No. 2 Kansas to meet Syracuse in Hoophall Miami Invite Saturday
Senior guard Devonte’ Graham
|GM 7: vs. Syracuse|
|American Airlines Arena (19,600)|
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The No. 2-ranked Kansas Jayhawks will journey to the sunshine on Saturday, Dec. 2 to take on the Syracuse Orange in the Hoophall Miami Invitational inside American Airlines Arena. The Jayhawks and Orange are two of only 19 NCAA DI teams that are undefeated through Nov. 29. Tip-off is slated for 4:30 p.m. (CT) and will be televised on ESPN. Rich Hollenberg and Dick Vitale will call the action.
- Kansas is ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press poll. Kansas has been ranked in each of the last 165 AP polls dating back to Feb. 3, 2009, which is the longest active streak in NCAA Division I.
- Kansas (6-0) and Syracuse (6-0) are two of the 17 teams in NCAA Division I that are undefeated through Nov. 30.
- Historically, Kansas is No. 2 on the all-time NCAA Division I list at 2,213. Syracuse is fifth with 1,968 wins.
- The KU-Syracuse game will be the second game this season for Kansas featuring two Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame coaches. Bill Self was a member of the Class of 2017, while Jim Boeheim was inducted in 2005. Kansas’ other game was against Kentucky and John Calipari on Nov. 14.
- Five Jayhawks are averaging double figures in scoring with senior Svi Mykhailiuk leading the way at 18.2 points per game. Sophomore Udoka Azubuike is next at 16.0 ppg followed by junior Lagerald Vick and senior Devonte’ Graham at 15.8 ppg. Sophomore Malik Newman is at 13.5 ppg.
- Azubuike is tied for the lead in NCAA Division I in field goal percentage. Through six games, Azubuike is 44-for-58 (75.9 percent), which includes 23 dunks.
- The early season Ken Pomeroy Rankings has Kansas No. 1. The Jayhawks are the only team to rank in the top-five in both offense efficiency (fifth at 117.7) and defense efficiency (fifth at 89.5).
- Kansas is averaging 94.5 points per game, which is second in the Big 12 and seventh nationally. The last time KU averaged 90-plus points for a season was the 2001-02 Final Four season where the Jayhawks scored 90.9 ppg.
- Kansas has shot 50 percent or better in five of six games this season, including two games of 60-plus percent this season. Kansas ranks fourth nationally with a 54.1 field goal percentage.
- Senior G Devonte’ Graham has tallied 51 assists in his first six games of the season and is second in the Big 12, fourth nationally, with 8.5 assists per game.
- As of Nov. 29, Kansas’ men’s and women’s programs are both undefeated. Only Syracuse, Mississippi State, Notre Dame and Florida State can say the same.
Kansas is 6-0 for the first time since the 2010-11 season when the Jayhawks opened that year 18-0. It is the fifth time in the Bill Self era the Jayhawks have been 6-0. KU is coming off a 96-58 win against Toledo in the final campus game of the Hoophall Miami Invitational on Nov. 28. Through six games, Kansas averages 94.5 points and has a plus-33.0 scoring margin, which leads the nation. The Jayhawks pull down 41.2 rebounds per game and have a plus-8.7 rebound margin. KU leads the Big 12 in scoring margin (+33.0), field goal percentage (54.1), 3-point field goal percentage (45.2), assists (20.0), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.8) and 3-pointers made (11.7). Kansas also averages 5.7 blocked shots and 9.8 steals per game.
Kansas uses a small lineup with only eight scholarship players available for the fall semester. Senior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk has led KU in scoring in three of six games this season and has a team-high 18.2 points per game which is second in the Big 12. Mykhailiuk has made a team-high 22 3-pointers through six games and his 3.7 made per game lead the league.
Sophomore C Udoka Azubuike is fifth in the Big 12 in scoring at 16.0 points per game. He is tied for the national lead in field goal percentage at 75.9 percent. Azubuike is second on the KU team in rebound average at 6.7 rpg, which is 10th in the conference, and nine blocked shots. His 1.5 blocks per game are seventh in the league.
