Kansas plays host to Kansas State in the Sunflower Showdown presented by Dillons on ESPN’s Big Monday, Feb. 11 at 8 p.m. Kansas is 19-4 overall and 7-3 in Big 12 action after its 72-66 loss at Oklahoma Saturday. Kansas State is 19-4 (8-2) and brings a four-game winning streak to Allen Fieldhouse after its 79-70 win against Iowa State Saturday.
This will be the fourth time Kansas will play a ranked foe this season. The Jayhawks are 2-1 against ranked foes so far with a 67-64 loss to then-No. 21/22 Michigan State (1/13) at the Champions Classic in Atlanta, a 74-66 win at then-No. 7/7 Ohio State (12/22) and a 59-55 win at then-No. 11/13 Kansas State (1/22).
Kansas, ranked No. 5 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches’ polls released Feb. 4, is 19-4 (7-3 Big 12) and one game behind Kansas State (17-4, 8-2) in the 2013 Big 12 league race. In his 10th season at Kansas, Bill Self holds a 288-57 record for an 83.4 winning percentage. Overall, Self is nearing his 500th career victory with a 495-162 record in his 20th season as a head coach. KU is 12-1 in Allen Fieldhouse, 5-2 in road games and 2-1 on neutral courts in 2012-13. KU averages 73.0 points per game and is giving up 60.5 for a Big 12-leading +12.5 scoring margin. KU also leads the Big 12 in rebound margin at +5.8, field goal percentage at 46.9, field goal percentage defense at 36.0 and blocked shots at 7.0.
Kansas starts four seniors, including three fifth-year seniors, and one freshman. Named to the Sporting News Mid-Season All-American team Jan. 15, redshirt freshman G Ben McLemore leads the team in scoring at 16.3 points per game, which leads all Big 12 freshmen and ranks second overall in the conference. The Jan. 14 Big 12 Player of the Week and two-time conference Rookie of the Week, McLemore leads the league in free throw percentage (86.8) and is second in three-point field goal percentage (41.8). McLemore, who is listed on the USBWA Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Year Award Midseason list, has a team-high 41 three-pointers made and is third on the KU squad with 25 steals. All-America candidate senior C Jeff Withey leads Kansas in rebounding (8.2 rpg) and has seven double-doubles this season. Withey leads the league in blocked shots at 4.0 per game, which ranks third nationally. At Oklahoma Saturday, Withey blocked his 258th shot, tying the Kansas career record held by Greg Ostertag (1992-95). A USBWA Oscar Robertson National Player of the Year Midseason and Wooden Award Mid-Season Top 25 honoree along with McLemore, Withey is scoring 13.0 points per outing. Senior G Travis Releford leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 59.9 percent. The Nov. 26 Big 12 Player of the Week, Releford is scoring 11.9 points per contest. Senior G Elijah Johnson has a team-high 107 assists and is second on the team with 34 three-pointers made to complement his 9.3 scoring average. Senior F Kevin Young rounds out the KU starters; he is scoring 7.5 points per contest and is second on the team with 6.7 rebounds per outing. Other KU regulars include freshman F Perry Ellis (4.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg), sophomore G Naadir Tharpe (5.5 ppg, 2.5 apg) and redshirt freshman F Jamari Traylor (2.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg).
ABOUT KANSAS STATE
Located in Manhattan, Kan., with an enrollment of 23,566, No. 13/15 Kansas State is 19-4 (8-2 Big 12) on the season and has won four-straight games. The Wildcats are coached by Bruce Weber who is 19-4 in his first season at KSU and 332-159 in his 15th season overall. In 2012-13, Kansas State is 13-1 at home, 5-1 in road games and 1-2 on neutral courts. The Wildcats average 68.8 points per game and give up 58.3 for a +10.4 scoring margin. KSU leads the Big 12 in scoring defense (58.3), rebounding defense (31.8), turnover margin (+2.7) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3). Kansas State ranks second in the league in three-point field goal percentage (35.5) and assists (15.7).
