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February 12, 2012

KU heads to Manhattan for Big Monday

No. 7/10 Kansas Heads to Kansas State for ESPN's Big Monday

No. 7/10 Kansas (20-5, 10-2) takes a two-game winning streak to Sunflower Showdown rival Kansas State (17-7, 6-6) for ESPN's Big Monday on Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. The Jayhawks are coming off an 81-66 win against Oklahoma State Saturday in Lawrence, while the Wildcats lost at Texas 75-64; however KSU has won two of its last three games. Kansas is a mindboggling 21-2 in Bramlage Coliseum yet K-State has won two of the last four home meetings with KU dating back to 2008.

About Kansas

Kansas is 20-5 and tied for first in the Big 12 standings with Missouri at 10-2 after its 81-66 win against Oklahoma State Saturday in Lawrence, Kan. The Jayhawks are 13-0 at home, 5-2 in road games and 2-3 on neutral courts this season. Kansas averages 75.2 points per game and allows 61.2 for a +14.0 scoring margin, which ranks second in the Big 12. KU leads the Big 12 in rebound margin at +6.7, is first in field goal percentage defense at 38.0 and second with 15.9 assists per contest.

The Jayhawks are led by national player of the year candidate Thomas Robinson, who is the only player in the Big 12 to average a double-double with 18.1 points and 12.1 rebounds per game after his 24 points and 14 rebounds against Oklahoma State (2/11). A three-time Big 12 Player of the Week, Robinson has nine double-doubles in 12 conference games, including one in each of his last four games. His league-leading 18 double-doubles on the season rank second nationally.

Senior guard Tyshawn Taylor, who was named the Big 12 Player of the Week on Jan. 16, has averaged 18.3 points in his last four games, including two 21-point efforts. He leads KU with 128 assists and 41 three-pointers made in 2011-12. Taylor is scoring 16.8 ppg overall. Junior center Jeff Withey is coming off back-to-back career outings with a career-high 25 points at Baylor (2/8) and a career-high 20 rebounds against Oklahoma State (2/11). He also had 18 points and seven blocked shots against the Cowboys.

Withey leads the Big 12 in blocked shots at 3.2 per game. Withey has scored in double figures in eight of his last nine games and is averaging 9.2 points for the season. He is second on the team with 6.3 rebounds per contest and has 44 blocked shots in 12 league contests.

Junior guard Travis Releford, who was named the Big 12 Player of the Week on Jan. 9, averages 10.3 ppg in league play and 9.2 in all games. Junior guard Elijah Johnson is second on the team 40 three-pointers and leads KU with 40 steals this season. Johnson scores 8.9 points per game and is second on the team with 93 assists.

Senior guard Conner Teahan, who has one start in 2011-12, is second on the team with 38 three-pointers this season, while averaging 6.4 points per game. Sophomore forward Justin Wesley is a regular who averages 1.6 points and 2.0 rebounds per contest. Junior forward Kevin Young (3.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg) and freshman guard Naadir Tharpe (1.0 ppg, 18 assists) are also KU regulars.

About Kansas State

Located in Manhattan, Kan., with an enrollment of 23,566, Kansas State is 17-7 overall and 6-6 in Big 12 play after its 75-64 loss at Texas Saturday. The Wildcats are coached by Frank Martin who is 112-49 in his fourth season at KSU, his lone head coaching stint. The Wildcats are 11-2 at home, 3-4 on the road and 3-1 on neutral courts in 2011-12. Of KSU's six conference losses, four have been decided by nine points or less with three of those by three or fewer points. Kansas State averages 72.4 points per game and gives up 63.2 for a +9.2 scoring margin. K-State leads the Big 12 in rebound average (38.4) and is second to Kanas in rebound margin (+6.0).

Junior guard Rodney McGruder leads KSU in scoring with 14.6 points per game and also leads the team with 30 steals. He averages 5.3 rebounds per game and his 33 three-pointers are second most on the KSU team in 2011-12. Senior forward Jamar Samuels leads KSU in rebounding with 6.1 per game and scores 9.6 points per outing. Sophomore guard Will Spradling is second on the team in scoring at 10.4 points per game and he leads the Wildcats with 40 three-pointers made.

Spradling, who has the team lead with 60 assists, is making 83.3 percent of his free throws and has 21 steals this season. Freshman forward Thomas Gipson scores 8.1 points per contest and is tied with McGruder with 5.3 rebounds per game. Freshman guard Angel Rodriguez rounds out the K-State starters. He is second on the team with 59 assists to complement his 7.7 scoring average.