Senior G Devonte’ Graham and junior G Lagerald Vick are tied for seventh in the conference in scoring at 15.8 points per contest. Graham, the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year, is coming off a career-high 35 points against Toledo (11/28) and is second in the Big 12, fourth nationally, in assists at 8.5. Vick is ninth in the league in rebound average at 6.8 rpg and also averages 3.8 assists per game. Redshirt-sophomore G Malik Newman rounds out the KU double digit scorers at 13.5 points per game. He has made 12 3-pointers this season and pulls down 4.3 rebounds per game.
Off the bench, freshman G Marcus Garrett leads KU and is eighth in the Big 12 in rebound average at 7.2 rpg, just ahead of Vick’s 6.8 rpg and Azubuike’s 6.7 rpg. Garrett averages 6.7 points per game. Also off the bench, sophomore F Mitch Lightfoot (5.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg) leads KU with 14 blocked shots and his 2.3 per game average are third in the conference.
Located in Syracuse, New York, with an enrollment of 14,847, Syracuse is 6-0 on the season after its 72-70 win against Maryland on Nov. 27 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Orange are coached by Jim Boeheim who is 906-357 in his 42nd season at his alma mater. Syracuse has played all its games on its home court in the Carrier Dome. The Orange average 74.3 points per game and have a plus-14.7 scoring margin. Syracuse dominates in rebounds, averaging 45.5 boards per game with a plus-13.8 margin, which ranks sixth nationally. Syracuse also averages 13.5 assists, 9.3 steals and 7.3 blocked shots per contest.
Sophomore G Tyus Battle leads Syracuse in scoring with a 19.7 points per game average. Battle has made a team-high 11 3-pointers through six games. Junior G Frank Howard is next in scoring at 15.7 points per contest and he leads the Orange with 36 assists and 15 steals. Freshman F Oshae Brissett averages a team best 9.8 rebounds per game which complements his 12.2 scoring average. Junior C Paschal Chukwu (5.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg) and sophomore F Matthew Moyer (2.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg) round out the Syracuse starters. Chukwu leads the team with a 76.2 field goal percentage and 18 blocked shots. Freshman F Marek Dolezaj (5.8 ppg) is second on the team with 6.8 rebounds per contest. Freshman F Bourama Sidibe (5.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg) round out the Syracuse regulars.
Syracuse leads the series with Kansas, 3-2, and the Orange has won the last two meetings – 89-81 in overtime in the title game of the 2008 CBE Classic in Kansas City, and 81-78 in the 2003 NCAA Tournament title game in New Orleans. Three of the meetings have been in the NCAA Tournament where Syracuse holds a 2-1 edge.
This series dates back to 1968 when Kansas defeated Syracuse, 92-85, in Allen Fieldhouse on Dec. 14, 1968. Every other meeting has been on a neutral court with Syracuse winning the March 3, 1996, matchup, 60-57, in Denver in the NCAA Tournament West Regional final. Kansas defeated the Orange, 87-58, on March 18, 2001, in the second round of the NCAA Midwest Regional in Dayton, Ohio, before the 2003 NCAA title contest.
A KANSAS WIN WOULD…
Make Kansas 7-0 for the first time since the 2010-11 season, when the Jayhawks opened that year 18-0 … Make KU 7-0 for the fifth time under head coach Bill Self … Make the KU-Syracuse series tied at 3-3 … Make Kansas 2-0 in games away from Allen Fieldhouse this season … Make Bill Self 423-88 while at Kansas and 630-193 for his career … Make Kansas 2,224-841 all-time.
A KANSAS LOSS WOULD…
Make Kansas 6-1 for the sixth-straight season … Make Kansas-Syracuse series 4-2 in favor of Syracuse … Make Kansas 1-1 in games not played in Allen Fieldhouse this season … Make Bill Self 422-89 while at Kansas and 629-195 as a head coach … Make KU 2,223-842 all-time.
TOLEDO LEFTOVERS & NOTABLES
- The Jayhawks shot 75 percent from the field in the first half, extending its 55 percent or better stretch to seven-consecutive halves. That streak ended with a 44.1 percent shooting in the second half.