Kansas State is a deep team, with 10 players who average 10-plus minutes per game. Senior G Rodney McGruder leads Kansas State in scoring at 15.0 points per game, which is fourth in the Big 12. He is tied for the team lead with 35 three-point field goals made and is second on the squad with 25 steals. Sophomore G Angel Rodriguez leads the Big 12 with a 2.4 assist-to-turnover ratio while his 4.7 assists per game are a team best and fourth in the league. Rodriguez’s 27 steals lead all Wildcats and he is second on the KSU team in scoring at 9.9 points per contest. Junior G Will Spradling is tied with McGruder with 35 three-pointers and averages 8.3 points per game. He is second on the team with 66 assists and is making 86.4 percent of his free throws. Junior G Shane Southwell has started 14 games and averages 7.9 points per outing. Sophomore F Thomas Gipson has 13 starts; he averages 7.8 points per game and leads KSU on the glass with a 5.5 rebound per game average, just ahead of McGruder’s 5.3 rpg. Senior F Jordan Henriquez has a team-high 39 blocked shots in 2012-13 to complement his 4.7 scoring and 4.2 rebound averages. Other KSU regulars include sophomore F Adrian Diaz (3.6 ppg), senior G Martavious Irving (5.0 ppg), freshman F D.J. Johnson (2.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg) and junior G Omari Lawrence (2.6 ppg).
Kansas has won 45 of the last 48 meetings with Kansas State dating back to the 1994 season. The Jayhawks have won 10 of the last 11 match-ups and hold a 184-91 all-time series advantage over the Wildcats, which dates back to 1907. In Lawrence, the Jayhawks are 84-35 all-time against KSU, including 42-18 in Allen Fieldhouse. The historic building has seen KU win six-straight games over its in-state rival since 2007 and 17 of the last 18 meetings between the two schools dating back to 1995. Since the inception of the Big 12 Conference, Kansas is 29-3 in regular-season battles and 36-3, including Big 12 Championship meetings, versus Kansas State. Kansas head coach Bill Self is 20-3 all-time against Kansas State, including 19-3 while at KU. Bruce Weber is 0-2 against Kansas.
Earlier this season, Kansas handed Kansas State its only home loss of 2012-13 with a 59-55 win in Bramlage Coliseum on Jan. 22. Jeff Withey paced KU with his seventh double-double of the season scoring 11 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Travis Releford added 12 points and Ben McLemore chipped in 11 points in the Jayhawks' win. KSU’s Shane Southwell led all scorers with 19 points.
--The loss was Kansas' third straight, its longest losing streak since Feb. 14-19, 2005.
--The loss ended KU’s 10-game winning streak against the Sooners, including four straight at the Lloyd Noble Center.
--Kansas trailed 38-34 at halftime, just the fifth time this season, but third game in a row, that the Jayhawks have trailed at half. Kansas is 2-3 in games when trailing at the break.
--Freshman G Ben McLemore led Kansas in scoring for the 12th time this season with 15 points. It also marked the 22nd time in 23 games that McLemore has reached double figures in scoring.
--McLemore was 6-for-10 from the field which was the fourth time this season he has shot 60 percent or better.
--Senior C Jeff Withey tied the Kansas career blocks record after rejecting an attempt by OU’s Andrew Fitzgerald at the 19:13 mark of the second half. Withey tied former Jayhawk Greg Ostertag with 258 career blocks.
--Withey pulled down his 500th career rebound. KU's active career rebound leader has 501 career boards.
--Senior G Elijah Johnson scored 10 points, his ninth game this season in double figures.
--Senior F Kevin Young returned to the starting lineup after coming off the bench for the first time against TCU. Young had eight points on 4-of-7 shooting.
--Young is the only Jayhawk to have a steal in every Big 12 game this season. He collected one at OU.
--Senior G Travis Releford scored his 800th career point. He is Kansas' active career-leading scorer.
KANSAS TEAM NOTABLES
--Kansas leads the NCAA Division I in field goal percentage defense at 36.0 percent and is third nationally in blocked shots at 7.0 per game. Both stats lead the Big 12 and KU also leads the conference in scoring margin (+12.5), field goal percentage (46.9) and rebound margin (+5.8). The Jayhawks also rank in the top four of the Big 12 in scoring (third, 73.0), free throw percentage (third, 71.6), rebounding (third, 39.0), rebound defense (second, 33.2), assists (fourth, 15.0) and assist-to-turnover ratio (fourth, 1.1).
--Kansas held a double-digit lead in all but five contests this season. KU has held the lead in all but one game in 2012-13.
--Out of its 23 games, Kansas has held 15 of its opponents to 60 points or less, including six of the last eight conference foes: 46 at Texas Tech, 44 vs. Baylor, 59 at Texas, 55 at Kansas State, 54 vs. Oklahoma and 56 at West Virginia.
--KU has outrebounded 19 of 23 opponents this season, including 15 of its last 17 foes. KU has had four games with 10-plus rebounds over its opponent.
--Kansas has out shot all but four opponents in 2012-13. Additionally, KU has shot 50 percent or better in nine games this season, including eight of the last 16 contests. KU's 54.1 percent at West Virginia (1/28) was its league best during 2012-13.
--Kansas has held a 40-plus point lead in four different games this season.
--Kansas had four players score in double figures in nine times this season, including five against Iowa State (1/9).
KANSAS ON ESPN BIG MONDAY
Kansas will appear on ESPN's Big Monday four times in 2013 with the Kansas State game being the third occasion. Since the inception of the Big 12 in 1996-97, Kansas is 47-16 all-time on ESPN’s Big Monday (26-1 at home, 21-15 on the road), including 28-8 under head coach Bill Self. Additionally, KU has won 19-straight Big Monday games in Allen Fieldhouse, which includes a 15-0 mark under Self.
Kansas has out shot all but four opponents in 2012-13 and has shot 50 percent or better from the field in nine games. KU leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 46.9 percent, is third in three-point field goal percentage at 35.4 percent and third in free throw percentage at 71.6. Individually, senior G Travis Releford leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 59.9 and is 91-for-139 (65.5 percent) from the field in his last 20 games. Redshirt freshman G Ben McLemore has shot 50 percent or better from three-point range in 11 of his last 15 games. His 6-for-10 effort at Oklahoma (2/9) was his fifth 60 percent performance of the season. Senior C Jeff Withey has shot 50 percent or better in 19 of 23 games this season, including 11 of 62.5 percent or better. He is 9-for-14 (64.2 percent) in his last two games. Senior F Kevin Young has eight games of shooting 60.0 percent or better, including three in conference play: 7-of-9 at Texas Tech (1/12), 2-of-3 at Texas (1/19) and 3-of-5 vs. Oklahoma State (2/2).
KANSAS VS. RANKED TEAMS UNDER Bill Self
Kansas State will be the 71st Associated Press-ranked opponent Kansas will face in the nine-plus seasons under head coach Bill Self and the fourth in 2012-13 (lost to then-No. 21 Michigan State 67-64 on 11/13 in the Champions Classic in Atlanta, won at then-No. 7 Ohio State 74-66 on 12/22 and won at then-No. 11 Kansas State on 1/22). In that span KU is 45-25 (64.3 percent) against ranked competition. That percentage has an upward trend as the last six seasons the Jayhawks are 35-15 (70.0 percent) versus ranked foes.
IN THE POLLS
Kansas is ranked No. 5 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches' polls released Feb. 4. Kansas' No. 1 ranking in the Jan. 28, 2013, coaches' poll was its first since Feb. 14, 2011, and KU has been the nation's top team 38 times, including 20 weeks in the Bill Self era. Also in the coaches' polls, Kansas has been ranked in each of the last 76 week, including 63 times in the Top 10. In the Associated Press poll and dating back to the final three polls of the 2008-09 season, this marks the 71st-straight poll in which the Jayhawks have been ranked in the AP poll, including 61 times in the Top 10.
Here are some block party notables for Kansas All-American candidate Jeff Withey:
--Withey leads the Big 12 and is third nationally with 4.0 blocked shots per game. KU's record for single-season blocked shot average is 3.6 set by Withey in 2012.
--The 2012 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, Withey set the KU and Big 12 single-game record with 12 blocked shots versus San Jose State (11/26).
--Withey's 93 blocks in 2012-13 are more than six Big 12 teams this season and rank fifth on the KU single-season list.
--At Oklahoma Saturday, Withey blocked his 258th all-time shot moving him into a tie for the KU career blocked shots record with Greg Ostertag (1992-95). He is six blocked shots from the Big 12 career record of 264 (Chris Mihm, Texas, 1998-2000).
--For his career, Withey has had 10 games with seven or more blocked shots, including three in 2012-13.
--Withey broke the NCAA Tournament record for blocked shots with 31 in the 2012 event.
--Withey broke the Kansas and Big 12 single-season blocked shots record with 140 last year (3.6 per game). He became only the second Jayhawk to pass 100 blocked shots for a single season (125, Cole Aldrich in 2009-10).
Kansas guard Ben McLemore leads the Big 12 freshman class with a 16.3 scoring average, which is second overall in the conference. He leads the Big 12 in free throw percentage at 86.8 and is second in three-point field goal percentage at 41.8 percent. KU's leading scorer as well, McLemore has six games with 20 points or more this season, including a 33-point effort against Iowa State (1/9) in the Big 12 opener and a 23-point day against Oklahoma State (2/2).
Kansas freshman record-wise, McLemore's:
...16.3 ppg would surpass the KU freshman record of 14.6 ppg held by by Danny Manning in 1985.
...5.4 rebound average would rank eighth on the KU freshman list.
...41 three-pointers made in 2012-13 are eighth on the KU freshman list.
...41.8 three-point field goal percentage is tied for fifth (Xavier Henry, 2010) on the KU freshman list.
McLemore's 33 points against Iowa State (1/9):
--Were the most by a Jayhawk since Marcus Morris tallied 33 points against Iowa State on Jan. 12, 2011.
--Are the most points scored in a game this season in the Big 12 Conference for all players.
--Were the most by a Kansas freshman since Danny Manning scored 35 points against Oklahoma State on March 2, 1985.
--Consisted of him connecting on 6-of-6 three-point field goal attempts, marking the best three-point field goal percentage since Rex Walters went 6-for-6 from beyond the arc against Ball State in 2003.
MCLEMORE AND WITHEY NAMED TO MIDSEASON TEAMS
Kansas' Ben McLemore and Jeff Withey were named to the USBWA Oscar Robertson Player of the Year Midseason Watch List on Jan. 31. On Jan. 10, the duo was selected to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 announced by The Los Angeles Athletic Club. The Oscar Robertson award consisted of 12 players and Kansas and Indiana were the only schools with multiple players listed with two each. For the Wooden Award, Kansas is one of three schools to have two players among the 25, along with Duke and Missouri. The 2013 Wooden Award Gala will take place April 11-13, 2013, at The Los Angeles Athletic Club. The Gala will honor the Men's and Women's Wooden Award winners, All Americans and the Legends of Coaching Award winner, Kansas head coach Bill Self.
MCLEMORE SPORTING NEWS MID-SEASON ALL-AMERICAN
Kansas redshirt freshman G Ben McLemore was named to the Sporting News Mid-Season All-America First Team it was announced Jan. 15. McLemore is joined on the first team by Oklahoma State freshman Marcus Smart, Michigan sophomore Trey Burke, Creighton junior Doug McDermott and Duke senior Mason Plumlee.
ESPN COLLEGE GAMEDAY COMING TO ALLEN FIELDHOUSE
ESPN’s College GameDay Driven by State Farm® will be televised live Saturday, Feb. 16th from Allen Fieldhouse. The historic venue is hosting College GameDay for the fifth time since 2005. Doors to Allen Fieldhouse will open at 7 a.m. that day. The morning telecast begins at 9 a.m. on ESPNU and continues on ESPN from 10-11 a.m. The event is free to the public and tickets are not required. Allen Fieldhouse concessions will be open and interpreter services will be provided. In addition to the two hours in the morning, ESPN will televise a show from 7-8 p.m. from the Allen Fieldhouse floor. A Kansas-Texas men’s basketball game ticket will be required to watch that segment of the show in person.
HOME SWEET HOME
Since his arrival at KU, Bill Self is 156-8 in games played at Allen Fieldhouse for a 95.1 winning percentage. Self's Big 12 conference titles (eight) equal his home losses while at Kansas. Included was a school-record 69-game home-court winning streak which led the nation for more than two seasons and ranks 11th all-time in the NCAA records book as well as a 33-game home-court winning streak, that ended Feb. 2, tied for fourth most in KU history. Kansas is 102-2 in Allen Fieldhouse in its last 104 games. Additionally, Kansas has won 63-consecutive games in Allen Fieldhouse against non-conference foes.
STUDENT SECTION OF THE YEAR VOTING OPEN; KU LOOKS TO REPEAT
Kansas claimed the inaugural Naismith Student Section of the Year Award in 2012, an honor once again up for grabs and the athletics department is turning to the fans to defend the title. By visiting www.facebook.com/ILoveCollegeHoops, Kansas fans can vote once per day for the KU student section as the top student section in college basketball. The Naismith Student Section of the Year Award is dedicated to celebrating fans that love college hoops and provide support to their college basketball team with devotion and passion. The Naismith Student Section of the Year Award will be determined through two rounds of public votes, combined with a scoring of finalists by the Naismith Awards Board of Selectors. The winning student section gets bragging rights, while the winning school will receive $10,000 to be used in its general scholarship fund.
Kansas will host Texas on Saturday, Feb. 16, at 8 p.m. on ESPN. ESPN College GameDay will originate from Allen Fieldhouse that day with shows starting at 9 a.m. KU will then play at Oklahoma State on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 8 p.m. on ESPN2 and returns home to play TCU on Saturday, Feb. 23. The TCU contest, scheduled for a 3 p.m. tip-off, will also be KU’s celebration of 115 years of men’s basketball.