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January 17, 2011

Kansas to Face Baylor on ESPN Big Monday

No. 3 Kansas (17-0, 2-0) plays its first of four ESPN Big Monday games for 2011 at Baylor on Martin Luther King, Jr., Day at 8:30 p.m. (Central). The Jayhawks are 2-0 in conference play for the fifth straight season and 13th time in the 15-year history of the Big 12 after their 63-60 win against Nebraska Jan. 15. Baylor had a four-game winning streak snapped at Iowa State losing 72-52 on Saturday and is 12-4 overall and 2-1 in Big 12 play.

About Kansas:

Kansas is one of four teams in NCAA Division I to remain undefeated as of Jan. 15. KU is 2-0 in Big 12 play after its 63-60 win versus Nebraska Jan. 15. Kansas is 17-0 for the first time since the 2007-08 NCAA National Championship team opened the season 20-0. The Jayhawks average 83.1 points and give up 60.8 for a +22.2 scoring margin. KU also leads the battle of the boards with a +7.9 rebound margin. Kansas leads the Big 12 in four different statistical categories: scoring margin (+22.2), field goal percentage (51.8), three-point field goal percentage defense (24.9) and assists (18.5). Junior forward Marcus Morris has posted back-to-back double-doubles with career-highs in points (33) and rebounds (13) at Iowa State (Jan. 12) and 16 points and 11 rebounds against Nebraska (Jan. 15). Marcus leads Kansas in scoring at 16.7 points per game. Named a Wooden Award Mid-Season candidate, Marcus leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 60.3 percent and his 7.0 rebounds per game are second best on KU's team.

Marcus Morris' twin, Markieff Morris, a junior forward, leads the Big 12 in rebounding with 8.7 boards per game. He has seven double-doubles this season, including two in his last three games. Markieff is averaging 12.8 points per game. Freshman guard Josh Selby is scoring 12.1 points per game. He averages 2.8 three-pointers, 3.0 assists and 3.1 rebounds per contest this season. Senior guard Tyrel Reed leads KU with 31 three-point field goals made this season. Following his 16 points against Nebraska, including 4-for-7 from three-point range, Reed averages 9.3 points per contest. He is 29-for-33 (87.9 percent) from the free throw line.

Junior Tyshawn Taylor averages 9.1 points per game and ranks third in the Big 12 in assists with 5.1 per contest. Sophomore forward Thomas Robinson is third on the team with a 6.4 rebound average to complement his 8.8 scoring average. He and Markieff Morris each have a team-high 17 blocked shots, three ahead of sophomore center Jeff Withey (3.0 ppg, 2.3 rpg). Senior forward Mario Little is a top reserve who averages 6.0 points and 3.5 rebounds per outing.

Senior guard Brady Morningstar leads Kansas with 28 steals, three ahead of Reed. Morningstar is second on the team with 41 assists and is scoring 4.6 points per game. Other KU contributors include sophomore guard Travis Releford (5.7 ppg with four starts) and sophomore guard Elijah Johnson (4.6 ppg).


About Baylor:

Located in Waco, Texas, with an enrollment of 14,900, Baylor is 12-4 overall and 2-1 in Big 12 play after its 72-57 loss at Iowa State Saturday. The Bears are receiving votes in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls and have been ranked as high as ninth this season. Baylor is 10-0 at home this season in the Ferrell Center and have a 15-game home court winning streak, which ranks 11th nationally. Baylor averages 73.4 points and allows 59.4 points per game for a +14.1 scoring margin. BU dominates the boards with a +9.0 rebound margin and forces 16.4 turnovers per game.

Senior guard LaceDarius Dunn leads the Big 12 in scoring at 22.3 points per game. His 4.2 three-pointers per game are also best in the conference and he averages 4.7 rebounds per contest. Junior forward Quincy Acy leads BU in rebounds with a 7.9 average, which is third in the Big 12. He scores 13.6 points per game and has a team-high 21 blocked shots. Freshman forward Perry Jones is second on the team and eighth in the league with 7.3 rebounds per game. He scores 13.1 points and is shooting a team-best 56.6 percent from the field.

Sophomore guard A.J. Walton leads the Big 12 with 2.3 steals per game and his 5.3 assists are second in the conference. Walton scores 9.2 points per contest and his 18 three-pointers are second most on the BU team. Junior forward Anthony Jones rounds out the starters. He averages 8.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Junior forward Fred Ellis (5.1 ppg), junior forward/center J'mison Morgan (2.9 ppg) and freshman guard Stargell Love (1.9 ppg) round out the Baylor regulars.


The Kansas-Baylor Series:

Kansas leads the series with Baylor 15-2, including a 6-1 record in the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas. This series dates back to 1951 and Kansas won the first six meetings. Since the inception of the Big 12, KU holds a 13-2 record against BU, including last season's 81-75 win in Allen Fieldhouse. Baylor's last win in the series was a 71-64 upset in the 2009 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship quarterfinals in Oklahoma City. Kansas entered the game as the No. 1 seed, while Baylor was the No. 9 seed.

Team Notables:

--At 17-0, Kansas is one of four teams in NCAA Division I that remain undefeated as of Jan. 15. Other undefeated teams include Syracuse (18-0), Ohio State (18-0) and San Diego State (19-0).

