🏀 GAME PREVIEW: vs. Colorado
LAWRENCE, Kan. – No. 2/3 Kansas (6-1) is set to welcome former league foe No. 20/21 Colorado (7-0) to Lawrence on Saturday, Dec. 7. The Jayhawks and Buffaloes are slated to tipoff from Allen Fieldhouse at 6 p.m. (CT) on ESPN2. Mark Neely (play-by-play) and Fran Fraschilla (analyst) will call the action.
- KU is 3-0 in Allen Fieldhouse this season and has a 24-game homecourt winning streak, which is third-longest active nationally behind Tennessee (30) and Gonzaga (27). VCU and Prairie View A&M are tied for fourth at 16.
- Kansas has won 11-straight games against non-conference foes in Allen Fieldhouse dating back to the 2017-18 season. KU is 125-5 (96.1 percent) versus non-league foes in Allen Fieldhouse in the Bill Self era.
- No. 20/21 Colorado will be the second-ranked team Kansas will play this season and the first in Allen Fieldhouse. KU has won its last seven games against ranked foes in Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks are 44-6 (88.0 percent) versus ranked foes in Allen Fieldhouse in the Bill Self era.
- Kansas and Colorado were members of the same league from 1948 until 2011 as members of the Big Seven, Big Eight and Big 12 conferences.
- In a series that dates back to 1931, Kansas is 123-40 all-time against Colorado, including 62-7 in Lawrence and 53-5 in Allen Fieldhouse.
- Senior Udoka Azubuike leads the nation in field goal percentage at 79.7 percent. Azubuike also led the nation in 2017-18 at 77.0 percent.
- Azubuike has a career 75.1 field goal percentage (335-for-446). The NCAA career record for field goal percentage (min. 400 attempts and four made per game) is 67.8 by Steve Johnson of Oregon State (1977-81).
- Sophomore guard Devon Dotson leads the Big 12 in scoring at 19.7 points per game. He is vying to be the second-straight Jayhawk and fifth overall to lead the Big 12 in scoring as Dedric Lawson averaged 19.4 ppg in 2018-19.
- Including the 2019 Maui Invitational, KU has won its last six in-season tournaments. The streak started with the 2014 Orlando Classic, then the 2015 Maui Invitational, the 2016 CBE Classic, the 2017 HoopHall Miami Invitational, the 2018 NIT Season Tip Off and the 2019 Maui Invitational.
- KU is ranked No. 2 in the Dec. 2 Associated Press top-25. KU has been ranked in each of the last 205 AP polls, the longest streak in the nation. The Jayhawks have also been inside the top-10 in 90 of the last 105 AP polls.
Head Coach Bill Self talks Colorado at his weekly press conference.
DOK DOWNING RECORDS
Senior Udoka Azubuike leads the nation in field goal percentage at 79.7 percent through seven games (as of Dec. 4). The center is vying to earn the honor for the second time in his career. In 2017-18, Azubuike ended first in NCAA Division I in field goal percentage at 77.0 percent and he was the only player shooting 70 percent or better with a minimum of five shots made per game.
In 2017-18, Azubuike crushed the Big 12 single-season record of 69.3 percent, set by Ricardo Ratliffe of Missouri in 2011-12, and the KU season mark of 64.6 percent set by Mark Randall in 1988-89. In fact, Azubuike’s 77.0 percent ranks second all-time behind Devontae Cacok of UNC-Wilmington, who set the NCAA record in 2016-17 at 80.0 percent.
History has shown that it isn’t easy to lead the nation in a statistic. Azubuike’s feat in 2017-18 marked only the third time a Jayhawk led the country in a season stat, with the other two by KU All-Americans. KU legend Clyde Lovellette led the NCAA in scoring average in 1951-52 (28.6 ppg). Thomas Robinson led the country in double-doubles with 27 during the 2011-12 season.
Located in Boulder, Colorado with an enrollment of 33,246, Colorado is 7-0 on the season after its 76-64 win against Loyola-Marymount on Dec. 4. The Buffs are ranked No. 20 by Associated Press and No. 21 in the USA TODAY Coaches’ polls. CU is coached by former Kansas forward Tad Boyle who is 196-123 in his 10th season at Colorado and 252-189 in his 14th season overall.
