Jayhawks to host Longhorns on Senior Night
Senior G Clay Young
|GM 30: vs. Texas|
|Allen Fieldhouse (16,300)|
|Record||23-6, 12-4||17-12, 7-9|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas Jayhawks (23-6, 12-4) will look to clinch an outright conference title when they play host to the Texas Longhorns (17-12, 7-9) on Monday, Feb. 26 at Allen Fieldhouse. KU is coming off a victory at No. 6/7 Texas Tech Saturday, which clinched at least a share of its 14th-consecutive Big 12 regular-season championship. Senior Night festivities will also highlight the evening as Kansas will recognize its three seniors, Devonte’ Graham, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and Clay Young. Tip-off is slated for 8 p.m., on ESPN, with Bob Wischusen (play-by-play), Dick Vitale (analyst) and Holly Rowe (reporter) calling the action.
- With its 74-72 win at Texas Tech (Feb. 24), Kansas won at least a share of its NCAA-record 14th-consecutive, 18th Big 12 and NCAA-record 61st conference regular-season championship.
- With two games remaining in the conference race, only Texas Tech or West Virginia could tie Kansas. Tech and WVU play Monday night and the winner would need to win out and Kansas would need to drop both its remaining games to create a tie. Therefore, a Kansas win in either of its last two games would win the title outright.
- Kansas will recognize three senior men’s basketball players – Devonte’ Graham, Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and Clay Young. The game will also mark the final home contest for Jayhawk IMG Radio Network producer/engineer Bob Newton, who is retiring after 34 years of service to the network. See page 10 for more information on this year’s seniors.
- Beginning in 1983-84, Kansas has won a mindboggling 34-straight home finales, which includes 33 Senior Nights. In 2007, KU did not have a senior on the roster.
- Since the inception of the Big 12 in 1996-97, Kansas is 64-20 all-time on ESPN Big Monday (36-1 at home, 28-19 on the road), including 45-12 under head coach Bill Self (25-0 at home, 20-12 on the road).
- Hovering in the top-five most of the year, Kansas is No. 3 nationally in strength of schedule according to the NCAA. The Jayhawks are No. 6 in the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) which is tops in the Big 12.
- Senior G Devonte’ Graham is the only player in NCAA Division I averaging 17.0-plus points, 7.0-plus assists, 1.7-plus steals and fewer than 3.0 turnovers per game. Graham is seventh nationally in assists per game at 7.2. See back page for more on #DG4AllAmerican.
- Sophomore C Udoka Azubuike is 28-for-32 (87.5 percent) from the field in his last five games. He leads the country in field goal percentage at 77.1 percent.
- For the 21st time in the 22-year history of the Big 12, Kansas will not play on the opening day of the Big 12 Championship. KU will be either the No. 1 or 2 seed, depending how the final week turns out.
Kansas (23-6, 12-4) is ranked No. 8 in both the Associated Press and USA TODAY Coaches’ polls, released Feb. 19. Kansas leads the Big 12 in 3-point field goals made at 10.2 per game, which is 18th nationally. KU also ranks in the top three in the Big 12 in scoring (third at 82.1), scoring margin (third at +11.2, 22nd nationally), field goal percentage (second at 49.3, 21st nationally), 3-point field goal percentage (second at 39.8, 23rd nationally), assists (second at 17.0, 15th nationally) and assist-to-turnover ratio (second at 1.5, 15th nationally).
On every national player of year watch list, senior G Devonte’ Graham is scoring 19.4 points per game in Big 12 play and 17.9 in all games, which is second in the Big 12. Graham is second the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.7), second in assists (7.1), eighth in free throw percentage (82.6), fourth in 3-point field goals made (3.0), sixth in 3-point field goal percentage (42.1) and fourth in steals (1.7). Senior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is third in the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage (44.7) and third in 3-point field goals made (3.2) as he is the only player in the conference to rank that high in both 3-point stats. Mykhailiuk is averaging 15.6 points per game, which is ninth in the Big 12.
Sophomore C Udoka Azubuike leads the country in field goal percentage at 77.1 percent and is 28-for-32 (87.5 percent) from the field in his last five games. Azubuike has five double-doubles on the season, two in Big 12 play, and ranks tied for 14th in the league in scoring at 13.7 points per game. Azubuike’s 7.1 rebound average is seventh in the conference. Junior G Lagerald Vick is averaging 12.6 points per game, which is 21st in the conference. Vick pulls down 4.9 rebounds per game and has made 45 3-pointers this season. Redshirt-sophomore G Malik Newman is averaging 13.6 points in conference play and 12.3 points for the season. He is second on the team with a 5.0 rebound average and third with 53 3-pointers made.
