🏀 2019-20 Kansas Basketball In Review
28-3 (17-1 Big 12)
2020 Big 12 Regular-Season Champion | No. 1 in final AP & Coaches Polls
The nation’s consensus No. 1 team at season’s end, the 2019-20 KU men’s basketball team will go down as one of the best in the program’s storied history. Complete with the Big 12 Player of the Year, an All-American point guard, National Defensive Player of the Year and a 700-win Hall of Fame coach, the Jayhawks’ 122nd season was one to remember.
2019-20 BY THE NUMBERS
1 Big 12 Player of the Year – Udoka Azubuike became the ninth Jayhawk to be named the Big 12’s Player of the Year.
2 Consensus All-America Selections – Udoka Azubuike and Devon Dotson were both Consensus picks to the All-America Second Team.
9 League Road Wins – KU became the second team in Big 12 history to go undefeated on the road in league play.
12 Quadrant 1 Victories – Kansas went 12-3 in Quadrant 1 wins this season, the only team in the nation to claim 12 Q1 wins.
16 Consecutive Wins – Kansas ended the season in the midst of a 16-game winning streak, the fifth-longest in the Bill Self era.
18.1 Points Per Game for Dotson – Devon Dotson became the fifth Jayhawk to lead the Big 12 in scoring.
60.7 Opponent Points Per Game – The fewest in the Bill Self era and fewest allowed by a KU squad since 1969.
62 Conference Titles – KU won its NCAA-record 62nd regular-season conference title, winning the Big 12 with a 17-1 record.
"Ten years from now they are not going to talk about what could have been. Nobody is going to talk about that. There will be something new to talk about, but I hope these guys are remembered by our fans as being a team that was probably as special or as close to special as any team that they’ve supported during their time supporting Kansas."Bill Self
A Year to Remember
- Kansas finished No. 1 in both the Associated Press and USA TODAY Coaches’ polls. It marked the fourth time KU finished No. 1 in the AP poll (2016, 2010, 1997) and the second time in the coaches’ poll (2008).
- Going 28-3 overall, Kansas won 25 or more games for the 15th-straight season, which is an NCAA DI record. The streak started in 2005-06.
- KU went 17-1 in Big 12 play and is the first team in Big 12 history to win 17 league games, surpassing 16 won three previous times (2002, 2012, 2017). KU also became the first team to go undefeated on the road in league play (9-0) under the current double round-robin format (began in 2012-13).
- Kansas won its final 16 games and its 16-game winning streak is the third-longest nationally heading into 2020-21. It is also tied for the fifth-longest in the Bill Self era (since 2003-04).
- KU ended No. 2 in the NET rankings. The Jayhawks’ strength of schedule was No. 1. Kansas was the only school with 12 Quadrant 1 wins. KU’s 20 Q1 and Q2 combined wins are also more than any other school.
- Kansas won the 2019 Maui Invitational, giving KU its sixth-straight in-season tournament championship, a streak which began in 2014 (2014 Orlando Classic, 2015 Maui Invitational, 2016 CBE Classic, 2017 HoopHall Miami Invitational, 2018 NIT Season Tip-Off).
- With its win at Stanford on Dec. 29, KU finished the 2010s with a 302-68 record, the second-best mark by a DI program in that decade.
STREAKS AND SUCH
- Kansas has been ranked in each of the last 220 Associated Press polls, a streak which started in 2008-09. The 219 is the longest active streak in NCAA Division I.
- With its win against UNCG on Nov. 8, KU won its 47th-consecutive home-opening victory, a streak which started in 1973-74.
- When KU defeated West Virginia on Jan. 4, the Jayhawks won their mind-boggling 29th-straight conference opener, a streak which started in 1991-92 during the Big Eight Conference era.
- Kansas led its conference – Big Eight/Big 12 – in home attendance in each of the last 34 seasons, beginning in 1986-87. In 2019-20, the Jayhawks averaged 16,388 for home games, which ranked 12th nationally.
