No. 11 Kansas kicks off Big 12 play at Texas Friday
Senior guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk
|GM 13: at Texas|
|8 p.m. (CT)|
|Frank Erwin Center (16,540)|
|Watch – ESPN2|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas (10-2) is set to begin conference play against Texas (9-3) on Friday, Dec. 29 inside the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. KU is the 13-time defending Big 12 champion, a streak which started in 2004-05 and has tied the NCAA Division I record with UCLA (1967-79). Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. (CT) on ESPN2 with Jon Sciambi (play-by-play) and Jay Bilas (analyst) calling the action.
- Kansas has won 60 all-time conference titles, which is more than any school in NCAA Division I history. Kentucky is next at 54 and Pennsylvania third at 37.
- Kansas has won a mindboggling 26-straight conference openers dating back to the 1991-92 season with 10 of those in Allen Fieldhouse and 16 on the road. The last time KU lost a conference opener was at Oklahoma, 88-82, on Jan. 8, 1991. This will be the ninth time in Bill Self’s 15 seasons at KU that the Jayhawks have opened Big 12 play on the road.
- Kansas is third nationally in assists per game at 20.0. KU also ranks in the top-10 nationally in field goal percentage (fourth at 52.3), scoring margin (fifth at 21.8) and assist-to-turnover ratio (seventh at 1.7).
- Kansas is one of eight teams in NCAA Division I that have five players averaging 10.4 points for better. The others include Virginia Tech, Duke, Arkansas, Gonzaga, Arkansas, TCU, William & Mary and Villanova.
- Kansas is the only school in the Big 12 that has two players ranked in the top 10 in both scoring average and rebound average. KU junior G Lagerald Vick is fourth in the league in scoring at 17.1 ppg and ninth in rebounds at 6.6 rpg, while sophomore C Udoka Azubuike is 10th in scoring at 15.5 ppg and fourth in rebounds at 8.0.
- Azubuike is second in NCAA Division I in field goal percentage at 77.9 percent. Through 12 games, Azubuike is 88-for-113, which includes 49 dunks.
- After Azubuike’s 26-point effort at Nebraska (12/16), Kansas has seen four different players score 26 points or more in a game this season.
- Kansas is scoring 87.5 points per game. The last KU team to average that many was the 2001-02 Final Four team at 90.9 and the previous before then was the 1989-90 team at 92.1 ppg.
Kansas is ranked No. 11 in both the Associated Press and USA TODAY Coaches’ polls, released Dec. 26. The Jayhawks average 87.5 points per game and their plus-21.8 scoring margin is second in the conference and fifth in NCAA Division I. KU leads the conference in assists (20.0), 3-point field goal percentage (41.5) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.7). Besides the aforementioned, KU also ranks in the top three in the Big 12 in scoring offense (tied second at 87.5 ppg), steals (tied for third at 8.0) and 3-point field goals made (second at 10.8). Kansas pulls down 38.9 rebounds per game, has a plus-5.7 rebound margin and averages 4.8 blocked shots per game.
Junior G Lagerald Vick has averaged 18.3 points in his last five games and leads KU in scoring with a 17.1 ppg average. He has five 20-point efforts this season. Vick’s 6.6 rebounds per game are second on the team. Senior G Devonte’ Graham is next on the team with 16.8 points per game and he leads KU with 91 assists and 24 steals. Graham also averages 3.8 rebounds per outing. Senior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk has averaged 20.0 points in his last two games. He and Graham are tied for the team lead with 38 3-pointers made. Mykhailiuk averages 16.3 points and 3.9 rebounds per contest after his season-high seven rebounds versus Stanford (12/21).
Sophomore C Udoka Azubuike has two 20-point efforts in his last three games following his 24 points against Stanford (12/21). He also has three double-doubles in that stretch. Azubuike leads the Big 12 and is second in the NCAA in field goal percentage at 77.9 percent and he is KU’s leading rebounder at 8.0 rpg and scores 15.5 points per game. Azubuike is second on the team with 19 blocked shots. Sophomore G Malik Newman rounds out the KU starters. Newman averages 10.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game and has made 20 3-pointers so far this season.
Sophomore F Mitch Lightfoot leads Kansas with 20 blocked shots and he averages 4.5 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. His 1.7 blocks per game are seventh in the Big 12. Freshman G Marcus Garrett (3.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg) rounds out the KU regulars. He is second on the team with 18 steals.
