January 31, 2011

KU set to embark on two-game road trip

KU Embarks on Two-Game Road Swing:

Kansas (20-1, 5-1) hits the road for two games in Big 12 play starting at Texas Tech on Tuesday, Feb. 1, at 8 p.m. on ESPNU. KU is 9-0 in games away from Allen Fieldhouse this season, including a 5-0 record in true road contests. Kansas is coming off an emotional 90-66 win against Kansas State on Saturday, Jan. 29. Following the Texas Tech contest, Kansas will make its last trip to Nebraska as a conference member to Lincoln, Neb., on Saturday, Feb. 5. Texas Tech is 11-11 on the season and 3-4 in Big 12 play. The Red Raiders have won three straight games after their 75-74 overtime victory against Oklahoma State on Saturday.

About Kansas:

Kansas became the first team in the Big 12 to notch win No. 20 with a 90-66 victory over Big 12 preseason favorite Kansas State on Saturday, Jan. 29. The game was full of emotion as ESPN College GameDay originated from Allen Fieldhouse, Jan. 29 marked the 150th Kansas Day, former KU great Wayne Simien had his jersey retired at halftime and Thomas Robinson returned to the court after missing one game because he was home taking care of family matters due to the death of his mother, Lisa.

The Jayhawks average 82.5 points and give up 62.7 for a +19.8 scoring margin. KU also leads the battle of the boards with a +7.2 rebound margin. Kansas leads the Big 12 in scoring margin (+19.8), field goal percentage (51.9) and assists (18.3). Junior forward Marcus Morris has averaged 19.2 points in Big 12 play and leads Kansas in all games with a 16.7 scoring average. Marcus leads the Big 12 with his 59.9 percent field goal percentage. A two-time Big 12 Player of the Week this season and a Wooden Award Mid-Season candidate, Marcus' 6.9 rebounds per game are second best on KU's team.

Marcus' twin, Markieff Morris, a junior forward, leads the Big 12 in rebounding with 8.7 boards per game and in double-doubles with seven. After his 20-point effort against Kansas State Saturday, Markieff is averaging 13.0 points per game. He leads KU with 22 blocked shots. Freshman guard Josh Selby led KU with 17 points at Colorado (Jan. 25) and had 12 against Kansas State. He is scoring 11.8 points per game and averages 2.5 three-pointers, 3.1 assists and 2.8 rebounds per contest this season.

Senior guard Tyrel Reed is averaging 11.0 points in conference play and 9.8 for the season. He leads KU with 42 three-point field goals made in 2010-11. He is 37-for-43 (86.0 percent) from the free throw line. Junior Tyshawn Taylor averages 8.9 points per game and ranks third in the Big 12 with 4.9 assists per contest. A Bob Cousy Award finalist, Taylor scored 13 points Saturday against KSU. Robinson, a sophomore forward, is third on the team with a 6.3 rebound average to complement his 8.5 scoring average. He had 17 points and nine rebounds against Kansas State in an uplifting performance.

Senior guard Brady Morningstar leads Kansas with 30 steals, one ahead of Reed and two ahead of Taylor. Morningstar is second on the team with 54 assists and is scoring 5.0 points per game. Other KU contributors include senior guard Mario Little (5.7 ppg), sophomore guard Elijah Johnson (3.7 ppg), sophomore center Jeff Withey (2.5 ppg, 15 blocked shots) and sophomore guard Travis Releford (5.4 ppg with four starts).

About Texas Tech:

Located in Lubbock, Texas, with an enrollment of 23,520, Texas Tech has currently matched its longest winning streak of the season at three games. The Red Raiders are 11-11 overall and 3-4 in Big 12 play after their 75-74 overtime win against Oklahoma State Saturday. Tech is 10-4 at home in the United Spirit Arena, averages 74.0 points and gives up 75.6 points. Senior forward Mike Singletary leads the team in scoring with 14.3 points per game, including a 25-point effort in the win against OSU Saturday. Singletary also leads Tech in rebound average at 6.2 boards per game. He is second on the team with 62 assists. Senior guard John Roberson leads Tech with 4.1 assists per game and 49 three-pointers. He is scoring 12.9 points per contest and is second on the team with 28 steals. Senior forward Brad Reese has a team-high 22 blocked shots and 30 steals. He scores 12.4 points per game and is second on the team with 24 three-pointers. Junior forward Robert Lewandowski (9.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 19 blocked shots) and senior forward D'walyn Roberts (5.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 18 blocked shots) round out the Texas Tech starters. Senior guard David Tairu scores 9.0 points per game and is third on the team with 18 three-pointers. Other Tech regulars include freshman forward Jaye Crockett (4.9 ppg), freshman guard Javarez Willis (3.6 ppg), sophomore guard Mike Davis (3.5 ppg) and junior forward/center Paul Cooper (3.0 ppg).

