No. 3 Kansas Closes Out Non-Conference at Michigan Sunday in Men’s Hoops

Kansas Closes Out Non-Conference at Michigan

No. 3 Kansas concludes its non-conference schedule for 2010-11 playing at Michigan on Sunday, Jan. 9, at 3:30 p.m. (Central) on CBS. The Jayhawks will be on the road for most of the next month as six of their next nine games will be away from Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas is 14-0 for the second-straight season after its 99-52 win against UMKC on Jan. 5. The Jayhawks are looking to go undefeated in the non-conference regular-season for the first time since the 2007-08 NCAA National Championship season. Michigan is 11-4 and 1-2 in Big Ten play. The Wolverines lost at Wisconsin, 66-50, on Jan. 5 but are an impressive 10-1 at home in 2010-11.

About Kansas

At 14-0, Kansas is one of seven teams in NCAA Division I to remain undefeated as of Jan. 6. The Jayhawks average 85.6 points and give up 59.6 for a +25.9 scoring margin. KU also leads the battle of the boards with a +9.4 rebound margin. Kansas leads the Big 12 in six different statistical categories. Junior forwardMarcus Morris leads Kansas in scoring at 15.2 points per game. Named a Wooden Award Mid-Season candidate, Morris leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 60.2 percent and his 6.1 rebounds per game are third best on the team. Freshman guard Josh Selby has played five games this season; he is scoring 15.0 points per game and averages 2.8 three-pointers made and 3.8 assists per contest. Marcus Morris’ twin, Markieff, a junior forward, leads the Big 12 in rebounding with 8.5 boards per game. Markieff is averaging 12.9 points per game. Sophomore Thomas Robinson had a career-high 20 points against UT Arlington (Dec. 29) to go with 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. Robinson, who missed the UMKC game due to a family funeral, scores 9.8 points per game and is second on the team with 6.9 rebounds per contest. JuniorTyshawn Taylor averages 9.6 points per game and ranks third in the Big 12 in assists with 5.5 per contest. Senior guard Tyrel Reed leads KU with 24 three-point field goals made this season. He averages 9.2 points per game and is 21-for-23 (91.3 percent) from the free throw line. Senior guard Brady Morningstar leads the team with 26 steals, five ahead of Taylor. Morningstar is second on the team with 33 assists and is scoring 4.9 points per game. Other KU contributors include sophomore guard Travis Releford (6.1 ppg with four starts), sophomore guardElijah Johnson (5.5 ppg after his career-high 13 points against UMKC Jan. 5) and sophomore center Jeff Withey (3.0 ppg). Withey, Markieff Morris and Robinson are tied for the team lead with 14 blocked shots this year.

About Michigan

Located in Ann Arbor, Mich., with an enrollment of 38,980, Michigan is 11-4 on the season and 1-2 in Big Ten play. The Wolverines are 10-1 on their home court in Crisler Arena. Michigan is a young team that starts three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior. Michigan averages 67.9 points per game and has a +8.3 scoring margin. Michigan is outrebounding opponents by +2.2 per contest and makes 8.1 three-pointers per outing. Sophomore guard Darius Morris leads the team in scoring at 15.1 points per game, assists with 7.3 per game and steals with 20 for the year. He is shooting 50.9 percent from the field. Freshman guard Tim Hardaway, Jr., is next in scoring at 10.8 ppg. He is making 80.4 percent from the free throw line. Freshman forward Jordan Morgan scores 9.0 points per contest, leads Michigan with a 59.2 field goal percentage and is second on the team with 6.5 rebounds per game. Junior forward Zack Novak leads the Wolverines in rebounds with 6.9 per contest. He is scoring 8.5 points per game. Freshman forward Evan Smotrycz rounds out the Michigan starters. Smotrycz scores 7.1 points per game. Junior guard Stu Douglass leads Michigan with 27 three-pointers made, four more than Novak. Douglass averages 8.0 points per outing. Other Michigan regulars include sophomore guard Matt Vogrich (4.2 ppg) and freshman forward Jon Horford (3.4 ppg).

The KU-Michigan Series

Michigan holds a 5-1 series advantage against Kansas in men’s basketball. KU’s 75-64 victory versus Michigan last season was the lone Jayhawk series win. The Kansas-Michigan series dates back to 1949 and runs through 1992. Two of the matchups have been on neutral floors with a 49-47 Michigan win in 1949 in Kansas City and an 86-74 Michigan victory on Dec. 30, 1992, at the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu. This will be the third meeting between the schools in Crisler Arena at Michigan and the first since Jan. 27, 1985, a Michigan 96-77 win.

