December 17, 2011

Kansas set to face Davidson in KC

No. 12 Kansas to Host Davidson in M&I Kansas City Shootout

Kansas will face Davidson when it makes its annual trip to nearby Kansas City for the M&I Kansas City Shootout at Sprint Center, Monday, Dec. 19, at 8 p.m. on ESPNU.

The Jayhawks enter the Davidson contest 7-2 and with final exams last week have not played since they defeated No. 2 Ohio State, 78-67, on Dec. 10, in Allen Fieldhouse. Davidson is 6-3 on the season after its 84-61 loss at Charlotte on Dec. 10. The Wildcats are looking to snap a two-game losing streak when they face the Jayhawks.

About Kansas

Kansas (7-2) takes a four-game winning streak into the M&I Kansas City Shootout following its 78-67 win against No. 2 Ohio State on Dec. 10. Kansas averages 75.3 points per game and allows 62.1 for a +13.2 scoring margin. KU is using solid defense as four opponents have scored 56 or less points this season. KU is outrebounding foes by 8.2 per game, including three games of +13 or better. Additionally, KU averages 15.0 assists per contest. The Jayhawks are led by All-American candidate Thomas Robinson who is the only player in the Big 12 Conference to average a double-double with 17.8 points and 11.4 rebounds per game. He has posted back-to-back 20-point-scoring games with a career-high 26 against Long Beach State (Dec. 6) and 21 versus Ohio State (Dec. 10).

Robinson has a league-leading seven double-doubles on the season, is shooting 53.1 percent from the field and has 11 steals. Senior guard Tyshawn Taylor is next in scoring at 15.9 points per game and is coming off a 13-assist effort against Ohio State. The 13 assists tied for fifth most in KU history. Taylor, who leads Kansas with 42 assists, underwent knee surgery on Dec. 11 and will most likely miss the Davidson contest. Junior guard Elijah Johnson made five three-pointers against Ohio State and is scoring 9.3 points per game. He leads KU with 17 threes and is second on the squad with 31 assists and 12 steals.

Rounding out the KU starters are juniors Travis Releford and Jeff Withey. A guard, Releford averages 8.4 points per game and leads the team with 13 steals. Withey, KU's center, had a near triple-double with 13 points, 13 rebounds and nine blocked shots against Long Beach State. Withey is averaging 7.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per contest. He leads KU with 25 blocked shots. Senior guard Conner Teahan, who started against Long Beach State, scores 7.4 points per game and has made 15 three-pointers.

Sophomore Justin Wesley joins Teahan as the first two off the bench. Wesley averages 2.4 points and 2.6 rebounds per contest. Junior forward Kevin Young (5.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg) and freshman guard Naadir Tharpe (1.1 ppg, eight assists) are the other KU regulars. Young had a season-high 14 points against Ohio State.

About Davidson

Located in Davidson, N.C., with an enrollment of 1,900, Davidson is 6-3 on the season and looking to end a two-game losing streak. Davidson is 2-0 in Southern Conference play, a league the Wildcats have won seven times in the last 11 seasons. Davidson is 4-1 at home and 2-2 on the road this season and averages 77.1 points per game. The Wildcats have a +6.8 scoring margin and +4.3 rebound margin.

Sophomore forward leads the team with 16.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. He is also tied for the team high with 10 steals along with junior guard Nik Cochran and freshman guard Tyler Kalinoski. Junior guard J.P. Kuhlman is second on the team in scoring with 13.6 points per game. He is also second on the team with 13 three-pointers made and averages 4.0 rebounds per contest.

Junior forward Jake Cohen leads Davidson with 14 blocked shots and is second on the team with 6.2 rebounds per game. Cohen averages 12.4 points per game. Sophomore guard Tom Droney joins Brooks, Kuhlman, Cohen and Cochran in the starting lineup. He leads the team with 28 assists and scores 4.8 points per game.