Junior guard Martavious Irving has started 14 game this season, averages 6.2 points and is second on the team with 26 steals. Junior forward Jordan Henriquez leads K-State with 43 blocked shots to go along with his 6.0 scoring and 4.6 rebounding averages. Other KSU contributors include sophomore guard Shane Southwell (3.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg) and freshman forward Adrian Diaz (3.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg).

The Kansas-Kansas State Series

Kansas has won 43 of the last 46 meetings with Kansas State dating back to the 1994 season. The Jayhawks have won eight of the last nine meetings and hold a 182-91 all-time series advantage over the Wildcats. In Manhattan, Kan., Kansas is 73-45 all-time against K-State, including 21-2 in Bramlage Coliseum. The Wildcats have won two of the last four meeting with the Jayhawks at home. Since the inception of the Big 12 Conference, Kansas is 28-3 in regular-season battles and 35-3 including Big 12 Championship meetings versus Kansas State. This series dates back to 1907.

In the 2012 Big 12 opener for both schools, Kansas defeated Kansas State 67-49 on Jan. 4 in Allen Fieldhouse. Travis Releford recorded his first career double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds in the contest, while Thomas Robinson also had a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds. KU led 35-20 at intermission. Kansas State was led by Rodney McGruder with 15 points, while Jamar Samuels had 12 points and a team-high six rebounds.

Coaches Series

--Kansas head coach Bill Self is 18-3 all-time against Kansas State, including a 17-3 record while at Kansas.

--Kansas State head coach Frank Martin is 2-7 against Kansas with all nine meetings while at KSU.

Oklahoma State Leftovers

--Seven members of Kansas' 1952 NCAA National Championship team were recognized for the 60th anniversary of the title. KU wore throwback jerseys.

--Kansas has now won 20 or more wins for each of the last 23 seasons, dating back to 1989-90.

--KU now has 18-straight seasons with 10 or more conference wins, dating back to 1994-95.

--Kansas extended its home court winning streak to 19 games.

--KU scored 51 points in the first half, marking the fifth time this season KU has scored 50-plus points in a half.

--The Jayhawks recorded 50 rebounds in the game, marking the third time KU has posted 50-plus boards in a game this year (53 vs. FAU and 50 vs. K-State).

--All five Kansas starters scored in double figures, marking the third time this season that the Jayhawks have accomplished this.

--KU's 17 offensive rebounds were the most by a Jayhawk team this season.

--The Jayhawks' plus-29 rebounding margin against Oklahoma State was KU's best since it out-rebounded Miami (Ohio) 46-17 on Jan. 2, 2011.

--OSU's Keiton Page's 11 three-point attempts were the most by a KU opponent since LaceDarius Dunn (Baylor) attempted 14 in a game on Jan. 20, 2010.

--KU outscored Oklahoma State 46-12 in the paint.

--Junior C Jeff Withey recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 18 points and 20 rebounds.

--Withey's 20 rebounds were a career high and the second most by a Jayhawk this season (Thomas Robinson, 21 vs. North Dakota).

--Withey's 20 boards were the most by a Jayhawk in a conference game since Cole Aldrich grabbed 20 rebounds against Oklahoma on Feb. 23, 2009.

--Withey recorded seven blocked shots in the game, giving him a Big 12-best 79 for the season. His 79 blocks this year move him into seventh-place on KU's single-season list.

--He recorded his 104th career block in the game, moving him into 17th on KU's all-time list, passing Paul Pierce (98) and Markieff Morris (103).

--Junior F Thomas Robinson had a double-double with 24 points and 14 rebounds, marking the fifth time this season KU has had multiple player's record double-doubles in the same game.

--Robinson and Withey combined for 34 rebounds in the game, the most since Nick Collison (21) and Jeff Graves (16) combined for 37 in the 2003 National Championship game against Syracuse on April 7, 2003.

--Robinson's double-double gives him a Big 12-best 18 double-doubles this season and 23 in his career. His 18 double-doubles this season tie him for fifth-most by a Jayhawk with Danny Manning's 1987 total.

--Senior G Tyshawn Taylor had six assists against Oklahoma State, giving him six or more assists in five of KU's 12 Big 12 contests.

--Taylor's six assists give him 170 this season and move him into a tie for 15th place on KU's single-season list with Darnell Valentine's 1979 total.