- Kansas went 17-1 in Big 12 play, amassing 10 league wins for the 26th-straight season, starting in 1995. The 26-straight 10—league-win streak is the longest active in NCAA DI.
- With Udoka Azubuike and Devon Dotson being named 2020 All-Big 12 First Team, Kansas has had a least one player named all-conference first team for each of the last 20 seasons.
WINNING THE BIG 12 NO CAKEWALK
If you think KU’s success in the Big 12 is due to playing in a non-competitive conference, think again. The stats show that this is anything but the case. Over the last 17 seasons, the Big 12 has proven to be one of the toughest league’s in the NCAA, making the Jayhawks’ run of 15 league titles since 2004 even more impressive.
Beginning in the 2003-04 season, the Big 12 has ranked as the nation’s No. 1 conference in the RPI/NET rankings six times and in the top-three on 11 occasions. This year, the league trended in the same direction as it ended as the second highest-rated league in the NET rankings.
The stoutness of the conference is also highlighted by KU’s strength of schedule during this stretch, which has been among the toughest every season. The Jayhawks posted a top-10 strength of schedule 10 times in Bill Self’s 17 years at KU, which includes the nation’s strongest schedule five times, including 2019-20.
Highlighted by Big 12 Player of the Year Udoka Azubuike, Kansas was well represented on the men’s basketball 2019-20 All-Big 12 Team selected by the conference coaches, the league announced March 8.
Azubuike, a senior, was the Big 12 Player of the Year and he and KU sophomore guard Devon Dotson were unanimous selections for the 2020 All-Big 12 First Team. Jayhawk junior Marcus Garrett was the 2020 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and he was named to the All-Big 12 Third Team. Both Garrett and Azubuike were named to the Big 12 All-Defensive Team with Garrett being a unanimous selection. Sophomore guard Ochai Agbaji was an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention choice and guard Christian Braun was named to the Big 12 All-Freshman Team. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes.
In the history of the Big 12, Kansas has now landed two players on the All-Big 12 First Team 11 times with the last being Frank Mason III and Josh Jackson in 2017. Kansas leads the Big 12 with an all-time high 127 student-athletes named to All-Big 12 Teams. Texas is second with 98, while Baylor is third with 85 selections.
RIGHT AT HOME ON THE ROAD
With the Jayhawks having completed a perfect 9-0 campaign in Big 12 road games, let’s take a look at KU’s impressive resume against its league foes away from Lawrence:
- Out of teams in the ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC, KU (47-25, 65.3%) is one of only seven squads to have a win percentage of 60% or better in league road games since 2012-13.
- KU has now posted a winning record on the road in Big 12 play in 20 of the league’s 24 seasons – 2000 (4-4), 2015 (4-5), 2019 (3-6). The Jayhawks went 9-0 in Big 12 road play in 2020.
- The Jayhawks are 142-59 (70.6%) on the road in Big 12 play since 1996-97. The team with the next highest winning percentage is Texas, which is 89-111 (44.2%) in conference road games since the league formed.
- KU went undefeated on the road in 2002, going 8-0 that year. The 2020 Jayhawks join the 2002 squad as the only two teams in Big 12 history to finish a conference slate without a road loss.
National Award Rundown
The KU trio of senior Udoka Azubuike, sophomore Devon Dotson and junior Marcus Garrett collected a wide variety of postseason honors in 2019-20 season. Below is a quick look at where these three add to Kansas’ long list of honorees:
- Wooden Award All-America (Azubuike, Dotson): Azubuike and Dotson became the 24th and 25th Wooden All-Americans from Kansas, marking the fifth time two Jayhawks have appeared on the team – 2017 (Frank Mason III, Josh Jackson); 2003 (Nick Collison, Kirk Hinrich); 1998 (Raef LaFrentz, Paul Pierce); and 1997 (Raef LaFrentz, Jacque Vaughn). Bill Self has mentored 14 of KU’s 25 Wooden All-Americans.
