No. 3 Kansas visits No. 4 Baylor in second top-five matchup this season
Video Baylor Preview
No. 3/3 Kansas (22-3, 11-2) faces its second-straight Top-10 team when it plays at No. 4/4 Baylor (22-4, 9-4) on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 12 p.m., on CBS. The Jayhawks and Bears sit 1-2 atop the 2016-17 Big 12 race. Baylor is No. 1 in the Feb. 14 Ratings Percentage Index, while Kansas is No. 3. KU defeated No. 9/14 West Virginia, 84-80 in overtime, on Feb. 13. Baylor is looking to bounce back from an 84-78 loss at Texas Tech on Feb. 13. The Bears are 14-1 at home this season in the Ferrell Center.
The last time Kansas faced back-to-back Top-10 teams was earlier this season when the Jayhawks won at No. 4/4 Kentucky, 79-73, on Jan. 28 and defeated No. 3/2 Baylor, 73-68, Feb. 1. Baylor will be the fifth Top-10 team KU will play in 2016-17. The last time the Jayhawks played five or more Top-10 teams in the regular season was in 2011-12 when they faced seven, 10 total if you count the NCAA Tournament.
Kansas has been ranked in the top five of every poll but one this season. The Jayhawks have won three-straight road games and are 7-1 in true road games this season. Kansas averages 83.5 points per game and has a +11.1 scoring margin. KU leads the Big 12 and is 16th nationally with a 48.9 field goal percentage. KU leads the league with a 41.3 3-point field goal percentage, which is seventh in NCAA Division I. KU averages 39.6 rebounds per contest, which also leads the Big 12. KU has a +4.5 rebound margin. The Jayhawks also average 16.3 assists, 7.3 steals and 4.6 blocked shots per contest.
On the Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 list and one of 10 watch list finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, senior G Frank Mason III is having a national player of the year season. The two-time Big 12 Player of the Week leads the conference in scoring with a 20.2 average and his 20.7 points per game in league play are also tops in the Big 12. Mason has 14 games of 20 points or more, including four of his last six contests. Included was 24-point effort in the win against West Virginia (2/13). Mason has led Kansas in scoring in 18 games this season. Mason also leads the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage at 50.9 percent. Also on the Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 list, freshman G Josh Jackson is coming off his ninth double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds against West Virginia (2/13). The two-time Big 12 Player of the Week and five-time Big 12 Newcomer of the Week has five double-doubles in his last six outings. Jackson’s 16.5 scoring average is fifth in the Big 12 and his 7.2 rebounds per game are also sixth. Jackson had five steals against WVU and leads KU with 46 steals and 28 blocked shots. Junior G Devonte’ Graham’s 18 points against West Virginia (2/13) were his most in seven games. He made five 3-pointers against the Mountaineers and has made multiple 3-pointers in each of his last eight games and in 20 contests this season. Graham has made 23 3-pointers in his last eight games and averages 13.2 points per outing. He leads KU with 65 3-pointers and is second on the team in assists with 113 and steals with 40. Junior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk averages 10.5 points per game, has made 55 3-pointers for the season, is sixth in the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage at 42.0 percent and seventh in 3-pointers made at 2.1. Senior C Landen Lucas’ 13 rebounds against West Virginia (2/13) marked the 10th game this season he has pulled down 10 or more rebounds with all 10 in KU’s last 15 games. Lucas leads the Big 12 in league games in rebounding at 11.1 rpg. Overall, Lucas is fourth in the Big 12 in rebounds with an 8.4 average and is scoring 7.6 points per game.
Sophomore G Lagerald Vick scored 14 points against West Virginia (2/13) which were his most since he had 17 at TCU (12/30). He has made multiple 3-pointers in six games this season, including two versus WVU. Vick has started five times this season and is averaging 7.3 points per contest. He averages 23.4 minutes per game and has made 25 3-pointers. Sophomore F Carlton Bragg Jr., returned after a three-game suspension to score six points and pull down three rebounds at Kansas State (2/6). Bragg is averaging 14.9 minutes, 5.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game this season. Freshman F Mitch Lightfoot has come off the bench in six of the last seven games. He averages 1.0 point and 1.3 rebounds in 19 games played this season. Junior F Dwight Coleby had a dunk against West Virginia (2/13). He has appeared in 15 games this season and averages 1.1 points and 1.9 rebounds per contest.