Located in Austin, Texas, with an enrollment of 51,334, Texas (9-3) brings a three-game winning streak into its conference opener after its 66-50 win against Alabama on Dec. 22. The Longhorns are coached by Shaka Smart who is 40-38 in his third season at Texas and 203-94 in his ninth season overall. Texas is 6-1 at home this season. UT averages 72.2 points per game and has a plus-11.8 scoring margin. Its 60.4 scoring defense is second in the Big 12 and seventh nationally. The Longhorns pull down 37.3 rebounds per game with a plus-1.1 rebound margin. Texas ranks second in the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense at 37.4 and lead the league in 3-point field goal percentage defense (28.2) and blocked shots (6.3). UT also averages 11.8 assists and 6.3 steals per game.
Sophomore G Andrew Jones leads the team in scoring at 15.3 points per game but has missed the last four contests due to injury. With only eight games played, Jones still leads the team with 16 3-pointers made. Junior F Dylan Osetkowski is next in scoring at 14.6 points per game and he is fifth in the Big 12 with a 7.8 rebound average. His 14 steals are tied for second on the team with freshman G Matt Coleman. Coleman is a starter who scores 7.4 points per game and leads UT with 49 assists. Junior G Kerwin Roach II is second on the team with 36 assists and his scores 10.9 points per game as does freshman F Mohamed Bamba. Bamba ranks second in the Big 12 with 9.8 rebounds per contest and leads the conference with 4.2 blocked shots per game. Other UT regulars include sophomore G Jacob Young (5.8 ppg, three starts), junior G Eric Davis Jr. (5.8 ppg), freshman F Jericho Sims (4.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg) and freshman G Jase Febres (2.1 ppg)
In the all-time series that dates back to 1938, Kansas leads 29-8, including a 9-6 record in games in Austin with all 15 played in the Frank Erwin Center. KU has won seven straight, 12 of the last 13 meetings, and 15 of the last 17 matchups, starting with the 2008 Big 12 Championship title game. KU and UT have met in four of the last 10 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship title games with KU claiming all four match-ups: 80-68 in Dallas in 2006, 88-84 in overtime in Oklahoma City in 2007, 84-74 in Kansas City in 2008 and 85-73 in Kansas City in 2011. Since the inception of the Big 12, Kansas holds a 25-7 record against Texas with a 21-6 mark in regular-season play and 4-1 record in the Big 12 Championship. Kansas head coach Bill Self is 19-8 all-time against Texas, including 19-6 while at KU. Texas head coach Shaka Smart is 1-4 versus Kansas, including 0-4 while at UT. Smart’s 2011 VCU team defeated Kansas, 71-61, in the NCAA Tournament Southwest Region championship game in San Antonio.
A KANSAS WIN WOULD…
Make Kansas 11-2 or better for the third-straight year … Give Kansas its 1-0 record in conference play for the 27th straight season, starting in 1991-92 … Give Kansas its eighth straight win against Texas and make the series 30-8 in favor of KU … Make Kansas 10-6 in games played in Austin … Make Bill Self 20-8 all-time against Texas, 427-90 while at Kansas and 634-195 for his career … Make Kansas 2,228-843 all-time.
A KANSAS LOSS WOULD…
Make Kansas 10-3 on the season … Make Kansas 0-1 in conference play for the first time since the 1990-91 season … End a Kansas seven-game winning streak against Texas … Give Kansas three losses in the month of December for the first time since the 1998-99 season … Make the KU-UT series 29-9 in favor of the Jayhawks … Make KU 9-7 against Texas in games played in Austin … Make Bill Self 19-9 versus Texas, 426-91 while at Kansas and 633-196 as a head coach … Make KU 2,227-844 all-time.
STANFORD LEFTOVERS & NOTABLES
- The win gave Kansas at least 10 nonconference wins for the fourth-straight year and the 13th time in Bill Self’s 15 seasons at KU.
- The win was Kansas’ sixth-straight win inside the state of California and made KU 7-2 in the Golden State under Bill Self.
- Kansas shot 62.5 percent (20-32) from the field in the first half, marking the sixth time this season the Jayhawks have shot 60 percent of better in a half.
- The Jayhawks held a 28-point advantage in the paint (48-20), the fifth time in 2017-18 KU outscored an opponent by more than 20 points in the lane.
- KU’s 52.5 field goal percentage (32-61) clip for the game was the seventh time this year the Jayhawks were 50 percent or better from the field.
- Kansas connected on only five free throws in the game, its second fewest this season and the 10th time in 2017-18 the Jayhawks have managed nine free throws or less. Last season, KU posted single digit free throws in just seven of its 36 contests.
- The Cardinal’s 54 points were the fewest by a Kansas opponent this season.
- Kansas also limited Stanford to only 25 second-half points, the fewest by a Jayhawk opponent in a half this season and the fewest since KU held UNLV to 20 points in the first half on Dec. 22, 2016.