- The Jayhawks shot a season best 60 percent (12-20) from 3-point range.
- The Jayhawks scored a season-high 32 points off of 20 Toledo turnovers. Kansas is averaging 21.2 points of off turnovers this season.
- With 59 points in the first half, the Jayhawks surpassed 50 points in the first half for the fifth time this season. KU is averaging 54.5 points in the first half in 2017-18.
- The Jayhawks shot a blistering 75 percent (24-32) from the field in the first half, which is the best field goal percentage in a half by a Kansas team since the Jayhawks were 23-of-29, or 79.3 percent, in the first half at Baylor on Jan. 17, 2011.
- Senior G Devonte’ Graham scored a career high of 35 points, surpassing his previous high of 27 set twice.
- Graham’s 35 points were the most points by a Jayhawk since Andrew Wiggins tallied 41 at West Virginia on March 8, 2014, and were the most by a Jayhawk in Allen Fieldhouse since Ben McLemore netted 36 points against West Virginia on March 2, 2013.
- Graham had 23 of his 35 points in the first half. His 23 points is the most in a half by Jayhawk since Andrew Wiggins scored 24 in the second half at West Virginia in 2014.
- Graham’s 14 field goals were the most by a Jayhawk since Julian Wright made 14 at Missouri on Feb. 10, 2007.
- With his five assists, Graham became the 16th player in school history to mark 400 assists, currently at 401.
- After his 35 points, Graham now has 1,170 points, moving him from 43rd to 40th on the KU career scoring list.
- Sophomore G Malik Newman tallied a season high 17 points, his most as a Jayhawk
- Senior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk shot 5-of-6 from beyond the arc, one shy of his career high. Mykhailiuk has made three or more 3-pointers in five of six games this season continues to lead the Big 12 with 3.7 treys made per game.
- Sophomore C Udoka Azubuike was 6-of-9 from the field and has shot 62.5 percent or better in all six games this season.
THESE JAYHAWKS CAN SHOOT!
- Kansas is the only NCAA DI program that can boast four players averaging at least 15.8 points per game.
- The Jayhawks rank among the top-10 of NCAA DI in five offensive categories: First in scoring margin (+33.0), first in field goals per game (36.3), fourth in field goal percentage (54.1), fifth in assists per game (20.0), seventh in points per game (94.5) and seventh in 3-point field goal percentage (45.2). Kansas also ranks 11th in the NCAA in 3-pointers made per game (11.7).
- No Kansas team has averaged more than 94 ppg in its opening six contests of a season since the 2000-01 Jayhawks and no KU team has scored more points in its first six outings since the 1988-89 squad that averaged 95.2 ppg in the opening six games of Roy Williams’ tenure at KU.
- KU features four players that are shooting over 50 percent from the field, including the NCAA DI leader, Udoka Azubuike, who boasts a 76 percent clip.
- Kansas is averaging 54.5 points in the first half and is outscoring its opponents by an average of 25.7 points in the first half.
- The Jayhawks have also proved to be an efficient offense, scoring an average of 1.18 points per possession. Only four other DI programs boast a higher figure.
DEVONTE’ + SVI = THREES
The senior duo of Devonte’ Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk are beginning to establish themselves as one of the top long-range shooting duos in KU history. Already this year, the two Jayhawk guards have combined for 35 KU’s 70 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 than the 343 that Graham and Mykhailiuk have combined for over their three-plus seasons as teammates. 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 for three seasons 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, as they have teamed up to shoot 40.5 percent from beyond the arc, the third-best mark among KU teammates who have combined for 700 or more attempts. Brandon Rush and Mario Chalmers can 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 421 victories, which is second-most among the eight men who have roamed the sidelines in Lawrence. Self’s 421 wins surpassed his predecessor, Roy Williams, who also 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.
THIS DAY IN KANSAS BASKETBALL HISTORY
Kansas is 13-4 all-time on Dec. 2.
