Ringing in the New Year:
No. 3 Kansas rings in 2011 when it plays host to Miami (Ohio) on Sunday, Jan. 2 on ESPNU at 5 p.m. Kansas is 12-0 for the second straight season and has the nation's longest active home court winning streak at 66 games. Miami is 5-8 on the season after its 83-72 loss at Belmont on Dec. 30. This will be the first game of the 2011 calendar year for both teams.
Kansas improved to 12-0 on the season after its 82-57 win against UT Arlington on Dec. 29. The Jayhawks are one of seven teams in NCAA Division I to remain undefeated. Kansas averages 84.7 points and gives up 60.6 for a +24.1 scoring margin. KU also leads the battle of the boards with a +8.2 rebound margin. Junior forward Marcus Morris leads Kansas in scoring at 15.3 points per game. He 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 only three games this season; he is scoring 13.7 points and averages 2.7 three-pointers per contest. Marcus Morris' twin, Markieff Morris, a junior forward, has two double-doubles in his last four games and leads the Big 12 in rebounding with 8.8 boards per game. Markieff is averaging 13.1 points per game. Sophomore Thomas Robinson is coming off a career-high 20 points against UT Arlington where he had his second double-double of the season with 10 rebounds. Robinson scores 10 points per game and is second on the team with 7.2 rebounds per contest.
Junior Tyshawn Taylor scores 9.6 points per game and is second in the Big 12 in assists with 5.4 per contest. Senior guard Tyrel Reed leads Kansas with 20 three-point field goals made this season. He averages 9.6 points per game and is 21-for-23 (91.3 percent) from the free throw line in 2010-11. Senior guard Brady Morningstar leads the team with 22 steals. Morningstar is second on the squad with 27 assists and is scoring 4.8 points per game.
Other Kansas contributors include sophomore guard Travis Releford (6.1 ppg and has started the two of the last three games), sophomore guard Elijah Johnson (5.1 ppg and has 26 assists) and sophomore center Jeff Withey (2.4 ppg and 13 blocked shots).
Located in Oxford, Ohio, with an enrollment of 15,766, Miami is looking to snap a three-game losing streak when it visits Allen Fieldhouse. The RedHawks are 5-8 and lost at Belmont 83-72 on Dec. 30. A member of the Mid-American Conference (MAC), Miami plays one of the toughest schedules in the nation. Before playing No. 3 Kansas, the RedHawks have played at No. 1 Duke (Nov. 16, a 79-45 loss) and at No. 2 Ohio State (Nov. 26, a 66-45 loss). Miami plays its home games at Millett Hall and is 5-3 at home on the season and 0-5 on the road. The RedHawks average 60.8 points per game and are getting outrebounded by 3.8 boards per game. Miami is an outstanding free throw shooting team at 72.8 percent.
Junior forward Julian Mavunga leads Miami in scoring at 13.2 points, rebounding at 7.0 rpg, assists with 29 and blocked shots with 12. Mavunga has outstanding range as well as he is third on the team with 14 made three-pointers. Senior forward Nick Winbush is next in scoring at 11.6 points per contest. He leads Miami with 25 three-pointers made and is tied for second on the team with 5.8 rebounds per game and 12 steals. Senior forward/guard Antonio Ballard is just behind Winbush in scoring at 11.5 points per game and is tied for second on the team with a 5.8 rebound average.
Ballard shoots a team best 52.4 percent from the field. Other Miami starters include sophomore guard Orlando Williams (7.2 ppg) and freshman guard Quinten Rollins (4.6 ppg). Williams is second on the team with 20 three-pointers made, while Rollins is behind Mavunga in assists with 24 for the RedHawks this season. Other key contributors for Miami include sophomore guard Allen Roberts (6.1 ppg) and junior guard Chris McHenry (4.2 ppg).
The KU-Miami Series:
Kansas won the only meeting between KU and Miami on Dec. 22, 2007, when the Jayhawks defeated the RedHawks 78-54 in Allen Fieldhouse. The game was one of 37 victories KU recorded during its NCAA National Championship season. KU's Darrell Arthur and Darnell Jackson each scored 14 points in the victory. Current Jayhawks Tyrel Reed (six minutes, no points) and Conner Teahan (three minutes, three points) participated in the first meeting with Miami. Current senior Brady Morningstar was a redshirt, like Teahan this season, in 2007-08. Kansas has faced seven of the 12 MAC schools in men's basketball and has a 9-1 record against the conference.
--At 12-0, Kansas is one of seven teams in NCAA Division I that remain undefeated as of Dec. 30. Other undefeated teams include Syracuse (14-0), Cincinnati (13-0), Ohio State (13-0), Duke (12-0), Central Florida (13-0) and San Diego State (14-0).
--Kansas leads the Big 12 in scoring margin (+24.1), field goal percentage (53.2), three-point field goal percentage defense (26.4) and assists (18.5).
--Kansas has outrebounded 10 of 12 opponents this season, including its last four.
--KU has outshot all but one team this season (USC on Dec. 18).
--Kansas' bench averages 33.5 points compared to its opponents' 19.7 ppg.
--In its last three games, Kansas' bench has outscored its opponents bench 120-55.
--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 went 6-0 in the month of November and has 12-straight wins in the month dating back to the 2008-09 season. In the Bill Self era, KU is 31-4 (88.6 percent) in the month of November.
--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 41-straight home games against non-conference competition.
