Jayhawks and Sooners to tangle in Norman Tuesday
Sophomore G Malik Newman
|GM 20: at Oklahoma|
|6 p.m. (CT)|
|Lloyd Noble Center (11,562)|
|Watch – ESPN|
|Record||16-3, 6-1||14-4, 4-3|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The No. 10/10-ranked Kansas Jayhawks (16-3, 6-1 Big 12) will journey to Norman, Oklahoma to meet NCAA scoring leader Trae Young and the No. 4/6 Oklahoma Sooners (14-4, 4-3 Big 12) on Tuesday, Jan. 23 inside the Lloyd Noble Center. The Jayhawks, winners of five-straight and holding a one-game lead in the latest Big 12 standings, will face an OU team coming off back-to-back losses. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. (CT) on ESPN with Jon Sciambi (play-by-play), Tom Crean (analyst) and Holly Rowe (reporter) calling the action.
- Seven games into Big 12 play, Kansas finds itself atop the Big 12 standings at 6-1. The Jayhawks have a one game lead on West Virginia at 5-2 and a two-game advantage over Oklahoma, Kansas State and Texas Tech, all 4-3.
- Kansas has won its last seven Big 12 road games with five to end the 2016-17 season and its first three of 2017-18. That is Kansas’ longest Big 12 road winning streak since the last four road trips of the 2011-12 season and the first four in 2012-13.
- Expect a lot of 3-pointers going up as Oklahoma leads the Big 12 with 11.1 made per game, while Kansas is second at 10.6. The Sooners have attempted a league-high 503 threes, while Kansas is next at 492.
- This is also a battle of the Big 12’s top two RPI teams with Kansas at No. 7 nationally and Oklahoma at No. 11 (through games of Jan. 20).
- Six of Kansas’ seven conference games this season have been decided by six points or less with the Jayhawks winning all six of those battles. Stretching back to last season, Kansas has played 17 Big 12 games that were decided by seven points or less. Kansas is 16-1 in those outcomes.
- Kansas’ win at No. 6 West Virginia on Jan. 15 marked KU’s seventh-straight win over an Associated Press top-10 team in a true road game. Kansas’ last loss to a top-10 squad on the road came at No. 4 Missouri on Feb. 2, 2012.
- Senior G Devonte’ Graham is the only player in NCAA Division I averaging 18.0-plus points, 7.0-plus assists, 2.0-plus steals and fewer than 3.0 turnovers per game.
- Sophomore C Udoka Azubuike leads the NCAA in field goal percentage at 77.3 percent. He is 28-for-33 (84.8 percent) in his last five games.
- In Big 12 play, senior guards Devonte’ Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk have combined to average 36.0 points per game, including 48 of Kansas’ 73 3-pointers (65.8 percent).
- Kansas is scoring 84.2 points per game, which is the highest scoring average in the Bill Self era (since 2003-04). The last KU team to average that many was the 2001-02 Final Four team at 90.9.
Kansas (16-3, 6-1) is ranked No. 10 in both the Associated Press and USA TODAY Coaches’ polls, released Jan 15. Kansas leads the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage at 41.1 percent, which is 16th nationally. The Jayhawks also rank in the top three in the conference in scoring (third at 84.2), scoring margin (third at +14.4), field goal percentage (second at 50.2, 14th nationally), 3-point field goal percentage defense (second at 31.4), assists (second at 17.8, 12th nationally), assist-to-turnover ratio (second at 1.5, 14th nationally) and 3-point field goals made per game (second at 10.6, 16th nationally).
Senior G Devonte’ Graham leads KU with an 18.1 scoring average, which is second in the Big 12. Graham leads KU and is third in the Big 12 in assists (7.3), third in free throw percentage (86.6), third in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.6), fifth in 3-point field goals made (3.2) and tied for fourth in steals (2.0). Graham’s 60 3-pointers are second on the team to senior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk’s 64. Mykhailiuk is second on the team, 10th in the Big 12, in scoring at 16.1 points per game. He is second in the league in 3-point field goal percentage (47.4) and third in the conference in 3-point field goals made (3.4). Mykhailiuk is the only player in the league to rank that high in both.
Sophomore C Udoka Azubuike is next in scoring at 14.5 points per game and he leads the nation in field goal percentage at 77.3 percent. Azubuike’s points rank 16th in the league and his 7.7 rebounds per game are a team best and fifth in the Big 12. Azubuike is tied for the team lead with 31 blocked shots. Junior G Lagerald Vick is next in scoring at 14.1 points per game, which is 17th in the conference. He is second on the team with a 5.8 rebound average. After his 24 points against Baylor (1/20), redshirt sophomore G Malik Newman scores 11.3 points per game. He has made 31 3-pointers this season.