Freshman G Marcus Garrett is 12-for-18 (66.7 percent) from the field in his last six games. He averages 4.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per contest. Sophomore F Mitch Lightfoot has started two Big 12 games and is second on the team with 46 blocked shots. Lightfoot’s 1.6 blocks per game are tied for seventh in the conference. He is averaging 3.6 points and 2.9 rebounds per game.
Located in Austin, Texas, with an enrollment of 51,334, Texas is 17-12 and 7-9 in Big 12 play, which is tied for sixth with Oklahoma and Baylor. The Longhorns are 4-6 in true road games this season and 5-8 in games not played in the Erwin Center. UT is coached by Shaka Smart who is 48-47 in his third season at Texas and 211-103 in his ninth season overall. UT averages 71.5 points per game and has a plus-4.1 scoring margin. The Longhorns pull down 36.2 rebounds per game. Texas ranks second in the Big 12 in scoring defense (67.4), field goal percentage defense (41.2), 3-point field goal percentage defense (32.2), blocked shots (5.2).
Junior F Dylan Osetkowski leads Texas in scoring at 13.7 points per game and he is sixth in the Big 12 with a 7.2 rebound average. He has made 32 3-pointer this season. Freshman F Mohamed Bamba leads the Big 12 in rebounds at 10.6 per game, which is 12th nationally, and blocked shots at 3.8 per contest, which is second nationally. He is the only player in the conference averaging at double-double with his 13.0 scoring average. Junior G Kerwin Roach II is second on the team with 90 assists and he scores 11.7 points per game. Roach leads the team with 38 steals and is second on the squad with 33 3-pointers made. Freshman G Matt Coleman leads UT with 125 assists and his 4.3 per game are sixth in the Big 12. Coleman scores 9.0 points per contest and he is second on the team with 33 steals. Other UT regulars include junior G Eric Davis Jr. (8.8 ppg), sophomore G Jacob Young (4.8 ppg), freshman F Jericho Sims (4.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg) and freshman G Jase Febres (3.5 ppg).
UT’s second leading scorer, sophomore G Andrew Jones (13.5 ppg, 10 games, eight starts) was diagnosed with leukemia in early January and has been receiving treatment at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Kansas will pay tribute to Jones by wearing a special shooting shirt in his honor.
In a series that dates back to 1938, Kansas leads Texas 30-8, including a 15-1 record in games in Lawrence, 13-1 in Allen Fieldhouse. KU has won eight straight, 13 of the last 14 meetings, and 16 of the last 18 matchups, starting with the 2008 Big 12 Championship title game.
Since the inception of the Big 12, Kansas holds a 26-7 record against Texas with a 22-6 mark in regular-season play and 4-1 record in the Big 12 Championship. Kansas head coach Bill Self is 20-8 all-time against Texas, including 20-6 while at KU. Texas head coach Shaka Smart is 1-5 versus Kansas, including 0-5 while at UT. Smart’s 2011 VCU team defeated Kansas, 71-61, in the NCAA Tournament Southwest Region championship game in San Antonio.
THE LAST MEETING
No. 11 Kansas needed 17 3-pointers and three players to put up 20-plus scoring efforts to withstand the Texas Longhorns, 92-86, Dec. 29 inside the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. Senior guard Devonte’ Graham led all scorers with 23 points and was joined by junior guard Lagerald Vick (21) and senior Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (20) to eclipse 20 points.
The win marked the 27th-straight for Kansas in league openers. Jayhawk sophomore center Udoka Azubuike recorded a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds, while redshirt sophomore Malik Newman also scored 13 points. Texas freshman Mohamed Bamba nearly had a triple double with 22 points, 15 rebounds and eight blocked shots. UT’s Dylan Osetkowski and Matt Coleman each scored 17 points for the Longhorns.