Joining Kalinoski off the bench is sophomore guard Chris Czerapowicz (8.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 16 three-pointers) and junior forward Clint Mann (5.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg).

The Kansas-Davidson Series

Few Kansas fans will forget the only meeting with Davidson in the 2008 NCAA Midwest Regional Finals, a 59-57 thriller at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich. Davidson was the Cinderella of the 2008 NCAA Tournament with standout Stephen Curry leading the Wildcats to the regional final contest. Kansas would go on to win the NCAA National Championship, its third NCAA and fifth overall national championship.

The game was an epic defensive battle as there were nine ties and seven lead changes. Playing on a raised court, guard Mario Chalmers and center Sasha Kaun each scored 13 points to lead KU. Brandon Rush had 12 points and tied Darnell Jackson with a team-high seven rebounds in the Kansas victory. Curry led all scorers with 25 points but was heavily guarded on the game's final play and Davidson's Jason Richards' three-point attempt with one second remaining sailed left of the rim and allowed KU to advance to its 13th Final Four.

Team Notables

--Kansas has outrebounded its last eight opponents, including three teams by 13 or more - 34-21 vs. UCLA (11/2), 53-32 vs. Florida Atlantic (11/30) and 41-24 vs. Long Beach State (12/6).

--Three different Jayhawks - Thomas Robinson, Tyshawn Taylor and Elijah Johnson - have led Kansas in scoring through nine games.

--KU has shot better than eight of nine opponents this season.

--Kansas has shot 70 percent or better from the free throw line in all but three games this season, including five of its last six. Kansas is third in the Big 12 in free throw percentage at 73.5 percent.

--KU has blocked four or more shots in seven of nine games this season, including a season-high 13 against Florida Atlantic (11/30). KU had 12 blocked shots against Long Beach State (12/6).

--Kansas has 47 dunks to its opponents' 15 through nine games. Thomas Robinson leads KU with 23 dunks, while Jeff Withey has nine.

Player Notables

--Junior THOMAS ROBINSON is the only player in the Big 12 who is averaging at double-double with 17.8 points and 11.4 rebounds. His seven double-doubles, like his 11.4 rebounds per game, lead the Big 12. Robinson's 17.8 points are fourth in the conference.

--Senior TYSHAWN TAYLOR underwent knee surgery on Dec. 11 and will most likely miss the Davidson contest. Taylor's 15.9 points per game are sixth in the Big 12. Also in the league, he is fifth in assists at 4.7 and 15th in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.1. Taylor has two 20-point efforts this season.

--Junior ELIJAH JOHNSON has started every game for KU and leads the team with 17 three-pointers made after his 5-for-7 effort from beyond the arc against Ohio State. He is second on the team in assists with 31 and steals with 12. Johnson is 10th in the Big 12 in assists at 3.4, tied for 15th in steals at 1.3 and tied for 11th in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.5.

--Junior JEFF WITHEY nearly had a triple-double with 13 points, 13 rebounds and nine blocked shots against Long Beach State (12/6). His nine blocked shots rank No. 2 on the KU single-game records list and were just one shy of Cole Aldrich's 10 against Dayton in the 2009 NCAA Tournament. Withey leads KU with 25 blocked shots this season and he has at least one blocked shot in eight of nine games. Withey ranks fourth in the Big 12 with 2.8 blocked shots per game and his 6.3 rebound average is tied for eighth in the conference.

--Junior TRAVIS RELEFORD has started every game this season and with his 10 points against Ohio State (12/10), has scored in double figures three of his last four games and five times this season. Releford leads KU with 13 steals and his 1.4 steals per game are tied for 11th in the Big 12.

--Senior CONNER TEAHAN has made nine three-pointers in his last four games, including a career-high four against Long Beach State (12/6) in scoring a career-high 14 points. Through nine games, Teahan's 67 points are a career best for a season. His previous high was 46 back in 2007-08, Kansas' national championship season. Teahan is sixth in the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 41.7 and 14th in three-pointers made at 1.7.

--Sophomore JUSTIN WESLEY averages 13.9 minutes per game and is 8-for-14 (57.1 percent) from the field.

--Junior KEVIN YOUNG is coming off his best performance of the season with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting against Ohio State (12/10). He has pulled down four or more rebounds in three of his last four games and four times this season.

KU in Kansas City

Kansas City has been a second home of sorts for Kansas over the years. KU's first ever game -- a 16-5 loss to Kansas City YMCA on Feb. 3, 1899 -- was played in Kansas City. The M&I Kansas City Shootout on Dec. 19 will mark KU's 275th game all-time in Kansas City, and its 16th in the Sprint Center. KU is 13-2 in the Sprint Center including winning the 2008, 2010 and 2011 Big 12 Championships in the venue.

In 2009-10 and 2010-11, Kansas went 4-0 in the Sprint Center. In 2008-09, KU went 1-2 in the venue. In 2007-08, Kansas went 4-0 in the venue, including winning the Big 12 Championship en route to its NCAA National Championship. KU played 104 games in Kemper Arena with an 80-24 record. KU is 198-76 in games played in Kansas City.

More Notes on the Jayhawks in Kansas City

--Kansas went 26-4 in Kemper Arena from 1997 until 2006, when it played its last game in the venue. Included in that run were Big 12 Championship titles in 1997, 1998 and 1999.

--Kemper Arena was the host of the 1988 NCAA Final Four when the Jayhawks won the national championship.

--Including the Davidson contest, Kansas has played at least one regular-season game in Kansas City in 22 of the last 24 seasons, including every year the Sprint Center has existed.

2011 Kansas Men's Basketball Holiday Clinic Set for Dec. 27

The 2011 Kansas Men's Basketball Holiday Clinic will be Tuesday, Dec. 27, from 1-3:30 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse for boys and girls in grades second through sixth. The annual clinic, hosted by the current KU players, coaches and staff, will include fundamental instruction, an official camp T-shirt, a Junior Jayhawk Basketball, a 2011-12 Kansas Basketball team picture and one general admission ticket to KU's Dec. 29 home game against Howard.

Additionally, there will be an autograph session with the current KU team and coaches following the clinic. The clinic costs $85. To attend, one must apply online at BillSelfbasketballcamp.com as there will be no walk-up applications accepted.

Bill Self Basketball Experience Slated for April

Kansas head coach Bill Self has announced Dec. 8, the launch of the Bill Self Basketball Experience (BSBE) slated for April 13-15, 2012. Legendary Allen Fieldhouse is the backdrop for this unique fantasy basketball experience involving one of college basketball's most powerful and tradition-rich programs. The event is for basketball playing and non-basketball playing participants ages 35 and older.

Campers will compete in storied Allen Fieldhouse, receive expert coaching from current KU staff and former KU greats and enjoy elite social opportunities including an exclusive dinner at the home of Coach Bill Self. For non-playing participants, the BSBE offers the "Phog Allen Coaching Experience" that allows campers to see the inner workings of collegiate coaching at the highest level as you "match wits" with Bill Self, a two-time national coach of the year who has guided KU to seven-straight conference titles, five conference tournament championships and one national championship.

A portion of the proceeds will go to Self's Assist Foundation, founded in 2006 by Bill and Cindy Self, whose mission is to provide young people access to better lives. Positions in the camp are limited and are secured on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information go to BillSelfbasketballexperience.com, call 513-519-2436 or e-mail jsunderman@procamps.com.

Up Next

Following the Davidson contest, Kansas will head west to play at USC in Los Angeles on Dec. 22. The contest will start at 10 p.m. (Central) and will be televised on Fox Sports Net. KU will return home to play Howard on Dec. 29 at 7 p.m. on Jayhawk IMG Television.




 

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