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January 12, 2011

Kansas Opens Big 12 Play at Iowa State

Kansas Opens Big 12 Play at Iowa State:

No. 3 Kansas (15-0) opens Big 12 play at Iowa State (13-3, 0-1) on Wednesday, Jan. 12, at 8 p.m. on ESPN2. Kansas closed out its non-conference schedule undefeated as the Jayhawks won at Michigan 67-60 in overtime Jan. 9. Kansas has won 19-straight conference openers dating back to the 1991-92 season with 12 of those on the road. Kansas has won six straight, 10 of the Big 12's 14 regular-season titles and an NCAA Division I-leading 53 conference crowns. Iowa State is 13-3 on the season and 0-1 in Big 12 play. The Cyclones lost their conference opener 63-62 at Nebraska Jan. 8.


About Kansas:

At 15-0, Kansas is one of five teams in NCAA Division I to remain undefeated as of Jan. 9. The Jayhawks average 84.3 points and give up 59.9 for a +24.7 scoring margin. KU also leads the battle of the boards with a +8.8 rebound margin. Kansas leads the Big 12 in four different statistical categories: scoring margin (+24.7), field goal percentage (52.5), 3FG percentage defense (24.7) and assists (19.1). Junior forward Marcus Morris leads Kansas in scoring at 15.7 points per game and scored 22 points at Michigan (Jan. 9). Marcus also pulled down 10 rebounds against the Wolverines to record his second double-double of the season. Named a Wooden Award Mid-Season candidate, Morris leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 58.7 percent and his 6.3 rebounds per game are third best on KU's team.

Freshman guard Josh Selby is scoring 13.3 points per game and averages 2.5 three-pointers made and 3.8 assists per contest through six games played this year. Markieff Morris, a junior forward, leads the Big 12 in rebounding with 8.7 boards per game after his sixth double-double of the season (13 points, 11 rebounds), at Michigan. Markieff is averaging 12.9 points per game. Junior Tyshawn Taylor averages 9.7 points per game and ranks second in the Big 12 in assists with 5.4 per contest. Taylor has averaged 13.5 points in his last two games.

Senior guard Tyrel Reed leads KU with 26 three-point field goals made this season. He averages 9.3 points per game and is 25-for-27 (92.6 percent) from the free throw line. Sophomore forward Thomas Robinson is second on the team with a 6.8 rebound average to complement his 9.2 scoring average. He is tied for the team lead with 14 blocked shots along with Markieff Morris and sophomore center Jeff Withey (3.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg).

Senior guard Brady Morningstar leads Kansas with 26 steals, three ahead of Reed. Morningstar is second on the team with 34 assists and is scoring 4.9 points per game. Other KU contributors include sophomore guard Travis Releford (5.7 ppg with four starts) and sophomore guard Elijah Johnson (5.1 ppg, including a career-high 13 points against UMKC Jan. 5).


About Iowa State:

Located in Ames, Iowa, with an enrollment of 27,945, Iowa State is 13-3 on the season and 0-1 in Big 12 play after its 63-62 loss at Nebraska Jan. 8 in its conference opener. The Cyclones average 76.7 points and give up 59.4 for a +17.3 scoring margin. ISU is 10-1 at home, leads the Big 12 with 8.8 three-point field goals made per game and holds a +2.3 rebound margin.

Senior guard Diante Garrett leads Iowa State in scoring at 17.1 ppg and his 5.8 assists per game lead the Big 12. Garrett is second in the conference with 2.3 steals per game. Junior guard Scott Christopherson is next in scoring for Iowa State at 14.5 points per game and he leads the Big 12 with a 50.5 three-point field goal percentage. His 3.2 three-pointers made per game are second in the conference. Freshman forward Melvin Ejim scores 12.7 points per game and his 7.1 rebound average is second on the ISU team.

Senior guard Darion Anderson leads the Big 12 in rebounds with 8.5 per game. He is scoring 11.3 points per contest. Senior forward Jamie Vanderbeken rounds out the starters and leads Iowa State with 36 blocked shots. His 2.3 blocked shots per game are second in the league. Vanderbeken averages 10.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per game in 2010-11.

Key contributors off the bench include freshman forward Calvin Godfrey (3.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg), freshman guard Bubu Palo (3.8 ppg) and freshman center Jordan Railey (2.3 ppg).


The Kansas-Iowa State Series:

Kansas leads the all-time series with Iowa State 168-58 dating back to 1908, and has won the last 10 meetings. KU holds a 65-36 record against ISU in games played in Ames, including a 21-18 edge in Hilton Coliseum. The Jayhawks have defeated the Cyclones six-straight times in Hilton Coliseum dating back to 2005. Since the inception of the Big 12, Kansas is 23-7 against Iowa State with a 21-7 record in regular-season play and a 2-0 mark in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship.


Team Notables:

--At 15-0, Kansas is one of five teams in NCAA Division I that remain undefeated as of Jan. 9. Other undefeated teams include Syracuse (15-0), Ohio State (15-0), Duke (14-0), Central Florida (14-0) and San Diego State (16-0).

--Kansas ranks first in the RPI released by the NCAA on Jan. 10 through games of Jan. 9. Statistically, KU leads the nation in field goal percentage at 52.5, is second in three-point field goal percentage defense at 24.7 and third in assists at 19.1.

--Kansas leads the Big 12 in scoring margin (+24.7), field goal percentage (52.5), three-point field goal percentage defense (24.7) and assists (19.1).

--Kansas has held nine opponents to less than 60 points this season.

--Kansas has outrebounded 13 of 15 opponents this season, including its last seven.

--KU has outshot all but one team this season (USC on Dec. 18).

