🏀 GAME PREVIEW: at West Virginia
LAWRENCE, Kan. – No. 3 Kansas (20-3, 9-1 Big 12) will begin a stretch of three games in six days when it heads to No. 14 West Virginia (18-5, 6-4 Big 12) for a midweek match-up on Wednesday, Feb. 12. Tipoff from Morgantown is set for 6 p.m. (CT) on Big 12 Now on ESPN+. Mark Neely (play-by-play) and Fran Fraschilla (analyst) will call the action.
- Ten games into the 2020 Big 12 season, Kansas sits alone in second place at 9-1 in the league standings, one game behind Baylor (10-0). West Virginia and Texas Tech are tied for third at 6-4 each.
- Kansas is vying to win its 10th conference game for the 26th-consecutive season, a streak which started in 1995. The current run of 25 seasons with at least 10 league wins is the longest active streak in the nation.
- Kansas leads the overall series with West Virginia, 13-5, which includes a 60-53 win on Jan. 4 in Allen Fieldhouse. KU is 2-5 versus WVU in meetings in Morgantown with the Mountaineers claiming five of the last six battles at WVU Coliseum.
- KU leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 48.6%, while West Virginia leads in field goal percentage defense at 37.0%. KU leads the league in rebounding defense (32.2), while WVU leads in rebounding offense (41.4).
- KU is ranked No. 4 in the NET rankings as of Feb. 9 games. The Jayhawks’ strength of schedule is No. 1 nationally. Kansas is the only school with 10 Quadrant 1 wins, now at 10-3 against Q1 opponents this season.
- KU head coach Bill Self won his 700th career game at TCU (2/8). He is 700-214 in his 27th season overall, including 493-109 in 17 seasons at KU. Self (57) was the second-youngest coach in NCAA DI history to reach 700 victories. Bob Knight was 56 when he claimed win No. 700.
- Kansas players lead the Big 12 in six stats: Udoka Azubuike (FG%, rebounding, double-doubles), Devon Dotson (scoring, FTs made), and Marcus Garrett (assist-to-turnover ratio).
- Senior Udoka Azubuike is one of three players in the NCAA averaging a double-double and three or more blocks in league play. Azubuike is averaging 12.4 ppg, 10.8 rpg and 3.4 bpg against conference foes.
- Sophomore Devon Dotson leads the Big 12 in scoring at 18.1 points per game. He also leads the league in free throws made at 106. Dotson has scored 20 or more points in seven outings this season.
KANSAS VS. TOP-25 TEAMS
Kansas is 2-3 against top-25 teams ranked in the Associated Press poll this season. KU went 8-4 against top-25 teams in 2018-19. Under Bill Self, KU is 100-52 against AP-ranked opponents. In his first 16 seasons, Self’s Jayhawks collected four wins or more over top-25 ranked foes in 13 of those seasons, which includes a 45-23 record from 2014-present.
KU’s record against top-10 ranked opponents is even more impressive. KU is 18-7 against foes ranked inside the top-10 of the AP poll since 2013-14, including 0-2 in 2019-20, 2-1 in 2018-19 and 4-1 in 2017-18. Since Bill Self’s first season, the Jayhawks are 13-4 against AP top-10 teams inside Allen Fieldhouse, which includes nine of its last 10 home victories against top-10 foes.
ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA
Located in Morgantown, W.Va., with an enrollment of 29,599, No. 14 West Virginia is 18-5 (6-4 Big 12) on the season after its 69-59 loss at Oklahoma on Jan. 8. The Mountaineers are coached by Bob Huggins who is 288-156 in his 13th season at his alma mater and 877-367 in his 38th season overall.
West Virginia is 12-0 at home this season in WVU Coliseum. The Mountaineers average 72.8 points and have a plus-11.1 scoring margin. The Mountaineers also dominate the boards pulling down a conference-leading 41.4 per game with a plus-8.7 rebound margin. WVU leads the Big 12 and is seventh nationally in field goal percentage defense at 37.0% and in 3-point field goal percentage defense at 27.6, which is third nationally.
