No. 14/13 Kansas to face off with Stanford in Sacramento
Sophomore guard Sam Cunliffe
|GM 12: vs. Stanford|
|10 p.m. (CT)|
|Watch – ESPN2|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – No. 14/13 Kansas (9-2) concludes its stretch of three games in six days when it plays Stanford (6-6) at Golden1Center in Sacramento on Thursday, Dec. 21, at 10 p.m. (CT). The contest will serve as the Jayhawks’ final nonconference outing before Big 12 play begins on Dec. 29. Sam Farber (play-by-play) and P.J. Carlesimo (analyst) will call the action on ESPN2.
- This contest will be the third NBA venue Kansas has played in this season. Kansas defeated Kentucky, 65-61, at the United Center in Chicago, on Nov. 14, and Syracuse, 76-60, at the American Airlines Arena in Miami on Dec. 2.
- Kansas leads the overall series with Stanford, 9-3. The Cardinal are coached by former Kansas guard Jerod Haase, who played for Roy Williams at KU from 1995-97.
- Senior G Devonte’ Graham is just two points shy (1,262) from tying Haase on Kansas’ all-time scoring chart. Three or more points against the Cardinal Thursday would move Graham past Haase for No. 33 on that list.
- KU ended a two-game home losing skid with a 109-64 win against Omaha (12/18) in Allen Fieldhouse. The game marked the third 100-point game of the season and 23rd in the Bill Self era. The last time KU had three 100-point games before the New Year was KU’s 2001-02 Final Four team which had four 100-point efforts before Jan. 1.
- Kansas leads the nation in assists per game at 20.5. KU also ranks in the top-10 nationally in field goal percentage (fourth at 52.3), scoring margin (third at 21.9) and assist-to-turnover ratio (fourth at 1.7).
- Kansas is one of six teams in NCAA Division I that have five players averaging 10.7 points for better. The others include Virginia Tech, Duke, Arkansas, TCU and William & Mary.
- Junior G Lagerald Vick leads Kansas in scoring at 17.5 points per game, which is fourth in the Big 12. His 6.8 rebounds are eighth in the league. Vick is one of only two conference players to rank in the top 10 in both scoring and rebounding (Baylor’s Lual-Acuil Jr.).
- Azubuike is first in NCAA Division I in field goal percentage at 77.6 percent. Through 11 games, Azubuike is 76-for-98, which includes 42 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 88.6 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. 14 by the Associated Press and No. 13 in the USA TODAY Coaches’ polls, released Dec. 18. The Jayhawks average 88.6 points per game and their plus-21.9 scoring margin leads the conference and is third in NCAA Division I. KU leads the conference in field goal percentage (52.3), assists (20.5), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.7) and 3-point field goals made (11.2). Besides the aforementioned, KU ranks in the top three in the Big 12 in scoring offense (second at 88.6 ppg) and 3-point field goal percentage (second at 42.0). Kansas pulls down 39.1 rebounds per game, has a plus-6.4 rebound margin and averages 8.0 steals and 4.8 blocked shots per game.
Junior G Lagerald Vick has averaged 19.4 points in his last five games and leads KU in scoring with a 17.5 ppg average. He has five 20-point efforts this season. Vick’s 6.8 rebounds per game are second on the team. Senior G Devonte’ Graham is next on the team with 17.0 points per game and he leads KU with 85 assists and 22 steals. Graham also averages 3.9 rebounds per outing. Senior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is coming off a 26-point effort against Omaha (12/18). He leads Kansas with 38 3-pointers made, three ahead of Graham, and averages 16.5 points and 3.6 rebounds per contest.
Sophomore C Udoka Azubuike has two double-doubles in his last two games, three DDs for the season, after his 11 points and career-high-tying 12 rebounds versus Omaha (12/18). Azubuike leads the NCAA in field goal percentage at 77.6 percent, is KU’s leading rebounder at 8.1 rpg and scores 14.7 points per game. Azubuike is second on the team with 17 blocked shots. Sophomore G Malik Newman rounds out the KU starters. Newman averages 10.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game and has made 19 3-pointers so far this season.
Sophomore F Mitch Lightfoot leads Kansas with 19 blocked shots and he averages 4.9 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. His 1.8 blocks per game are fifth in the Big 12. Freshman G Marcus Garrett (4.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg) rounds out the KU regulars. He is second on the team with 16 steals.
