February 14, 2011

KU looks to remain perfect on the road

Sunflower Showdown Presented by Dillons Take 2:

No. 2 Kansas and Kansas State will meet for the 272nd time in men's basketball in the Sunflower Showdown presented by Dillons on ESPN Big Monday, Feb. 14, at 8 p.m., in Manhattan, Kan. Kansas defeated Kansas State 90-66 on Jan 29, which was the 150th Kansas Day. ESPN College GameDay originated from Allen Fieldhouse that day as well. Kansas improved to 24-1 overall and 9-1 in Big 12 action with an 89-66 win versus Iowa State Saturday. Kansas State had its two-game win streak end with a 58-56 loss at Colorado Saturday. K-State is now 16-9 overall and 4-6 in the Big 12.

About Kansas:

Kansas is 24-1 on the season and 9-1 in Big 12 play. The Jayhawks have guaranteed themselves an above .500 conference record for an amazing 22 seasons dating back to 1989-90. The Jayhawks average 83.9 points per game and give up 64.0 for a +19.9 scoring margin. KU also leads the battle of the boards with a +7.5 rebound margin. Kansas leads the nation in field goal percentage at 52.3 percent. KU also leads the Big 12 in scoring (83.9), scoring margin (+19.9), three-point field goal percentage (39.1), assists (18.6) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4).

Junior forward Marcus Morris has averaged 18.7 points in Big 12 play and leads Kansas in all games with a 16.9 scoring average. Marcus leads the Big 12 with his 60.9 percent field goal percentage. A three-time Big 12 Player of the Week this season and a Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy mid-season candidate, Marcus' 7.0 rebounds per game are second best on KU's team.

Markieff Morris, a junior forward, leads the Big 12 in rebounding with 8.5 boards per game and in double-doubles with nine. Both of the Morris twins had double-doubles against Iowa State Saturday. Markieff is averaging 13.2 points per game. He leads KU with 29 blocked shots. Senior guard Tyrel Reed is averaging 10.0 points per game in conference play and 9.6 points for the season. He leads KU with 50 three-point field goals made in 2010-11.

Junior guard Tyshawn Taylor averages 8.8 points per game and ranks third in the Big 12 with 4.8 assists per contest. A Bob Cousy Award finalist, Taylor has 31 steals this season. Senior guard Brady Morningstar leads the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio with 2.6 overall and an incredible 5.9 in conference games. He is scoring 8.3 points in Big 12 play and 6.2 for the season. Other KU contributors include senior guard Mario Little (6.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg), sophomore guard Travis Releford (4.9 ppg), sophomore guard Elijah Johnson (3.5 ppg) and sophomore center Jeff Withey (2.6 ppg, 17 blocked shots).

Freshman guard Josh Selby has missed the last three games due to an ankle injury. Selby averages 12.0 points, 2.1 three-pointers, 3.2 assists and 2.8 rebounds per contest this season. Thomas Robinson, a sophomore forward, had surgery for a meniscus tear in his right knee on Feb. 11 and is expected to be out approximately two weeks. Robinson is third on the team with a 6.4 rebound average to complement his 8.9 scoring average.

About Kansas State:
Located in Manhattan, Kan., with an enrollment of 23,520, Kansas State is 16-9 overall and 4-6 in Big 12 play after its 58-56 loss at Colorado Saturday night. Kansas State is 12-2 at home this season in Bramlage Coliseum. The Wildcats average 72.8 points and give up 65.7 points for a +7.1 scoring margin. K-State dominates the boards with a +7.8 rebound margin and averages 15.0 free throws made per game. Senior guard Jacob Pullen leads Kansas State with an 18.0 scoring average, which ranks fourth in the Big 12. Pullen leads the team with 82 assists and 35 steals. He is second on the squad with 46 three-pointers made. Sophomore guard Rodney McGruder leads the Wildcats in rebounds with 6.4 per game and three-pointers made with 55. He is second on the team with an 11.0 scoring average. Junior forward Jamar Samuels is next in scoring at 9.7 points per contest, just ahead of senior forward Curtis Kelly's 9.6 ppg. Samuels pulls down 5.7 rebounds per game, while Kelly is at 4.9 rpg. Freshman guard Will Spradling is second on the team with 51 assists. He is scoring 6.1 points per contest. Other KSU regulars include sophomore guard Martavious Irving (5.0 ppg), sophomore guard Nick Russell (4.7 ppg), sophomore forward Jordan Henriquez-Roberts (3.3 ppg, 4.0 rpg) and junior forward Victor Ojeleye (2.1 ppg).

The Kansas-Kansas State Series:

Kansas has won 42 of the last 44 meetings with Kansas State dating back to the 1994 season. The Jayhawks have won the last seven meetings and hold a 181-90 all-time series advantage over the Wildcats, including a 73-44 mark in games played in Manhattan and a 21-1 record in Bramlage Coliseum. Since 1984, Kansas is a mindboggling 26-1 in games played in Manhattan. K-State ended KU's 24-game win streak on its home court with an 84-75 victory on Jan. 30, 2008, in Manhattan, the last KSU win in the series. From Feb. 2, 1994, Kansas won 31 straight against Kansas State before the Wildcats halted the streak with a 59-55 victory in Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 14, 2006.