- Senior CLASS Award All-American (Azubuike): KU’s Wayne Simien was the 2005 Senior CLASS Award recipient. Previous Kansas Senior CLASS Award All-Americans include Frank Mason III (2017), Perry Ellis (2016, second team), Tyrel Reed (2011), Nick Collison (2003) and Kirk Hinrich (2003). The award started in 2001 and its All-American teams began in 2003.
- Consensus All-America (Azubuike, Dotson – second team): Azubuike and Dotson’s consensus honors gave KU five-straight years with a Jayhawk on the Consensus All-America teams joining Perry Ellis in 2016 (second team), Frank Mason III in 2017 (first team), Devonte’ Graham in 2018 (first team) and Dedric Lawson in 2019 (third team). Since 2003-04, there have been 15 Jayhawks named Consensus All-America. The 2019-20 season also marked the third time in the Self era two Jayhawks have been named Consensus All-America in the same season, joining Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich in 2010 and Ben McLemore and Jeff Withey in 2013.
- Naismith Defensive Player of the Year (Garrett): This was the third year of the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Award. West Virginia’s Jevon Carter was the inaugural recipient in 2018 and Matisse Thybulle of Washington was last year’s honoree.
- NABC Defensive Player of the Year (Azubuike): NABC Defensive Player of the Year started in 1986-87 and Azubuike becomes the second Jayhawk to win the honor joining 2013 recipient Jeff Withey.
- NABC All-America (Azubuike – 1st team, Dotson – 2nd team): Azubuike and Dotson gave Kansas an NABC All-America selection each of the last six seasons. Last year, Dedric Lawson was a third-team selection, while Devonte’ Graham was a first-team choice in 2018. In 2017, Frank Mason III was a first-team honoree and the NABC National Player of the Year. He was joined on the 2017 NABC All-America team by Josh Jackson, a third-team honoree. In 2016, Perry Ellis was a second-team selection. In KU head coach Bill Self’s 17 seasons at Kansas, there have been 18 Jayhawks named to NABC All-America teams.
- USBWA All-America (Azubuike 1st team, Dotson 2nd team): Azubuike and Dotson gave Kansas a USBWA All-America selection each of the last four seasons. Last year, Dedric Lawson was a third-team selection, while Devonte’ Graham was a first-team choice in 2018. In 2017, Frank Mason III was a first-team honoree and the Oscar Robertson Trophy recipient as the USBWA’s national player of the year. In Bill Self’s 17 seasons at KU, there have been 14 Jayhawks named to USBWA All-America teams.
- Associated Press All-America (Azubuike, Dotson 2nd team): Azubuike and Dotson gave Kansas an Associated Press All-America selection each of the last five seasons. Last year, Dedric Lawson was a third-team selection, while Devonte’ Graham was a first-team choice in 2018. Frank Mason III (first) and Josh Jackson (third) were named in 2017 with Mason being named 2017 Associated Press Player of the Year. Perry Ellis was a second-team selection in 2016. In head coach Bill Self’s 17 seasons at Kansas, there have been 18 Jayhawks named to the Associated Press All-America teams.
Bill Self Notches Two Career Milestones
SELF CLAIMS CAREER WIN NO. 700
Kansas head coach Bill Self collected the 700th victory in his 27-year head coaching career with KU’s 60-46 win at TCU Feb. 8. Self has an overall record of 700-214 with coaching stops at Oral Roberts (1993-97), Tulsa (1997-2000), Illinois (2000-03) and Kansas (2003-present). He has seen 493 of those 700 wins come during his time in Lawrence. The first win of Self’s career came on Nov. 26, 1993 as the head man at Oral Roberts. The Golden Eagles topped Sam Houston State, 78-66.
MORE ON SELF’S 700 WINS
- Self became the 31st person to hit the 700-win plateau at the NCAA Division I level and the eighth-active head coach.
- Self became the second-youngest coach to earn his 700th win. At 57 years, 1 month and 12 days old, Self trails only Bob Knight, who tallied his 700th victory at 56 years, 4 months, 12 days.
