Baylor's Gary Franklin (4) defends as Kansas' Naadir Tharpe (10) drives to basket for a shot attempt in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
JAYHAWKS RETURN HOME TO HOST TCU
Sitting atop the Big 12 standings, No. 7/7 Kansas (18-6, 9-2) plays host to TCU Saturday, Feb. 15, at 3 p.m. on the Big 12 Network. KU has a one-game lead over Texas, 8-3 in the Big 12, after losing the Sunflower Showdown at Kansas State, 85-82 in overtime, on Monday. TCU is 9-14 overall and 0-11 in the Big 12. The Horned Frogs lost to Baylor, 91-58, in Fort Worth, Texas, on Wednesday, Feb. 12. Kansas has won 111-straight games in Allen Fieldhouse against non-ranked opponents dating back to the 2006-07 season.
Kansas averages 79.5 points per game and has a +9.3 scoring margin. KU has outrebounded 20 of 24 opponents, including nine of 11 Big 12 foes, and holds a +7.3 rebound margin. KU boasts a league-best 49.9 field goal percentage and has shot 50 percent or better in five of its last eight games. In all, KU has outshot 20 of its 24 opponents in 2013-14. KU also ranks in the top four in the Big 12 in scoring offense (fourth, 79.5), scoring margin (third, +9.3), rebound margin (third, +7.3), assists (second, 15.9) and blocked shots (second, 5.9).
Freshman G Andrew Wiggins leads Kansas with a 16.0 scoring average, the best among Big 12 freshmen and ninth overall in the conference. He has made 29 threes this season and is the team leader with 25 steals. Wiggins' 5.9 rebound average is third on the team and 16th in the conference. Sophomore F Perry Ellis is coming off a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds at Kansas State (2/10) and is next in scoring at 13.2 points per game, good for 15th in the league. His 6.8 rebound average is second on the team and 11th in the Big 12. Freshman C Joel Embiid has a team-high 61 blocked shots, which ranks second on the all-time KU freshman blocks list. A two-time Big 12 Newcomer of the Week and the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week (1/21), Embiid's 2.5 blocked shots per game average is second in the conference. Embiid is third on the team with 18 steals, while his 7.8 rebounds per game are a team best, lead the Big 12 freshman class and rank sixth overall in the conference. Embiid is shooting 61.2 percent from the field, which would lead the Big 12 had he made 5.0 per game. He is averaging 10.7 points per game and has six double-doubles on the season. Freshman G Wayne Selden, Jr., scored 17 points against West Virginia (2/9) and has three 20-point scoring games this season, all in league play. He earned National Freshman of the Week accolades by multiple outlets (1/10), is scoring 10.2 ppg in all games and his 30 three-pointers are second on the team, as are his 62 assists. Junior G Naadir Tharpe is coming off his second career double-double with 13 points and 10 assists at Kansas State (2/10). Tharpe earned Big 12 and Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week accolades (1/21) and is scoring 9.4 points per game. His 5.3 assists rank third in the Big 12 and his 2.7 assist-to-turnover ratio is also third. Tharpe has made a team-best 35 three-pointers this season.
Freshman G Frank Mason averages 6.1 points per game and is third on the team with 58 assists. Sophomore F Jamari Traylor leads KU with a 72.3 field goal percentage and is averaging 4.2 points and 3.5 rebounds per contest. Other contributors off the bench include senior F Tarik Black (4.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg), freshman G Brannen Greene (2.7 ppg), freshman G Conner Frankamp (2.0 ppg) and redshirt freshman F Landen Lucas (1.7 ppg).
Located in Fort Worth, Texas, with an enrollment of 9,725, TCU is 9-14 (0-11) after its 91-58 home loss to Baylor on Wednesday. The Horned Frogs are coached by Trent Johnson who is 20-35 in his second season at TCU and 246-220 in his 15th season overall. TCU is 3-5 in road games in 2013-14. TCU averages 64.9 points per game, has a -5.5 scoring margin and allows 70.4 points per game. TCU is getting outrebounded by 7.7 boards per game, yet winning the turnover margin with a +1.3 average. The Horned Frogs force 5.9 steals per game. TCU's 74.3 free throw percentage is second in the league.
