USA TODAY Sports
Kansas vs. Texas Open Game Thread 2.16.13
ESPN COLLEGE GAMEDAY
Kansas continues its two-game homestand when it plays host to Texas, Saturday, Feb. 16. For the fifth time, ESPN College GameDay will originate from Allen Fieldhouse. The event began in 2005 with KU being its second-ever stop. The Fieldhouse also hosted the fan-favorite event in 2007, 2008 and 2011.
Kansas and Texas are the two winningest programs in the 16-plus year history of the Big 12 Conference. KU is first in the conference in wins with a 225-44 record in Big 12 regular-season games. Texas is next at 179-90. Including the league postseason championship, KU is tops at 256-52, while Texas is second at 200-106.
For most of the 2012-13 season, Kansas and Texas have ranked first and second nationally in field goal percentage defense. In fact, both are at 36.1 heading into Saturday's game. Carrying out the decimal, Kansas has the edge by 2/10,000th (.3611 to .3613).
Kansas, ranked No. 14 in the Associated Press and No. 13 in the USA Today Coaches' polls released Feb. 11, is 20-4 (8-3 Big 12) and tied for first with Kansas State (19-5, 8-3) and Oklahoma State (19-5, 8-3) in the 2013 Big 12 race. In his 10th season at Kansas, Bill Self holds a 289-57 record for an 83.5 winning percentage. Overall, Self is nearing his 500th career victory with a 496-162 record in his 20th season as a head coach. KU is 13-1 in Allen Fieldhouse, 5-2 in road games and 2-1 on neutral courts in 2012-13. KU averages 73.5 points per game and is giving up 60.6 for a Big 12-leading +12.9 scoring margin. KU also leads the Big 12 in rebound margin at +6.3, field goal percentage at 46.9, field goal percentage defense at 36.1 and blocked shots at 7.0.
Kansas starts four seniors, including three fifth-year seniors, and one freshman. Named to the Sporting News Mid-Season All-American team Jan. 15, redshirt freshman G Ben McLemore leads the team in scoring at 16.8 points per game after his 30-point effort against Kansas State Monday. McLemore leads all Big 12 freshmen in scoring and his 16.8 ppg ranks second overall in the conference. The Jan. 14 Big 12 Player of the Week and two-time conference Rookie of the Week, McLemore leads the league in free throw percentage (87.6) and is second in three-point field goal percentage (43.5). McLemore, who is listed on the USBWA Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Year Award Midseason list, has a team-high 47 three-pointers made and is second on the KU squad with 28 steals. All-America candidate senior C Jeff Withey leads Kansas in rebounding (8.3 rpg) and has eight double-doubles this season. Withey leads the league in blocked shots at 4.1 per game, which ranks third nationally. Withey is Kansas' all-time blocked shots leader with 263 and is one shy of the Big 12 Conference career mark of 264 held by Chris Mihm of Texas (1998-2000). A USBWA Oscar Robertson National Player of the Year Midseason and Wooden Award Mid-Season Top 25 honoree along with McLemore, Withey is scoring 13.2 points per outing. Senior G Travis Releford is second in the Big 12 in field goal percentage at 59.4 percent. The Nov. 26 Big 12 Player of the Week, Releford is scoring 11.8 points per contest. Senior G Elijah Johnson has a team-high 110 assists and is second on the team with 34 three-pointers made to complement his 9.1 scoring average. Senior F Kevin Young rounds out the KU starters; he is scoring 7.7 points per contest and is second on the team with 6.8 rebounds per outing. Other KU regulars include freshman F Perry Ellis (4.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg), sophomore G Naadir Tharpe (5.6 ppg, 2.8 apg) and redshirt freshman F Jamari Traylor (2.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg).
Located in Austin, Texas, with an enrollment of 52,213, Texas is 11-13 on the season, 3-8 in Big 12 play after its 89-86 double-overtime win against Iowa State Wednesday (2/13). Texas is coached by Rick Barnes who is 353-150 in his 15th season at UT and 555-284 in his 26th season overall. UT averages 64.5 points and gives up 63.3 for a +1.2 scoring margin. For most of the season, Texas leads the Big 12 in three-point field goal percentage defense at 26.1 percent while it is second in the league in field goal percentage defense at 36.1 and blocked shots at 5.2, behind KU's 7.0 blocks per game.
Sophomore G Sheldon McClellan leads Texas with a 14.5 scoring average and a 80.6 free throw percentage. McClellan's 25 three-pointers are second highest on the team behind sophomore G Julien Lewis' 34. Lewis scores 11.1 points per game and is second on the team with 29 steals in 2012-13. Freshman F Ioannis Papapetrou averages 8.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and has 17 blocked shots. Freshman G Javan Felix is third in the Big 12 with 5.4 assists per game. He scores 8.4 points per contest and leads UT with 31 steals this season. Sophomore F Jonathan Holmes averages a team-best 6.8 rebounds per game, seventh in the Big 12, and Holmes scores 7.5 points per game. Freshman C Cameron Ridley leads the team with 44 blocked shots, scores 4.5 ppg and is third on the team with a 4.6 rebound average. Other UT regulars include freshman F Connor Lammert (4.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg), freshman G Demarcus Holland (3.5 ppg), and freshman F/C Prince Ibeh (1.9 ppg, 25 blocked shots). Sophomore G Myck Kabongo returned to the UT lineup against Iowa State after serving a 23-game suspension from the NCAA. He had 13 points, four rebounds and seven assists in the double OT victory.
Year-in and year-out, the Kansas-Texas battles are some of the best in the Big 12 and nationally in a series that dates back to 1938. Kansas leads 21-7 and has won seven of the last eight meetings. These two teams have met in four of the last six Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship title games with KU claiming all four match-ups: 80-68 in Dallas in 2006, 88-84 in overtime in Oklahoma City in 2007, 84-74 in Kansas City in 2008 and 85-73 in Kansas City in 2011. Kansas is 10-1 against Texas in games played in Lawrence, including 8-1 in Allen Fieldhouse. On Jan. 22, 2011, UT ended KU's 69-game home-court winning streak its lone win in Lawrence. Since the inception of the Big 12, Kansas holds a 17-6 record against Texas with a 13-5 mark in regular-season play and 4-1 record in the Big 12 Championship. Kansas head coach Bill Self is 11-7 all-time against Texas, including 11-5 while at KU. Texas head coach Rick Barnes is 6-15 all-time versus Kansas.
Earlier this season, Kansas redshirt freshman G Ben McLemore scored 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting to lead KU to a 64-59 win at Texas on Jan. 19. KU senior C Jeff Withey just missed a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds, while senior G Travis Releford scored 12 points. Texas led 28-26 at intermission and UT sophomore guard Sheldon McClellan led all scorers with 18 points.