No. 16/16 Kansas to Close Out 2013 vs. Undefeated Toledo Dec. 30 in Men's Hoops
CLOSING OUT 2013
Kansas (8-3) closes out the 2013 calendar year when it plays host to Toledo (12-0), Monday, Dec. 30, at 7 p.m. on Jayhawk IMG Television/ESPN3. KU is coming off an 86-64 win against Georgetown on Dec. 21. Toledo is 12-0 on the season after its 85-66 win versus Coppin State on Dec. 28. At 12-0, the Rockets were one of seven teams undefeated in NCAA Division I through Dec. 27.
Kansas averages 78.2 points per game and has a +10.6 scoring margin. The Jayhawks have outrebounded 10 of 11 opponents, with an average of 37.9 boards per game and have a +7.1 rebound margin. KU is also winning the efficiency battle, having outshot 10 of its 11 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 27.2 points per contest.
Freshman G Andrew Wiggins leads Kansas with a 15.5 scoring average and with 13 three-pointers made. He is second on the team with 12 steals and his 5.5 rebounds per game are third on the squad. Sophomore F Perry Ellis is next in scoring at 13.3 points per game. His 21 points against New Mexico (12/14) marked his third 20-point effort of the season. Ellis is second on the team in rebound average at 6.3. Freshman C Joel Embiid has a team-high 25 blocked shots and 13 steals, while also leading KU in rebounds with a 6.6 per-game average and field goal percentage at 68.3 percent. Embiid scores 10.5 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 (6.6 ppg). Tharpe leads Kansas with 50 assists and is second on the team with 11 three-pointers made.
Freshman G Frank Mason scores 7.9 points per game and has started three games for the Jayhawks this season. Sophomore F Jamari Traylor is averaging 3.7 points per contest and is making a team-best 85.0 percent from the free throw line. Other contributors off the bench include sophomore G Andrew White III (4.1 ppg), freshman G Brannen Greene (2.6 ppg) and senior F Tarik Black (4.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg). Black is coming off a KU career-high 17 points with six rebounds against Georgetown (12/21). Redshirt freshman F Landen Lucas (1.7 ppg, 1.4 rpg) has also seen action in nine games this season. He pulled down a career-high five rebounds versus New Mexico (12/14).
Located in Toledo, Ohio, with an enrollment of 21,500, Toledo is 12-0 on the season after its 85-66 win against Coppin State on Dec. 28. The Rockets 12-0 record is their best start since the 1966-67 team opened the year 14-0 and matches the second-best start in school history (1940-41). The preseason pick to win the Mid-American Conference, Toledo is coached by Tod Kowalczyk, who is 50-58 in his fourth season at TU and 186-170 in his 12th season overall. Toledo averages 86.2 points per game and has a +13.1 scoring margin. The Rockets average 37.5 rebounds per game and have a +7.3 rebound margin. Toledo averages 30.9 free throws per game, making 73.3 percent from the charity stripe. The Rockets also force 13.4 turnovers per game and average 16.4 assists.
Senior G Rian Pearson leads Toledo in scoring at 16.6 points per game. He leads TU with 17 steals and his 4.9 rebounds are third on the team. Junior G/F Justin Drummond is next in scoring at 14.8 points per game. He has shot a team-best 78 free throws and averages 4.6 rebounds per game. Junior G Julius Brown scores 13.3 points per game and has a team-high 88 assists for 7.3 per contest. Brown has made 13 three-pointers this season and his 14 steals are second most on the team. Other Toledo starters include junior F J.D. Weatherspoon (10.9 ppg, team-high 6.0 rebounds per game) and sophomore C Nathan Boothe (10.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg, team-best 13 blocked shots and 89.3 free throw percentage). Toledo has four key contributors off the bench, led by freshman G Jonathan Williams, who is scoring 8.0 points per game. Others include senior F Matt Smith (5.7 ppg), freshman G Jordan Lauf (3.8 ppg., 4.7 rpg, nine steals) and freshman C Zach Garber (2.7 ppg).
Kansas leads this series 1-0 with the lone game being the 2006 Kansas City Shootout at Kemper Arena, a KU 68-58 win on Dec. 9. Kansas City native Brandon Rush led the Jayhawks with 19 points in the victory, while Sasha Kaun added 10. The win was KU’s final appearance in Kemper Arena where the Jayhawks played 106 games with an 81-25 record. Included was the 1988 NCAA National Championship victory versus Big Eight Conference foe Oklahoma. From 1997 to 2006, Kansas went 26-4 in Kemper Arena.
- Kansas has outrebounded 10 of its 11 opponents this season. KU has five games with a +10 rebound advantage, including two of its last three contests (39-29 vs. Georgetown and 40-30 at Florida).
- KU has held every opponent under 50 percent shooting this season, while the Jayhawks have shot 50 percent or better in seven games, including three of the last four contests.
- Kansas is making 38.3 percent (18-for-47) from three-point range in the last three 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 nine of 11 games this season. After 33 points against Georgetown (12/21), KU’s bench averages 27.2 points to per game.
- Freshman C Joel Embiid and senior F Tarik Black led KU with 17 points apiece against Georgetown. It marked the first time either has led Kansas in scoring this season. Freshman G Andrew Wiggins (5) and sophomore F Perry Ellis (4) have led KU in scoring the most times in 2013-14.
- Ellis has led the Jayhawks in rebounding in six games, while Embiid has four times.
- Junior G Naadir Tharpe has topped the team in assists seven times.
- Embiid is 9-for-10 from the field in his last two games with 17.5 ppg and 7.0 rpg averages in that span. In addition, Embiid has 16 blocked shots in his last five games.
- Wiggins has at least one blocked shot in each of his last six games. In his last four games, Wiggins is averaging 17.8 points and is 88.9 percent (24-for-27) from the free throw line.
- In his last four games, Ellis is 18-for-27 (66.7 percent) from the field.
- Freshman G Wayne Selden, Jr., has shot 50 percent or better in four of his last five games and seven times this season. Selden has four games with 10+ points.
- Averaging 6.6 ppg this season, Tharpe has scored eight or more points in four of his last five games, including 10 points versus Georgetown.
- Sophomore F Jamari Traylor has 23 rebounds in his last four games, including a career-high nine at Florida (12/10) and seven versus Georgetown. Traylor leads KU with an 85.0 free throw percentage (17-for-20).
Kansas closes 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. KU will then open Big 12 play at Oklahoma on Wednesday, Jan. 8, at 6 p.m. on ESPN2 and return home to host Kansas State on Saturday, Jan. 11, at 1 p.m. on ESPN.
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