No. 10 Kansas set to host Baylor Saturday
Junior G Lagerald Vick
|GM 19: vs. Baylor|
|Allen Fieldhouse (16,300)|
|Record||15-3, 5-1||12-6, 2-4|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – No. 10/10 Kansas (15-3, 5-1) returns home to host Baylor (12-6, 2-4) on Saturday, Jan. 20 inside Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas is coming off its 10th-straight regular-season win against a top-10 team with its 71-66 victory at No. 6/7 West Virginia, Jan. 15. The Jayhawks and Bears will tip-off at 5 p.m. (CT) on ESPN with Rich Hollenberg (play-by-play) and Fran Fraschilla (analyst) calling the action.
- Though Kansas leads the overall series with Baylor, 29-4, and has won 10 straight against the Bears, the last four meetings have been decided by six points or less.
- One-third of the way through the league schedule, Kansas finds itself atop the Big 12 standings with a 5-1 record. In Kansas’ 17 Big 12 regular-season championships, the Jayhawks were 5-1 or better in all but two of those title runs (4-2 in both 2006 and 2016).
- 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.
- Kansas is the only Big 12 team with four players ranked in the top-20 in scoring – Graham (2nd, 18.3), Mykhailiuk (7th, 16.6), Vick (16th, 14.6) and Azubuike (17th, 14.5).
- 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 78.1 percent. He is 23-for-25 (92.0 percent) in his last four games. Azubuike is one of only two players nationally to shoot 70 percent or better (Mike Watkins, Penn State, 70.4).
- Kansas is one of only six teams in NCAA Division I to have at least five players averaging 10.6 points or more per game. KU, Duke, Gonzaga, William & Mary, Michigan State and Virginia Tech each have five players averaging 10.6 ppg or better.
- In Kansas’ last eight games, senior guards Devonte’ Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk have combined to average 37.7 points per game, including 59 of Kansas’ 88 3-pointers. The Jayhawks are averaging 83.0 points in that span.
- Kansas is scoring 85.0 points per game. The last KU team to average that many was the 2001-02 Final Four team at 90.9 and before then, it was the 1989-90 team at 92.1 ppg.
Kansas (15-3, 5-1) is ranked No. 10 in both the Associated Press and USA TODAY Coaches’ polls, released Jan 15. The Jayhawks average 85.0 points per game and their plus-15.1 scoring margin is third in the conference. KU is 14th in the nation in field goal percentage (50.6) and 15th in 3-point field goal percentage (41.1). KU also ranks in the top three in the Big 12 in scoring offense (third at 85.0), scoring margin, 3-point field goal percentage defense (second at 31.9), assists (second at 18.0) and assist-to-turnover ratio (second at 1.5).
Senior G Devonte’ Graham leads KU with an 18.3 scoring average, which is second in the Big 12. Graham leads KU and is third in the Big 12 in assists (7.3), second in free throw percentage (86.5), 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 58 3-pointers are second on the team to senior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk’s 63. Mykhailiuk is second on the team, seventh in the Big 12, in scoring at 16.6 points per game. He leads the league in 3-point field goal percentage (48.1), is second in the conference in 3-point field goals made (3.5), the only player in the league to rank that high in both. Junior G Lagerald Vick is next in scoring at 14.6 points per game. He is second on the team with a 5.8 rebound average.
Sophomore C Udoka Azubuike has a team-high four double-doubles this season and also leads KU with a 7.8 rebound average which is sixth in the Big 12. Azubuike’s scores 14.5 per game and leads the NCAA with a 78.1 field goal percentage. His 30 blocked shots are tied for the team lead and his 1.7 blocks per game are tied seventh in the conference. Redshirt sophomore G Malik Newman scores 10.6 points per game, which includes a career-high 27 points against Iowa State (1/9).
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 and his 1.3 thefts per game are 13th in the Big 12. Sophomore F Mitch Lightfoot is tied with Azubuike for the team lead with 30 blocked shots, including a career-high six at TCU (1/6). He averages 3.9 points and 3.2 rebounds per game while his 1.7 blocks per game are tied for seventh in the Big 12.
Located in Waco, Texas, win an enrollment of 17,059, Baylor is 12-6 on the season and 2-4 in Big 12 play. The Bears are coached by Scott Drew who is 289-186 in his 15th season at BU and 309-197 in his 15th season overall. Baylor averages 77.6 points per game and has a plus-10.7 scoring margin. The Bears pull down 39.7 rebounds per game with a plus-7.6 rebound margin, which is second in the Big 12. BU also ranks in the top three in the conference in field goal percentage defense (third at 40.1) and blocked shots (third at 5.2). Baylor averages 16.5 assists and 5.1 steals per game.