TCU has seven regulars who average 16 or more minutes per game. Junior G Kyan Anderson leads TCU in scoring at 16.3 points, which is seventh in the Big 12. He has a team-best 112 assists and is tied for the team lead with 29 steals. Anderson's 33 three-pointers are the most on the squad, while his 4.9 assists per game are fourth in the conference and his 1.3 steals are tied for ninth. Junior F Amric Fields is next in scoring with 13.6 points per game and his 6.1 rebounds are also second on the team. Freshman F Brandon Parrish is a starter who averages 9.7 points per game. He is second on the squad with 31 three-pointers. Senior G Jarvis Ray scores 8.5 points per game and his 29 steals tie Anderson for the team lead. Ray also averages 3.8 rebounds per contest. Freshman C Karviar Shepherd rounds out the TCU starters. His 2.0 blocked shots per game are fourth in the Big 12 and he scores 8.4 points per game. Shepherd's 6.9 rebound average is a team best and ranks 10th in the conference. Other key contributors for TCU include sophomore G Christian Gore (4.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg) and freshman G Michael Williams (3.8 ppg).
Though this is just the fourth 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, Mo. Kansas is 6-1 against TCU with two games on neutral floors: the 1952 contest and a KU 94-78 win vs. TCU on Dec. 20, 1997, at Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Mo. 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. Kansas head coach Bill Self is 10-4 all-time against TCU, including 4-1 while at Kansas. TCU head coach Trent Johnson is 2-2 against Kansas, 1-2 while at TCU. In Self's first season at Kansas, Johnson's Stanford team defeated KU 64-58 on Dec. 6, 2003, in Anaheim, Calif., in the Wooden Classic.
Earlier this season Kansas defeated TCU, 91-69, in Fort Worth, Texas, on Jan. 25. KU was led by freshman G Andrew Wiggins who scored 27 points. Freshman C Joel Embiid added 14 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots, while freshman G Wayne Selden, Jr., scored 12 points. Sophomore F Perry Ellis led all rebounders with a career-high 14 boards and just missed a double-double with eight points. TCU was led freshman F Brandon Parrish with 15 points. KU's 91 points tie the most that the Horned Frogs have given up this season.
The Jayhawks' 81.5 conference scoring average through the first 11 games of league play is their highest since averaging 81.9 points through the first 11 Big 12 games in 2010-11.
Kansas is 14-1 when shooting 50 percent or better in the game and has eclipsed the 50 percent field goal percentage in five of its last eight games and seven of 11 Big 12 games.
In 14 of KU's 18 victories, the Jayhawks have scored at least 80 points, including seven Big 12 games. The Jayhawks are 14-1 when scoring 80 points or more in 2013-14.
KU has outrebounded 20 of its 24 opponents this season, including nine of 11 Big 12 contests. KU has 11 games with a +10 rebound advantage. Kansas' +17 margin at Iowa State (1/13) was a season best and its +16 at TCU (1/25) is tied for second.
Kansas is 16-0 when leading at half this season, including 8-0 in Big 12 play.
KU has held all but one opponent (Duke, 51.7) under 50 percent shooting this season.
Junior G Naadir Tharpe has scored in double figures in two of his last three games, six league games and nine times this season. Tharpe had his second career double-double, both in league competition, with 13 points and 10 assists at Kansas State (2/10). He has three games with 10 or more assists this season.
Tharpe is second in the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage in conference games at 47.5 percent and three of his four 20-point scoring games in 2013-14 came against Big 12 opponents.
Sophomore F Perry Ellis has shot 60 percent or better in 11 games this season, including three conference contests. The Jayhawks are 11-0 when Ellis shoots 60 percent or better this season.
Ellis recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds at Kansas State (2/10). Three of his four DDs have been against Big 12 foes with all three on the road.
Freshman C Joel Embiid pulled down 12 rebounds against West Virginia (2/8) and has 46 boards in his last five games for a 9.2 average. Embiid has seven games of 10-plus rebounds this season, including four in Big 12 play.
Embiid has 61 blocks this year with at least one in each of his last 18 games played.
Freshman G Andrew Wiggins has averaged 18.6 points in his last six contests. His 16.0 scoring average for the season would break the KU freshman record. Wiggins has seven games of 20-plus points, including three in Big 12 play. He narrowly missed his eighth with 19 points against West Virginia (2/8).
