No. 7/6 Kansas (19-4, 7-3) plays host to No. 14/12 West Virginia19-4, 8-2) in a battle for the Big 12 lead Tuesday, at 6 p.m. (Central) on ESPN2. Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas are each 7-3 in conference play, a game behind West Virginia in the 2016 Big 12 race. KU ended a three-game road losing skid with a 75-56 win at TCU Feb. 6. The Jayhawks bring a three-game winning streak into the WVU contest. West Virginia defeated Baylor 80-69 on Feb. 6 and has won four of its last five games.
COACHING FOR LITERACY
For the second straight year, Kansas men’s basketball has partnered with Coaching for Literacy (CFL) in the fight for nationwide literacy. For the Feb. 9 West Virginia contest, the Jayhawks are providing an honorary guest experience in exchange for a donation made the local literacy work of the United Way of Douglas County in Kansas. For more information one can go to CoachingForLiteracy.org.
No. 7/6 Kansas is 19-4 overall and one game out of first place in the Big 12 standings at 7-3 in league play. KU is tied for second with Oklahoma and Texas, while West Virginia leads the pack at 8-2. KU averages 83.3 points per game and has a +14.4 scoring margin. KU pulls down an average of 38.6 rebounds per game and has a +5.6 rebound margin. The Jayhawks also average 16.5 assists, 7.2 steals and 4.0 blocked shots per contest.
Senior F Perry Ellis has scored 19 or more points in four of his last five games, including 23 points, with 10 rebounds at TCU (2/6). Ellis is averaging 19.4 points and 7.2 rebounds during Big 12 play, and 16.7 points and 6.7 rebounds overall. Ellis is the only player in the Big 12 to rank in the top-seven in scoring (third) and rebounding (seventh). Junior G Wayne Selden Jr., fought through illness at TCU (2/6) and still dished out five assists in 22 minutes of action. Selden is seventh in the Big 12 in scoring at 14.5 points per game, third in the league in 3-point field goals made per game at 2.3 and fourth in 3-point field goal percentage at 44.6 percent. Junior G Frank Mason III is scoring 13.0 points per game, which 12th in the Big 12. He is fifth in the league with a 4.7 assist average and eighth in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.2. Mason and sophomore G Devonte’ Graham are tied for the team high with 33 steals. After his 15 points at TCU (2/6), Graham is scoring 10.7 points per game. He is third in the Big 12 with a 3.3 assist-to-turnover ratio and eighth with a 3.7 assists per game average. Junior F Landen Lucas rounds out the KU starters. He scores 4.3 points per game and is second on the team with a 5.0 rebound average, which is 20th in the Big 12.
Junior G Brannen Greene is a 3-point specialist who scores 6.5 points per game off the bench. He is 22-for-40 (55.0 percent) from beyond the arc this season. Sophomore G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk had 10 points against Kansas State (2/3) which is his career high in Big 12 play. He has made 22 3-pointers this season, helping him average 5.8 points per game. Freshman F Carlton Bragg Jr., is averaging 4.3 ppg and 2.7 rpg overall. Freshman Cheick Diallo (3.9 ppg, 2.7 rpg) has 14 blocked shots. Senior F Hunter Mickelson, who has started 10 games this season and has missed two of the last three games due contests due to an ankle sprain, is averaging 2.7 points and 2.6 rebounds and his 1.1 blocked shots per game are eighth in the Big 12. Senior F Jamari Traylor (3.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg) pulled down a season-high-tying seven rebounds at TCU (2/6). Traylor is a high-energy forward who has started seven games in 2015-16.
ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA
Located in Morgantown, West Virginia, with an enrollment of 32,348, West Virginia is 19-4 on the season and sits atop the Big 12 standings with an 8-2 conference record. The Mountaineers are coached byBob Huggins who is 194-105 in his ninth season at his alma mater and 784-316 in his 34th season overall. WVU is 10-1 at home, 5-2 on the road and 4-1 on neutral courts this season. West Virginia leads the Big 12 in scoring margin at plus-15.6 and averages 81.0 points per game, which is fourth in the league. The Mountaineers lead the nation in steals per game (10.3) and forced turnovers (18.9). WVU is second in the Big 12 in 3-point field goal percentage defense at 29.7 percent, rebounding defense at 30.8 and rebound margin at +9.3. WVU averages 40.1 rebounds, 15.5 assists and 2.5 blocked shots per game.
