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Kansas vs. New Mexico State Preview

Kansas vs. New Mexico State

For the second straight game, Kansas is facing a defending conference champion when it plays host to 2008 co-Western Athletic Conference champ New Mexico State (2-2). Kansas is 5-1 after is 87-60 win against 2008 Mid-American Conference champion Kent State Monday. Kansas’ current 28-game home court winning streak is the fourth longest in the nation.

About Kansas

No. 25 Kansas is 5-1 after defeating Kent State 87-60 Monday. The New Mexico State game is the third of six straight home contests for KU. Kansas has won its last 28 home games dating back to the last four contests in Allen Fieldhouse of the 2006-07 season. Kansas is scoring 80 points per game and giving up 59.5 for a +20.8 scoring margin. The Jayhawks force 16.3 turnovers per game. KU leads the Big 12 in free throw percentage at 71.4 percent. KU is outrebounding foes by a +8.7 rebound margin and outshooting opponents 47.1 percent to 33.3 percent. KU’s lone loss on the season was 89-81 in overtime to Syracuse in the championship game of the CBE Classic.  Junior guard Sherron Collins leads KU in scoring at 18.3 points per game. Collins, a CBE Classic all-tournament team member, has led the team in scoring in all but one game this season and has a teamhigh 10 three-point field goals and 23 assists. Sophomore center Cole Aldrich leads Kansas with 10 rebounds per game to complement his 14.8 point scoring average. He has recorded a double-d ouble in each of his last three games (15 points-16 rebounds vs. Syracuse, 23 points-11 rebounds vs. Coppin State and 10 points-13 rebounds vs. Kent State). Aldrich has 17 of KU’s 36 blocked shots through six games for a Big 12-leading 2.8 per game. Freshman guard Tyshawn Taylor has scored 39 points in his last three games and is averaging 10.2 ppg on the year. Freshman forward Marcus Morris (8.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg) is a starter who is coming off a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds against Kent State. Sophomore guard Brady Morningstar rounds out the KU starters. He is scoring eight points per game, including a career-high 21 points against Coppin State Friday. Sophomore guard Tyrel Reed (5.8 ppg) and freshman Markieff Morris (5.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg) are the first KU subs. Freshman guard Travis Releford is averaging 5.2 points in only eight minutes per game.

About New Mexico State

New Mexico State, 2-2, is in the middle of a three-game road trip when it visits Allen Fieldhouse.  The Aggies lost at Long Beach State 82-77 on Sunday and play at North Texas in Denton on Saturday after the KU contest. NMSU averages 76.5 points per game and is giving up 68.5. The Aggies force 18.3 turnovers per game and are shooting 48.1 percent field goals through four contests, including 40.3 from three-point range. NMSU averages 7.8 threes per game. Sophomore guard Jahmar Young leads the team with 18 points per game, including a team-best 10 three-pointers. Freshman forward Troy Gillenwater is next in scoring at 15.5 ppg and he leads New Mexico State with 10 blocked shots. Junior guard Jonathan Gibson and freshman guard Hernst Laroche each have a team-best seven steals. Gibson is scoring 15.3 points per game, while Hernst is next at 4.3 and he leads the Aggies with 17 assists. Sophomore forward Wendell McKines’ 7.8 rebounds per game are tops on the NMSU roster. He is a non-starter scoring 11.3 points per game. Freshman center Hamidu Rahman (5.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg) is the fifth starter for the Aggies.

Roster info notes and quotes after the jump...



The Series

Kansas holds a 1-0 edge over New Mexico State as the Jayhawks won the only meeting 102-51 on December 7, 1965, in Allen Fieldhouse. Seven Jayhawks scored in double figures in the victory led by junior guard Ron Franz with 19 points. Senior guard Del Lewis had 14 points, while senior forward Fred Chana and junior guard Bob Wilson had 12 each. Senior center Walt Wesley and fellow senior Al Lopes each scored 11 and senior forward Riney Lochmann had 10 for the Jayhawks. KU dominated early leading 62-27 at halftime. New Mexico State is a member of the Western Athletic Conference. Kansas is 18-5 against current WAC membership – 5-2 vs. Utah State, 4-2 vs. Nevada, 3-0 vs. Boise State, 2-0 vs. Idaho, 2-1 vs. Hawaii and 1-0 vs. NMSU and Louisiana Tech.


In the Polls

Kansas is ranked No. 25 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll and is receiving votes in the Associated Press Top 25 released Dec. 1. KU has been ranked in each of the last 51 coaches’ polls dating back to the 2005-06 season. This week's AP poll ends a 47-week streak of the Jayhawks being ranked dating back to the 2005-06 season.


Youth Movement

The 2008-09 Kansas basketball team is young. How young? Ten of its top 11 scorers are freshmen or sophomores. Junior Sherron Collins is KU’s leading scorer at 18.3 ppg. Below is a breakdown of KU’s scoring for 2008-09. Note: KU’s seniors Brennan Bechard and Matt Kleinmann are walk-ons and have combined for two points.


2008-09 Kansas Roster (*last game starters)

No. Pos. Name Cl.-Exp. Ht. Wt. Hometown (Previous School)

2 G Conner Teahan So.-1L 6-5 215 Leawood, Kan. (Rockhurst HS)

*4 G Sherron Collins Jr.-2L 5-11 200 Chicago, Ill. (Crane HS)

10 G Brennan Bechard Sr-2L (TR) 6-0 185 Lawrence, Kan. (Lawrence HS/Barton Co. [Kan.] CC)

11 F Quintrell Thomas Fr.-HS 6-7 240 Newark, N.J. (Saint Patrick HS)

*12 G Brady Morningstar So.-1L(RS) 6-3 180 Lawrence, Kan. (Free State HS/New Hampton [N.H.] Prep)

14 G Tyrel Reed So.-1L 6-3 185 Burlington, Kan. (Burlington HS)

*15 G Tyshawn Taylor Fr.-HS 6-3 180 Hoboken, N.J. (St. Anthony HS)

21 G Markieff Morris Fr.-HS 6-9 232 Philadelphia, Pa. (Prep Charter HS/APEX Academy [N.J.])

*22 F Marcus Morris Fr.-HS 6-8 225 Philadelphia, Pa. (Prep Charter HS/APEX Academy [N.J.])

23 G Mario Little Jr.-TR 6-5 210 Chicago, Ill. (Washington HS/Chipola [Fla.] CC)

24 G Travis Releford Fr.-HS 6-5 200 Kansas City, Mo. (Bishop Miege HS)

32 G Tyrone Appleton Jr.-TR 6-2 203 Gary, Ind. (Harmony Prep/Midland [Texas] College)

40 G Jordan Juenemann Fr.-HS 6-4 195 Hays, Kan. (Hays HS)

41 G Chase Buford So.-1L 6-3 210 San Antonio, Texas (Alamo Heights HS)

*45 C Cole Aldrich So.-1L 6-11 245 Bloomington, Minn. (Jefferson HS)

54 C Matt Kleinmann Sr-3L (RS) 6-10 250 Overland Park, Kan. (Blue Valley West HS)


Head Coach: Bill Self (Oklahoma State, 1985)

Assistant Coaches: Joe Dooley (George Washington, 1988); Kurtis Townsend (Western Kentucky, 1982);

Danny Manning (Kansas, 1991)


Upcoming Games




20 TEMPLE (ESPN2) ............

23 at Arizona (FSN) ................

30 ALBANY (ESPNU) ................