Spring semester classes started Thursday (Jan. 15) at the University of Kansas and the men’s basketball team continues Big 12 play at Colorado, Saturday, Jan. 17 at 2:30 p.m. (Central) on ABC. The Jayhawks won their 18th straight Big 12 opener with an 87-71 win against Kansas State on Tuesday. KU is 12-4 overall and 1-0 in conference play. Colorado is 8-7 on the season and 0-1 in Big 12 play after losing at Missouri 107-62 on Wednesday.
Well what more can I say than this one should be a blowout. In case you missed it Colorado lost to Missouri on Wednesday night 107 to 62. That said I expect this to be a relatively easy win for Kansas and a chance to gain some confidence in a road game where life has not been so good for the Jayhawks of late. I'll be at the game in Boulder and at the suggestion of Hunter I will be wearing Colorado colors so you all can see me. Nah!!!...I can't do that, it'll be a fun day in Boulder and sorry to say I'll have to skip the open thread for this one but anyone who's around is welcome to join I know a few said they would be making an appearance.
Score Prediction: Kansas 92 Colorado 68
Rock Chalk Jayhawk...comes to Boulder!!!
Kansas is 12-4 on the season after its 87-71 win against Kansas State on Jan. 13 in its Big 12 opener. The win versus K-State was the 18th straight league-opening victory for Kansas. The Jayhawks are averaging 79.8 points per game and giving up 66.2 for a +13.6 scoring margin. KU has been solid at the free throw line with six games of 80 percent or better. Kansas has held four of its last five and 10 of 16 opponents to under 40 percent shooting from the field. On the flip side, Kansas has shot 50 percent or better seven times this season with six of those in Allen Fieldhouse. Junior guard Sherron Collins leads KU in scoring at 18.5 points per game and has scored 24 or more points in three of his last four games. Collins has led the team in scoring in 12 of 16 games this season. He has a team-high 34 three-point field goals and 82 assists, as well as 25 assists in his last four games. Collins enters the Colorado game with 965 career points, just 35 shy of becoming the 51st Jayhawk to score 1,000 points for his career. Sophomore center Cole Aldrich is next in scoring at 15.3 points per game and is averaging 19 points in his last five games, including three 20-point efforts. He leads the team with 9.8 rebounds per game and is three rebounds shy of averaging a double-double. Aldrich has led Kansas in rebounding in 13 of the 16 games this season. He also has nine double-doubles, the second most in the Big 12. Aldrich has 44 of KU's 80 blocked shots for a Big 12-leading 2.8 per game. Freshman guard Tyshawn Taylor is scoring 10.1 points per game and leads Kansas with 24 steals. He is coming off a 20-point effort against Kansas State. Sophomore guard Brady Morningstar is a starter who is averaging 7.4 points per game with 45 assists and 17 steals. Junior guard Mario Little rounds out the KU starters. Little missed the first 12 games of the
season and is scoring 2.8 points per game. Freshman forward Markieff Morris (5.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg), freshman Marcus Morris (7.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg) and sophomore guard Tyrel Reed (7.5 ppg) are KU’s top reserves.
Colorado has lost three of its last four games and is 8-7 on the season and 0-1 in Big 12 play. The Buffaloes are 7-2 at home this season and 1-5 away from the Coors Events Conference Center. Colorado is scoring 67.5 points and giving up 66.5 per contest. The Buffs average 14.8 free throws made per contest and 5.8 three-point field goals. Sophomore guard Cory Higgins leads the team in scoring at 17.5 points per game, rebounding with a 6.3 average and steals with 28. Junior guard Dwight Thorne II has a team-high 19 three pointers to complement his 11.9 scoring average. Freshman forward Austin Dufault is scoring 9.3 points, while freshman guard Nate Tomlinson is at 8.8 ppg with a team-high 50 assists. All of the aforementioned are averaging more than 30 minutes per game for CU. Senior forward Jermyl Jackson-Wilson is the fifth starter who is scoring 5.4 points per game and is second on the team with 4.3 rebounds. He has a team-best 13 blocked shots. Sophomore forward Casey Crawford (6.4 ppg), sophomore guard Levi Knutson (3.4 ppg) and freshman forward Trey Eckloff (2.6 ppg) round out the CU regulars.
Meet the Opposing Coach
Colorado coach Jeff Bzdelik is in his second season at CU with a 20-27 record. Bzdelik is in his sixth season at the collegiate level with an 95-74 overall record. Bzdelik came to Colorado from the United States Air Force Academy, where he guided the Falcons to a 50-16 record (a 75.8 winning percentage) in two seasons from 2005-07. During those two seasons he led the Falcons to a 2005-06 NCAA Tournament and a 2006-07 NIT Final Four appearance. Bzdelik brings 29 years of coaching experience to CU from the collegiate and professional ranks. He returned to the college game in 2005-06 after 15 seasons as both a coach and scout in the NBA, including two-and-a-half seasons as head coach of the Denver Nuggets. Bzdelik is 0-2 against Kansas.
Under head coach Bill Self, Kansas is 65-29 (69.1 percent) in games away from Allen Fieldhouse, including a 33-17 (66 percent) true road game record. The Jayhawks have posted a better than .500 record away from AFH every season under Self. Last year, the Jayhawks were 8-3 in true road games and 9-0 in neutral contests en route to the 2008 NCAA National Championship.
Sophomores – 39.4 percent (503 points)
Juniors – 25 percent (319 points)
Seniors – 0.5 percent (6 points)
Kansas will play its first of four ESPN Big Monday appearances when it hosts Texas A&M on Jan. 19 at 8 p.m. (Central). KU will later play on ESPN’s Big Monday at Baylor (Feb. 2), at Missouri (Feb. 9) and at Oklahoma (Feb. 23). KU will then hit the road for two games at Iowa State (Jan. 24) and at Nebraska (Jan. 28). The Iowa State game will be at 1 p.m. on ESPN and the Nebraska game will be at
6:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
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)
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 F 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)
C Jeff Withey Fr-HS (RS) 6-10 225 San Diego, Calif. (Horizon HS)
Head Coach: Bill Self (Oklahoma State, 1985)
Assistant Coaches: Joe Dooley (George Washington, 1988); Kurtis Townsend (Western Kentucky, 1982); Danny Manning (Kansas, 1991)
Colorado Buffaloes (*last game starters)
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl-Exp Hometown (Previous School)
*1 Nate Tomlinson G 6-2 180 Fr. Sydney, Australia (Lee Academy [Maine])
10 Ryan Kelley G 6-2 185 Fr. Pomona, Calif. (Diamond Ranch HS)
*11 Cory Higgins G 6-5 185 So. Danville, Calif.
(The Pendleton School [Bradenton, Fla.])
*12 Dwight Thorne II G 6-2 185 Jr. Arlington, Texas (Martin HS)
14 Javon Coney G 6-3 200 So. