Rush to join AFH rafters, No. 3 Kansas hosts TCU Wednesday
No. 3/3 Kansas (24-3, 12-2) returns to Allen Fieldhouse when it hosts TCU (17-10, 6-8) on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 6 p.m., on ESPN2. KU is coming off back-to-back victories against top-10 teams after its 67-65 win at No. 4/4 Baylor Feb. 18. The wins have vaulted KU to No. 1 in the Feb. 19 RPI. TCU is looking to snap a three-game losing streak. The Horned Frogs last lost at Iowa State, 84-71, on Feb. 18. This is the second meeting between the two schools this season with KU winning at TCU, 86-80, on Dec. 30, 2016.
Kansas has a three-game lead on Baylor, West Virginia and Iowa State with four games remaining in the 2016-17 Big 12 race. A win against TCU would guarantee Kansas at least a share of its 13th-straight, 17th Big 12 and NCAA-leading 60th overall conference regular-season title.
KANSAS TO RETIRE BRANDON RUSH’S JERSEY
Former Kansas standout Brandon Rush will have his No. 25 jersey retired at halftime on Feb. 22, when Kansas hosts TCU.
A three-time All-Big 12 First Team selection in his three seasons at Kansas, Rush was a two-time Wooden Award All-American in 2007 and 2008. Rush was the 2006 Big 12 Freshman of the Year in addition to earning Freshman All-America honors by The Sporting News.
In only three seasons Rush ranks 23rd on the KU career scoring list with 1,477 points. His 205 3-point field goals are fifth all-time at KU and his 43.5 percent from 3-point range ranks third on the KU charts.
Rush will be the third No. 25 to be retired and hang in the south end of Allen Fieldhouse. He joins B.H. Born who played at Kansas from 1952-54 and Danny Manning (1985-88).
Kansas has been ranked in the top five of every poll but one this season. Kansas is 13-1 at home this season, which includes a 12-1 record in Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas averages 82.9 points per game and has a +10.7 scoring margin. KU leads the Big 12 and is 16th nationally with a 48.7 field goal percentage. KU leads the league with a 40.7 3-point field goal percentage, which is 10th in NCAA Division I. KU averages 39.1 rebounds per contest, which also leads the Big 12. KU has a +4.1 rebound margin. The Jayhawks also average 16.4 assists, 7.2 steals and 4.7 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 20.3 average and his 20.9 points per game in league play are also tops in the Big 12. Mason has 15 games of 20 points or more, including five of his last seven contests. Mason has led Kansas in scoring in 19 games this season, including four of the last five outings. Mason also leads the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage at 50.4 percent. Also on the Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 list and a six-time Big 12 Newcomer of the Week in 2016-17, freshman G Josh Jackson is second on the team in scoring at 16.5 points per game, which is fifth in the Big 12. The six-time Big 12 Newcomer of the Week has five double-doubles in his last seven outings. Jackson’s 6.9 rebounds per game are sixth in the conference and he leads KU with 47 steals and 32 blocked shots. Junior G Devonte’ Graham tied his career high with seven rebounds at Baylor (2/18). His 18 points against West Virginia (2/13) were his most in seven games. He has made multiple 3-pointers in eight of his last nine and in 20 contests this season. Graham has made 24 3-pointers in his last nine contests and averages 13.0 points per outing. He leads KU with 66 3-pointers and is second on the team in assists with 117 and steals with 41. Junior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk averages 10.2 points per game and has made 56 3-pointers for the season. He is seventh in the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage at 41.2 percent and seventh in 3-pointers made at 2.1. Senior C Landen Lucas pulled down six offensive rebounds at Baylor (2/18), to mark the fourth time this season he has had six or more offensive caroms. Lucas has pulled down 10 or more rebounds 10 times this season with all 10 in KU’s last 16 games. Lucas leads the Big 12 in league games in rebounding at 10.8 rpg. Overall, Lucas is third in the Big 12 in rebounds with an 8.4 average and is scoring 7.7 points per game.
Sophomore G Lagerald Vick is averaging 11.0 points in his last two games, including 14 against West Virginia (2/13) and eight at Baylor (2/18). 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 23.6 minutes per game and has made 26 3-pointers. Sophomore F Carlton Bragg Jr., is one of the first players off the bench and is averaging 14.5 minutes, 5.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per game this season. Freshman F Mitch Lightfoot has come off the bench in seven of the last eight games. He averages 1.0 point and 1.3 rebounds in 20 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 Fort Worth, Texas, with an enrollment of 10,323, TCU is 17-10 overall and 6-8 in Big 12 play. The Horned Frogs’ six league wins match the three previous years combined. TCU is coached by Jamie Dixon who is in his first season at TCU, his alma mater, and is 345-132 in his 14th season overall. TCU is 4-6 in games away from home this season. The Horned Frogs average 74.5 points per game and have a +5.4 scoring margin. TCU pulls down 35.7 rebounds per game with a +3.9 rebound margin. The Horned Frogs make 7.1 3-pointers per game and also average 16.6 assists, 6.7 steals and 4.6 blocked shots per contest.