Since the inception of the Big 12, KU holds a 34-2 record against Kansas State - 27-2 in league play and 7-0 in Big 12 Championships. The Jayhawks won the first-ever meeting with K-State, 54-39, on Jan. 25, 1907, in Lawrence. On Jan. 29, the 150th Kansas Day, KU had five players score in double figures led by Markieff Morris' 20 points in the Jayhawks' 90-66 win against Kansas State in Allen Fieldhouse. Thomas Robinson added 17 points, Tyshawn Taylor 13, Josh Selby 12 and Marcus Morris 10 points for KU. The Morris twins and Robinson each had nine rebounds in the contest. Jacob Pullen led KSU with 21 points.

Team Notables:

--Kansas leads the nation in field goal percentage at 52.3 percent. KU also leads the Big 12 in scoring offense (83.9), scoring margin (+19.9), three-point field goal percentage (39.1), assists (18.6) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4).

--Kansas has held 10 opponents to 60 points or less this season.

--Kansas has outrebounded 21 of 25 opponents this season, including the last six and 16 of its last 18. Kansas is +29 in rebounds over its last two games - +17 versus Missouri (Feb. 7) and +12 vs. Iowa State (Feb. 12).

--KU has outshot all but two teams this season (USC on Dec. 18 and Texas on Jan. 22).

--The Jayhawks have shot 50 percent or better in 18 games this season. KU has shot 50 percent or better in each of its last six games and seven of its last eight.

--Kansas' bench averages 28.5 points compared to its opponents' 16.9 ppg. KU's bench has outscored its opponents' bench in 20 of 25 games this season.

--Kansas is 23-1 when leading at the half this season and 24-0 when leading with five minutes remaining.

--KU has used six different starting lineups this season.

--Since losing to Texas on Jan. 22, the Jayhawks have averaged 89.7 points per game.

--Kansas has scored a combined 192 points in its last two games against Missouri (103) and Iowa State (89). KU scored a combined 192 points in the first two games of 2010-11 against Longwood (113) and Valparaiso (79). The 192 combined points is the most in conference play since the final two league games of the 2007-08 national championship season when KU scored 197 points against Kansas State (88) and Texas Tech (109).

--Under Bill Self, Kansas has nine streaks of 10 or more victories, including the 18-0 start of 2010-11.

--KU is 2-1 against ranked foes this season with its win against No. 13/14 Memphis (Dec. 7) in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden, a loss against No. 10/11 Texas (Jan. 22) and a win against No. 19/20 Missouri (Feb. 7).

--Kansas' 57-point win against Ohio (98-41) in the Las Vegas Invitational was the third-largest margin of victory in the Bill Self era and the largest in a game away from Allen Fieldhouse under Self.

Individual Notables:

--Junior MARCUS MORRIS is 36-for-53 (67.9 percent) from the field in his last six games. He is scoring 18.7 points in Big 12 games, which is tied for fourth in the conference. Overall, Marcus' 16.9 scoring average is sixth in the league. Marcus has seven games with 20-plus points this season. Marcus leads the Big 12 in shooting percentage at 60.9 percent for all games and is making 64.3 percent from the field in Big 12 contests (second in the league). He has shot 70 percent or better in nine games this season, including two of his last three games, and has led Kansas in scoring 12 times in 2010-11. His 7.0 rebounds per game are ninth in the Big 12 and he has five double-doubles. He has led KU in every stat category at least once this season. Marcus has been named Big 12 Player of the Week twice (Nov. 29 and Jan. 17) and was named a Wooden Award Mid-Season candidate Jan. 6 and Naismith Mid-Season candidate Feb. 11.

--Junior MARKIEFF MORRIS, twin of Marcus, is shooting 73.8 percent (31-for-42) in his last five games, including 6-for-9 (66.7 percent) from three-point range. In that span he is averaging 15.6 points per game. He notched his Big 12-leading ninth double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds against Iowa State Saturday. Markieff leads the Big 12 in rebounding at 8.5 rpg and has 11 games with double-figure boards. Named Big 12 Player of the Week on Dec. 27, Markieff is 16th in the Big 12 in scoring at 13.2 ppg. He has been the leading rebounder for KU in 14 of 25 games this season.

--Senior BRADY MORNINGSTAR is averaging 14.2 points per game in KU's last six games. He is shooting 46.3 percent (19-for-41) from the field and 60 percent (15-for-25) from beyond the three-point arc during this time. He is scoring 8.3 points in Big 12 play and 6.2 points per game for the season. Morningstar, who graduated in May 2010, leads KU with 38 steals and has recorded a steal in 18 of 25 games played this season. He is ninth in the Big 12 in steals per game at 1.5. Morningstar averages 3.0 assists per game, which has him tied for 12th in the Big 12, and he leads the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio with a 2.6 in all games and 5.9 in league games.