A KANSAS WIN WOULD…
Make Kansas 24-6, giving KU 24 wins for the 13th-consectutive season, beginning in 2005-06 … Outright win Kansas’ 18th Big 12 and NCAA-record 61st regular-season conference championship … Make Kansas 13-4 or better in Big 12 play, giving KU 13 conference wins for the 13th-consecutive season, beginning in 2005-06 … Secure the Jayhawks a No. 1 seed in the Big 12 Championship (March 7-10), marking the 10th-straight year and 15th time overall KU has been the top seed in the Big 12 postseason tournament … Give Kansas its 35th-consecutive home finale victory since, 34th Senior Night, a streak which started in 1983-84 … Make the Kansas-Texas series 31-8 in favor of KU, including 16-1 in Lawrence (14-1 in Allen Fieldhouse) … Give Kansas its ninth-straight win against Texas … Make Kansas 14-3 in Allen Fieldhouse this season, giving KU 14 wins in the venue for the 14th-straight year beginning in 2004-05 … Make KU 234-13 in Allen Fieldhouse under Bill Self and 771-113 all-time in the venue … Make Bill Self 21-8 all-time against Texas (21-6 while at KU), 440-94 while at KU and 647-199 for his career … Make Kansas 2,241-847 all-time.
A KANSAS LOSS WOULD…
Make Kansas 23-7 on the season … Make Kansas 12-5 in Big 12 play and give KU five conference losses for the first time since 2014-15 and the fourth time in the 22-season history of the conference, matching its most conference losses in that span … End a KU 34-game home finale win streak, a run that started in 1983-84 … End a Kansas eight-game winning streak against Texas … Make the KU-UT series 30-9 in favor of the Jayhawks, including 15-2 in meetings in Lawrence (13-2 in Allen Fieldhouse) … Make Kansas 13-4 in Allen Fieldhouse this season, giving KU four losses in the venue for the first time since 1988-89 … Make Kansas 233-14 in Allen Fieldhouse under Bill Self and 770-114 all-time in the venue … Make Self 20-9 against Texas (20-7 while at Kansas), 439-95 while at Kansas and 646-200 as a head coach … Make KU 2,240-848 all-time.
TEXAS TECH LEFTOVERS & NOTABLES
- The win made Kansas 23-6, giving KU 23 wins for the 29th-consecutive season, beginning in 1989-90.
- Kansas clinched at least a share of the Jayhawks’ 14th-consecutive, 18th Big 12 and NCAA-record 61st regular-season conference championship.
- Kansas is 12-4 in Big 12 play, giving KU 12 conference wins for the 18th-consecutive season, beginning in 2000-01.
- The victory gave Kansas its eighth-consecutive win over a team ranked in the Associate Press top-10 in a true road game.
- The win ended Texas Tech’s 17-game home court winning streak, the second longest active home streak in the nation.
- The victory marked KU’s 101st-straight home-and-home regular-season conference series either splitting or sweeping.
- Kansas made 59.3 percent (16-of-27) of its field goal tries in the first half, marking the 12th half this season the Jayhawks have shot 59 percent or better.
- Kansas shot 50 percent or better from the field for the 10th time this season, going 10-0 in this instances. In the Bill Self era, KU is now 234-9 in games with is makes 50 percent or better of its field goal attempts.
- After averaging 16 points off fast breaks in its last two outings and more than 10 for the season, Kansas was held without a fast break point for just the second time this season.
- Texas Tech’s eight turnovers were the second-fewest by a Jayhawk opponent this season. Kansas State tallied just seven turnovers against KU on Jan. 29.
- Senior G Devonte’ Graham’s 26 points moved him past Tyshawn Taylor and Wayne Simien for No. 15 on KU’s all-time scoring list, now with 1,595 career points.
- Graham’s four assists moved him past Sherron Collins to No. 9 on KU’s all-time assists list, now with 555 career helpers.
- Graham scored 18 of his 26 points in the final 14 minutes of the second half, going 7-of-10 from the field in that span.
- Graham started his 72nd-consecutive game, which ties for the 10th longest such streak in school history.
- Graham led the Jayhawks in scoring for the 10th time this season and the 15th time in his career. He logged 40 minutes for the 12th time in his last 16 outings, averaging 39.1 minutes per game in that span.
THANK YOU, BOB NEWTON
The Texas contest will mark the final home men’s basketball contest for Jayhawk IMG Radio Network producer/engineer Bob Newton, who is retiring after 34 years of service to the network. Newton will officially retire from the network following the KU Spring Football game on April 28. A 2013 inductee into the Kansas Association of Broadcasters (KAB) Hall of Fame, Newton began with the Jayhawk Radio Network in fall 1984 and has engineered eight of the Jayhawks’ 14 NCAA Final Four appearances, including KU’s 1988 and 2008 national championships, and half of KU’s 12 football bowl games, including the Jayhawks’ victory in the 2008 Orange Bowl.