Baylor has eight players who average 22 or more minutes per game. Senior G Manu Lecomte leads Baylor in scoring at 16.9 points per game, which is fifth in the Big 12 and his 3.3 3-point field goals made per contest is also a team high and fourth in the league. Lecomte makes 90 percent of his free throws, which is second in the conference, and he is second on the team with 55 assists.
Senior F Jo Lual-Acuil Jr., leads the team and is second in the conference with 9.5 rebounds per game. He is 11th in the Big 12 in scoring at 15.4 points per game and fourth in blocked shots at 2.1. Junior G King McClure is second on the team with 28 3-pointers made. He is scoring 9.8 points per game. Senior F Nuni Omot (9.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg) has started 15 games, while freshman F Tristan Clark is also a starter who averages 8.4 points and 5.9 rebounds per contest. Senior F Terry Maston is second on the team with a 6.8 rebound average and he scores 9.2 points per game. Other BU regulars include redshirt freshman F Mark Vital (7.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg) and junior G Jake Lindsey (5.2 ppg).
The Kansas-Baylor series dates back to 1951 with the Jayhawks leading 29-4. Kansas has won 10 straight in the series and holds a 15-2 advantage in the last 17 meetings. Baylor’s two wins in that stretch came on March 9, 2013, in Waco and March 9, 2012, at the Big 12 Championship semifinals at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas is 15-0 against Baylor in Lawrence, including a 14-0 record in Allen Fieldhouse. Since the inception of the Big 12, KU is 27-4 against Baylor — 25-2 in regular-season play and 2-2 in the Big 12 Championship. These two teams have met in two of the last three Big 12 Championship semifinals with Kansas winning both: 62-52 in 2015 and 70-66 in 2016. Kansas head coach Bill Self is 21-4 all-time against Baylor, including a 21-3 mark while at Kansas. Baylor’s Scott Drew is 3-21 versus Kansas. Expect a close game, as each of the last four meetings have been decided by six points or less.
A KANSAS WIN WOULD…
Make Kansas 16-3 or better for the fourth-straight year beginning in 2014-15 … Make Kansas 6-1 or better in conference play for the second-straight season and 12th time in Bill Self’s 15 seasons at Kansas … Give Kansas its 11th-straight win against Baylor, making the series 30-4 in favor of the Jayhawks, including 15-0 in Allen Fieldhouse … Make Kansas 8-2 in Allen Fieldhouse this season, 228-12 under Bill Self and 766-112 all-time in the venue … Make Self 22-4 all-time against Baylor (2-3 while at KU), 432-91 while at KU and 639-196 for his career … Make Kansas 2,233-844 all-time.
A KANSAS LOSS WOULD…
Make Kansas 15-4 on the season … Make Kansas 5-2 in conference play for the first time since the 2015-16 season and the third time in the Bill Self era, beginning in 2003-04 … Give Baylor its first win against Kansas since Jan. 20, 2014, ending a 10-game KU series winning streak … Give Baylor its first-ever win in Allen Fieldhouse (14-1) … Make the KU-BU series 29-5 in favor of Kansas … Make KU 8-3 in Allen Fieldhouse this season, giving KU three losses in the venue for the first time since the 1998-99 season … Make KU 228-13 in Allen Fieldhouse under Bill Self and 765-112 all-time in the building … Make Self 21-5 all-time against Baylor (21-4 while at KU), 431-92 while at Kansas and 638-197 as a head coach … Make KU 2,232-845 all-time.
WEST VIRGINIA LEFTOVERS & NOTABLES
- Kansas improved to 15-3 or better for the fourth-straight year beginning in 2014-15. The Jayhawks are 5-1 or better in conference play for the second-straight season and 12th time in Bill Self’s 15 seasons at Kansas.
- KU’s is now 36-19 against Associated Press top-10 ranked teams under Bill Self (since 2003-04).
- The Jayhawks have now won 11 of their last 13 against AP top-10 teams.
- The victory marked KU’s seventh-straight win over an AP 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.
- The win gave Kansas its second-ever win at West Virginia, ending a four-game losing skid at WVU Coliseum.