Freshman G Marcus Garrett has started six games this season. He averages 3.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per contest. Garrett is second on the team with 23 steals. Sophomore F Mitch Lightfoot is tied with Azubuike for the team lead with 31 blocked shots. He averages 3.7 points and 3.1 rebounds per game.
Located in Norman, Oklahoma, with an enrollment of 31,250, Oklahoma is 14-4 on the season and 4-3 in Big 12 play after its 83-81 overtime loss at Oklahoma State on Jan. 20. The Sooners are coached by Lon Kruger who is 136-81 in his seventh season at OU and 615-385 in his 32nd season overall. Oklahoma leads the Big 12 in scoring offense (91.6, second nationally) and 3-point field goals made (11.1, 10th nationally). The Sooners pull down 40.7 rebounds per game with a plus-1.9 rebound margin. They are second in the Big 12 in blocked shots per game at 5.7 and third in assists at 17.4.
Freshman G Trae Young leads the NCAA in scoring at 30.5 points per game and assists at 9.7. He has 13 double-doubles this season and is third nationally with 4.3 3-pointers made per game. In Big 12 play, Young is scoring 33.3 points per game after his Big 12 record-tying 48 points at Oklahoma State (1/20). Junior G Christian James is next in scoring at 11.9 points per game and he is third on the team with 35 3-pointers made. James’ 23 steals are second to Young’s 36 and he averages 4.7 rebounds per contest. Freshman F Brady Manek scores 11.1 points per contest and he is second on the team with 39 3-pointers made.
Sophomore G Kameron McGusty comes off the bench to score 8.4 points per game. Senior F Khadeem Lattin is a starter who leads OU with 6.6 rebounds per game and with 41 blocked shots. Lattin scores 7.4 points per game and his 2.3 blocked shots average are third in the Big 12. Junior G Rashard Odomes is a starter who scores 6.6 points per game. Other OU regulars include redshirt junior C Jamuni McNeace (5.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg), redshirt sophomore F Matt Freeman (3.6 ppg), sophomore F Kristian Doolittle (2.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg) and sophomore G Jordan Shepherd (3.4 ppg).
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, 146-66. Kansas has won the last four meetings and, since 2006, the Jayhawks have won 17 of the last 19 meetings against the Sooners. Kansas is 52-42 against Oklahoma in games played in Norman, which includes a 19-17 record in Lloyd Noble Center. Since the inception of the Big 12 Conference, Kansas is 24-6 against Oklahoma; 22-4 in regular-season play and 2-2 in the Big 12 Championship. Kansas head coach Bill Self is 17-5 all-time against Oklahoma, including 17-3 while at KU. Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger is 7-19 versus Kansas, 2-9 while at OU.
A KANSAS WIN WOULD…
Make Kansas 17-3 or better for the second-straight season … Make Kansas 7-1 or better in conference play for the second-straight season and 12th time in Bill Self’s 15 seasons at Kansas … Give Kansas its eighth-straight road win in Big 12 regular-season play dating back to last season (last five of 2016-17, 4-0 in 2017-18) … Give Kansas its fifth-straight win against Oklahoma, making the series 147-66 in favor of the Jayhawks, including 20-17 in Lloyd Noble Center … Make Kansas 8-1 in games not played in Allen Fieldhouse this season … Make Self 18-5 all-time against Oklahoma (18-3 while at KU), 433-91 while at KU and 640-196 for his career … Make Kansas 2,234-844 all-time.
A KANSAS LOSS WOULD…
Make Kansas 16-4 on the season … Make Kansas 6-2 in conference play for the first time since the 2015-16 season when KU was 5-3 … End a Kansas seven-game Big 12 road winning streak which started last season … End a Kansas four-game winning streak against Oklahoma, making the series 146-67 all-time in favor of KU, including 19-18 in Lloyd Noble Center … Make Kansas 7-2 in games not played in Allen Fieldhouse this season … Make Bill Self 17-6 all-time against Oklahoma (17-4 while at KU), 432-92 while at Kansas and 639-197 as a head coach … Make KU 2,233-845 all-time.
BAYLOR LEFTOVERS & NOTABLES
- Kansas improved to 16-3 or better for the fourth-straight year beginning in 2014-15.
- Kansas moved to 6-1 or better in conference play for the second-straight season and 12th time in Bill Self’s 15 seasons at Kansas.
- In Big 12 play, Kansas is winning by an average margin of four points.
- The game marked the sixth game this year Kansas has trailed with five minutes remaining in regulation. KU improved to 3-3 in those contests.
