points per game. Selden leads the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage at 55.4 percent, which is fifth in NCAA Division I. He is fifth in the league in scoring. Senior F Perry Ellis is coming off his third 20-point effort of the season with 20 points at San Diego State (12/22). Ellis is second on the KU team in scoring at 15.2 points per game, which is sixth in the Big 12. Ellis leads KU with 5.9 rebounds per contest, which is tied for 10th in the league. Junior G Frank Mason III has 18 assists and two turnovers in his last three games. He scores 13.3 points per contest and averages 4.1 rebounds per outing. Mason’s 19 steals are second on the team and he is second in the league, seventh nationally, with a 4.4 assist-to-turnover ratio. Sophomore G Devonte’ Graham is third in the Big 12, eighth in NCAA Division I, with a 4.2 assist-to-turnover ratio. He leads KU and is tied for fourth in the Big 12 with 2.0 steals per game and his 3.5 assists per contest are tied for 11th the conference. Graham scores 10.2 points per game. Senior F Hunter Mickelson (2.9 ppg, 3.0 rpg, team-high 15 blocked shots) rounds out the KU starters.
Junior G Brannen Greene is a 3-point specialist who scores 8.8 points per game. He is 12-for-17 (70.6 percent) from beyond the arc this season. Senior F Jamari Traylor (3.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg) has started seven games in 2015-16. Junior F Landen Lucas scores 4.8 points per game and is second on the team with a 5.1 rebound average. Sophomore G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is second on the team with 15 3-pointers made this season, helping him average 7.5 points per game. Freshman F Cheick Diallo scores an average of 6.5 points per contest, grabs 3.3 rebounds and has already swatted away seven shots in six games. Freshman F Carlton Bragg Jr. (5.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg) rounds out the KU regulars.
About UC Irvine
Located in Irvine, California, with an enrollment of 30,000, UC Irvine is 10-4 on the season after winning the Sun Bowl Invitational, Dec. 21-22, in El Paso, Texas. The Anteaters defeated Sam Houston State, 63-53, on Dec. 21 and Norfolk State, 80-62, the following day to win the title. UC Irvine is coached by Russell Turner who is 100-84 in his sixth season as a head coach, all with the Anteaters. The Kansas contest will be the seventh of eight games away from home for UC Irvine in the month of December. UCI averages 70.0 points per game and has a +5.4 scoring margin. The Anteaters rank 28th nationally in field goal percentage defense at 38.2 percent. UCI outrebounds its opponents 37.0-35.5 and averages 15.9 assists, 5.8 steals and 5.4 blocked shots per game.
Of UC Irvine’s eight 20-win seasons in school history, three have come under Turner in each of the last three years. In 2014-15 the Anteaters went 21-13 and won the Big West Tournament before losing to Louisville, 57-55, in the NCAA Tournament Second Round.
Two Anteaters are listed 7-2 or taller and four are 6-10 or higher on the 2015-16 roster. Junior C Mamadou Ndiaye, who is 7-6, leads UC Irvine in scoring at 12.4 points per game, rebounding at 7.3 rpg, field goal percentage at 67.7 percent and blocked shots with 40. His 2.9 blocked shots per game are 14th nationally. Junior G Luke Nelson is second on the team in scoring at 12.2 points per game and he leads UCI with 28 3-pointers and 17 steals. His 60 assists are tied for the team lead with senior G Alex Young. Young scores 8.6 points per contests and is second on the team with a 4.8 rebound average. His 15 steals are tied for second most for the Anteaters. Senior F Mike Best (6-10) scores 8.9 points per contest and has a 4.2 rebound average. Senior G Dominique Dunning (4.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 15 steals) rounds out the UCI starters.
Junior G Jaron Martin is second on the UCI team with 22 3-pointers made to complement his 8.4 scoring average. Other UCI key contributors include junior C Ioannis Dimakopoulos (7-2, 5.1 ppg), senior G Aaron Wright (4.2 ppg), freshman F Brandon Smith (3.1 ppg) and redshirt freshman F Jonathan Galloway (6-10, 2.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg).
Kansas and UC Irvine are meeting for the first time in men’s basketball. The Jayhawks are 6-2 against current membership of the Big West Conference: 3-1 vs. Long Beach State, 2-1 vs. Hawaii and 1-0 vs. UC Santa Barbara.
San Diego State Leftovers
- The win gave KU nine-straight wins, which is the longest winning streak since the 2013-14 season, when KU won 18 in a row.
- The win was Kansas’ first true road win of the season (1-0) and gave KU a 5-1 record in games away from Allen Fieldhouse in 2015-16.
- KU finished 10-of-11 (.909) from the free throw line for the team’s second-highest free throw percentage this season. It only trails KU’s 12-for-12 effort at the charity stripe against Holy Cross (12/9/15).
- The Jayhawks shot 42.6 percent from the field, marking the lowest shooting percentage in a KU victory this season.
- Kansas drained eight 3-pointers to San Diego State’s three. It is the fewest 3-pointers the Jayhawks have allowed this season.
- KU’s nine turnovers were the second-fewest this season.
