Jayhawks to Host Bears in Big 12 Opener Saturday

G13: #23/21 Baylor at #2/3 Kansas
Date/Time Jan. 2, 2016/3 p.m. (Central)
Location Lawrence, Kansas
Arena Allen Fieldhouse (16,300)
Series Kansas leads 24-4
Television CBS
Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery
Radio Jayhawk Radio Network
Bob Davis (Play-by-Play)
Greg Gurley (Analyst)
Bob Newton (Engineer)
Live Stats Kansaslive stats
Notes Kansas
Big 12 Conference
Stats at a Glance Kansas Baylor
Record 11-1, 0-0 10-2, 0-0
Rankings #2/3 #23/21
Points/GM 87.2 81.8
Points Allowed/GM 64.3 63.2
FG% .514 .475
Rebounds/GM 37.6 41.6
Assists/GM 18.5 22.7
Blocks/GM 4.3 4.1
Steals/GM 8.5 8.9

No. 2/3 Kansas (11-1, 0-0) opens Big 12 play when it plays host to No. 23/21 Baylor (10-2, 0-0) on Saturday, Jan. 2, at 3 p.m. on CBS. This will be the ninth time KU and Baylor have both been ranked in the top-25 at tipoff, which includes all three matchups last season that ended in Kansas victories. The Jayhawks are coming off a 78-53 home win against UC Irvine on Dec. 29, winning their 30th-consectuive game in Allen Fieldhouse and posting a 7-0 record in the month of December. Baylor brings a two-game winning streak to Lawrence after its 72-59 win against Texas Southern on Dec. 29, in Waco. Of Kansas’ NCAA-leading 58 conference regular-season titles, 15 have come in the Big 12, including an unprecedented 11-straight from 2005 to 2015.
Kansas has won 24-straight conference openers dating back to the 1991-92 season with 11 of those in Allen Fieldhouse. The last time KU lost a conference opener was at Oklahoma, 88-82, on Jan. 8, 1991. This is the sixth time in Bill Self’s 13 seasons at KU that the Jayhawks have opened Big 12 play at home. Additionally, this is the second time Kansas will play Baylor in a conference opener. Last year, KU edged BU, 56-55, in its conference opener in Waco.
The Jayhawks rank seventh in NCAA Division I in scoring at 87.2 points per game. Kansas is fourth in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage at 45.0 percent. KU is also third nationally in scoring margin at +22.9 and sixth in field goal percentage at 51.4 percent. KU pulls down an average of 37.6 rebounds per game, which helps give the Jayhawks a +6.2 rebounding margin. The Jayhawks also average 18.5 assists, which stands 16th nationally, 8.5 steals and 4.3 blocked shots per contest.
Senior F Perry Ellis has pulled down nine rebounds in three of his last four games. Ellis leads KU in scoring at 15.1 points per contest and rebounds with a 6.2 average. His scoring average is tied for fifth in the Big 12 and his rebounds are 10th in the league. Junior G Wayne Selden Jr. leads Kansas with 31 3-point field goals made and a 52.5 3-point field goal percentage which both rank second in the Big 12. Selden scores 14.8 points per game, which is seventh in the conference. Junior G Frank Mason III has 24 assists and four turnovers in his last four games. He scores 13.3 points per contest and averages 3.9 rebounds per outing. Mason’s 22 steals are tied for first on the team with sophomore G Devonte’ Graham. The duo’s 1.8 steals per game are tied for sixth in the Big 12. Mason is third in the league, eighth nationally, with a 4.3 assist-to-turnover ratio. Graham is second in the Big 12, sixth in NCAA Division I, with a 4.6 assist-to-turnover ratio. His 3.4 assists per contest are 11th the conference. Graham scores 10.1 points per game. Senior F Hunter Mickelson (3.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg, team-high 16 blocked shots) rounds out the KU starters.
Junior G Brannen Greene is a 3-point specialist who scores 9.0 points per game. He is 12-for-19 (63.2 percent) from beyond the arc this season. Senior F Jamari Traylor (3.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg) has started seven games in 2015-16. Junior F Landen Lucas scores 5.1 points per game and is second on the team with a 5.0 rebound average. Sophomore G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is third on the team with 15 3-pointers made this season, helping him average 6.9 points per game. Freshman F Cheick Diallo scores an average of 6.4 points per contest and grabs 3.1 rebounds. Freshman F Carlton Bragg Jr. (4.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg) rounds out the KU regulars.
About Baylor
Located in Waco, Texas, with an enrollment of 16,263, No. 23/21 Baylor is 10-2 on the season and has won two straight and nine of its last 11 games. The Bears are coached by Scott Drew who is 238-162 in his 13th season at Baylor and 258-173 in his 14th season overall. Baylor averages 81.8 points per game and has a +18.4 scoring margin. The Bears lead the nation in assists per game at 22.7 per game and are fifth in the NCAA in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.8. Baylor averages 41.6 rebounds per game and has a +11.3 rebound margin which is 10th in the NCAA. BU also averages 8.9 steals and 4.1 blocked shots per contest.
Senior F Taurean Prince leads Baylor in scoring at 15.5 points per game which is fourth in the Big 12. His 5.9 rebounds are second on the team and tied for 11th in the league. Senior F Rico Gathers is averaging a double-double with 14.1 points per game and a conference-leading 11.0 rebounds per contest. Sophomore G Al Freeman leads Baylor with 26 3-pointers made as he scores 13.2 points per game. Senior G Medford Lester leads the Big 12 in assists at 7.6 per game and steals at 2.6 per contest. Medford scores 8.3 points per outing. Junior G Ishmail Wainright rounds out the BU starters. He scores 6.3 points per contest and his 4.9 rebounds per game are third on the team behind Gathers and Taurean’s 5.9. Sophomore F Johnathan Motley is shooting 60 percent from the field this season and averages 10.6 points and 4.4 rebounds. Other BU regulars include sophomore F Terry Maston (5.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg), freshman G King McClure (4.1 ppg) and freshman G Jake Lindsey (3.3 ppg).
The Series
The Kansas-Baylor series dates back to 1951 with the Jayhawks leading 24-4. Kansas has won five-straight in the series and holds a 10-2 advantage in the last 12 meetings. KU won all three meetings last year, including a 62-52 win in the semifinals of the Big 12 Championship at Sprint Center in Kansas City. The Jayhawks are 13-0 against the Bears in Lawrence, including a 12-0 mark inside Allen Fieldhouse. Since the inception of the Big 12, KU is 23-4 against Baylor — 22-2 in regular-season play and 1-2 in the Big 12 Championship. Kansas head coach Bill Self is 16-4 all-time against Baylor, including 16-3 while at Kansas, while Baylor’s Scott Drew is 3-16 versus Kansas.
Kansas Notables