- Self reached the mark coaching in his 914th game, becoming the sixth-fastest in NCAA DI history to reach 700 wins. Self outpaced KU’s all-time winningest coach, Phog Allen, who now ranks as the eighth-fastest to win No. 700, needing 938 contests to hit the milestone.
SELF TALLIES WIN NO. 500 AT KANSAS
Bill Self claimed his 500th victory as the head man of the Jayhawks with KU’s 75-66 win against TCU on March 4, 2020. He has a record of 501-109 in his 17th season at KU. Self is just the second coach in the program’s storied history to hit the milestone, joining Phog Allen, who tallied 590 wins during his 39 years in Lawrence.
KU ALL-TIME COACHING RECORDS
Rnk, Coach, Seasons, W-L (%)
1. Phog Allen, 39, 590-219 (72.9)
2. Bill Self, 17, 501-109 (82.1)
3. Roy Williams, 15, 418-101 (80.5)
4. Ted Owens, 19, 348-182 (65.7)
5. Larry Brown, 5, 135-44 (75.4)
6. W.O. Hamilton, 10, 125-59 (67.9)
7. Dick Harp, 8, 121-82 (59.6)
8. James Naismith, 9, 55-60 (47.8)
DOK DOWNS NCAA, KU RECORDS
Senior Udoka Azubuike led the nation in field goal percentage at 74.8%, which is third-best ever for an NCAA season. A dunking machine, Azubuike accomplished 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% and he was the only player shooting 70% or better with a minimum of five shots made per game. With that, the 7-0 center finished his career as the all-time NCAA DI leader in career field goal percentage with a 74.6% mark, topping the previous record of 74.0 held by Tacko Fall.
In 2017-18, Azubuike crushed the Big 12 single-season record of 69.3%, set by Ricardo Ratliffe of Missouri in 2011-12, and the KU season mark of 64.6% set by Mark Randall in 1988-89. In fact, Azubuike’s 77.0% ranks second all-time behind Devontae Cacok of UNC-Wilmington, who set the NCAA record in 2016-17 at 80.0%.
DOTSON JOINS SOLID LIST AS BIG 12 SCORING LEADER
In finishing his season scoring a league-leading 18.1 points per game, Devon Dotson became the fifth Jayhawk to lead the Big 12 in scoring in a season. Dotson joined Drew Gooden (19.8 in 2002), Wayne Simien (20.3 in 2005), Frank Mason III (20.9 in 2017) and Dedric Lawson (19.4 in 2019) as the league’s top scorer.
Dotson also joined Trae Young (2018), Alec Burks (2011), Blake Griffin (2009), Michael Beasley (2008), Kevin Durant (2007) and Kareem Rush (2001) as underclassmen who finished the year as the Big 12’s top scorer.
An Elite Defense
The 2019-20 Jayhawks will go down as one of the best defensive squads in program history, building a reputation as one of the stingiest in the nation. KU ranked among the top-50 nationally in most of the major defensive categories. Below are some tidbits showing just how high this team’s defensive prowess stacked up nationally and historically:
- Kansas held 22 of its 31 regular-season opponents to 65 or fewer points this season, a figure which ranked as the fifth-most in the NCAA behind Liberty (29), Virginia (27), UC Riverside (26), Houston, San Diego State and Vermont (23) during the regular season.
- KU held opponents to just 60.7 points per game, in 2019-20. It marked just the fifth time since 1951 that the Jayhawks posted a defensive scoring average of 61 points or lower and the first time since the 1966-67 team. The previous 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 posted one of the best defensive ratings (85.5) 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 limited their opponents to 30.5% from beyond the 3-point arc. In the 34-year history of the 3-pointer, four KU teams have held their opponent to 31% or lower – 2012-13 (30.3), 2010-11 (29.8), 1988-99 (30.5) and 1991-92 (30.5).
- Kansas ended 2019-20 winning 10-straight road games. KU went 10-1 in true road games and 14-2 in games not played in Allen Fieldhouse.