The Texas Tech Series:

Kansas leads the overall series with Texas Tech 19-4 and the Jayhawks have won two straight and three of the last four meetings. KU leads the overall series played in Lubbock 6-4 but is 2-3 in the United Spirit Arena, including an 0-3 mark during the Bill Self era. Kansas' last win in Lubbock was in 2003, 65-56. Since the inception of the Big 12 in 1997, Kansas is 12-4 against Texas Tech - 10-4 in regular-season match-ups and 2-0 in conference championship meetings. Last season, KU defeated Texas Tech twice - 89-63 in Lawrence and 80-68 in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Championship in Kansas City, Mo. Kansas went on to win the Big 12 Championship defeating Texas A&M in the semifinals and Kansas State in the title game.

Team Notables:

--Kansas leads the nation in field goal percentage at 51.9 percent. KU also leads the Big 12 in scoring margin (+19.8) and assists (18.3).

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

--Kansas has outrebounded 17 of 21 opponents this season, including 11 of its last 13.

--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 14 games this season.

--Kansas' bench averages 28.4 points compared to its opponents' 17.0 ppg. KU's bench has outscored its opponents' bench in 17 of 21 games this season.

--Kansas is 19-1 when leading at the half this season and 20-0 when leading with five minutes remaining.

--KU has used six different starting lineups this season with Taylor, Reed, Mk. Morris, Mc. Morris and Selby starting the last eight contests.

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

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

--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 scoring 19.2 points in Big 12 games, which is fourth in the conference. Overall, Marcus' 16.7 scoring average is seventh in the league. He has three double-doubles in his last seven games and just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds against Kansas State (Jan. 29). Marcus has six 20-point or more scoring games this season. Marcus leads the Big 12 in shooting percentage at 59.9 percent. He is 9-for-12 (75.0 percent) in his last two games and 62.7 percent in conference action. He has shot 70 percent or better in seven games. Marcus has led Kansas in scoring nine times this season. His 6.9 rebounds per game are 11th in the Big 12. He has led KU in every stat 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.

--Junior MARKIEFF MORRIS, twin of Marcus, scored 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting against Kansas State Saturday (Jan. 29), one shy of his career-high 21 points at California (Dec. 22) earlier this season. Markieff has scored in double figures in five of his last seven games. He had 19 points on 9-of-10 shooting at Baylor (Jan. 17). Markieff is tied for the Big 12 lead with seven double-doubles this season. Markieff leads the Big 12 in rebounding at 8.7 rpg. Named Big 12 Player of the Week on Dec. 27, Markieff is tied for 17th in the Big 12 in scoring at 13.0 ppg. Markieff has pulled down eight-plus boards in 14 games, including 11 at Colorado (Jan. 25) and nine against Kansas State (Jan. 29), Markieff has been the leading rebounder for KU in 12 of 21 games.

--Senior TYREL REED is averaging 11.0 points in Big 12 play and 9.8 for the season. In his last four games, Reed has averaged 12.6 points, including 14 points at Colorado (Jan. 25) and 17 against Texas (Jan. 22). The guard is the only Jayhawk to have started every game this season. Reed leads Kansas with 42 three-pointers and has an 86.0 free throw percentage (37-of-43). Reed had career-highs in points with 18 and rebounds with seven at California (Dec. 22). Ranked 11th in the Big 12 in three-point percentage (37.8) and tied for 11th 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 and has been nominated for Academic All-America for the third-straight year in 2010-11.