Located in Waco, Texas, with an enrollment of 16,959, Baylor climbed to No. 1 in the national polls on Jan. 9 and currently stands at No. 4 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls. The Bears are coached by Scott Drew who is 272-176 in his 14th season at BU and 292-187 in his 15th season overall. Baylor is 14-1 at home in the Ferrell Center this season. The Bears average 74.0 points per game with a +11.7 scoring margin, which ranks second in the Big 12. BU leads the league in scoring defense (62.2), rebound margin (+7.7) and blocked shots (5.0). The Bears also average 16.0 assists and 5.3 steals per game.
Junior F Johnathan Motley is the only player in the Big 12 to rank in the top five in scoring (fourth at 16.7 ppg) and rebounding (first at 9.5 rpg). Motley is second on the team with 26 blocked shots and ranks sixth in the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 52.7 percent. Junior G Manu Lecomte is second in scoring at 12.8 points per game and he leads the team with 58 3-pointers made and 107 assists. His 25 steals are second on the team. Junior G Al Freeman is a starter who scores 9.5 points per game. He is second on the team with 32 3-pointers made. Junior F Jo Lual-Acuil Jr., leads the Big 12 with 2.7 blocked shots per game and his 6.9 rebound average is seventh in the conference. He averages 9.3 points per contest. Senior G Ishmail Wainright is a starter who leads BU in steals with 47 and averages 5.4 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. Other BU regulars include junior F Terry Maston (7.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg), sophomore G Jake Lindsey (4.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg), sophomore G King McClure (4.7 ppg) and junior F Nuni Omot (5.0 ppg).
The Kansas-Baylor series dates back to 1951 with the Jayhawks leading 28-4. Kansas has won nine straight in the series and holds a 14-2 advantage in the last 16 meetings. Baylor’s two wins in that stretch came March 9, 2013, in Waco and March 9, 2012, at the Big 12 Championship semifinals at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas is 11-2 against Baylor in Waco with all 13 meetings in the Ferrell Center. Since the inception of the Big 12, KU is 26-4 against Baylor — 24-2 in regular-season play and 2-2 in the Big 12 Championship. These two teams have met in each of the last two Big 12 Championship semifinals with Kansas winning both: 62-52 in 2015 and 70-66 in 2016. Kansas head coach Bill Self is 20-4 all-time against Baylor, including a 20-3 mark while at Kansas, while Baylor’s Scott Drew is 3-20 versus Kansas.
Earlier this season, Kansas notched its third win against a top-five opponent with a 73-68 victory against No. 2/3 Baylor, Feb. 1 in Allen Fieldhouse. KU senior Frank Mason III scored 19 points, including 12-for-12 from the free throw line, while freshman Josh Jackson led all scorers with 23 points and recording a double-double with 10 rebounds. Senior Landen Lucas led all rebounders with 11 boards for the game. KU erased a 34-28 halftime deficit by opening the second half with a 13-0 run. Johnathan Motley and Manu Lecomte each scored 16 points for the Bears with Motley leading the team with 10 rebounds.
A KANSAS WIN WOULD …
Make Kansas 24-3 overall, giving KU 24 wins for the 12th-consecutive season starting in 2005-06 … Give KU 12 league wins for the 17th-straight season, starting in 2000-01 … Make Kansas 8-1 in true road games and 12-2 in games not played in Allen Fieldhouse this season … Give Kansas its 10th-straight win against Baylor … Make the KU-BU series 29-4 in favor of the Jayhawks, including a 12-2 record in Waco … Improve Bill Self to 409-86 at KU and 616-191 overall … Make KU 2,210-839 all-time.
A KANSAS LOSS WOULD …
Make Kansas 23-4 overall and 11-3 in Big 12 play … Make Kansas 7-2 in true road games this season and 11-3 in games not played in Allen Fieldhouse … End Kansas’ nine-game winning streak against Baylor, marking the Bears’ first win versus the Jayhawks since March 9, 2013 … Make the KU-BU series 28-5 in favor of Kansas, including 11-3 in games played in the Ferrell Center … Make Bill Self 408-87 while at KU and 615-192 overall … Make KU 2,209-840 all-time.
• Kansas leads the Big 12 in won-loss percentage at 88.5 percent, field goal percentage at 48.9 percent, 3-point field goal percentage at 41.3 percent and rebounding at 39.6 per game. Additionally, KU ranks in the upper half in the Big 12 in scoring (third at 83.5), scoring margin (third at +11.1), field goal percentage defense (second at 41.8), rebound margin (second at +4.5), assists (third at 16.3), assist-to-turnover ratio (fifth at 1.2) and blocked shots (fifth at 4.6).
• During Big 12 play, KU is shooting 70.2 percent at the charity stripe. In nonconference games KU had a 58.9 free throw percentage.
• Senior G Frank Mason III leads the Big 12 in scoring at 20.2 points per game and 3-point field goal percentage (50.9). He is fourth in assists (4.9), fifth in 3-pointers made per game (2.3), 10th in field goal percentage (48.8) and eighth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.9).