Colorado averages 69.0 points per game and ranks in the top 10 nationally in scoring defense at 56.3 with a plus-12.7 scoring margin. The Buffs pull down 39.0 rebounds per contest and have a plus-7.4 rebound margin. CU makes 6.7 3-pointers and 16.6 free throws per game. The Buffs also average 12.0 assists, 6.7 steals and 4.6 blocked shots per game.
Junior forward Tyler Bey leads Colorado in scoring at 14.0 points per game and rebounds at 12.0 which rank fourth in the Pac-12 Conference. Bey also leads the team with 15 blocked shots and 15 steals and has 17 assists in 2019-20. Junior guard McKinely Wright IV has a team-high 26 assists this season and he is scoring 12.4 points per game. Wright is on most national player of the year watch lists.
KANSAS VS. TOP-25 TEAMS
Kansas is 0-1 against top-25 teams ranked in the Associated Press this season, losing the opener to then-No. 1 Duke, 68-66. KU went 8-4 against top-25 teams in 2018-19. Under Bill Self, KU is 98-50 against AP-ranked opponents. In his first 16 seasons, Self’s Jayhawks have collected four wins or more over top-25 ranked foes in 13 of those seasons, which includes a 43-21 record from 2014-present.
KU’s record against top-10 ranked opponents is even more impressive. KU is 18-6 against foes ranked inside the top-10 of the AP poll since 2013-14, including 2-1 in 2018-19 and 4-1 in 2017-18. Since Bill Self’s first season, the Jayhawks are 13-3 against AP top-10 teams inside Allen Fieldhouse, which includes KU’s current streak of nine-straight home victories against top-10 foes.
- Kansas leads the Big 12 in scoring margin (+18.3) and field goal percentage (51.9).
- After their win over Dayton on Nov. 27, the Jayhawks are 29-4 in overtime games under Bill Self and have won their last six OT contests. The six-straight rank fourth nationally. KU’s 24 overtime wins are the most by any NCAA Division I school since the 2003-04 season.
- Five of six Kansas victories have been my 12 points or more with two margins being by 30-plus points.
- After recording 28 turnovers against Duke (11/5), Kansas has averaged 11.5 turnovers in the next six games.
- The Jayhawks’ 112 points against Monmouth (11/15) were their most since KU tallied 114 against Texas Southern on Nov. 21, 2017, and tied for the fourth most in the Bill Self era.
- Three different Jayhawks – Devon Dotson, Isaiah Moss and Udoka Azubuike – have posted 20 or more points in a game this season.
- Senior center Udoka Azubuike is 24-for-29 (82.8 percent) from the field in his last three games, averaging 18.3 ppg in that span.
- Junior guard Marcus Garrett is 16-for-27 (59.3 percent) from the field in his last four games.
- Freshman guard/forward Tristan Enaruna has led Kansas in blocked shots in three games this season.
vs. Colorado: KU leads 123-40
Current Streak: Loss 1
Longest KU Win Streak: 27 (1992-02)
Longest KU Losing Streak: 4 (2x, 1948-50, 1958-60)
Last 10 Games: 9-1
In Lawrence: KU leads 62-7 (53-5 in AFH)
In Boulder: KU leads 40-27
Neutral Sites: KU leads 21-6
Under Bill Self: KU leads 18-1
First Meeting: Jan. 2, 1931 (W, 34-25)
Last Meeting: Dec. 7, 2013 (L, 72-75)
Largest Margin of Victory: 49 (111-62, Jan. 7, 1998)
Largest Margin of Defeat: 17 (60-77, March 8, 1948)
Kansas continues its homestand when it plays host to Milwaukee on Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m. (Central). The game will be televised on Big 12 NOW on ESPN+.
Kansas is 1-0 all-time against Milwaukee with the lone meeting a 73-62 win on Dec. 22, 2004, in Allen Fieldhouse.