alexa chung mulberry bag Big 12 heavyweights KU
ABOUT KANSASKansas is ranked No. 12 in both the Associated Press and USA TODAY Coaches’ polls, released Jan 8. The Jayhawks average 85.8 points per game and their plus 15.6 scoring margin is third in the conference. KU leads the conference in field goal percentage (51.0) and 3 point field goal percentage (41.5). KU also ranks in the top three in the Big 12 in scoring offense (third at 85.8), scoring margin, 3 point field goal percentage defense (third at 32.8), assists (second at 18.2) and assist to turnover ratio (second at 1.5). Kansas pulls down 36.5 rebounds per game, has a plus 1.2 rebound margin and averages 4.9 blocked shots per contest.
Senior G Devonte’ Graham leads KU with an 18.4 scoring average, which is second in the Big 12. Graham leads KU and is third in the Big 12 in assists (7.4), third in free throw percentage (88.1), third in assist to turnover ratio (2.7), fourth in 3 point field goals made (3.2) and fourth in steals (2.0). Graham’s 55 3 pointers are second on the team to senior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk’s 60. Mykhailiuk is second on the team, sixth in the Big 12, in scoring at 16.5 points per game. He is second in the conference in 3 point field goals made (3.5) and second in 3 point field goal percentage (48.0). Mykhailiuk’s 3 point field goal percentage is better than his field goal percentage (46.0). Junior G Lagerald Vick is next in scoring at 14.9 points per game, which is 15th in the Big 12. He is second on the team with a 6.0 rebound average, 14th in the league, and third with 31 3 pointers made.
Sophomore C Udoka Azubuike has a team high four double doubles this season and also leads KU with a 7.7 rebound average which is sixth in the Big 12. Azubuike’s 14.8 scoring average is 17th in the conference and he leads the NCAA with a 77.3 field goal percentage. Redshirt sophomore G Malik Newman rounds out the Kansas starters. Newman scores 10.7 points per game, which includes a career high 27 points against Iowa State (1/9). He has made 27 3 pointers this season.
Freshman G Marcus Garrett has started the five games this season for Kansas. He averages 3.9 points and is third on the team with 4.7 rebounds per contest. Garrett is second on the team with 23 steals and his 1.4 thefts per game are tied for 10th in the Big 12. Sophomore F Mitch Lightfoot leads Kansas with 30 blocked shots, including a career high six at TCU (1/6). He averages 3.8 points and 3.1 rebounds per game and his 1.8 blocks per game are seventh in the Big 12.
ABOUT WEST VIRGINIALocated in Morgantown, West Virginia, with an enrollment of 31,287, West Virginia is 15 2 and 3 1 in Big 12 play after its 72 71 loss at No. 8/8 Texas Tech on Jan. 13. The Moutaineers are coached by Bob Huggins who is 244 121 in his 11th season at his alma mater and 834 332 in his 36th season overall. West Virginia averages 82.1 points per game and is second in the Big 12, ninth nationally, with a plus 16.8 scoring margin and scoring defense (65.4). The “Press Virginia” has West Virginia lead the Big 12 turnovers forced at 19.9, which is third nationally, and turnover margin at plus 7.9, which is second nationally. WVU also leads the conference in steals per game (9.9, sixth nationally). WVU averages 39.6 rebounds per game and has a plus 4.8 rebound margin. The Moutaineers also average 15.9 assists and 5.1 blocked shots per game.
West Virginia is deep with 10 players averaging 11 plus minutes per game. In a reserve role, junior F Esa Ahmad scored 18 points in his season debut at Texas Tech (1/13). Last season, Ahmad was second on the WVU team with an 11.3 scoring average. Senior G Jevon Carter is next in scoring at 16.8 points per game, which is fourth in the Big 12. Carter leads the conference with 3.6 steals per game and is fourth in the league with 6.5 assists per contest. Carter pulls down 5.4 rebounds per game and leads the team with 37 3 pointers made this season. Like KU’s Devonte’ Graham, Carter is on most All America watch lists. Senior G Daxter Miles Jr., scores 13.2 points per game and he is second on the team with 62 assists and 28 steals. Sophomore F Lamont West is a starter who scores 12.3 points per game and pulls down 5.4 rebounds per game. West has made 28 3 pointers this season. Sophomore F Sagaba Konate leads WVU in rebounds with 7.8 per game which is fifth in the Big 12. He scores 8.9 points per game and is second in the league with 2.9 blocked shots per contest. Sophomore F Wesley Harris (6.2 ppg, 4.6 rpg) rounds out the WVU starters. Sophomore G James Bolden (9.8 ppg, 20 steals) is second on the team with 36 3 pointers made. Other WVU regulars include freshman F Teddy Allen (8.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg) and sophomore G Chase Harler (2.7 ppg).
