🏀 GAME PREVIEW: vs. Oklahoma
LAWRENCE, Kan. – No. 3/3 Kansas (21-3, 10-1 Big 12) will return to Allen Fieldhouse after a 12-day hiatus when it hosts the Oklahoma Sooners (16-8, 6-5 Big 12) on Saturday, Feb. 15. Tipoff from Lawrence is set for 11 a.m. (CT) on ESPN. Jason Benetti (play-by-play) and Fran Fraschilla (analyst) will call the action.
- Eleven games into the 2020 Big 12 season, Kansas sits alone in second place at 10-1 in the league standings, one game behind Baylor (11-0).
- With its 58-49 win at West Virginia (2/12), Kansas won its 10th conference game for the 26th-consecutive season, a streak which started in 1995. The current run of 26 seasons with 10 or more league wins is the longest active streak in the nation.
- Entering Saturday’s contest with a nine-game winning streak, KU is vying to post a win streak of 10 games or longer for the 17th time under Bill Self.
- Kansas leads the overall series with Oklahoma 149-68, which includes a 66-52 win on Jan. 14 in Norman. KU is 76-16 versus OU in meetings in Lawrence, including 49-7 in Allen Fieldhouse. Beginning in 1994, the Jayhawks have defeated the Sooners 18 straight in Allen Fieldhouse.
KU is ranked No. 4 in the NET rankings as of Feb. 13 games. The Jayhawks’ strength of schedule is No. 1 nationally. Kansas is the only school with 10 Quadrant 1 wins, currently at 10-3 against Q1 opponents this season.
- 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 11.8 ppg, 10.5 rpg and 3.3 bpg against conference foes.
- Sophomore Devon Dotson is one of only two players in a major conference averaging at least 17.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg and 4.0 apg this season.
- Junior Marcus Garrett has 12 steals in his last four games. Garrett leads the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio in both all games (2.6) and conference-only games (2.4).
- Both Dotson and Azubuike are members of midseason watch lists for the Naismith Trophy, Wooden Award and Oscar Robertson Trophy, all awards given to the Player of the Year at season’s end.
IT’S ALL DEFENSIVE
The Kansas defense is quickly building a reputation as one of the stingiest in the nation. KU ranks among the top-40 nationally in most of the major defensive categories, including among the top 10 in scoring defense and field goal percentage defense. Below or some tidbits showing just how high this team’s defensive prowess stacks up nationally AND historically:
- Kansas has held 15 of its 24 opponents to 60 or fewer points this season, a figure which ranks as the fifth-most in the NCAA behind Liberty (21), Virginia (18), Sacramento State (16), and San Diego State (16).
- Currently holding opponents to just 59.8 points per game, this team is on pace to rank among the elite KU defensive teams. It would mark just the fifth time since 1951 that the Jayhawks have posted a defensive scoring average below 60 and the first time since the 1966-67 team. The lowest scoring defense in the Bill Self era belonged to the 2005-06 squad, which limited opponents to 61.3 ppg.
- According to KenPom.com (which dates back to 2002) the Jayhawks are on pace to post the best defensive rating (83.3) in the 18-year history of the site. The 2018-19 Texas Tech team (84.1) is the top-rated defense in the KenPom era.
- The Jayhawks are limiting their opponents to 28.9% from beyond the 3-point arc. Only one other Kansas team has posted a sub-30% opponent 3-point percentage. Foes of the 2010-11 Jayhawks hit just 29.8% of their 3-point tries.
Located in Norman, Okla., with an enrollment of 31,678, Oklahoma (16-8, 6-5) brings a two-game winning streak to Allen Fieldhouse after its 90-61 win against Iowa State Feb. 12. OU has won three of its last four contests. The Sooners are coached by Lon Kruger who is 176-113 in his ninth season at OU and 655-417 in his 34th season overall.
Oklahoma ranks fifth in the Big 12 scoring 71.7 points per game and has a plus-4.5 scoring margin. The Sooners lead the league in free throw percentage at 77.2 percent and pull down 36.8 rebounds per contest. OU makes 7.5 3-pointers per game and attempt 22.8 threes per contest.
Junior forward Brady Manek leads OU in scoring at 15.9 points per game which is third in the Big 12. Manek also has made a team-high 64 3-pointers made and his 2.7 made per contest are first in the conference. He is tied for the team lead with 30 blocked shots and is second on the squad with a 6.4 rebound average, which is 10th in the league. Senior forward Kristian Doolittle averages 15.0 points per game, which is seventh in the Big 12. Doolittle leads the Sooners in rebounding at 9.0 rpg, which is third in the league. Manek and Doolittle are the only players in the conference to rank in the top 10 in both scoring and rebounding.
THE KANSAS-OKLAHOMA SERIES
The series between Kansas and Oklahoma dates back to 1920 when both schools were members of the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association and Kansas leads, 149-68. KU has won seven of the last nine meetings and, since 2006, the Jayhawks have won 20 of the last 24 matchups against the Sooners.
Kansas is 76-16 against Oklahoma in games played in Lawrence, including 49-7 in Allen Fieldhouse. Beginning in 1994, Kansas has won 18-straight meetings in Allen Fieldhouse. KU is 12-0 against OU in Allen Fieldhouse in the Bill Self era. Since the inception of the Big 12 Conference, Kansas is 27-9 against Oklahoma; 25-7 in regular-season play and 2-2 in the Big 12 Championship.
Earlier this season, Kansas defeated Oklahoma, 66-52, on Jan. 14 in Allen Fieldhouse. Starting his first game at KU, senior Isaiah Moss led all scorers with 20 points and hit six 3-pointers made on 11 attempts. KU sophomore Devon Dotson missed the contest due to a hip pointer.
TOUGH AT HOME
Kansas is always tough at home as the 94.9 winning percentage (260-14) in Allen Fieldhouse under Bill Self indicates. KU is 11-1 in home games this season, including 10-1 in Allen Fieldhouse.
The Jayhawks’ advantage in Allen Fieldhouse is no secret, having won as many Big 12 regular-season titles (14) as they have losses in their home venue since 2003-04. What’s more impressive is KU’s record in conference home games in what is arguably the toughest league in the nation every season. The Jayhawks are 132-9 (93.6%) in league games at Allen Fieldhouse since 2004, a mark that ranks second in the NCAA (Gonzaga, 94.7%) in that span.
vs. Oklahoma: KU leads 149-68
Current Streak: Win 1
Longest KU Win Streak: 13 (1964-69)
Longest KU Losing Streak: 4 (2x, 1928-29 & 1948-49)
Last 10 Games: 7-3
In Lawrence: KU leads 76-16
In Norman: KU leads 53-44
Neutral Sites: KU leads 20-8
Under Bill Self: KU leads 21-5
First Meeting: March 5, 1920 (W, 33-28)
Last Meeting: Jan. 14, 2020 (W, 66-52)
Largest Margin of Victory: 37
Largest Margin of Defeat: 28
Kansas will try for its 16th-straight win on ESPN Big Monday when the Iowa State Cyclones come to Lawrence on Feb. 17. Tipoff from Allen Fieldhouse is slated for 8 p.m. (CT) on ESPN. KU great Marcus Morris will have his No. 22 jersey retired during a ceremony at halftime.
Kansas is 183-66 all-time against ISU, which includes a 79-53 win in this season’s first meeting on Jan. 8 in Ames. The Jayhawks are 94-16 versus Iowa State in games in Lawrence and hold a 53-10 mark in contests inside Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas has won 13 of the last 14 games against ISU in Lawrence.