- Azubuike tallied seven field goals in the first half, marking the second time in three outings he has made seven first-half field goals.
- Senior G Devonte’ Graham passed Stanford head coach and former Jayhawk guard Jerod Haase on the KU all-time scoring list. His 14 points moved him to 33rd on that chart, currently with 1,276 points.
- With his six assists, Graham moved past Mark Turgeon to No. 13 on the Kansas all-time assists chart, currently with 441 career helpers.
- Here are some eyebrow raising notables for Kansas basketball heading into league play:
- Kansas holds the longest active streak of 169 consecutive weeks ranked in the Associated Press poll, a streak which started Feb. 3, 2009.
- Kansas has won 26-straight conference openers, a streak which started in 1991-92 during the Big Eight era.
- Kansas has a current run of 265-consecutive sellouts in Allen Fieldhouse, a streak which started the second game of the 2001-02 season.
- Kansas has won an NCAA-record-tying 13-straight conference regular-season titles, a streak which began in 2004-05.
- Kansas has advanced to the NCAA Tournament 28 consecutive seasons, the longest streak, active and all-time, in NCAA history.
- Kansas has notched 25 or more victories for each of the last 12 seasons (starting in 2005-06) and 20 or more wins for the 28 seasons (beginning in 1989-90). Both are longest active streaks in the NCAA.
- Kansas has won at least 12 league games for 17-straight seasons, the longest active streak in the nation.
DE SOUSA CLEARED TO COME TO KANSAS
Kansas power forward Silvio De Sousa has been cleared to come to KU and practice. De Sousa joined the team Dec. 26.
De Sousa, who will wear jersey No. 22 at Kansas, signed a National Letter of Intent to play at KU during the early signing period in November. He then pursued graduating from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, early to join the Jayhawks and play the spring semester. De Sousa was ranked No. 18 nationally by Rivals.com, No. 28 by ESPN100 and No. 31 by the 247Sports.com national recruiting services. The 6-foot-9, 245-point Luanda, Angola, native was living in Florida for nearly four years.
Kansas is third nationally in assists per game at 20.0. KU also ranks in the top-10 nationally in field goal percentage (fourth at 52.3), scoring margin (fifth at 21.8) and assist-to-turnover ratio (seventh at 1.7).
Sophomore C Udoka Azubuike is second the NCAA in field goal percentage at 77.9 percent.
Senior G Devonte’ Graham is sixth nationally in assists per game at 7.6.
KU FROM DOWNTOWN
Kansas is averaging 10.8 3-point field goals made per game with a 41.5 3-point field goal percentage. 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.
THIS DATE IN KANSAS BASKETBALL HISTORY
Kansas is 38-13 all-time on Dec. 29.
Dec. 29, 1962: Kansas defeated Kansas State, 90-88 in four overtimes, in the Big Eight Holiday Tournament Championship game at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri. With three seconds remaining in the fourth overtime, junior forward Jay Roberts made a 12-foot jump shot to avoid a fifth overtime and give Kansas the victory. Senior guard Nolen Ellison scored a career-high 32 points, including a 20-footer with two seconds left in double overtime to force a third overtime. In the third overtime, Ellison made two free throws with three seconds left to tie the game again and force yet another overtime. Ellison played every second of the 60-minute contest. Sophomore center George Unseld had a career-high 26 points, including 21 in the first half. The victory gave KU its first Big Eight Holiday Tournament title after having won four Big Seven Holiday Tournaments in a span of seven years during the 1950’s.
Udoka Azubuike ranks second in NCAA Division I in field goal percentage at 77.9 percent going 88-of-113 in his first 12 games of the 2017-18 season.
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.
DEVONTE’ + SVI = THREES
The senior pairing of Devonte’ Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is beginning to establish itself as one of the top long-range shooting duos in KU history. Already this year, the two Jayhawk guards have combined for 76 KU’s 129 3-pointers. The torrid 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 three other Kansas duos have tallied more threes over a three-year stretch than the 352 that Graham and Mykhailiuk have combined for since the 2015-16 season. Jeff Boschee and Kirk Hinrich are the most prolific 3-point shooting duo in school history as they netted 405 treys while they played together from 2000-02. Graham is also one half of another sharp-shooting pair after he and Frank Mason III combined for the third-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 41.5 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.
SELF MOVES TO NO. 2 IN ALL-TIME WINS AT KU
Bill Self surpassed yet another coaching milestone early this season. Now in his 15th year at the helm of the Jayhawks, Self has amassed 426 victories, which is second-most among the eight men who have roamed the sidelines in Lawrence. Self’s 426 wins surpassed his predecessor, Roy Williams, who reached 418 victories in 15 years (1988-2003) at KU. Self sits only behind the all-time winningest coach in Kansas history, Dr. F.C. “Phog” Allen, who amassed 590 victories in 39 seasons with the Jayhawks.