Senior G Jaysean Paige comes off the bench and leads West Virginia in scoring at 14.2 points per game, which is eighth in the Big 12. Paige has made a team-high 33 3-pointers this season and has 33 steals. Junior F Devin Williams is second on the team in scoring at 13.3 points per game and his 8.8 rebounds per game are a team high and fourth in the Big 12. Sophomore G Daxter Miles Jr. is a starter who scores 10.8 points per game and is eighth in the Big 12 with a 1.8 steal average. Sophomore G Jevon Carter scores 10.2 points per contest and leads the team with 80 assists and his 1.8 steals per game are fifth in the Big 12. Carter’s 30 3-pointers are second on the team, while Miles’ 26 are third. Senior F Jonathan Holton is second on the team with a 7.5 rebound average which is fifth in the Big 12. Holton scores 9.7 points per game. Freshman F Esa Ahmad is a starter who averages 4.5 points and 2.7 rebounds. Other WVU regulars include junior G Tarik Phillip (8.3 ppg), sophomore F Elijah Macon (5.4 ppg) and junior G Teyvon Myers (2.2 ppg).
Kansas and West Virginia are meeting for the eighth time, with the Jayhawks owning a 4-3 series advantage. Kansas is 3-0 against West Virginia in Allen Fieldhouse. However, the Mountaineers have won three of the last four meetings with all three of those in Morgantown: 92-86, on March 8, 2014; 62-61 on Feb. 16, 2015; and 74-63 on Jan. 12, 2016. Last year’s second meeting between the Jayhawks and Mountaineers was a KU 76-69 overtime win in Allen Fieldhouse on March 3, 2015. KU head coach Bill Self is 4-3 against West Virginia, while WVU’s Bob Huggins is 3-8 all-time versus Kansas (3-4 while at WVU).
Earlier this season, No. 11/10 West Virginia defeated No. 1/1 Kansas, 74-63, at WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, West Virginia. Senior F Perry Ellis led Kansas with 21 points and seven rebounds, while junior G Frank Mason III had 12 points and junior G Wayne Selden Jr. 11 points. WVU’s Jaysean Paige led all scorers with 26 points, while Devin Williams notched a double-double with 17 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. WVU led 37-29 at intermission.
• The win broke a Kansas three-game road losing streak, improving the Jayhawks to 3-3 in true road games and 2-3 in Big 12 road games this season.
• TCU’s 20 first-half points marks the lowest scoring output by a KU opponent in a half since Baylor scored 18 points in the first half on March 13, 2015. The Horned Frogs’ 14 field goals (28.6%) tied the lowest amount of field goals made against KU this season with the Montana game (Dec. 19).
• Kansas outscored TCU in the paint, 46 to 14, for a margin of plus-32. TCU’s 14 points in the paint ties the fewest from a KU opponent this season with the Montana (Dec. 19) and Holy Cross (Dec. 9) games.
• Kansas outrebounded TCU, 46 to 25. KU’s plus-21 rebound margin is the largest rebound margin this season. TCU’s total 25 rebounds are the fewest by a KU opponent this season. KU is 16-1 when outrebounding its opponent.
• After just 23 games this season, three Jayhawks have reached 300 points this season — Perry Ellis (385), Wayne Selden Jr. (334), Frank Mason III (300).
• KU’s 18-point halftime lead (38-20) was the largest during Big 12 play this season.
• Senior F Perry Ellis scored 23 points on 11-of-14 shooting with 10 rebounds. His 11 FGs are the second-most by a Jayhawk in a game this season behind Wayne Selden Jr.’s 12 buckets against Kentucky (1/30).
• Ellis notched his third double-double of the season and 16th of his career.
• Ellis now has 1,542 career points, passing Drew Gooden (2000-02; 1,526) for 18th on KU’s career scoring list.
• Ellis now has 767 career rebounds, passing Thomas Robinson (2010-12; 763) for 14th on KU’s career rebounding list.
• Sophomore G Devonte’ Graham scored 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting with three assists and two steals.
• Junior G Frank Mason III led Kansas in assists for 16th time this season, dishing out six dimes with 12 points.
• Mason moved into KU’s top-20 in career assists, passing Keith Langford (2002-05; 322) for 20th with 323.
• Junior G Wayne Selden Jr. dished out five assists in just 22 minutes while dealing with an illness. It marked his third game with five assist or more this season.
• Senior F Jamari Traylor tied his season high with seven rebounds. Traylor’s six points tied his most against Big 12 foes. He also scored six against Oklahoma (1/4).
• Kansas ranks in the top three in the Big 12 in scoring offense (second at 83.3), scoring margin (second at +14.4), field goal percentage (second at 48.8), 3-point field goal percentage (second at 42.2), 3-point field goals made (second at 8.3), assists (second at 16.5), rebound margin (third at +5.6) and assist-to-turnover ratio (third at 1.3).
• Kansas’ 83.3 scoring average is the best in the Self era (81.6 in 2009-10) and the highest since a 90.9 scoring average in 2001-02.
• Out of its 19 victories of the season, Kansas has won by 10 or more points in 13 of those wins. Five of those wins have been by 30 points or more.
• Kansas has out-shot 19 of 23 opponents this season. The Jayhawks have also out-rebounded 17 of 23 foes, including a +21 at TCU (2/6) and a +11 (42-31) versus Kentucky (1/30).