- With Baylor’s 39-37 advantage on the boards, Kansas has now been outrebounded in its last eight-consecutive games, extending the longest stretch in the Bill Self era. That being said, the Jayhawks are now 9-2 in games when they’ve been outrebounded this season.
- Kansas’ 21 field goals were its fewest in a game this season.
- With Baylor’s 20 percent (4-of-20) clip from 3-point range, KU has now held back-to-back opponents to 20 percent for worse from long range. In its last two outings Jayhawk opponents were 9-of-47 (19.1 percent) from beyond the arc.
- Senior G Devonte’ Graham collected a career-high eight rebounds and led the Jayhawks in rebounding for the fourth time in his career and first time this season.
- Over the first five minutes of the game and the final five minutes of the game, Kansas was a combined 11-of-14 (78.6 percent) from the field. In the other 30 minutes of regulation, the Jayhawks were 10-of-38 (26.3 percent).
- Graham’s seven assists moved him past Ryan Robertson for 12th on the all-time list. He now has 488 career assists.
- It marked the first time this season Graham has had more rebounds than assists for a game, a feat he has done 27 times for his career.
- With two steals Graham moved past Tyshawn Taylor for 12th on the steals list, now with 173 career thefts.
- Sophomore G Malik Newman scored 12 of his 24 points over the final 4:20 of regulation.
KANSAS LEGEND JO JO WHITE DIES
Kansas basketball legend Jo Jo White died Jan. 16. He was 71 years old. A two-time Kansas All-American and seven-time NBA All-Star, White was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September 2015.
White played at KU from 1966-69. An All-America selection in 1968 and 1969, he was a three-time All-Big Eight Conference honoree and KU’s Most Valuable Player for three-straight seasons playing for head coach Ted Owens. The Saint Louis native scored 1,286 career points while at Kansas, which currently ranks 32nd on the KU all-time list.
Drafted by Boston with the ninth overall pick in 1969, White led the Celtics to NBA Championships in 1974 and 1976; he was named NBA Finals MVP in 1976. White averaged 17.2 points, 4.9 assists and 4.0 rebounds over 12 NBA seasons. He spent 10 of those 12 seasons with the Celtics, and played in a Celtics-record 488-consecutive games.
A major impact player at the collegiate and professional levels, White’s Kansas jersey was officially retired on Jan. 27, 2003. His number was also retired by the Celtics in 1982. Following his NBA career, Owens hired White as an assistant coach at Kansas for two seasons, in 1981-82 and 1982-83.
Kansas is in the midst of one of the longest road winning streaks in recent memory. The Jayhawks’ win at No. 6/7 West Virginia on Jan. 15 marked their 10th-straight victory in a true road game dating back to last season. This stretch is the second-longest road winning streak of its kind during the Bill Self era as well as the second longest since 1950. Kansas won 11 in a row on the road over the course of the 2006-07 and 2007-08 campaigns. That KU streak has included seven-consecutive road wins in Big 12 play, including each of the first three away from Lawrence this season.
The longest road winning streak in program history is 36 games, which spanned from 1924-1927.
SELF GARNERS 200TH BIG 12 VICTORY
What has seemed like a nearly every-week occurrence lately, KU head coach Bill Self has hit yet another coaching milestone. The Jayhawks’ win over West Virginia on Jan. 15 marked Self’s 200th Big 12 regular-season victory as the KU head man, now in his 15th season in Lawrence. That number ranks Self No. 1 among the league’s all-time coaches, 14 victories ahead of former Texas head man Rick Barnes.
On Kansas’ all-time coaches list, which features five Naismith Hall of Famers, Self’s 201 league wins is second behind Dr. Phog Allen, who collected 334 victories in league play over his 39 seasons when KU was a member of the Missouri Valley, Big Six and Big Seven Conferences.
During Self’s tenure, KU has never won fewer than 12 Big 12 regular-season contests in a season and has claimed 15 or more league wins on four occasions. The Jayhawks have won at least a share of the Big 12 regular-season crown in all but one of Self’s 14 years in Lawrence, his first season in 2003-04, which saw KU claim a runner-up finish that year.
THIS DAY IN KANSAS BASKETBALL HISTORY
Kansas is 16-10 all-time on Jan. 23
Jan. 23, 1971: Led by senior center Roger Brown’s double-double of 19 points and 15 rebounds, Kansas defeated Oklahoma State, 90-55. The upperclassmen controlled the paint as senior forwards Dave Robisch and Pierre Russell contributed 18 and 12 points, respectively. Head Coach Ted Owens led Kansas to an undefeated mark of 14-0 in Big Eight Conference play. The fourth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks would advance all the way to the Final Four and finish the season with a record of 27-3.