- Kansas trailed by 16 points in the first half, making the come-from-behind win its largest in a road contest since the Jayhawks erased a 16-point deficit at Texas Tech on Feb. 2, 1997.
- The Jayhawks’ 13-point halftime deficit erased was its largest since KU came from 14 points down at the break to beat West Virginia on March 3, 2015, in Lawrence.
- KU committed eight turnovers over the first 9:29 of action, but turned the ball over only five more times during the rest of the game to tie for the fewest turnovers by a West Virginia opponent this season (13).
- Seniors Devonte’ Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk combined for 20 of their team’s last 28 points over the final 8:30 of regulation.
- Graham’s six assists marked the 18th-straight game he has tallied five or more helpers in a game.
- Senior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk was 3-of-6 from 3-point range. Since going 0-for-5 against Stanford (12/21), Mykhailiuk has shot 53.2 percent (25-of-47) in his next six games, all of which were in conference play.
- Sophomore C Udoka Azubuike was 5-of-5 from the field to mark the fourth time this season he hasn’t missed a shot in a game. The NCAA’s leader in field goal percentage has converted on all but four of his attempts (27-of-31, 87.1%) in his last five outings.
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 Athletics will have a video tribute to White approximately 10 minutes prior to the tip of the Baylor contest on Jan. 20.
SHARP SHOOTING IN THE FIELDHOUSE
This year’s Jayhawks have proven to be a sharp-shooting bunch inside the friendly confines of Allen Fieldhouse and are on a historic pace that could rank them among the best shooting teams in program history on KU’s home court. In its first 10 games in Lawrence this season, Kansas has scorched the nets, hitting 44.0 percent (122-277) of its 3-point attempts, compared to a 37.1 percent clip (73-197) in its eight contests elsewhere. Only two other KU teams in school history have shot better than 43 percent from deep on James Naismith Court, the 2016-17 team (46.5 percent) and the 2015-16 team (44.7 percent).
The 2017-18 Jayhawks’ overall field goal percentage in the Fieldhouse is just as impressive. KU has made nearly 55 percent of its tries at home (350-of-642), which is 10 percentage points better than the Jayhawks’ average in other arenas (224-492, 45.5%). The 1988-89 team is the only other team in the last 30 years to shoot better than 54 percent in “The Phog”.
While the entire KU team has been accurate in AFH, no Jayhawk has been better from long range than Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk. The senior guard has converted on an incredible 56.3 percent (40-71) of his 3-point tries in Lawrence this year. Only three Jayhawks who averaged more than three attempts per game have finished a season shooting better than 50 percent from beyond the James Naismith Court arc, with Kirk Hinrich boasting the all-time best mark after he sunk 28 of his 47 attempts (59.6%) during the 2000-01 season. Frank Mason III (58.8%) and Brandon Rush (52.8%) also hit the majority of their 3-point tries during the 2016-17 and 2005-06 seasons, respectively.
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 200 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 KU BASKETBALL HISTORY
Kansas is 14-13 all-time on Jan. 20
Jan. 20, 2001: Nick Collison and Drew Gooden scored 19 points apiece as Kansas defeated Texas A&M 100-70 in Allen Fieldhouse. Jeff Boschee added 14 points as Kansas extended its winning streak to eight games with the victory. Luke Axtell came off the bench to score 10 points in the win. The 100 points scored were the second-most points scored during the 2000-01 season as KU went on to post a 26-7 record and finish tied for second in the Big 12 with a 12-4 league record.
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 10.8 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 10.8 made are second. Kansas has made 10 or more 3-pointers in three of its last four games and four of its last six. 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 establishing itself as one of the top long-range shooting duos in KU history. Already this year, the two Jayhawk guards have combined for 121 of KU’s 195 3-pointers, which is 62.1 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 397 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 42.1 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 78.1 percent and he is one of only two players shooting 70 percent or better with a minimum of five made per game (Mike Watkins, Penn State, 70.4 percent). 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 1,404 points and 29 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 244. 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 244-584 (41.8 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 tied for eighth with Rex Walters (1992-93).
- Graham has 481 career assists, which is 13th on the KU career assists list. Additionally, his 171 steals are 13th 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 will travel to Norman, Oklahoma, to take on No. 4/6 Oklahoma on Tuesday, Jan. 23, at 6 p.m. (Central) on ESPN. Kansas leads the overall series with Oklahoma, 146-66, and has won the last four meetings with the Sooners. Two of those four have been at Lloyd Noble Center. KU is 52-42 all-time in Lloyd Noble Center.
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