• Kansas has shot 40 percent or better from 3-point range in 15 of its 23 games.
• The KU bench has outscored its opponents’ bench in 15 of 23 games this season and is 14-1 in those contests.
• KU has made seven or more three-pointers in 16 of 23 games this season. KU has made 10 or more 3-pointers eight times, including 15 threes vs. Northern Colorado (11/13) and Chaminade (11/23), which were one off the school record.
• Senior F Perry Ellis is the only player in the Big 12 to rank in the top seven in scoring (third at 16.7 ppg) and rebounding (seventh at 6.7).
• Ellis has pulled down nine or more rebounds in eight games this season.
• Ellis led KU in scoring in six of 10 Big 12 games, averaging 19.4 points per Big 12 contest.
• Junior G Wayne Selden Jr., is third in the Big 12 in 3-point field goals made per game at 2.3 and fourth in 3-point field goal percentage at .446 for all games. Selden has made three or more 3-pointers in 12 games this season.
• Kansas is 32-6 when following a conference loss under Self with only one of those losses coming in Allen Fieldhouse (Feb. 19, 2005 vs. Iowa State).
QUITE THE COMPARISON
In Kansas’ 19 victories this season, the Jayhawks have won by an average of 14.4 points per game. In its four losses, KU lost by 12.2 points per game. Here is a breakdown of statistics when the Jayhawks win compare to when they lose.
Kansas is making 42.2 percent from 3-point range which is sixth nationally and second in the Big 12. At their current percentage pace, the 2015-16 Jayhawks would finish second on the school’s single-season 3-point field goal percentage list.
|KANSAS 3-POINT FIELD GOAL
PERCENTAGE SEASONS (40.0-PLUS)
|SEASON||3-POINT FGS||3-POINT FG PCT.|
• Senior F Perry Ellis is only the 20th Jayhawk to reach the 1,500 point plateau reaching the milestone against Kentucky (1/30). Ellis has 1,542 career points, which is 18th on the KU career scoring list. Earlier this month, Ellis became the 16th player in KU history to reach 700 career rebounds, currently 14th at 767. Ellis is on pace to become the eighth player in KU history to rank in the top 15 in both career points and career rebounds: Danny Manning (2,951 points/1,187 rebounds), Nick Collison (2,097 points/1,143 rebounds), Raef LaFrentz (2,066 points/1,186 rebounds), Clyde Lovellette(1,979 points/839 rebounds), Dave Robisch (1,754 points/815 rebounds), Mark Randall (1,627 points/723 rebounds) and Wayne Simien (1,593 points/884 rebounds).
• Junior G Wayne Selden Jr. had 33 points against Kentucky (1/30) and in the process became the 57th Jayhawk to reach the 1,000-point plateau. He is 55th on the KU scoring list at 1,013 and ranks 15th on the KU career 3-pointers made list at 142 and 13th on the 3-pointers attempted list at 375.
• With his four assists against TCU (1/16), junior G Frank Mason III surpassed the 300 career assists mark, currently at 323, which is 20th on the KU all-time list. Mason has 101 career steals.
|JAYHAWKS ON KU’s CAREER LISTS|
|NAME||RANK / CATEGORY||VALUE|
|Perry Ellis||18th / Points||1,542|
|Perry Ellis||14th / Rebounds||767|
|Perry Ellis||t-13th / Double-Doubles||16|
|Wayne Selden Jr.||55th / Points||1,013|
|Wayne Selden Jr.||15th / 3-pt FG||142|
|Wayne Selden Jr.||13th / 3-pt FG Att.||375|
|Wayne Selden Jr.||18th / 3-pt FG %||37.9|
|Jamari Traylor||15th / Blocks||111|
|Frank Mason III||18th / 3-pt FG %||38.8|
|Frank Mason III||20th / Assists||323|
KANSAS VS. RANKED TEAMS
With its 90-84 overtime win against No. 20/19 Kentucky (1/30), Kansas improved to 4-3 against nationally-ranked opponents in 2015-16. Four of those seven contests have been versus Big 12 members with KU having a 2-2 record. In the Bill Self era, Kansas is 68-37 and has had a winning record against ranked opponents each of the last 11 seasons. In 2014-15 KU played an all-time high 16 games vs. ranked foes and its 10 wins last year were also a season best.
|KANSAS VS. ASSOCIATED PRESS RANKED TEAMS UNDER BILL SELF|
|SEASON||RECORD||VS. TOP 10|
In Bill Self’s previous 12 seasons at Kansas, the Jayhawks have led the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense eight times and finished no lower than fourth. Nationally, Self-coached Jayhawks have ranked eighth or higher in all but two seasons in field goal percentage defense and have ranked in the top five on eight occasions, including first in 2005-06 and 2011-12.
|KANSAS FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE
DEFENSE UNDER BILL SELF
|SEASON||FIELD GOAL PCT. DEF.|