Senior F Tarik Black has averaged 22 minutes in his last three games compared to 11.3 minutes in all games. His 25 points in his last three games is his best three-game combination this season. Included were 11 points against West Virginia (2/8), a conference season high for him and his second-highest as a Jayhawk. Black pulled down a season-high nine rebounds at Baylor (2/4). He is 19-for-28 (67.8 percent) from the field in his last eight games played.
Freshman G Brannen Greene's 10 points at Kansas State (2/10) were a season high as were his three field goals, four free throws, five rebounds and three steals.
Freshman G Conner Frankamp's six points at Kansas State (2/10) were a season high as were his two three pointers made.
After his 21 points at Texas (2/1), freshman G Wayne Selden, Jr., has three 20-point efforts this season, all against Big 12 competition. Selden has made two or more three-pointers in three of his last five games and multiple threes in seven games this season. He has 10 games in double figures, including four of the last six contests.
Sophomore F Jamari Traylor is 14-for-18 (77.8 percent) from the field and 8-for-11 (72.7 percent) from the free throw line in his last seven games, which included a career-high nine points against Oklahoma State (1/18). He had six rebounds in three of his last six games (at UT, vs. ISU and vs. BU).
Kansas starts three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior with an average age of 19.4 years old. Frequently, Kansas will have four freshmen in the game at the same time and it's not uncommon to have five frosh on the floor. In Kansas' win at TCU (1/25), Jayhawk freshmen accounted for 75 of KU's 91 points (82.4 percent). For the season, the KU freshmen account for three of Kansas' top four scorers and 60.0 percent of the scoring and 61.7 percent of the blocked shots.
AFTER ONLY ONE SEASON
Last season, Ben McLemore broke the Kansas freshman scoring record, which was held for 28 years by KU legend Danny Manning set in 1985. Manning scored 496 points, while McLemore became the first freshman in school history to surpass the 500 point barrier with 596 in 2012-13. This season, KU freshman G Andrew Wiggins' 16.0 points per game is just ahead of McLemore's KU frosh-record average of 15.9 ppg and Wiggins' 385 points rank eighth on the KU freshman list. With his 19 points at Kansas State (2/10), Wiggins passed Mario Chalmers' 379 set in 2006. Wiggins already owns the KU freshman record for free throw attempts (155) and his 116 free throws made are four shy of the school mark.
EMBIID ON CUSP OF KU FROSH RECORDS AS WELL
Freshman C Joel Embiid is a single block shy of tying the Kansas record for blocks in a freshman season. Former Kansas basketball great Eric Chenowith's 62 blocks has held down the record since 1998, although he didn't set it as consistently as Embiid's pace. The seven-footer has swatted at least one shot in 18-consecutive games heading into Saturday's matchup against TCU. Chenowith's longest streak stopped at five-straight.
Embiid's 7.8 rebound average in 2013-14 is just ahead of Danny Manning's KU freshman record of 7.6 set in 1985. Embiid's 186 boards rank ninth on the KU freshman list. Also if maintained, Embiid's 61.2 field goal percentage would set the KU freshman record (59.5 by Jeff Gueldner in 1987) and rank eighth on KU's overall single-season list.
IN THE POLLS
Kansas is ranked No. 7 in the Associated Press in the poll released Feb. 10. The Jayhawks were in the AP top 10 the first five polls of 2013-14 and nine total in 2013-14. KU is No. 7 in the Feb. 10 USA Today Coaches' poll. In the Bill Self era, this is the 165th week Kansas has been ranked in the AP top 25, which includes 116 times in the top 10. KU has been ranked in each of the last 99 polls dating back to the 2008-09 season. In the coaches' poll, Kansas has been ranked 192 times, including 140 in the top 10 in the Self era. KU has been listed in each of the last 103 coaches' polls.
WHO SCHEDULED THIS
In the latest RPI released by the NCAA (2/10), Kansas is No. 1 ahead of Arizona. The Jayhawks have the No. 1 strength of schedule and have faced, or will face, six teams currently ranked in the Associated Press poll – No. 3 Florida, No. 5 San Diego State, No. 6 Villanova, No. 8 Duke, No. 11 Iowa State and No. 19 Texas.
Kansas will travel to Texas Tech on Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. on the Big 12 Network. The Jayhawks will then host Texas on Saturday, Feb. 22, at 6:30 p.m. on ESPNU and Oklahoma in their fourth ESPN Big Monday appearance of 2013-14 on Feb. 24 at 8 p.m.