A former president of the KAB and former station manager at KLWN and KLZR in Lawrence, Newton has also served for many years as the engineer of the weekly radio show “Hawk Talk,” featuring the Jayhawk football and basketball coaches. Besides being the public address voice of the Douglas County Fair demolition derby, Newton has been a duty officer and public information officer for Douglas County Emergency Management. Additionally, Newton has played a major role in technical support for the student radio stations at KU and Baker University throughout his career.
Kansas’ 74-72 win at No. 6 Texas Tech (Feb. 24) marked the eighth-straight win against an Associated Press top-10 team on the road for the Jayhawks, the longest such streak in the 70-year history of the AP poll. Two of those victories have occurred this season. On Jan. 15, the Jayhawks topped then-No. 6 West Virginia, 71-66, in Morgantown. Kansas’ last loss in a top-10 squad’s arena came at No. 4 Missouri on Feb. 2, 2012.
During Bill Self’s 15 seasons in Lawrence, the Jayhawks are 37-19 overall against top-10 squads, which includes a 17-4 mark since the 2012-13 season. KU is 10-6 in true road contests against top-10 teams during Self’s tenure.
Kansas has now won 18 of the 22 Big 12 regular-season titles (includes ties), including the last 14, which is an NCAA record. Kansas’ 61 conference titles are the most in NCAA Division I. Kentucky is second with 54 and Penn third at 37 (pre-2017-18). KU’s 14-straight league titles, all under head coach Bill Self, is the longest active streak in NCAA Division I and the longest streak in school history.
KANSAS CONFERENCE REGULAR-SEASON TITLES
61 (*Tied for the championship)
Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association (13) – 1908-09-10-11-12*-14*-15-22*-23-24-25-26-27
Big Six (12) – 1931-32-33-34-36-37*-38-40*-41*-42*-43-46
Big Seven (5) – 1950*-52-53-54*-57
Big Eight (13) – 1960*-66-67-71-74-75-78-86-91*-92-93-95-96
Big 12 (18) – 1997-98-2002-03-05*-06*-07-08*-09-10-11-12-13*-14-15-16-17-18 (possible tie)
BIG 12 RUN NO CAKEWALK
Kansas once again finds itself near the top of the nation in the latest NCAA Rating Percentage Index (RPI). In Self’s first 14 seasons, KU has finished 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 leads the league in RPI at sixth nationally and in strength of schedule at No. 3 (through games of Feb. 24). TCU is second in RPI at 16th and in strength of schedule at 13th.
RECORD BOOK REVIEW
- Here are some things to keep an eye on as several Jayhawks continue to make an impact on the career and single-season KU record books:
- This year’s KU squad is well on pace to break the program’s single-season 3-point record. The Jayhawks have connected on 297 treys this season, a number that is just 21 shy of the record mark of 318 set by last year’s squad.
- Senior Svi Mykhailiuk recently became the 60th player in KU history to score 1,000 points, currently at 1,062, which is tied for 47th (Otto Schnellbacher (1943, ’46-48). He is the 15th player in Bill Self’s 15 seasons at Kansas to reach the milestone. Mykhailiuk is 20 points shy from cracking the school’s all-time top 45 in scoring.
- Mykhailiuk is already fifth on the KU single-season 3-point field goals made list with 92. He is eight from becoming the fourth Jayhawk to make 100 threes in a single season. “Downtown” Terry Brown holds the single-season record with 111 treys in 1990-91.
- Against Baylor (2/6), senior Devonte’ Graham became the 22nd player in KU history to record 1,500 career points. He currently sits 15th at 1,595. Graham is the third player in school history to tally 1,500 points, 500 assists and 175 steals in a career. Darnell Valentine and Kirk Hinrich are the only other Jayhawks to hit those numbers.
- In the Oklahoma contest on Feb. 19, Graham moved into second on the KU career 3-point field goals made list, currently at 274. Jeff Boschee (1999-2002) holds the season record at 338.
- Graham is logging 37.3 minutes per game this year, which ranks as the fifth most in a single season.
- Sophomore Udoka Azubuike is primed to become the most-efficient shooting Jayhawk in a single season. His 77.1 shooting clip is more than 12 percentage points better than Mark Randall’s record mark of 64.6 percent achieved during the 1988-89 campaign.