--Kansas' bench averages 32.9 points compared to its opponents' 18.5 ppg.

--Kansas' current 15-game win streak is the third longest in the Bill Self era. Under Self, Kansas has nine streaks of 10 or more victories.

--KU is 1-0 against ranked foes this season with its win against No. 13/14 Memphis (Dec. 7) in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden.

--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.

--Kansas ended the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series with a 3-1 record (1-1 vs. Arizona, 2-0 vs. UCLA).

--KU went 4-0 against Pac-10 opponents this season.

--Kansas has won 42-straight home games against non-conference competition.

--Kansas men's basketball (15-0) and women's basketball (13-2) are a combined 28-2 in 2010-11.


Individual Notables:

--Junior Marcus Morris had his fourth 20-point effort of the season with 22 points at Michigan Jan. 9. His 22 points and 10 rebounds against the Wolverines marked his second double-double of the season. Marcus leads the Big 12 in shooting percentage at 58.7 percent. Marcus has led Kansas in scoring six times this season and has scored in double figures in all but two games. His 15.7 scoring average is ninth in the conference, while his 6.3 rebounds per game are 16th in the Big 12. He has led KU in every stat at least once this season. Marcus was named Big 12 Player of the Week Nov. 29 and a Wooden Award Mid-Season candidate Jan. 6.

--Junior Markieff Morris, twin of Marcus, posted his team-high sixth double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds at Michigan Jan. 9. He has two double-doubles in his last three games. Markieff leads the Big 12 in rebounding at 8.7 rpg. In his last four games, Markieff is 20-for-28 (71.4 percent) from the field, including 3-for-6 from three-point range. Named Big 12 Player of the Week on Dec. 27, Markieff is 17th in the Big 12 in scoring at 12.9 ppg. Markieff has pulled down eight-plus boards in 10 games this season and has been the leading rebounder for KU in nine of 15 games.

--Freshman Josh Selby averages 13.3 points, 3.8 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals in his six games played this season. He has scored 16 or more points in four of six games and is 17-for-18 (94.4 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).

--Senior Tyrel Reed has scored in double figures in each of his last two games and eight times this season. He is averaging 9.3 ppg during 2010-11. The guard is the only Jayhawk to have started every game this season. Reed leads Kansas with 26 three-pointers and has a 92.6 (25-of-27) free throw percentage. Reed had career-highs in points with 18 and rebounds with seven at California (Dec. 22). Reed is one of 30 nominees for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award who graduated from KU in December and has already been accepted into KU Medicine's physical therapy school. He is a two-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection and will be nominated for Academic All-America for the third-straight year in 2010-11.

--Sophomore Thomas Robinson recorded his first start against UT Arlington (Dec. 29) where he had a career-high 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting. His 10 rebounds against the Mavericks gave him his second double-double of the season. In his last six games, Robinson is 22-for-33 (66.7 percent) from the field. Robinson has pulled down 10 rebounds in five games this season, including two of the last three contests. Robinson is tied with Markieff Morris for the team lead with 17 dunks this season. He averages 9.2 points per game in 2010-11, while his 6.8 rebounds are 13th in the Big 12.

--Junior Tyshawn Taylor has averaged 13.5 points in his last two games with 15 points against UMKC (Jan. 5) and 12 points at Michigan (Jan. 9). He is scoring 9.7 points per game in 2010-11. Taylor is second in the Big 12 in assists per game at 5.4. He has led KU in assists in 11 of 15 games this season, including four of the last five contests. Taylor is 15th in the Big 12 in steals at 1.5 spg and eighth in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.8. On Dec. 20, Taylor was named one of 66 candidates for the Bob Cousy Award for the nation's top point guard. The list will be narrowed down to 20 later this month.

--Senior Brady Morningstar has recorded a steal in 10 of 15 games played this season, including three against UMKC (Jan. 5). He is seventh in the Big 12 in steals per game at 1.7. A lockdown defender who scores 4.9 points per game, his eight points against UMKC (Jan. 5) matched his season high. Morningstar has pulled down three or more boards in six games this year.

--Sophomore Travis Releford matched his career high with 13 points against UMKC (Jan. 5). He was 4-for-7 (57.1 percent) from the field, including 2-for-3 from three-point range against the Kangaroos. Releford is shooting 56.1 percent from the field this season. He is averaging 5.7 points this season and has scored in double figures four times. Releford has at least one steal in six of his last seven games and nine during that span. He pulled down a career-high five rebounds against Colorado State (Dec. 11). 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 scored a career-high 13 points against UMKC (Jan. 5). He has made three three-pointers in two of his last four games (vs. UT Arlington and UMKC). Johnson had his first start of the season against UT Arlington (Dec. 29) and scored 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting, 3-of-4 from three-point range. He has 11 assists and three turnovers in his last four games and a 3.2 assist-to-turnover ratio for the season. Johnson averages 5.1 points and 2.5 assists in 2010-11.

--Sophomore Jeff Withey had his first career start against Miami (Ohio) (Jan. 2) and responded with six points on 3-of-5 shooting with four rebounds. He had seven points against UMKC (Jan. 5). Withey is tied for the team lead with 14 blocked shots with Thomas Robinson and Markieff Morris and his 1.1 blocked shots average is tied for 14th in the Big 12. He is scoring 3.0 ppg for the season.


Up Next:

Kansas returns home to host Nebraska on Saturday, Jan. 15 at 1 p.m. on ESPNU. The Jayhawks then play their first of four ESPN Big Monday games at Baylor on Jan. 17 at 8:30 p.m. KU will then host Texas in Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday, Jan. 3, at 3 p.m. on CBS.



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