• Mason is making 53.3 percent (32-for-60) from 3-point range in Big 12 play.
• Mason has led KU in scoring in 18 of 26 games this season, including eight of the last 12 contests. Mason has 14 games of 20 or more points, including four of his last six outings.
• Mason is 45-for-51 (88.2 percent) from the free throw line in his last five games, including 12-for-12 vs. Baylor (2/1), 10-for-12 vs. Iowa State (2/4) and 16-for-18 vs. West Virginia (2/13).
• Freshman G Josh Jackson has five double-doubles in his last six games. His nine double-doubles, six against Big 12 foes, rank tied for second in the conference.
• Jackson is 15-for-30 (50.0 percent) from 3-point range in his last eight games.
• Jackson is fifth in the Big 12 in scoring at 16.5 ppg, which leads the conference freshman class. His 7.2 rebounds per game are sixth in the league and he is eighth with 1.8 steals per game after his career-high five against West Virginia (2/13). Jackson has 11 steals in his last four games.
• Senior C Landen Lucas leads the Big 12 in league games with an 11.1 rebound average. Overall, Lucas’ 8.4 rpg are fourth in the Big 12.
• Lucas leads KU with a 62.3 percent field goal percentage for all games and is making a team-best 61.3 percent in conference games.
• Junior G Devonte’ Graham’s five 3-pointers against West Virginia (2/13) were one shy of his career high. He has made multiple 3-pointers in each of his last eight games and 12 of his last 13 outings.
• Graham is 15th in the Big 12 in scoring (13.2), fifth in assists (4.3), 11th in steals (1.5), fourth in 3-point field goals made (2.5), ninth in 3-point field goal percentage (.392) and second in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.4).
• Junior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk has made multiple 3-pointers in seven of his last nine contests. He is 11-for-25 (44.0 percent) from beyond the arc in his last five games.
• Mykhailiuk is seventh in the Big 12 in 3-point field goals made at 2.1 per game and sixth in 3-point field goal percentage at 42.0.
IN THE POLLS
Kansas is No. 3 in both the Associated Press and the USA Today Coaches’ Poll released Feb. 13. KU has been ranked in the top five in all but one poll this season with two weeks at No. 1 in the coaches’ poll.
Kansas been ranked in each of the last 157 AP polls dating back to the 2008-09 season, which is the longest active streak in NCAA Division I. Arizona is second at 91. KU has been ranked in each of the last 161 coaches’ polls.
Jackson garners weekly honors again
Freshman G Josh Jackson was named the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week for the second time this season, the USBWA and the Wayman Tisdale Award committee announced on Feb. 14. Jackson also earned the honor Jan. 17.
Jackson averaged 22.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 3.0 steals and shot 16-for-28 from the field in KU road wins at Kansas State (2/6) and Texas Tech (2/11) and a home victory against No. 9 West Virgnia. Included was a career-high 31 points with 11 rebounds at Texas Tech and his ninth double-double of the year with 14 points and 11 rebounds versus WVU.
KANSAS VS. RANKED TEAMS
Kansas is 4-2 against ranked foes in 2016-17 with all three of the four victories against top-5 teams. In 2015-16, KU posted a season-high 12 wins against Associated Press Top 25 teams. The mark surpassed the previous season, 2014-15, of 10. In the Bill Self era, Kansas is 73-40 against ranked opponents and has only had one non-.500 record, that being his first in 2003-04. Each of the past two seasons, Kansas has played a season-high 16 games vs. ranked foes.
THIS DATE IN KANSAS BASKETBALL HISTORY
Kansas is 25-8 all-time on February 18
Feb. 18, 1988: With the game tied at 61, Kansas sophomore Kevin Pritchard hit a 3-pointer with 29 seconds remaining to give Kansas a 64-61 lead against Kansas State in Ahearn Fieldhouse in Manhattan, Kansas. The Jayhawks held on to win by a final of 64-63. Pritchard finished the game with 12 points and a team-high six assists. Senior Danny Manning played all 40 minutes and led all players with 18 points and eight rebounds in the contest. Kansas went on to win the 1988 NCAA National Championship and defeated conference foes Kansas State and Oklahoma en route to the title.
Kansas returns home to host TCU on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 6 p.m., on ESPN2. KU will then play at Texas on Saturday, Feb. 25, on ESPN and host Oklahoma for Senior Night on ESPN Big Monday, Feb. 27 at 8 p.m. KU concludes the regular season at Oklahoma State on Saturday, March 4, at 5 p.m., on ESPN.
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