--Freshman JOSH SELBY has scored 29 points in his last two games with 12 points against Kansas State (Jan. 29) and 17 points at Colorado (Jan. 25), 15 of which came in the first half. He has scored in double figures in eight of 12 games played this season. He is 11-for-20 (55.0 percent) from the floor in his last two games, including 6-for-9 (66.7 percent) from three-point range after going 3-for-3 against Kansas State Saturday. Selby has multiple three-pointers in eight games, including three of his last four contests. Selby averages 11.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals per contest on the season. He has scored 16 or more points in five games and is 21-for-26 (80.8 percent) from the free throw line. Selby's career debut saw the guard score a team-high 21 points on 5-of-11 shooting, including 5-of-8 from three-point range against USC (Dec. 18). His final three-pointer against USC came with 26 seconds remaining to give KU a 69-68 lead in the 70-68 win. For his efforts against USC, Selby was named the Big 12 Rookie of the Week (Dec. 20).

--Sophomore THOMAS ROBINSON missed the Colorado contest on Jan. 25 tending to the funeral of his mother, Lisa, in Washington, D.C. In his first game back, Robinson responded with 17 points on 7-of-11 (63.6 percent) shooting with nine rebounds against Kansas State Saturday (Jan. 29). The 17 points were his second most this season and it marked the sixth time in 2010-11 he had pulled down nine or more rebounds. In his first season start against UT Arlington (Dec. 29), Robinson had 20 points and 10 rebounds. Robinson has two double-doubles in 2010-11. In his last 11 games, Robinson is 36-for-56 (64.3 percent) from the field. He averages 8.5 points per game in 2010-11 and his 6.3 rebounds are 15th in the Big 12.

--Junior TYSHAWN TAYLOR scored 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting against Kansas State Saturday (Jan. 29). It was the most points for Taylor in seven games. He is averaging 8.9 points per game this season and has scored in double figures eight times. Named a Bob Cousy Award finalist (one of 20) on Jan. 12, Taylor is third in the Big 12 in assists per game at 4.9. He has led KU in assists in 14 of 21 games this season, including seven of the last 11 contests. Taylor is sixth in the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.7.

--Senior BRADY MORNINGSTAR set a season high with 14 points at Colorado (Jan. 25) on 5-of-9 shooting, including 4-of-7 from three-point range. In his last two games, Morningstar is averaging 8.7 points and is 10-for-16 (62.5 percent) from the field. Against No. 10/11 Texas on Jan. 22, Morningstar was 4-of-5 from the field with three assists and one steal. He is scoring 5.0 points per game and leads KU with 30 steals. Morningstar, who graduated May 2010, has recorded a steal in 14 of 21 games played this season. He is 11th in the Big 12 in steals per game at 1.4. In Big 12 play, he leads the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio at 5.0 (20 assists, four turnovers).

--Senior MARIO LITTLE was 3-for-3 in scoring six points against Kansas State Saturday (Jan. 29). He has two games in double figure points this season, including 10 points at Baylor (Jan. 15). Little averages 15.5 minutes, 5.7 points and 2.9 rebounds per game and is shooting 52.2 percent from the field on the season.

--Sophomore TRAVIS RELEFORD played one minute against Kansas State (Jan. 29) after missing the previous five games due to an ankle sprain on his right foot suffered at Michigan (Jan. 9). Releford is shooting 56.1 percent from the field. He is averaging 5.4 points this season and has scored in double figures four 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.

--Sophomore ELIJAH JOHNSON led Kansas with six assists against Kansas State (Jan. 29). In his last two games, Johnson has 10 assists and one turnover. He has appeared in 19 games this season with one start. He scored a career-high 13 points against UMKC (Jan. 5). Johnson had his first start of the season against UT Arlington (Dec. 29) and scored 11 points. He has a 2.9 assist-to-turnover ratio for the season. Johnson averages 3.7 points and 2.3 assists in 2010-11.
--Sophomore JEFF WITHEY scored three points and pulled down four rebounds in eight minutes at Colorado (Jan. 25). Withey averages 7.0 minutes, 2.5 points, 2.2 rebounds and 0.9 blocked shots per game.


Up Next:

Kansas continues its two game road swing at Nebraska on Saturday, Feb. 5, at 3 p.m. on the Big 12 Network. It will be KU's last trip to Lincoln, Neb., when KU and NU are members of the same conference as Nebraska will participate in the Big Ten Conference starting in 2011-12. Kansas returns home to host Missouri Feb. 7 on ESPN's Big




 

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