THE SERIESThe Kansas West Virginia series started when WVU joined the Big 12 Conference in 2012 13, with KU holding a 7 4 advantage. KU is 5 0 against WVU in games played in Allen Fieldhouse and 1 4 at WVU Coliseum. The Mountaineers have won each of the last four matchups at home against the Jayhawks. In 2017, Kansas went 1 1 against West Virginia with a come from behind overtime win in Allen Fieldhouse. KU head coach Bill Self is 7 4 against West Virginia, with all 11 meetings as Kansas’ coach. Bob Huggins is 4 11 all time against Kansas, 4 7 while at WVU.
A KANSAS WIN WOULDMake Kansas 15 3 or better for the four straight year beginning in 2014 15 Make Kansas 5 1 or better in conference play for the second straight season and 12th time in the Bill Self’s 15 seasons at Kansas Give Kansas its second ever win at West Virginia, ending a four game losing skid at WVU Coliseum Make the KU WVU series 8 4 in favor of Kansas Make Kansas 4 0 in true road games this season and 7 1 in games not played in Allen Fieldhouse Make Self 8 4 all time against West Virginia, 431 91 while at KU and 638 196 for his career Make Bob Huggins 4 12 against Kansas, including 4 8 while at WVU Make Kansas 2,232 844 all time.
A KANSAS LOSS WOULDMake Kansas 14 4 on the season Make Kansas 4 2 in conference play for the first time since the 2015 16 season and the fourth time in the Bill Self era, beginning in 2003 04 Make the Kansas West Virginia series 7 5 in favor of KU Give WVU its fifth straight win against KU in WVU Coliseum Make Kansas 3 1 in true road games this season and 6 2 in games not played in Allen Fieldhouse in 2017 18 Make Self 8 5 all time versus West Virginia, 430 92 while at Kansas and 637 197 as a head coach Make Bob Huggins 5 11 all time against Kansas, including 5 7 while at WVU Make KU 2,231 845 all time.
KANSAS STATE LEFTOVERS NOTABLES
The win made Kansas 14 3 or better for the four straight year beginning in 2014 15 and 4 1 or better in conference play for the 12th straight season, beginning in 2006 07. Kansas won its sixth straight win against Kansas State and made the all time series 194 93. Since the 2010 11 season the Jayhawks have been involved in 10 games when the winner was been decided by one point. Kansas is now 9 1 in such games. The Jayhawks are 23 10 in games decided by 3 points or fewer during that same span. For the first time this season the Jayhawks have won after trailing with five minutes remaining in the game. Kansas is now 1 3 in such instances this season and 28 74 in the Bill Self era. Senior G Devonte’ Graham’s 23 points pushed him past Marcus Morris, Adonis Jordan and Richard Scott on the career scoring list. His 1,388 points is good for 26th in Kansas history and trails Wilt Chamberlin on the list by 45 points. Senior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk’s three 3 point field goals moved him past Tyrel Reed on the Kansas 3 point list. He now has 177 and sits in 11th position on the list trailing Adonis Jordan by two. With his 3 of 6 clip from beyond the arc, is now shooting 56.3 percent (40 of71) from 3 point range inside Allen Fieldhouse this season. Only three other Jayhawks have shot better than 50 percent from three inside Allen Fieldhouse in a season (with minimum of three attempts per game) Kirk Hinrich (59.6%, 2001), Frank Mason III (58.8 percent, 2017) and Brandon Rush (52.8%, 2006). Auzbuike shot 80 percent or better for the 10th time this season, going 8 of 9 from the field. Azubuike recorded a career high five blocked shots. He has nine blocked shots in his last two games. Freshman F Silvio De Sousa logged his first minutes as a Jayhawk, entering the game at 9:42 in the first half and playing a total of four minutes.
GRAHAM NAMED TO WOODEN MIDSEASON LISTKansas senior Devonte’ Graham was named to the John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s Midseason Top 25 list, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Jan. 11. Last season, KU’s Frank Mason III won the 2017 Wooden Award.
The players on the list are considered strong candidates for the 2018 John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s. The leading candidates will be further pared to 20 top players in early February. The ten man Wooden Award All American Team will be announced the week of the “Elite Eight” round of the NCAA Tournament. The winner of the 2018 John R. Sophomore C Udoka Azubuike leads the NCAA in field goal percentage at 77.3 percent, while senior G Devonte’ Graham is seventh nationally in assists per game at 7.4.
KU FROM DOWNTOWNKansas is averaging 11.0 3 point field goals made per game with a 41.5 3 point field goal percentage. KU’s 3 point field goal percentage leads the Big 12 and its 11.0 made are second. Kansas has made 10 or more 3 pointers in each of its last three games and four of its last five. The Jayhawks are 10 1 in games where they have made 10 or more threes this season.
Last season, KU set the school single season 3 point record, making 318 from beyond the arc for 8.8 per game. Three of the last eight Jayhawk squads have averaged more than seven treys per game, with both of the last two KU teams hitting an average of eight or more threes per contest.