--Senior TYREL REED has made seven three-pointers in his last three games. He leads Kansas with 50 three-pointers this season and has made multiple threes in 16 games. In conference play, Reed is scoring 10.0 points and 9.6 for the season. The guard is the only Jayhawk to have started every game this season. Reed has an 82.0 free throw percentage (41-of-50). Reed had career-highs in points with 18 and rebounds with seven at California (Dec. 22). Ranked 10th in the Big 12 in three-point percentage (38.5) and tied for 10th in three-pointers made per game (2.0), Reed is one of 10 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award who graduated from KU in December and has been accepted into KU Medicine's physical therapy school. He is a two-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection, has been nominated for Academic All-America each of the last three seasons and is on the national ballot for Academic All-America in 2010-11.

--Junior TYSHAWN TAYLOR has averaged 13.5 points in his last two games, including his league-season-high 14 points against Iowa State Saturday. He has 10 games in double-figure scoring this season and averages 8.8 points per game. Named a Bob Cousy Award finalist (one of 20) on Jan. 12, Taylor is third in the Big 12 in assists per game at 4.8. He has led KU in assists in 15 of 25 games this season. Taylor is sixth in the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.9.

--Senior MARIO LITTLE scored a career-high 17 points on 7-of-9 (77.8 percent) shooting, including 3-for-3 from three-point range, against Missouri (Feb. 7). In his last four games, Little is 17-for-26 (65.4 percent) from the field, including 5-for-7 (71.4 percent) from three-point range. He has three games in double-figure points this season, including 17 versus Missouri (Feb. 7), 10 points at Baylor (Jan. 15) and 11 points versus Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Nov. 19). Little averages 15.1 minutes, 6.5 points and 2.9 rebounds per game and is shooting 54.4 percent from the field on the season.

--Sophomore TRAVIS RELEFORD scored 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting, including 2-for-2 from three-point range, against Missouri (Feb. 7). It was the most points scored in Big 12 play for Releford this season. Releford has played the last five games after missing the previous five contests due to an ankle sprain on his right foot suffered at Michigan (Jan. 9). Releford is shooting 52.9 percent from the field, is averaging 4.9 points this season and has scored in double figures five times. A Las Vegas Invitational all-tournament selection, Releford's windmill dunk against UMKC (Jan. 5) was No. 1 on ESPN's Top 10 List on Jan. 6 and was a national dunk of the year entrant by Intersport the week of Feb. 6-13.

--Sophomore ELIJAH JOHNSON scored five points against Iowa State Saturday, which was the most since he had a career-high 13 points versus UMKC on Jan. 5. Johnson led Kansas with six assists against Kansas State (Jan. 29). He has appeared in 23 games this season with one start. Johnson has a 2.5 assist-to-turnover ratio for the season while averaging 3.5 points and 2.0 assists in 2010-11.

--Sophomore JEFF WITHEY tied his season high with eight points on 3-for-3 shooting, 2-for-2 from the free throw line, against Iowa State Saturday. His two blocked shots against the Cyclones marked the fourth time this season he had multiple blocks in a game. Withey averages 6.7 minutes, 2.6 points, 2.0 rebounds and 0.9 blocked shots per game in 2010-11.

--Freshman JOSH SELBY has missed the last three games due to a stress reaction in his right ankle. X-Rays and an MRI indicated no fracture to the ankle. He has scored in double figures in nine of 13 games played this season. Selby averages 12.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.2 steals per contest. He has scored 16 or more points in five games and is 21-for-26 (80.8 percent) from the free throw line. Selby is a two-time Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week (Jan. 31 and Dec. 20).

--Sophomore THOMAS ROBINSON had surgery on Feb. 11 for a meniscus tear in his right knee and will be out approximately two weeks. He is 20-for-25 (80.0 percent) from the field in his last four games played with a 12.8 points per game average in that span. Robinson is 14-for-19 (73.7 percent) from the line in his last three games. Robinson missed the Colorado contest on Jan. 25 tending to the funeral of his mother, Lisa, in Washington, D.C. Robinson has recorded two double-doubles in 2010-11. He averages 8.9 points per game in 2010-11. His 6.4 rebounds per game are 15th in the Big 12.

Up Next:

Kansas will host Colorado on Saturday, Feb. 19, at 1 p.m. on ESPN. The game will mark the return of KU alum and CU head coach Tad Boyle and will be the final conference regular-season meeting between the two schools. The Jayhawks will then host their third ESPN Big Monday game on Feb. 21 against Oklahoma State at 8 p.m. On Saturday, Feb. 26, Kansas will play at Oklahoma in a 3 p.m. game on ESPN.



 

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