GRAHAM NAMED TO WOODEN MIDSEASON LIST
Kansas senior Devonte’ Graham was named to the John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s Midseason Top 25 list, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Jan. 11. Last season, KU’s Frank Mason III won the 2017 Wooden Award.
The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2018 John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s. The leading candidates will be further pared to 20 top players in early February. The ten-man Wooden Award All American Team™ will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament. The winner of the 2018 John R. Wooden Award will be presented during the ESPN College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s on Friday, April 6, 2018.
KU FROM DOWNTOWN
Kansas is averaging 10.6 3-point field goals made per game with a 41.1 3-point field goal percentage. KU’s 3-point field goal percentage leads the Big 12 and its 10.6 made are second. Kansas has made 10 or more 3-pointers in three of its last five games and four of its last seven. The Jayhawks are 10-1 in games where they have made 10 or more threes this season.
Last season, KU set the school single-season 3-point record, making 318 from beyond the arc for 8.8 per game. Three of the last eight Jayhawk squads have averaged more than seven treys per game, with both of the last two KU teams hitting an average of eight or more threes per contest.
DEVONTE’ + SVI = THREES
The senior pairing of Devonte’ Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is on the cusp as one of the top long-range shooting duos in KU history. Already this year, the two Jayhawk guards have combined for 124 of KU’s 202 3-pointers, which is 61.4 percent of the team’s threes. The prolific outside shooting from these two is nothing new as they continue to move up the all-time KU 3-point charts.
Since the advent of the 3-point line prior to the 1986-87 season, only one other Kansas duo has tallied more threes over a three-year stretch than the 400 that Graham and Mykhailiuk have combined for since the 2015-16 season. Jeff Boschee and Kirk Hinrich are the most prolific 3-point shooting twosome in school history as they netted 405 treys while they played together from 2000-02. Against Kansas State (1/13), Graham and Mykhailiuk passed Brandon Rush and Mario Chalmers (2006-08) are who made 385. Graham is also one half of another sharp-shooting pair after he and Frank Mason III combined for the fourth-most threes (353) among KU duos during the last three seasons (2015-17).
Graham and Mykhailiuk are also among the most-accurate Jayhawk pairs. They have teamed up to shoot 42.0 percent from beyond the arc in that same three-year span, the third-best mark among KU teammates who have combined for 700 or more attempts. Brandon Rush and Mario Chalmers boast the best combined percentage with a 42.7 percent (385-of-901) clip coming during their three seasons in Lawrence from 2006-08.
Udoka Azubuike ranks first in NCAA Division I in field goal percentage at 77.3 percent and he is one of only three players shooting 70 percent or better with a minimum of five made per game (Mike Watkins, Penn State, 70.4 percent and Nick Ward, Michigan State, 70.1). Azubuike is on pace to set the Big 12 single-season record of 69.3 percent by Ricardo Ratliffe of Missouri in 2011-12.
History has shown that it isn’t easy to lead the nation in a statistic. In fact, checking the NCAA Records Book of annual leaders, only twice has a Jayhawk led the country in a season stat and both were KU All-Americans. KU legend Clyde Lovellette led the NCAA in scoring average in 1951-52 at 28.6 points per game. More recently, Thomas Robinson led the country in double-doubles with 27 during the 2011-12 season. Under Lovellette’s leadership KU won the 1952 NCAA National Championship and Robinson led the Jayhawks to a runner-up finish in 2012.
With a minimum of 175 attempts, the Kansas single-season field goal percentage record is 64.6 percent by Mark Randall in 1988-89. Last year, Landen Lucas shot 63.1 percent from the field, which ranks fourth on the KU single-season list. On the NCAA level, with a minimum of five makes per game, there have been only 12 players who have shot 70 percent or better in a season, with the most recent being Devontae Cacok of UNC-Wilmington, who set the NCAA record last season (2016-17) at 80.0 percent.
BIG 12 RUN NO CAKEWALK
Kansas ended 2016-17 ranked No. 4 in the NCAA Rating Percentage Index (RPI) and its strength of schedule was 19th nationally. In Self’s first 14 seasons, KU has ranked fifth or higher in the final RPI 10 times, including each of the last eight years. This season the strength of the Big 12 is quite prevalent. Kansas’ RPI is 13th nationally but third in the conference behind Oklahoma (4) and West Virginia (12). Kansas does lead the league in strength of schedule at 10th nationally. Oklahoma is second at 17th.