Located in Stanford, California, with an enrollment of 15,870, Stanford is 6-6 on the season and takes a two-game winning streak into the Kansas contest after its 71-59 win against San Francisco on Dec. 17. The Cardinal, who were picked fifth in the Pac-12 preseason poll, have won three of their last four contests. Stanford is coached by former Kansas guard Jerod Haase who is in his second season at Stanford with a 20-23 record. Haase is 100-76 in his sixth season as a head coach. Stanford averages 74.4 points per game with a plus-0.3 scoring margin. The Cardinal pull down 38.2 rebounds per contest with a plus-5.3 rebound margin. Stanford ranks 12th nationally in free throws made at 214, which is 17.8 per contest. The Cardinal average 6.4 3-pointers made, 13.1 assists, 5.5 steals and 3.3 blocked shots per game.
Junior F Reid Travis leads Stanford in scoring at 22.2 points per game, which is second in the Pac-12 and 16th nationally. He is second on the team with a 7.3 rebound average and leads Stanford with 13 steals. His 72 free throws made are 10th in the NCAA. Senior F Michael Humphrey leads Stanford in rebounds at 8.7 per game and he scores 10.9 points per contest as does freshman G Isaac White. White leads the team with 28 3-pointers made. Senior F Dorian Pickens (10.5 ppg in two games this season) has missed the last 10 games due to a foot injury. Pickens started every game last season for Stanford. Freshman G Daejon Davis is a starter who averages 9.7 points and 4.2 rebounds per outing. He is second on the team with 43 assists. Sophomore G Robert Cartwright leads Stanford with 45 assists and is second on the team with 13 3-pointers made and 12 steals. Cartwright scores 8.7 points per game. Freshman F Oscar Da Silva has nine starts in 2017-18 and he averages 6.1 points and 5.7 rebounds per contest with 10 steals. Sophomore C Josh Sharma (4.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg), freshman F Kodye Pugh (1.4 ppg) and sophomore G Blake Pagon (7.7 minutes per game) round out the Stanford regulars.
A transfer from California, Haase played three seasons at KU from 1995-97 under head coach Roy Williams. From 1999-2003, Haase was on the KU staff as director of basketball operations. He then followed Williams to North Carolina where he was an assistant coach and director of basketball operations from 2003-09. He was then an assistant coach for the Tar Heels until taking the head coaching position at UAB, where he was from 2012-16. A 1997 Academic All-American at KU, Haase, who won two conference regular-season titles (1996, 1997) as a player at Kansas, ranks 33rd on the KU career scoring list with 1,264 points. Haase led KU in 3-pointers made in 1995 and 1996 and also ranks 13th in career 3-point field goals made (156) and 11th in steals (174).
Kansas holds a 9-3 all-time series advantage against Stanford, including last season’s 89-74 win on Dec. 3, 2016, in Allen Fieldhouse. The KU win last year snapped a Cardinal two-game series winning streak. Prior to last season, the most recent matchup came in the round of 32 of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, a 60-57 Stanford win on March 23, 2014, in St. Louis. Stanford won the previous contest, 64-58, on Dec. 6, 2003, in Anaheim, California. This series dates back to 1932 and Kansas won the first four meetings. In 2002, also in St. Louis, Kansas defeated Stanford, 86-63, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. KU would later advance to the Final Four in Atlanta.
Last season, Kansas defeated Stanford 89-74 behind 20 points from KU All-American Frank Mason III. KU’s Devonte’ Graham added 15 points, while Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk scored 13. Stanford’s Travis Reid led all scorers with 29 points.
Thursday’s game will be the second of a four-game series between Kansas and Stanford. The original agreement was for two years, concluding this season. With Stanford’s appointment of former KU guard Jerod Haase as the Cardinal head coach, the two programs agreed on an extended series that includes games in 2018 and 2019. Stanford will return to Allen Fieldhouse on Dec. 1, 2018, and host the Jayhawks at Maples Pavilion on Dec. 29, 2019.
A KANSAS WIN WOULD…
Make Kansas 10-2 or better for the third-straight year … Give KU at least 10 nonconference wins for the fourth-straight year and the 13th time in Bill Self’s 15 seasons in Lawrence … Make Kansas 3-0 in neutral site games this season and 4-1 in games not played in Allen Fieldhouse … Make the Kansas-Stanford series 10-3 in favor of Kansas … Make Bill Self 426-90 while at Kansas and 633-195 for his career … Make Kansas 2,227-843 all-time.
A KANSAS LOSS WOULD…
Make Kansas 9-3 on the season … Give Kansas three losses in the month of December for the first time since the 1998-99 season … Make KU 2-1 in neutral site games this season and 3-2 in games not played in Allen Fieldhouse … Make the Kansas-Stanford series 9-4 in favor of Kansas … Make Bill Self 425-91 while at Kansas and 632-196 as a head coach … Make KU 2,226-844 all-time.
OMAHA LEFTOVERS & NOTABLES
- Kansas shot a season-high 62.3 percent (43-of-69) clip from the field. It marked the sixth time this season KU shot 55 percent or better in a game.