Team Notables

–At 14-0, Kansas is one of seven teams in NCAA Division I that remain undefeated as of Jan. 7. Other undefeated teams include Syracuse (15-0), Cincinnati (15-0), Ohio State (15-0), Duke (14-0), Central Florida (14-0) and San Diego State (16-0).

–Kansas leads the Big 12 in scoring margin (+25.9), field goal percentage (53.7), three-point field goal percentage (40.2), three-point field goal percentage defense (25.7), assists (19.4) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4).

–Kansas has held eight opponents to less than 60 points this season.

–Kansas has outrebounded 12 of 14 opponents this season, including its last six.

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

–Kansas’ bench averages 34.9 points compared to its opponents’ 19.4 ppg.

–Kansas’ current 14-game win streak ties for the third longest in the Bill Self KU 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 (14-0) and women’s basketball (13-1) are a combined 27-1 in 2010-11.

Individual Notables

–Junior Marcus Morris leads the Big 12 in shooting percentage at 60.6 percent. Marcus has led Kansas in scoring five times this season and has scored in double figures in all but two games. His 15.2 scoring average is 10th in the conference. 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. He has three games of 20-plus points in 2010-11 and is tied for 16th in the Big 12 in rebounding at 6.1 rpg.

–Junior Markieff Morris, twin of Marcus, leads the Big 12 in rebounding at 8.5 rpg. He has five double-doubles for the season. Markieff had a career-high 21 points with 10 rebounds at California (Dec. 22). Named Big 12 Player of the Week on Dec. 27, Markieff is 18th in the Big 12 in scoring at 12.9 ppgand 14th in free throw percentage at 74.0 percent. Markieff has pulled down eight-plus boards in nine games this season and has been the leading rebounder for KU in eight of 14 games.

–Freshman Josh Selby averages 15 points, 3.8 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.6 steals in his five games played this season. He is 11-for-18 (61.1 percent) from the field in his last two games, including 6-for-8 from three-point range. He has scored 16 or more points in four of five game and is 15-for-16 (93.8 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).

–Senior Tyrel Reed scored 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting, 3-of-4 from three-point range, against UMKC (Jan. 5). He is the only Jayhawk to have started every game this season. Reed leads Kansas with 24 three-pointers and has a 91.3 (21-of-23) free throw percentage. Reed had career-highs in points with 18 and rebounds with seven at California (Dec. 22). Reed is averaging 9.2 ppg on the season. 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 has started each of the last two games he has played. He missed the UMKC game (Jan. 5) due to a family funeral. In his first start against UT Arlington (Dec. 29) 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 five games, Robinson is 22-for-32 (68.9 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 9.8 points per game in 2010-11, while his 6.9 rebounds are 12th in the Big 12. He is tied for 14th in the conference with 1.1 blocked shots per game.

–Junior Tyshawn Taylor scored 15 points with seven assists and no turnovers against UMKC (Jan. 5). He is third in the Big 12 in assists per game at 5.5. Taylor has led KU in assists in 10 of 14 games this season, including three of the last four contests. Taylor is scoring 9.6 points per game in 2010-11. Taylor is 13th in the Big 12 in steals at 1.5 spg and fifth 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 14 games played this season, including three against UMKC (Jan. 5). He is seventh in the Big 12 in steals per game at 1.9. 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 averaging 6.1 points this season and has scored in double figures four times. Releford has at least one steal in each of his last six games and nine during that span. He pulled down a career-high five rebounds against Colorado State (Dec. 11). He is shooting 56.1 percent from the field this season. 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 three 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 two turnovers in his last three games and a 3.6 assist-to-turnover ratio. Johnson averages 5.5 points and 2.7 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). He is tied for the team lead with 14 blocked shots 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 will open Big 12 play at Iowa State on Wednesday, Jan. 12, at 8 p.m. (Central) on ESPN2. The Jayhawks return home to host Nebraska on Saturday, Jan. 15 at 1 p.m. on ESPNU and play their first of four ESPN Big Monday games at Baylor on Jan. 17 at 8:30 p.m.