--Robinson secured 14 rebounds to give him 602 in his career and pass David Magley (596), Kelly Knight (601) and tie Brandon Rush for 26th on KU's all-time list.

--Robinson's 302 rebounds this season move him past Julian Wright (298) and Eric Chenowith (301) for 20th on KU's single-season list.

Team Notables

--Kansas leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense at 38.0, which is in the top 10 nationally. KU has led the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense in five of the last six seasons, all under head coach Bill Self.

--KU leads the conference in rebound margin at +6.1. The Jayhawks have led the Big 12 in rebound margin in each of the last five seasons, all under Bill Self.

--Kansas also leads the Big 12 in rebound defense (30.7) and blocked shots (5.6) and ranks in the top three in scoring (second at 75.3), field goal percentage (second at 48.7), rebounding (third at 37.4), scoring defense (second at 61.2), assists (second at 15.9), steals (third at 7.5) and assist-to-turnover ratio (second at 1.1).

--Kansas' 19-game home court winning streak leads the Big 12 and is tied for sixth nationally. The 19-game streak followed a school-record 69-game home court winning streak. KU is 88-1 in its last 89 games at Allen Fieldhouse.

--Kansas has tied or outrebounded 21 of 25 opponents this season, including six of the last eight games. KU has eight games with a +10 rebound margin, including a season-best 50-21 (+29) vs. Oklahoma State (2/11).

--Six different Jayhawks - Thomas Robinson, Tyshawn Taylor, Elijah Johnson, Conner Teahan, Travis Releford and Jeff Withey - have led Kansas in scoring through 25 games.

--KU has shot a higher percentage than 23 of 25 opponents this season. KU shot 51.1 percent at Baylor (2/8) and has shot 50 percent or better in three of its last four games and 11 times this season.

--Kansas has blocked five or more shots in 12 games this season, including a season-high 13 against Florida Atlantic (11/30). KU had 12 blocked shots against Long Beach State (12/6) and Texas A&M (1/23) and 10 versus Iowa State (1/14).

--After its 68-54 win at No. 6 Baylor (2/8), Kansas is 4-3 against ranked teams in 2011-12, 30-11 versus ranked foes since 2006-07 and 39-21 against ranked foes under Bill Self (since 2003-04).

--Kansas has 124 dunks to its opponents' 39 through 26 games. Thomas Robinson leads KU with 56 dunks, while Jeff Withey has 26.

Player Notables

--Junior THOMAS ROBINSON, who recorded his Big 12-leading 18th double-double of the season with 24 points and 14 rebounds against Oklahoma State (2/11), has been mentioned on many national player of the year lists. He has four-straight double-doubles and nine DDs in 12 conference games. Robinson, who is 34-of-54 (63.0 percent) from the field in his last four games, has nine 20-point efforts this season. A three-time Big 12 Player of the Week, Robinson had career highs with 30 points and 21 rebounds against North Dakota (12/31). It was the sixth 30-20 in Big 12 history and first at KU since 1961 (Wayne Hightower vs. Missouri). Robinson is the only player in the Big 12 Conference this season who is averaging a double-double with 18.1 ppg and 12.1 rpg. His 18 double-doubles, like his 12.1 rebounds per game, lead the Big 12 and both are second nationally. Robinson's 18.1 points are second in the league and he also ranks second in field goal percentage (54.9) and ninth in blocked shots (1.2).

--Senior TYSHAWN TAYLOR has averaged 18.3 points in his last four games, including two 21-point efforts at No. 4 Missouri (2/4) and 28 vs. Oklahoma (2/1). He had his first double-double of the season at ISU (1/28) with 16 points and 10 assists. Taylor had a career-high 28 points in back-to-back games against Iowa State (1/14) and Baylor (1/16). Named Big 12 Player of the Week Jan 16, he is second on the team with 16.8 points per game and is scoring 18.4 ppg in Big 12 games. In all games, Taylor leads KU with 128 assists, 41 three-pointers made and a 42.7 three-point field goal percentage. Taylor's 16.8 points per game average is fifth in the Big 12. Also in the league, he is sixth in field goal percentage at 48.3, seventh in three-point field goal percentage at 42.7, 13th in three-pointers made at 1.6, fourth in assists at 5.1 and ninth in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.4. Taylor underwent knee surgery on Dec. 11 but returned to start the Davidson contest on Dec. 19, when he scored 15 points and had seven assists.

