🏀 No. 8 Kansas and No. 4 Houston to Meet in a Top-10 Battle Saturday

LAWRENCE, Kan. – In a battle of top-10 teams, No. 8 Kansas (17-4, 5-3 Big 12) plays host to No. 4 Houston (19-2, 6-2) on Saturday, Feb. 3. Tip from Allen Fieldhouse will be at 3 p.m. CT and the game will be televised on ESPN.

Kansas is coming off an 83-54 win against Oklahoma State on Jan. 30. Houston brings a five-game winning streak to Allen Fieldhouse after its 76-72 overtime win at Texas on Jan. 29. Houston sits atop the Big 12 standings at 6-2, while Kansas is one game behind at 5-3.

Under Bill Self (2003-04), Kansas is 18-1 in Allen Fieldhouse when facing an opponent ranked higher than KU. Kansas has won 15 straight under that scenario beginning on Feb. 5, 2006.

Kansas enters Saturday’s matchup averaging 79.2 points per game with a plus-11.6 scoring margin. The Jayhawks pull down 37.2 rebounds per outing with a plus-4.6 rebound margin. Kansas leads the nation in assists per game at 20.7. KU leads the Big 12 and is fourth nationally in field goal percentage (50.9%). KU also averages 7.5 steals and 4.1 blocked shots per contest.

Named to the Wooden Award Late Top 20, graduate G Kevin McCullar Jr. leads the Big 12 in scoring at 19.8 points per game, which is 32nd nationally. His two triple-doubles are the most amongst the NCAA. McCullar also leads KU with 32 three-point field goals made. His 6.4 rebounds per game are second on the team and he ranks in 11 Big 12 statistical categories.

Also a Wooden Award Late Top 20 selection, senior C Hunter Dickinson leads the Big 12 and is fifth nationally in rebounds per game at 11.2. He has back-to-back double-doubles after his 16 points and 11 rebounds versus Oklahoma State (1/30). His 12 double-doubles lead the Big 12 and are sixth nationally. A five-time Big 12 weekly award honoree this season, Dickinson is the only player in the Big 12 averaging a double-double. He also leads KU with 28 blocked shots and has 25 steals.

After his perfect 7-for-7 field goal game against Oklahoma State (1/30), junior F KJ Adams Jr. continues to lead the Big 12 and is 13th nationally in field goal percentage at 63.4%. Adams is averaging 13.8 points and 5.6 rebounds in Big 12 play and 12.8 points and 4.8 rebounds for the season. He has 69 assists in 2023-24.

Named a Bob Cousy Award top-10 candidate, redshirt-senior G Dajuan Harris Jr. leads the Big 12 with 6.9 assists per game, which is eighth nationally. Harris averages 7.4 points per contest and has a team-high 34 steals.

Freshman G Johnny Furphy (8.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 29 threes made) posted his first career double-double where he had career-highs in points, with 23, and rebounds, with 11, against Cincinnati (1/22). Furphy has started the last six games and is averaging 14.0 ppg and 6.7 rpg and is 14-for-29 (48.3%) from three-point range in that span.

Other KU regulars include freshman G Elmarko Jackson (4.7 ppg, 44 assists, 16 starts), graduate-senior G Nicolas Timberlake (3.8 ppg, 14 3FGs), graduate-senior F Parker Braun (2.5 ppg, 15 blocked shots) and freshman G Jamari McDowell (1.8 ppg).

Kansas plays its second ESPN Big Monday at Dillons Sunflower Showdown foe Kansas State, Feb. 5. Tip from Bramlage Coliseum is set for 8 p.m. with Jon Sciambi, Jay Bilas and Kris Budden on the call.

Monday’s matchup will be the 300th meeting between KU and K-State. Kansas is 204-95 all-time against Kansas State and the 204 wins are the most in NCAA Division I over an opponent. KU is 80-49 versus K-State in meetings in Manhattan, including 28-6 in Bramlage Coliseum. Kansas has won eight of the last nine meetings with Kansas State.