Junior F Vladimir Brodziansky leads TCU in scoring at 13.8 points per game. He is second in the Big 12 in blocked shots per game with a 2.3 average and he pulls down 5.9 rebounds per game. Sophomore G Alex Robinson leads the team with 43 steals and 150 assists. Robinson scores 11.1 points per game and has made 27 3-pointers this season. Junior G Kenrich Williams is second in the Big 12 in rebounds with 9.0 per game and he scores 10.0 points per contest. His 29 3-pointers are third most on the team and he is second on the squad with 33 steals and 20 blocked shots. Freshman G Jaylen Fisher is next in scoring at 9.8 points per game and he leads the team with 39 3-pointers. His 115 assists are second among the Horned Frogs and he has 28 steals. Sophomore F JD Miller is a starter who scores 7.7 points and pulls down 3.3 rebounds per game. Miller has made 26 3-pointers this season.
Freshman G Desmond Bane has started nine games in 2016-17 and averages 7.2 points per contest. Other TCU regulars include senior G Brandon Parrish (5.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 30 3-pointers) and senior F Karviar Shepherd (5.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg, nine starts).
Though this is just the 15th conference meeting between Kansas and TCU, the men’s basketball series between the two schools dates back to 1952 when the Jayhawks defeated the Horned Frogs, 68-64, on March 21 in the NCAA Midwest Regional at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas is 13-1 against TCU and has won nine straight against the Horned Frogs. Three series games have been on neutral floors with Kansas winning all three contests: the 1952 game, a KU 94-78 win vs. TCU on Dec. 20, 1997 at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri, and a KU 64-59 win in the quarterfinals of the 2015 Big 12 Championship at Sprint Center in Kansas City. KU swept a home-and-home series with TCU in 2003 and 2004 with an 85-66 win in Fort Worth on Dec. 1, 2003 and a 93-74 victory on Dec. 9, 2004 in Allen Fieldhouse. As members of the Big 12, KU leads the series 9-1, including a 5-0 record in Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas head coach Bill Self is 17-4 all-time against TCU, including 10-1 while at Kansas. TCU head coach Jamie Dixon is 0-1 versus Kansas.
Earlier this season, Kansas won its 26th-consecutive conference opener, starting in 1991-92, with an 86-80 win at TCU on Dec. 30. Senior C Landen Lucas recorded his first double-double of the season with 15 points and then-career-high 17 rebounds. Senior G Frank Mason III led Kansas in scoring with 22 points. In all, Kansas had five players in double figures with sophomore G Lagerald Vick scoring 17, and junior guards Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk 12 and Devonte’ Graham 11. TCU led by 10 points 13 minutes into the contest but Kansas led 48-44 at intermission. TCU’s Vladimir Brodziansky led all scorers with 28 points.
A KANSAS WIN WOULD …
Give Kansas at least a share of the 2016-17 Big 12 regular-season championship which would be its 13th-straight, 17th Big 12 and 60th overall league regular-season title … Make Kansas 25-3 overall, giving KU 24 wins for the 12th-consecutive season starting in 2005-06 … Give KU 13 league wins for the 12th-straight season, starting in 2005-06 … Give Kansas its 10th-straight win against TCU … Make the KU-TCU series 14-1 in favor of the Jayhawks, including a 6-0 record in Lawrence with all six games in Allen Fieldhouse … Make Kansas 14-1 in home games this season, including 13-1 in Allen Fieldhouse … Improve KU to 757-110 all-time in Allen Fieldhouse, including 219-10 under Bill Self … Improve Selfto 410-86 at KU and 617-191 overall … Make KU 2,211-839 all-time.
A KANSAS LOSS WOULD …
Make Kansas 24-4 overall and 12-3 in Big 12 play … End Kansas’ nine-game winning streak against TCU, marking the Horned Frigs’ first win versus the Jayhawks since Feb. 6, 2013 … Make the KU-TCU series 13-2 in favor of Kansas, including 5-1 in games played in Allen Fieldhouse … Make Kansas 12-2 in Allen Fieldhouse this season, 756-111 all-time in the venue, including 218-11 under Bill Self … Give Kansas two losses in Allen Fieldhouse in the same season for the first time since 2006-07 when KU went 16-2 in the venue … Mark the first time KU has lost two league games in Allen Fieldhouse since the 1993-94 season, losing to Kansas State (1/17/94) and Missouri (2/20/94) … Make Self 409-87 while at KU and 616-192 overall … Make KU 2,210-840 all-time.