--Junior JEFF WITHEY entered last week averaging 8.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.0 blocked shots per game and a .533 field goal percentage in 23 games. Following two outstanding games, Withey improved to 9.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.2 blocks per game and a .545 shooting percentage. He scored a career-high 25 points at No. 6 Baylor (2/8) and had 18 points and a career-high 20 rebounds against Oklahoma State (2/11). Withey has scored in double figures in eight of his last nine games, including three double-doubles: 13 points, 11 rebounds against Iowa State (1/14), 10 points, 10 rebounds versus Baylor (1/16) and 18 points, 20 rebounds vs. OSU (2/11). Withey leads the Big 12 with 3.2 blocked shots per game, which ranks in the top 15 nationally. He has a Big 12-best 44 blocked shots in conference play (3.7 bpg average). Withey has 13 games with 10-plus points scored and is also solid from the line with an 85.1 free throw percentage. Withey has multiple blocks in 14 of his last 18 games and 17 overall contests in 2011-12. His 6.3 rebound average, which is second best on the KU team, is eighth in the Big 12 while his 85.1 free throw percentage is fourth in the conference.

--Junior TRAVIS RELEFORD, the Big 12 Player of the Week on Jan. 9, has scored in double figures in 13 games this season, including three of his last five games: 10 vs. Oklahoma State (2/11), 12 points, six rebounds against Oklahoma (2/1) and 10 points at Iowa State (1/28). He was 5-for-6 from the field with four rebounds against OSU Saturday. He is third on the team in scoring with 9.2 ppg in all games and is scoring 10.3 ppg in Big 12 contests. Releford opened Big 12 play with his first career double-double, recording 16 points and 11 rebounds against Kansas State (1/4). Both were career highs at the time. He then scored 28 points at Oklahoma (1/7). A lockdown defender, Releford has 29 steals this season.

--Junior ELIJAH JOHNSON has scored 11 points in two of his last three games: 11 vs. Oklahoma State (2/11) and at No. 4 Missouri (2/4). He scored 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting at Iowa State (1/28). He has 11 games with 10 or more points this season, including five of his last nine contests. Johnson is second on the team with 40 three-pointers made and is the team leader with 40 steals. Johnson has started every game this season for KU and is second on the team in assists with 93. Johnson is ninth in the Big 12 in assists at 3.7, third in steals at 1.6, fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.9 and tied for 14th in three-pointers made at 1.6.

--Senior CONNER TEAHAN has made 38 three-pointers which is third most on the team and three behind Tyshawn Taylor's team-leading 41. He is 4-for-8 (50 percent) from beyond the arc in his last three games. Teahan scored a career-high 14 points versus LBSU (12/6) and has chipped in 13 points twice (at USC, 12/22 and vs. Howard, 12/29). Teahan is 13th in the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage at 36.2.

--Junior KEVIN YOUNG scored four points in 13 minutes against Oklahoma State (2/11). He had seven points at Texas Tech (1/11) and again against Iowa State (1/14). He also pulled down seven rebounds at Texas Tech. Young's best performance of the season came against then-No. 2 Ohio State (12/10) with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting. He has pulled down four or more rebounds seven times this season. In 2011-12, Young is shooting 54.5 percent (30-for-55) from the field.

Taylor To Join Elite Company

Senior Tyshawn Taylor continues to etch his name into the Kansas career lists. A four-year starter, Kansas is 115-19 (85.8 percent) during Taylor's time in Lawrence with three Big 12 regular-season titles, two Big 12 Championship crowns and trips to the NCAA Sweet 16 and Elite Eight. His 113 all-time KU starts are 11th all-time at Kansas. Statistically, against Duke, Taylor became the 54th player in school history to record 1,000 points. He currently sits 26th with 1,353 points. He is eighth on the KU all-time assists list with 517.

Taylor also ranks 18th with 150 career steals and his 38.4 percent career three-point percentage is 17th best at Kansas. Taylor is only the fourth player in KU history with the combination of at least 1,300 points, 500 assists and 150 steals in his career. He is in company with KU greats Darnell Valentine (1,821 points, 609 assists, 336 steals), Kirk Hinrich (1,753 points, 668 assists, 206 steals) and Adonis Jordan (1,373 points, 568 points, 181 steals) and when he reaches 1,400 career points, he will join only Valentine and Hinrich.

Up Next

Kansas will host Texas Tech on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. on the Big 12 Network. The Jayhawks will then travel to Texas A&M on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. on ESPN2 before returning home to host Missouri on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. on CBS.



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