Dec. 2, 1957: Behind 30 points from junior Wilt Chamberlain, Kansas opened the 1957-58 season with a 63-56 win at Oklahoma State. Junior guard Ron Loneski scored 14 points for KU. Under head coach Dick Harp, Kansas finished the 1957-58 season 18-5, won the Big Seven Holiday Tournament, place second in the league race with an 8-4 record and finished No. 7 in the final Associated Press poll.
KANSAS VS. RANKED TEAMS
With Kansas’ win over then-No. 7 Kentucky on Nov. 14 in the Champions Classic, the Jayhawks collected their 83rd win over a top-25 foe under current head coach Bill Self. 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 29-13 record from 2014-present. Kansas’ record against top-10 ranked opponents is even more impressive. KU is 13-3 against foes ranked inside the top-10 of the AP poll since the 2013-14. This number includes the Jayhawks victory over Kentucky on Nov. 14. 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.
KANSAS IN THE POLLS
Kansas men’s basketball enters this week at No. 2 in both the Associated Press and the USA TODAY Coaches’ polls released on Nov. 27.
Kansas has been ranked in each of the last 165 AP polls dating back to Feb. 3, 2009, which is the longest active streak in NCAA Division I. 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 will enter the season seventh or higher. Last season, KU entered the year No. 3 nationally in the Associated Press poll and ended at No. 3.
This is 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 marks 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 14 seasons at Kansas, the Jayhawks have 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 six opponents to shoot just 35.9 percent. That number has KU among the top-15 in the NCAA so far this season.
PRESEASON BIG 12 POLL
For the 16th time in the 22-year history of the Big 12, Kansas men’s basketball has been selected as the preseason favorite to win the conference regular-season championship as the league released its coaches’ preseason poll Oct. 18.
Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams in the poll and KU received a unanimous nine first-place votes and a total of 81 points. West Virginia was second in the poll receiving 71 points, followed by TCU (64). Three teams – Texas (49), Baylor (47) and Oklahoma (43) – were clumped in spots 4-6, followed by Texas Tech (36), Kansas State (27), Iowa State (22) and Oklahoma State (10).
Kansas has won, or tied for, 17 of the 21 Big 12 regular-season titles, including the last 13 consecutive, a streak which ranks tied for first all-time in NCAA Division I history with UCLA (1967-79).
Historically, the preseason favorite has gone on to finish first in the regular season 14 times, which does not include 1996-97 as a coaches’ poll was not conducted. Kansas has been the preseason favorite in 13 of its 17 Big 12 regular-season titles, missing 1996-97 (no poll), 2005-06 (third) and 2010-11 (second).
PRESEASON NATIONAL HONORS
Kansas guards Devonte’ Graham and Malik Newman have both been named to preseason watch lists by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Graham is one of 20 candidates for the 2018 Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award, while Newman is one of 20 on the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award. A national committee comprised of top college basketball personnel determined the watch lists for each award.
Named after Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic and Holy Cross guard Bob Cousy, the annual honor, now in its 15th year, recognizes the top point guard in NCAA Division I men’s basketball. Graham is vying to become the second-straight Jayhawk to win the award as Frank Mason III was KU’s first-ever Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award winner last season.
Named after Hall of Famer and 1959 NCAA Final Four Most Valuable Player Jerry West, the annual honor, in its fourth year, recognizes the top shooting guard in Division I men’s college basketball.
On Nov. 6, the USBWA named Graham one of 32 on the Oscar Robertson Trophy Watch List, an award also won by Mason last season.
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
- When senior G Devonte’ Graham makes his next 3-pointer, he will be only the sixth player in KU history to have made 200 threes for his career. Graham is 199-488 all-time from 3-point range. Additionally, Graham is one steal from his 150th as a Jayhawk.
- 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-consecutive 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 will host Washington on Wednesday, Dec. 6, in the Jayhawk Shootout at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Tip time will be at 8 p.m. (Central) and the game will be televised on ESPN2. KU is 8-1 all-time against Washington with the last meeting a KU 73-54 win on Nov. 24, 2008, in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic played at Sprint Center. Kansas will then host Arizona State on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 1 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse. The Arizona State game will be the annual Toys for Tots contest where new, unopened and unwrapped toys will be accepted at drop-offs just outside Allen Fieldhouse entrances.
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