KANSAS VS TOP-25 TEAMS
Kansas is 3-2 against ranked foes this season with wins over then-No. 7 Kentucky on Nov. 14 in the Champions Classic, at then-No. 16 TCU on Jan. 6 and at No. 6 West Virginia on Jan. 15. The KU losses were to No. 16/17 Arizona State on Dec. 10 and No. 18 Texas Tech on Jan. 2. Under head coach Bill Self, Kansas is 85-43 against Associated Press ranked opponents. In his first 14 seasons, Self’s Jayhawks have collected four wins or more over top-25 ranked foes in 11 of those seasons, which includes a 30-14 record from 2014-present.
Kansas’ record against top-10 ranked opponents is even more impressive. KU is 14-3 against foes ranked inside the top-10 of the AP poll since 2013-14. This number includes the Jayhawks’ victory over Kentucky on Nov. 14 and at West Virginia on Jan. 15. Since Bill Self’s first season, the Jayhawks are 13-2 against AP top-10 teams inside Allen Fieldhouse, which includes KU’s current streak of nine-straight home victories against top-10 foes.
CELEBRATING 120 YEARS IN 2017-18
Kansas Athletics will host numerous events throughout the 2017-18 season to celebrate 120 years of KU men’s basketball and other Jayhawk basketball milestones. The first celebration will be for 120 years of Kansas basketball. It will be held Saturday, Feb. 3 when KU hosts Oklahoma State in Allen Fieldhouse. Players, coaches and staff from every era of KU basketball will be recognized during the game; the weekend’s festivities will also celebrate the 30-year anniversary of KU’s 1988 NCAA National Championship team.
The 2017-18 season marks the 10th anniversary of the 2008 NCAA National Championship team, which will be honored when KU hosts West Virginia on Saturday, Feb. 17. That weekend, which is also the NBA All-Star Game weekend, KU will retire the jersey of former Jayhawk All-American Cole Aldrich. Additionally, plans are in place to retire the jersey of 2010 Consensus All-America First-Team selection Sherron Collins on KU’s ESPN Big Monday game against Oklahoma on Feb. 19.
Including 2016-17, Kansas has won 17 of the 21 Big 12 regular-season titles (includes ties), including the last 13, which is tied for the NCAA record. Kansas’ 60 conference titles are the most in NCAA Division I. Kentucky is second with 54 and Penn third at 37. KU’s 13-straight league titles are the longest active streak in NCAA Division I and the longest streak in school history. Kansas is now tied with UCLA, which from 1967-79, also won the NCAA record of 13 straight, which was under two coaches. Kansas’ current run has been under head coach Bill Self.
WHAT ELSE TO WATCH FOR…
- Senior G Devonte’ Graham is quickly moving up the school’s all-time career lists. Graham entered his senior season No. 45 on the KU scoring list with 1,075 points. At West Virginia (1/15), Graham became the 26th player in KU history to score 1,400 career points. He currently sits 26th with 1,419 points and 14 points from legend Wilt Chamberlain’s 1,433 in his two seasons in Lawrence.
- Against Iowa State (1/9), Graham moved into third all-time on the KU 3-point field goal list, currently at 246. He passed Kirk Hinrich who made 236 threes from 2000-03. Jeff Boschee (1999-2002) is first at 338 and Billy Thomas (1995-98) is second at 269.
- Graham is 246-590 (41.7 percent) all-time from 3-point range. His 3-point attempts are fourth on the KU career list and his 3-point field goal percentage is 10th.
- Graham has 488 career assists, which is 12th on the KU career assists list. Additionally, his 173 steals are 12th on the KU career list.
- Entering 2017-18 with a 247-48 (83.7 percent) record since 2010, Kansas is the winningest program, by percentage, this decade: 1. KANSAS (247-48, 83.7%); 2. Gonzaga (239-47, 83.6%); 3. Kentucky (249-53, 82.5%); 4. Wichita State (233-53, 81.7); 5. Duke (238-56, 81.0%).
- The Jayhawks are pursuing their 14th-conseuctive Big 12 regular-season championship. A 14th-league title would break UCLA’s NCAA record mark of 13-consecutive conference championships from 1967-79.
Kansas steps out of league play to host former Big 12 foe Texas A&M in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, Saturday, Jan. 27 at 3:30 p.m. (Central) on ESPN. Kansas is 3-1 in the Big 12/SEC Challenge and has won its last three games in the event with a win against Florida in 2014-15 and two victories versus Kentucky in 2015-16 and 2016-17. KU is 20-1 all-time against Texas A&M, including 10-1 in Allen Fieldhouse.
For the contest, the KU staff will be participating in the NABC’s Coaches vs. Cancer Suits And Sneakers®. The event unites coaches across the country to raise funds and awareness about the fight against cancer, and promotes the American Cancer Society.
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