West Virginia is deep as 11 players average 9.7 minutes or more per game. Freshman forward Oscar Tshiebwe leads West Virginia in scoring with 11.5 points per game, rebounding at 9.1 rpg and with 28 blocked shots. His 9.1 rebounds per contest are fourth in the Big 12. Sophomore forward Derek Culver is next in scoring at 10.8 points per game and he is just behind Tshiebwe in rebound average at 8.9 rpg.
THE KANSAS-WEST VIRGINIA SERIES
The Kansas-West Virginia series started when WVU joined the Big 12 Conference in 2012-13 and KU holds a 13-5 advantage, which includes a 60-53 win on Jan. 4 in Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks have won seven of the last eight meetings, including an 88-74 win in the semifinals of the 2019 Big 12 Championship at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. KU is 8-0 against West Virginia in games played in Allen Fieldhouse, 2-5 at WVU Coliseum and 3-0 in the Big 12 Championship. Besides last season’s semifinal win, KU defeated WVU, 81-71, in the 2016 Big 12 title game and 81-70 in the 2018 Big 12 title game, with both at Sprint Center.
Earlier this season, KU’s Udoka Azubuike posted a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds and had six blocked shots to lead Kansas to a 60-53 win against West Virginia in the Big 12 opener for both schools on Jan. 4. Sophomore Devon Dotson added 16 points with four steals and junior Marcus Garrett had 12 points and six assists for the Jayhawks. West Virginia led 30-24 at halftime as the Jayhawks outscored the Mountaineers 36-23 after intermission. KU freshman Christian Braun played a career-high 30 minutes, including the entire second half, and had six points, five rebounds and two steals in the contest.
RIGHT AT HOME ON THE ROAD
With the Jayhawks in the midst of a six-game road winning streak, let’s take a look at KU’s impressive performances against its league foes away from Lawrence:
- Kansas has turned in a winning record in seven of the nine Big 12 arenas not named Allen Fieldhouse since the league formed in 1996-97 (KU is 8-8 at OSU, 2-5 at WVU).
- Out of teams in the ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC, Kansas (43-25, 63.2%) is one of only seven squads to have a winning percentage of 60% or better in league road games since 2012-13.
- KU has posted a winning record on the road in Big 12 play in 20 of the league’s 23 seasons – 2000 (4-4), 2015 (4-5), 2019 (3-6). The Jayhawks are currently 5-0 in Big 12 road play in 2020.
- The Jayhawks are 138-59 (70.1%) on the road in Big 12 play since 1996-97. The team with the next highest winning percentage is Texas, which is 88-110 (44.4%) in conference road games since the league formed.
- KU went undefeated on the road in 2002, going 8-0 that year. The 2002 Jayhawks are the only Big 12 team to finish a conference slate without a road loss.
vs. West Virginia: KU leads 13-5
Current Streak: Win 3
Longest KU Win Streak: 4
Longest KU Losing Streak: 2
Last 10 Games: 8-2
In Lawrence: KU leads 8-0
In Morgantown: WVU leads 5-2
Neutral Sites: KU leads 3-0
Under Bill Self: KU leads 13-5
First Meeting: Jan. 28, 2013 (W, 61-56)
Last Meeting: Jan. 4, 2020 (W, 60-53)
Largest Margin of Victory: 26 (91-56, March 2, 2013)
Largest Margin of Defeat: 16 (69-85, Jan. 24, 2017)
Kansas will return to Lawrence to play host to the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday, Feb. 15. Tipoff from Allen Fieldhouse is slated for 11 a.m. (CT) on ESPN.
Kansas is 149-68 all-time against OU, which includes a 66-52 win in this season’s first meeting on Jan. 14 in Norman. The Jayhawks are 76-16 versus Oklahoma in games in Lawrence, which includes a 49-7 mark in contests inside Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas has won 18-straight against OU in Lawrence, a streak which began in 1994.