- Senior F Perry Ellis scored 20 points, his third 20-point performance of the season and 16th of his career.
- Ellis has 1,324 career points and moved into 28th on KU’s career scoring list, passing Walt Wesley (1964-66; 1,315). Ellis’ 677 career rebounds is 17th on KU’s career rebounding list. He passed Paul Pierce (1996-98; 676) and Marcus Morris (2009-11; 676).
- Sophomore G Devonte’ Graham had 10 points. He has seven double-figure scoring efforts in 11 games this season.
- Junior G Brannen Greene grabbed a season-high four rebounds.
- Junior G Frank Mason III reached double-figure points by halftime (10).
- Junior G Wayne Selden Jr. scored all of his 10 points on just five shots in the second half.
- Senior F Jamari Traylor tied a career-high with three steals for the third time. Traylor also recorded three steals against Iowa State (2/2/15) and Oklahoma State (2/7/15).
- Kansas leads the Big 12 in scoring offense (88.0), field goal percentage (.517) and 3-point field goal percentage (.463). The Jayhawks also rank in the top three in the league in scoring margin (second at +22.7), 3-point field goals made (second at 9.0), assists (second at 18.6), turnover margin (second at +4.5), rebounding defense (third at 31.7), steals (third at 8.4) and assist-to-turnover ratio (third at 1.6).
- Out of its 10 victories of the season, Kansas has won by 10 or more points in eight of those wins. Five of those wins have been by 30 points or more.
- Kansas has outshot 10 of 11 opponents this season. The Jayhawks have also outrebounded eight of 11 foes.
- The Jayhawks made 42.1 percent (8-of-19) of their 3-point attempts at San Diego State (12/22), marking the ninth-consecutive game Kansas has shot 40 percent or better from behind the arc.
- The KU bench is averaging 29.8 points per game in 2015-16, compared to 21.5 by its opponents. KU’s bench has outscored its opponents’ bench in seven of 11 games this season.
- KU has made seven or more three-pointers in nine of 11 games this season. KU has made 10 or more 3-pointers four times, including 15 threes vs. Northern Colorado (11/13) and Chaminade (11/23), which were one off the school record.
- Junior G Wayne Selden Jr. leads the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage at 55.4 percent and is second in the conference in 3-point field goals made per game at 2.9. He has made three or more 3-pointers in seven games this season and has shot 50 percent or higher from beyond the arc nine times this season.
- In the last four games, sophomore G Devonte’ Graham has a 14-3 assist-to-turnover ratio, while junior G Frank Mason III has a 23-4 assist-to-turnover ratio for a combined 5.3 assist-to-turnover ratio. Additionally, the two have 12 steals in the last four games – Mason four and Graham eight.
- Mason has led KU in assists in each of the last nine games and 10 of 11 games this season.
- Senior F Perry Ellis’ 20 points at San Diego State (12/22) was his third 20-point effort of the season, 16th of his career. He just missed back-to-back double-doubles with 13 points and nine rebounds against Oregon State (12/12) and 18 points and nine boards versus Montana (12/19). Ellis has shot 50 percent or better in eight games this season.
- Sophomore G Svi Mykhailiuk has made at least one 3-pointer in eight of 11 games and multiple threes in three contests. His six threes versus Chaminade (11/23) were a career high.
- Senior F Hunter Mickelson has as least one blocked shot in five of his last six games and has multiple swats in three of his last four contests and six games total this season.
In the Polls
Kansas is ranked No. 2 by the Associated Press and No. 3 in the USA Today Coaches’ polls released Dec. 21. Being ranked No. 2 on Dec. 7 marked the highest AP ranking for KU since it was No. 2 early in the 2013-14 season. KU has been ranked in each of the last 130 AP polls which is the second-longest active streak in NCAA Division I behind Duke’s 162. The last time Kansas was not ranked by AP was during the 2008-09 season.
Under coach Bill Self, Kansas has been ranked in the AP Top 25 for 216 weeks, which includes 154 weeks in the Top 10 and 87 times in the Top 5. In the coaches’ poll, under Self, Kansas has been ranked 229 times with 167 in the top 10 and 101 in the top five.
Kansas entered the 2015-16 season ranked No. 4 by AP and No. 5 in the coaches’ polls. This season’s AP poll is the highest ranking for the Jayhawks since 2009-10 when they entered the season No. 1 in the country. The preseason ranking is the 10th time in the Bill Self era that the Jayhawks enter the season slotted seventh or higher, including each of the last four seasons – No. 5 in 2015-16 and 2014-15, No. 6 in 2013-14, and No. 7 in 2012-13.
Last season, KU entered the year No. 5 nationally in the coaches’ poll and ended up No. 17. The Jayhawks were ranked in the top 10 in 12 times during the 2014-15 season.
Kansas, 11-time defending Big 12 regular-season champion, will then open conference play when it hosts Baylor on Saturday, Jan. 2 at 3 p.m., on CBS. KU will then have a quick turnaround when it hosts current-No. 3 Oklahoma on Jan. 4, at 8 p.m. in its first of four ESPN Big Monday contests for 2015-16.
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