- KU led the Big 12 in win-loss percentage (94.4), scoring (74.6), scoring margin (+13.9), field goal percentage (48.4), field goal percentage defense (37.7) and rebound defense (31.9). The Jayhawks ranked in the upper half of 18 conference stats.
- KU was also the only Big 12 school with two players ranked in the top five in assists with Marcus Garrett first (4.7) and Devon Dotson fifth (4.0). Additionally, Dotson (2.1) and Garrett (1.8) ranked first and fifth, respectively in steals.
- Kansas had seven different players score 20 or more points in a game this season. Devon Dotson, Isaiah Moss, Udoka Azubuike, Ochai Agbaji, David McCormack, Christian Braun and Marcus Garrett posted 20 or more points in a game this season. Dotson (9), Azubuike (5), Moss (2) and Agbaji (2) all hit the 20-point plateau in multiple games. Dotson’s nine were second in the Big 12.
- Of Azubuike’s 181 field goals in 2019-20, 103 came by way of a dunk. For his career, Azubuike tallied 469 field goals, 274 of which came by way of a slam, which is 58.4%.
- Sophomore guard Devon Dotson was not only the Big 12 leader in scoring at 18.1 ppg, he also led the conference in steals (2.1) and free throws made (142). Dotson made his final 18 free throws of 2019-20.
Looking Ahead to 2020-21
- Kansas will try to win its seventh-consecutive in-season tournament during the first month of the 2020-21 campaign. The Jayhawks are scheduled to take part in the John Wooden Legacy tournament the week of Nov. 23 in Anaheim, California. Other participants include Virginia, Georgetown and UCLA.
- Kansas and Missouri will renew the Border Showdown when the two teams meet at Sprint Center on Dec. 12 for their first regular-season meeting over eight years. The Jayhawks lead the all-time series with the Tigers, 174-95.
- Marcus Garrett is primed to move up several prominent school record book charts. The senior-to-be will enter next season with 134 career steals, just 21 thefts shy from entering KU’s top-20 on the all-time steals list. Garrett is 66 steals shy from becoming just the seventh Jayhawk to tally 200 or more steals in a career.
- Garrett is also 336 points from hitting 1,000 for his career. It would make him the 63rd Jayhawk and 18th under Bill Self to hit the 1K scoring plateau. Kansas has had at least one player hit 1,000 points in 11 of the last 13 seasons.
- Mitch Lightfoot is slated to return to the Jayhawk line-up after his redshirt season and is on pace to move up KU’s all-time blocks list. The senior forward currently sits at No. 21 on the school’s career blocks chart with 98. He is 52 swats shy from moving into the top-10 on that list.
- Bill Self is 21 wins shy from moving into the top-25 of the all-time DI coaching victories list. Jerry Tarkanian and Norm Stewart both sit at No. 24 on the list with 729 DI victories.
- KU will also look to extend two NCAA record streaks. The Jayhawks have competed in 30-straight NCAA Tournaments, a streak which began in 1990. Kansas will also try to win 25 or more games for the 16th-straight season, extending its NCAA record mark.
- The Jayhawks will take a 10-game road winning streak into next season. KU’s longest winning streak in true road games under Bill Self is 11-straight during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons.
KU TO CARRY 16-GAME WIN STREAK INTO 2020-21
The Jayhawks will look to extend an impressive winning streak into next season, as the 2019-20 squad claimed wins in each of its last 16 games before its campaign was abruptly halted. KU is four wins shy from tying the longest streak under Bill Self, and seven victories shy from the school’s all-time record of 23-straight, posted by the 1935 and 1936 squads.
Kansas is slated to open the 2020-21 campaign in Chicago at the Champions Classic on Nov. 10 against Kentucky.
"To have the remaining team returning and a good recruiting class, it puts us in a position not to take a step backward at all in our program. I look forward to Marcus (Garrett), Ochai (Agbaji), David (McCormack), Mitch (Lightfoot) and Silvio (De Sousa), our upperclassmen, taking ownership of everything that goes with this team and see where they can take it."Bill Self