--Kansas ranks first in the RPI released by the NCAA on Jan. 14 through games of Jan. 13. Statistically as of Jan. 13, KU leads the nation in field goal percentage at 52.1, is second in three-point field goal percentage defense at 23.1 and second in assists at 18.8.

--Kansas leads the Big 12 in scoring margin (+22.2), field goal percentage (51.8), three-point field goal percentage defense (24.9) and assists (18.5).

--Kansas has held 10 opponents to 60 or less points this season.

--Kansas has outrebounded 14 of 17 opponents this season, including eight of its last nine.

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

--Kansas' bench averages 30.7 points compared to its opponents' 17.8 ppg.

--Kansas' current 17-game win streak ties for the second longest in the Bill Self 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 men's basketball (17-0) and women's basketball (14-2) are a combined 31-2 in 2010-11.


Individual Notables:

--Junior MARCUS MORRIS has three double-doubles in his last three games, including 16 points and 11 rebounds against Nebraska (Jan. 15); a career-high 33 points on 11-of-15 shooting, and a career-high 13 rebounds at Iowa State (Jan. 12); and 22 points and 10 rebounds at Michigan (Jan. 9). Against Nebraska, Marcus scored 13 of his 16 in the second half of KU's come-from-behind win. Marcus is averaging 23.7 points and 11.3 rebounds in his last three games. He has five 20-point or more scoring games this season. Marcus leads the Big 12 in shooting percentage at 60.3 percent. Marcus has led Kansas in scoring eight times this season. His 16.7 scoring average is seventh in the conference, while his 7.0 rebounds per game are tied for 12th in the Big 12. 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.

--Junior MARKIEFF MORRIS, twin of Marcus, has a Big 12-high seven double-doubles this season with three of those in his last five games and five in his last nine contests. Markieff leads the Big 12 in rebounding at 8.7 rpg. In his last six games, Markieff is 29-for-47 (61.7 percent) from the field. Named Big 12 Player of the Week on Dec. 27, Markieff is tied for 17th in the Big 12 in scoring at 12.8 ppg. Markieff has pulled down eight-plus boards in 11 games this season and has been the leading rebounder for KU in nine of 17 games.

--Senior TYREL REED has scored in double figures in three of his last four games and nine times this season after his 16 points against Nebraska Jan. 15. He is averaging 9.3 ppg during 2010-11. The guard is the only Jayhawk to have started every game this season. Reed leads Kansas with 31 three-pointers and has an 87.9 (29-of-33) free throw percentage. Reed had career-highs in points with 18 and rebounds with seven at California (Dec. 22). Reed is one of 30 nominees for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award who graduated from KU in December and has 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.

--Freshman JOSH SELBY had 14 points at Iowa State (Jan. 12) and averages 12.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.3 steals in his eight games played this season. He has scored 16 or more points in four games and is 20-for-24 (83.3 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).

--Sophomore THOMAS ROBINSON had nine points on 4-of-6 shooting and five rebounds against Nebraska Jan. 15. It was his best outing since his first season start against UT Arlington (Dec. 29) where he had 20 points and 10 rebounds. Robinson has two double-doubles in 2010-11. In his last eight games, Robinson is 27-for-40 (67.5 percent) from the field. Robinson has pulled down 10 rebounds in five games this season. He averages 8.8 points per game in 2010-11, while his 6.4 rebounds are 15th in the Big 12.

--Junior TYSHAWN TAYLOR is averaging 9.1 points per game this season and has scored in double figures seven times, including two of his last four contests. Named a Bob Cousy Award finalist (one of 20) on Jan. 12, Taylor is third in the Big 12 in assists per game at 5.1. He has led KU in assists in 12 of 17 games this season, including five of the last seven contests. Taylor is eighth in the Big 12 in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.6.

--Senior BRADY MORNINGSTAR pulled down a season-high five rebounds to go along with five points at Iowa State (Jan. 12). He is scoring 4.6 points per game and leads KU with 28 steals. Morningstar has recorded a steal in 12 of 17 games played this season. He is ninth in the Big 12 in steals per game at 1.6.

--Senior MARIO LITTLE had his first game back from a six-game suspension and scored eight points with four rebounds at Iowa State (Jan. 12). Little averages 6.0 points and 3.5 rebounds per game and is shooting 50.0 percent from the field.

--Sophomore TRAVIS RELEFORD missed the Iowa State and Nebraska games due to an ankle sprain on his right foot. He 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 shooting 56.1 percent from the field this season. He is averaging 5.7 points this season and has scored in double figures four times. 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 has appeared in 15 games this season with one start. He scored a career-high 13 points against UMKC (Jan. 5). Johnson had his first start of the season against UT Arlington (Dec. 29) and scored 11 points. He has a 2.8 assist-to-turnover ratio for the season. Johnson averages 4.6 points and 2.2 assists in 2010-11.

Up Next:

Kansas will host Texas in Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday, Jan. 22, at 3 p.m. on CBS. The Jayhawks will then play at Colorado on Tuesday, Jan. 25, at 7 p.m. (Central), on the Big 12 Network. ESPN College GameDay will then come to Lawrence when Kansas hosts Kansas State on Saturday, Jan. 29, which is also the 150th celebration of Kansas Day.


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