SELF NEARING 200 BIG 12 VICTORIESWhat has seemed like a nearly every week occurrence lately, KU head coach Bill Self is nearing yet another coaching milestone. Now in his 15th year at the helm, Self’s Jayhawks have collected 199 Big 12 regular season victories. That number ranks Self No. 1 among the league’s all time coaches, 123 victories ahead of former Texas head man Rick Barnes.
On Kansas’ all time coaches list, which features five Naismith Hall of Famers, Self’s 199 league wins is second behind Dr. Phog Allen, who collected 334 victories in league play over his 39 seasons when KU was a member of the Missouri Valley, Big Six and Big Seven Conferences.
During Self’s tenure, KU has never won fewer than 12 Big 12 regular season contests in a season and has claimed 15 or more league wins on four occasions. The Jayhawks have won at least a share of the Big 12 regular season crown in all but one of Self’s 14 years in Lawrence, his first season in 2003 04, which saw KU claim a runner up finish that year.
DEVONTE’ + SVI = THREESThe senior pairing of Devonte’ Graham and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk is establishing itself as one of the top long range shooting duos in KU history. Already this year, the two Jayhawk guards have combined for 115 of KU’s 187 3 pointers, which is 61.5 percent of the team’s threes. The prolific outside shooting from these two is nothing new as they continue to move up the all time KU 3 point charts.
Since the advent of the 3 point line prior to the 1986 87 season, only one other Kansas duo has tallied more threes over a three year stretch than the 391 that Graham and Mykhailiuk have combined for since the 2015 16 season. Jeff Boschee and Kirk Hinrich are the most prolific 3 point shooting twosome in school history as they netted 405 treys while they played together from 2000 02. Last game, Graham and Mykhailiuk passed Brandon Rush and Mario Chalmers (2006 08) are who made 385. Graham is also one half of another sharp shooting pair after he and Frank Mason III combined for the fourth most threes (353) among KU duos during the last three seasons (2015 17).
Graham and Mykhailiuk are also among the most accurate Jayhawk pairs. They have teamed up to shoot 42.0 percent from beyond the arc in that same three year span, the third best mark among KU teammates who have combined for 700 or more attempts. Brandon Rush and Mario Chalmers boast the best combined percentage with a 42.7 percent (385 of 901) clip coming during their three seasons in Lawrence from 2006 08.
THIS DAY IN KANSAS BASKETBALL HISTORYKansas is 21 8 all time on Jan. 15, 1986: Four players scored in double digits to lead Kansas to an 81 70 victory versus Nebraska in Kansas’ first conference game of the 1985 86 season. Sophomore Danny Manning led the way with 21 points and six rebounds, while senior Greg Dreiling added 16 points and a team high seven rebounds. Kansas went on to a 13 1 conference record to win its only Big Eight regular season title under head coach Larry Brown. KU also won the Big Eight Conference Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Final Four in Dallas. Kansas finished the season ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press poll with its 35 4 record.
HISTORICALLY SPEAKINGUUdoka Azubuike ranks first in NCAA Division I in field goal percentage at 77.3 percent and is just ahead Central Florida’s Tako Fall at 76.8 percent.
History has shown that it isn’t easy to lead the nation in a statistic. In fact, checking the NCAA Records Book of annual leaders, only twice has a Jayhawk led the country in a season stat and both were KU All Americans. KU legend Clyde Lovellette led the NCAA in scoring average in 1951 52 at 28.6 points per game. More recently, Thomas Robinson led the country in double doubles with 27 during the 2011 12 season. Under Lovellette’s leadership KU won the 1952 NCAA National Championship and Robinson led the Jayhawks to a runner up finish in 2012.
With a minimum of 175 attempts, the Kansas single season field goal percentage record is 64.6 percent by Mark Randall in 1988 89. Last year, Landen Lucas shot 63.1 percent from the field, which ranks fourth on the KU single season list. On the NCAA level, with a minimum of five makes per game, there have been only 12 players who have shot 70 percent or better in a season, with the most recent being Devontae Cacok of UNC Wilmington, who set the NCAA record last season (2016 17) at 80.0 percent.
KANSAS IN THE POLLSKansas men’s basketball enters this week at No. 12 in the Associated Press and No. 12 in the USA TODAY Coaches’ polls released on Jan. 8.
Kansas has been ranked in each of the last 171 AP polls dating back to Feb. 3, 2009, which is the longest active streak in NCAA Division I. Kansas was preseason No. 4 by AP entering 2017 18. Under 15th year and Hall of Fame head coach Bill Self, this is the 12th time that Kansas entered the season ranked seventh or higher in the Associated Press preseason poll and historically, the No. 4 ranking marks the 20th time since the 1992 93 season that Kansas entered the season seventh or higher.