- KU’s 16 threes tied for the second-most in a game in program history. The Jayhawks also hit 16 vs. Baylor on Jan. 25, 2005. Kansas broke the program’s single-game 3-point record earlier this season with 19 from beyond the arc against Texas Southern on Nov. 21.
- The Jayhawks’ 109 points gave Kansas its third 100-point outing this season and the 23rd time in the Bill Self era.
- KU’s 38 defensive rebounds were a season high, helping the Jayhawks to a plus-23 edge on the boards, their best rebounding margin of the season.
- Kansas got a season-high 26 points off the bench. The Jayhawks had averaged just 5.4 points off the bench in their previous five contests.
- With their nine free throw attempts, the Jayhawks have now shot fewer than 10 free throws in four-straight outings. In its last two outings KU totaled just 17 attempts from the charity stripe. The last time Kansas had fewer than 17 combined free throw attempts in consecutive games was during the 1982-83 season when the Jayhawks attempted eight free throws against Bowling Green (11.29.82) and followed that up with seven attempts versus Mississippi Valley (12.2.82).
- Digging into the records, free throw attempts began being counted in the 1953-54 season and no Kansas team has gone four-straight games with single-digit free throw attempts since then.
- Senior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk’s 10-of-13 (76.9) shooting from the field marked the best shooting percentage by a Jayhawk this season with minimum of 10 makes.
- Mykhailiuk tied a career high with his six 3-pointers and his 6-of-7 clip (85.7 percent) was the best percentage from long range by a Jayhawk this season.
- Udoka Azubuike’s 10 defensive rebounds and 12 total rebounds were the most by a Jayhawk this season. He is averaging 9.8 rebounds per game in his last five outings.
- Senior G Devonte’ Graham was 5-of-7 from 3-point range, marking the fifth time in his last six games he has connected on four or more treys. In that six-game span, he shot 27-of-51 (52.9 percent) from beyond the arc.
- Graham posted eight assists for the third-straight game. In that span his assist-to-turnover ratio is 3:1. He has now had seven or more helpers in seven games this year.
- Kansas leads the nation in assists per game at 20.5. KU also ranks in the top-10 nationally in scoring margin (third at 21.9), field goals per game (second at 33.4), field goal percentage (fourth at 52.3) and assist-to-turnover ratio (fourth at 1.68).
- Sophomore C Udoka Azubuike leads the NCAA in field goal percentage at 77.6 percent.
- Senior G Devonte’ Graham is sixth nationally in assists per game at 7.7.
KU FROM DOWNTOWN
Kansas is averaging 11.2 3-point field goals made per game with a 42.0 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 DAY IN KU BASKETBALL HISTORY
Kansas is 16-4 all-time on Dec. 21
Dec. 21, 1967: Jo Jo White scored 21 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead Kansas to an 84-76 double overtime victory in Louisville. Down 35-28 at halftime, the Jayhawks fought back to tie the score at 60 to send the game into overtime. Both teams scored 12 points in the first extra period. KU matched that in the second OT while holding the Cardinals to four points, giving the Jayhawks the 84-76 victory. Rich Bradshaw scored 19 points, while Bruce Sloan added 17 in the victory. Under head coach Ted Owens, Kansas went on to finish 22-8 in 1967-68 and runner-up in the postseason NIT.
Udoka Azubuike ranks first in NCAA Division I in field goal percentage at 77.6 percent going 76-of-98 in his first 11 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 73 KU’s 123 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 349 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 41.6 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. 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 425 victories, which is second-most among the eight men who have roamed the sidelines in Lawrence. Self’s 425 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.
KANSAS IN THE POLLS
Kansas men’s basketball enters this week at No. 14 in the Associated Press and No. 13 in the USA TODAY Coaches’ polls released on Dec. 18.
Kansas has been ranked in each of the last 168 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.
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 39.0 percent. That number is the lowest for KU since the Jayhawks held opponents to an NCAA-leading 36.1 in 2012-13.
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 11 games, Graham is No. 34, currently at 1,262 points. He is 53 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 221-531 (41.6 percent) all-time from 3-point range. His 3-pointers made and attempted are fifth most in KU history. He is 11 3-pointers from fourth and 15 attempted from fourth on those respective lists.
- Graham has 435 career assists, which is 14th on the KU career assists list and two shy of No. 13. Additionally, Graham has surpassed the 150 plateau in steals and his 157 are 18th on the KU career list, four shy of 14th.
- 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 Big 12 play at Texas on Friday, Dec. 29, at 8 p.m. (Central) on ESPN2. The Jayhawks lead the overall series with the Longhorns, 29-8, including a 9-6 record in Austin. KU has won the last three games at the Erwin Center.
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 14 seasons at KU that the Jayhawks have opened Big 12 play on the road.
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