KANSAS CLAIMS 300TH BIG 12 WIN
Kansas’ win against Oklahoma gave KU its 300th Big 12 regular-season victory. In 22 seasons, the Jayhawks have amassed a record of 300-63 for an 82.6 win percentage. Only Texas (224) and Oklahoma (212) have claimed more than 200 victories in the Big 12 since the league’s inception in 1996-97. Now in its 22 year as a Big 12 member, Kansas has won 18 regular-season league championships and has never finished lower than fifth in the final standings.
KU DUO NAMED TO ACADEMIC ALL-BIG 12 TEAMS
Kansas men’s basketball senior Clay Young and sophomore Udoka Azubuike have been named Academic All-Big 12, announced by the league office Feb. 22. Young was a first-team selection, while Azubuike is on the second team. A total of 31 student-athletes were named to the 2018 team.
Both Young and Azubuike are appearing on the Academic All-Big 12 Team for the first time. Young, from Lansing, Kansas, will graduate from KU in May 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in sport management. Azubuike, from Delta, Nigeria, is a liberal arts and sciences major. Kansas has a league-leading 57 all-time Academic All-Big 12 honorees since the inception of the conference in 1996-97. Texas is second with 52. KU has 42 Academic All-Big 12 First Team honorees and 15 second-team selections. In the Bill Self era, Kansas has had 37 student-athletes named Academic All-Big 12, including 26 Jayhawks on the first-team.
KANSAS VS TOP-25 TEAMS
With its 74-72 win at No. 6 Texas Tech (2/24), Kansas is 5-3 against ranked foes this season. Under Bill Self, Kansas is 87-44 against AP ranked opponents. In his 15 seasons at KU, Self’s Jayhawks have collected four wins or more over top-25 ranked foes in 12 of those seasons, which includes a 32-15 record from 2014-present.
Kansas’ record against top-10 ranked opponents is even more impressive. KU is 15-3 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, at West Virginia on Jan. 15 and at Texas Tech Feb. 24. 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.
KU FROM DOWNTOWN
Kansas leads the Big 12 with 10.2 3-point field goals made per game, which is 18th nationally. The Jayhawks are second in the conference with a 39.8 3-point field goal percentage. Kansas has made 10 or more 3-pointers in eight conference games and 15 total in 2017-18. For the season, the Jayhawks are 13-2 in games where they have made 10 or more threes. KU has also been deadly from long range in Allen Fieldhouse, hitting 43.1 percent of its 3-point tries on its home floor. Both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 Jayhawk squads hit better than 44 percent from three on James Naismith Court.
Last year, 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. This season’s team recently became the sixth KU squad to make 250 3-pointers in a season.
DEVONTE’ + SVI = THREES
The senior pairing of Devonte’ Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk has established itself as one of the top long-range shooting duos in KU history. Already this year, the two Jayhawk guards have combined for 180 of KU’s 297 3-pointers, which is 60.6 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, no other Kansas duo has tallied more threes over a three-year stretch than the 456 that Graham and Mykhailiuk have combined for since the 2015-16 season. At Oklahoma (1/23), Graham and Mykhailiuk passed Jeff Boschee and Kirk Hinrich as the most prolific 3-point shooting twosome in school history. Boschee and Hinrich amassed 405 treys while they played together from 2000-02.
Graham and Mykhailiuk are also among the most-accurate Jayhawk pairs. They have teamed up to shoot 41.6 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. Rush and 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 77.1 percent and he is one the only shooting 70 percent or better with a minimum of five shots made per game. Azubuike is on pace to break the Big 12 single-season record of 69.3 percent, set 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, while 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.
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 22nd player in KU history to score 1,500 career points. He currently sits 15th with 1,595 points.
- Against Oklahoma (2/19), Graham moved into second all-time on the KU 3-point field goal list, currently at 274. Jeff Boschee (1999-2002) is first at 338.
- 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%).
Kansas will conclude the regular season at Oklahoma State on Saturday, March 3, at 3 p.m. (Central). The game will be televised on ESPN.
The Jayhawks will then turn their attention to the postseason, which will kick off with the Big 12 Championship to be held in Kansas City’s Sprint Center March 7-10. With a win Monday night, KU would clinch the No. 1 seed in the tournament and would open play in the quarterfinals on March 8 at 1:30 p.m., against the winner of the No. 8 vs. No. 9 seed game.
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