• Kansas leads the Big 12 in won-loss percentage at 88.9 percent, field goal percentage at 48.7 percent, 3-point field goal percentage at 40.7 percent and rebounding at 39.1 per game. Additionally, KU ranks in the upper half in the Big 12 in scoring (third at 82.9), scoring margin (third at +10.7), field goal percentage defense (second at 41.8), rebound margin (second at +4.1), assists (third at 16.4), assist-to-turnover ratio (fourth at 1.3) and blocked shots (third at 4.7).
• The Jayhawks shot 80 percent (16-of-20) at the free throw line at Baylor (2/18). KU is now shooting 70.8 percent at the charity stripe in Big 12 play. In nonconference games KU had a 58.9 free throw percentage.
• Senior G Frank Mason III leads the Big 12 in scoring at 20.3 points per game and 3-point field goal percentage (50.4). He is fourth in assists (5.0), sixth in 3-pointers made per game (2.2), 10th in field goal percentage (49.2) and seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.0).
• Mason is 53-for-59 (89.8 percent) from the free throw line in his last six games, making 8.8 charity shots per contest in that span.
• Mason is making 52.4 percent (33-for-63) from 3-point range in Big 12 play.
• Mason has led KU in scoring in 19 of 27 games this season, including nine of the last 13 contests. Mason has 15 games of 20 or more points, including five of his last seven outings.
• Freshman G Josh Jackson has five double-doubles in his last seven games. His nine double-doubles on the season, six against Big 12 foes, rank tied for fourth in the conference.
• Jackson is 16-for-31 (51.6 percent) from 3-point range in his last nine games.
• Jackson is fifth in the Big 12 in scoring at 16.5 ppg, which leads the conference freshman class. His 6.9 rebounds per game are sixth in the league and he is eighth with 1.7 steals per game. Included was a career-high five steals against West Virginia (2/13). Jackson has 12 steals in his last five games.
• Senior C Landen Lucas leads the Big 12 in league games with an 10.8 rebound average. Overall, Lucas’ 8.4 rpg are third in the Big 12.
• Lucas leads KU with a 62.7 percent field goal percentage for all games and is making a team-best 62.0 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 eight of his last nine games and 12 of his last 14 outings.
• Graham is 15th in the Big 12 in scoring (13.0), fifth in assists (4.3), 11th in steals (1.5), fourth in 3-point field goals made (2.4), 11th in 3-point field goal percentage (.377) and second in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.4).
• Junior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk has made multiple 3-pointers in seven of his last 10 contests.
• 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 41.2
IN THE POLLS
Kansas is No. 3 in both the Associated Press and the USA Today Coaches’ Poll released Feb. 20. 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 158 AP polls dating back to the 2008-09 season, which is the longest active streak in NCAA Division I. Arizona is second at 92. KU has been ranked in each of the last 162 coaches’ polls.
JACKSON BREAKS KU RECORD FOR BIG 12 WEEKLY HONORS
Freshman G Josh Jackson was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week for a KU-record sixth time Feb. 20.
Jackson averaged 16.0 points and 6.0 rebounds in Kansas victories against No. 9/12 West Virginia, 84-80 in overtime, and at No. 4/4 Baylor, 67-65. In the West Virginia win, Jackson posted his team-leading ninth double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds. The Detroit native was 6-for-8 from the free throw line and had a career-high five steals against the Mountaineers. In the victory at Baylor, Jackson scored 16 points, including four dunks, on 7-of-14 shooting with four blocked shots.
Jackson’s six Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors ties for the third most in the 21-year history of the conference. The nearest Jayhawk with as many Big 12 weekly newcomer nods is guard Tyshawn Taylor’s four during the 2010-11 season. Kansas State’s Michael Beasley earned the honor eight times in 2007-08 and Oklahoma’s Willie Warren seven times in 2008-09. Jackson is tied with Texas’ Kevin Durant (2006-07) and Iowa State’s Marquis Gilstrap (2009-10) with six.
Being a two-time Big 12 Player of the Week in 2016-17, Jackson has earned a conference weekly honor eight times this season. His eight times are more than any other Jayhawk in the history of the conference, surpassing Nick Collison’s seven times from 2000-03.
THIS DATE IN KANSAS BASKETBALL HISTORY
Kansas is 22-12 all-time on February 22; 3-0 under head coach Bill Self
Feb. 22, 1946: Kansas’ Otto Schnellbacher scored a season-high 21 points to lead Kansas to a 50-34 victory at Missouri, giving the Jayhawks their 13th win against the Tigers in a six-year span. Schnellbacher led all scorers in the game, while All-American junior forward Charlie Black added 14 points. KU led by as many 20 in the contest before clearing the bench and cruising to its final margin of 16 points. Kansas finished the season with an overall record of 19-2, including a perfect mark of 10-0 in conference play, marking only the fourth undefeated league record in Big Six history and the third by the Jayhawks.
Kansas will 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. Kansas will then play in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Big 12 Championship with Jayhawks’ first game on March 9 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.
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