In Bill Self’s first 14 seasons at Kansas, the Jayhawks led the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense nine times and finished no lower than fourth. Nationally, Self-coached Jayhawks have ranked eighth or higher in all but four seasons in field goal percentage defense and have ranked in the top five on eight occasions, including first in 2005-06 and 2012-13.
After posting its highest field goal percentage defense numbers in Self’s 14 seasons a year ago (42 percent), the stingy KU defense appears to be back on the right track, having allowed its first 10 opponents to shoot just 38.6 percent. That number is the lowest for KU since the Jayhawks held opponents to an NCAA-leading 36.1 in 2012-13.
KANSAS IN THE POLLS
Kansas men’s basketball enters this week at No. 11 in the Associated Press and No. 11 in the USA TODAY Coaches’ polls released on Dec. 26.
Kansas has been ranked in each of the last 169 AP polls dating back to Feb. 3, 2009, which is the longest active streak in NCAA Division I. Kansas was preseason No. 4 by AP entering 2017-18. Under 15th-year and Hall of Fame head coach Bill Self, this is the 12th time that Kansas entered the season ranked seventh or higher in the Associated Press preseason poll and historically, the No. 4 ranking marks the 20th time since the 1992-93 season that Kansas entered the season seventh or higher. Last season, KU entered the year No. 3 nationally in the Associated Press poll and ended at No. 3.
At No. 3 in the coaches’ preseason poll, 2017-18 marked the fourth-straight year the Jayhawks have opened the season in the top five in the coaches’ poll. Kansas is ranked in the preseason for the 26th time in time in the 29-year history of the coaches’ poll. The No 3 ranking marked the eighth time KU has been preseason No. 3 or higher in the coaches’ poll. Additionally, it is the 12th time in the Self era the Jayhawks have been preseason seventh or higher, including each of the last six seasons. In 2016-17 Kansas opened the year No. 2 in the preseason coaches’ poll and ended No. 4.
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.
BILL SELF INDUCTED INTO NAISMITH BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME
Kansas head coach Bill Self, along with 10 others, was officially enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame at a ceremony on Sept. 8 at Springfield Symphony Hall in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts.
Joining Self in the evening’s enshrinement festivities were the other 10 Class of 2017 inductees: Zack Clayton (player, posthumous), Nick Galis (player), Robert Hughes (coach), Mannie Jackson (contributor), Tom Jernstedt (contributor), Jerry Krause (contributor, posthumous), Tracy McGrady (player), Rebecca Lobo (contributor), George McGinnis (player) and Muffet McGraw (coach).
Self becomes the 19th person associated with Kansas basketball to be inducted, the last being coaching legend John McClendon, who was inducted in 2016 for the second time. As only the eighth coach in KU history, Self is the fifth KU mentor to be inducted into Hall joining James Naismith, Dr. F.C. “Phog” Allen, Larry Brown and Roy Williams. Kansas has the highest percentage of coaches in the Hall of Fame, 63 percent, than any other school. KU’s five matches North Carolina’s five for the most inducted in college coaching with St. John’s third with four.
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 TO LOOK FOR IN 2017-18
- 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. Through 12 games, Graham is No. 33, currently at 1,276 points. He is 39 points from KU’s top 30 in scoring.
- Against Syracuse on Dec. 2, Graham became only the sixth player in KU history to have made 200 threes for his career.
- Graham is 224-537 (41.7 percent) all-time from 3-point range. His 3-pointers made and attempted are fifth most in KU history. He is eight 3-pointers from fourth and nine attempted from fourth on those respective lists.
- Graham has 441 career assists, which is 13th on the KU career assists list. Additionally, Graham has surpassed the 150 plateau in steals and his 159 are 18th on the KU career list, one shy of 16th.
- 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.
- Should Kansas advance to the 2018 NCAA Tournament it would be its 29th-consecutive NCAA tourney appearance. The current 28 straight is the NCAA Tournament longest -consecutive appearance streak with North Carolina (1975-2001) second at 27.
Kansas opens the 2018 calendar year playing host to Texas Tech, Tuesday, Jan. 2, at 8 p.m. (Central) on ESPN. Kansas leads the overall series with Texas Tech, 33-4, which began in 1959. The Jayhawks have won 16 straight against the Red Raiders dating back to Jan. 16, 2010. Kansas is 17-0 versus Texas Tech in Allen Fieldhouse.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.