--Kansas men's basketball (12-0) and women's basketball (12-1) are a combined 24-1 so far in the 2010-11 season.
--Junior MARCUS MORRIS leads the Big 12 in shooting percentage at 60.2 percent. Marcus has led Kansas in scoring five times this season and has scored in double figures in all but two games. His 15.3 scoring average is 10th in the conference. He has led KU in every stat at least once this season. Marcus, who was named Big 12 Player of the Week Nov. 29, has three games of 20-plus points in 2010-11. He is 17th in the Big 12 in rebounding at 6.1 rpg.
--Junior MARKIEFF MORRIS, twin of Marcus, has started 10 games this season and is scoring 13.1 points. He has two double-doubles in his last four games after his career-high 21 points and 10 rebounds at California (Dec. 22). Named Big 12 Player of the Week on Dec. 27, Markieff leads the conference with a 8.8 rebound average, is 16th in scoring at 13.0 ppg and 11th in free throw percentage at 74.0 percent. Markieff has pulled down eight-plus boards in eight games this season and has been the leading rebounder for KU in seven of 12 games.
--Senior TYREL REED is the only Jayhawk to have started every game this season. He leads Kansas with 20 three-pointers and a 91.3 percent (21-of-23) free throw percentage. Reed had career-highs in points with 18 and rebounds with seven at California (Dec. 22). His 1.7 three-pointers made per game are tied for 12th in the Big 12. Reed is averaging 9.6 ppg on the season. 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, Reed is 14th in the Big 12 in three-point percentage at 32.8 percent. A three-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection, Reed will be nominated for Academic All-American for the third straight year in 2010-11.
--Freshman JOSH SELBY started his first game against UT Arlington and averages 13.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and is 9-for-10 from the free throw line through three games played for Kansas. 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. Selby had 18 points at California (Dec. 22), was 3-for-4 from three-point range and had four assists. For his efforts against USC, Selby was named the Big 12 Rookie of the Week (Dec. 20).
--Sophomore THOMAS ROBINSON had his first start of the season against UT Arlington (Dec. 29) and 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 four games, Robinson is 19-for-28 (67.9 percent) from the field. Robinson has pulled down 10 rebounds in five games this season. He is one of the most efficient players in the country as he had 20 points, 10 rebounds in 24 minutes against UTA; 10 points, seven rebounds in 16 minutes against USC (Dec. 18); seven points, eight rebounds in 17 minutes against Colorado State (Dec. 11); and 10 points, 10 rebounds in 15 minutes against Memphis (Dec. 7). Robinson leads KU with 15 dunks this season. He averages 10.0 points per game in 2010-11, while his 7.2 rebounds are 10th in the Big 12. He is tied for 10th in the conference with 1.2 blocked shots per game and his 14 blocks are a team high.
--Junior TYSHAWN TAYLOR is second in the Big 12 in assists per game at 5.4. Taylor has led KU in assists in eight of 12 games this season, including five at California (Dec. 22). Taylor has scored in double figures in four of his last seven games and five games overall this season. Taylor is scoring 9.6 points per game in 2010-11. Taylor is 12th in the Big 12 in steals at 1.6 spg and seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.7. 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 in early January.
--Senior BRADY MORNINGSTAR has recorded four steals three times this season. A lockdown defender who scores 4.8 points per game, Morningstar had a season-high four rebounds against Colorado State (Dec. 18) and has pulled down three or more boards in five games this year. Morningstar is tied for seventh in the Big 12 in steals per game at 1.8.
--Sophomore TRAVIS RELEFORD is 4-for-7 (57.1 percent) from the field in his last two games, including a 3-for-5 effort, 2-for-3 from three-point range, against UT Arlington (Dec. 29). Releford has seven steals in his last four games and 10 steals for the season. He pulled down a career-high five rebounds against Colorado State (Dec. 11). He is shooting 59.6 percent from the field this season and averages 6.1 points per contest. A Las Vegas Invitational all-tournament selection, Releford averages 15.3 minutes per game and has scored 10-plus points three times this season, including a career-high 13 points against Ohio (Nov. 26).
--Sophomore ELIJAH JOHNSON had his first start of the season against UT Arlington (Dec. 29) and tied his career high with 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting, 3-of-4 from three-point range, against the Mavericks. Johnson also had five assists against UTA. Johnson has a 3.3 assist-to-turnover ratio with 26 assists and eight turnovers on the season. He is 19-for-31 (61.3 percent) from the field this season, including 10-for-18 (55.6 percent) from three-point range. Johnson averages 5.1 points and 2.6 assists this season.
--Sophomore JEFF WITHEY is second on the team with 13 blocked shots and his 1.2 blocked shots average are tied for eighth in the Big 12. He is scoring 2.4 ppg. Withey averages 6.5 minutes per game compared to 3.0 last season.
--Senior MARIO LITTLE was suspended indefinitely from the team on Dec. 16. He is scoring 6.2 points per game and is shooting 55 percent from the field.
Kansas will host UMKC on Wednesday, Jan. 5, at 7 p.m. (Central) on Jayhawk TV and ESPN Full Court. The Jayhawks will close out non-conference play at Michigan on Sunday, Jan. 9, at either 12:30 p.m. (Central) or 3:30 p.m. depending on the NFL playoffs schedule. KU will open Big 12 play at Iowa State on Wednesday, Jan. 12, at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.