  • Kansas leads the Big 12 in scoring offense (87.2) and field goal percentage (.514). The Jayhawks also rank in the top three in the league in scoring margin (second at +22.9), 3-point field goal percentage (second at 45.0) 3-point field goals made (second at 8.7), assists (second at 18.5), turnover margin (second at +4.7), rebounding defense (third at 31.4), steals (third at 8.5) and assist-to-turnover ratio (second at 1.6).
  • Out of its 11 victories of the season, Kansas has won by 10 or more points in nine of those wins. Five of those wins have been by 30 points or more.
  • Kansas has outshot 11 of 12 opponents this season. The Jayhawks have also outrebounded nine of 12 foes.
  • Kansas has shot 40 percent or better from 3-point range in nine of its last 10 games.
  • KU has made seven or more three-pointers in nine of 12 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.
  • The KU bench has outscored its opponents’ bench in eight of 12 games this season.
  • Kansas dished out 17 assists with just nine turnovers against UC Irvine (12/29) to mark the second straight and third game of the season KU has fewer than 10 turnovers — nine at San Diego State (12/22) and six against Michigan State (11/17).
  • In his last four games, senior F Perry Ellis is 4-for-5 from 3-point range, 21-for-22 from the free throw line and averaging 16.3 points and 7.5 rebounds. He has just missed back-to-back-to-back double-doubles with 13 points and nine rebounds against Oregon State (12/12) and 18 points, nine boards versus Montana (12/19) and nine boards vs. UC Irvine (12/29). Ellis has shot 50 percent or better in nine games this season.
  • Junior G Wayne Selden Jr. is second the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage at 52.5 percent and is second in the conference in 3-point field goals made per game at 2.6. 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 five games, sophomore G Devonte’ Graham has a 17-3 assist-to-turnover ratio, while junior G Frank Mason III has a 29-6 assist-to-turnover ratio for a combined 5.1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Additionally, the two have 15 steals in the last four games – Mason seven and Graham eight.
  • Mason has led KU in assists in each of the last 10 games and 11 of 12 games this season.
  • Senior F Hunter Mickelson has as least one blocked shot in six of his last seven games and has multiple swats in three of his last five 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. 28. 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 131 AP polls which is the second-longest active streak in NCAA Division I behind Duke’s 163. 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 217 weeks, which includes 155 weeks in the Top 10 and 88 times in the Top 5. In the coaches’ poll, under Self, KU has been ranked 230 times with 168 in the top 10 and 102 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 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 vs. Ranked Teams
    Including Kansas at No. 2/3, there are five Big 12 teams ranked in the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches’ polls released Dec. 28. KU will face two of those teams in its first two games of the 2016 conference season with No. 23/21 Baylor on Jan. 2 and No. 3/2 Oklahoma on Jan. 4. This season, KU is 1-1 against ranked foes falling to then-No. 13 Michigan State, 79-73, in the Champions Classic on Nov. 17 and defeating then-No. 19/16 Vanderbilt, 70-63, in the title game of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational on Nov. 25.
    In 2014-15, Kansas set some milestones against ranked foes. KU went 10-6 against Associated Press nationally-ranked teams at tip. The 10 wins were the most in a season for Kansas, surpassing the 9-1 record in the 1996-97 season. The 16 games versus AP-ranked foes were also the most in KU history. The previous high was 12 battles versus ranked foes in three different seasons (1994-95, 2002-03 and 2011-12). Prior to 2015-16, in each of the last five seasons, the Jayhawks have a winning record versus AP-ranked opponents, which included a 7-3 mark in 2013-14. Since the 2009-10 season, KU is 41-18 against AP-ranked teams.
    Since his arrival at KU, Bill Self is 196-9 in games played at Allen Fieldhouse for a 95.6 winning percentage, which includes five undefeated home seasons. Self’s Big 12 conference titles (11) are more than his home losses while at Kansas (9). Included was a school-record 69-game home-court winning streak which led the nation for more than two seasons and ranks 11th all-time in the NCAA records book as well as a 33-game home-court winning streak that ended Feb. 2, 2013, tied for fourth-most in KU history. Kansas is 142-3 in Allen Fieldhouse in its last 145 games. Kansas is 734-109 all-time in Allen Fieldhouse.
    Up Next
    Kansas has a quick turnaround when it hosts current-No. 3 Oklahoma on Jan. 4, at 8 p.m. (Central) in its first of four ESPN Big Monday contests for 2015-16. The Jayhawks will then travel to Texas Tech on Saturday, Jan. 9 at 8 p.m. on ESPNU and then at West Virginia on Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 6 p.m. on ESPN2.
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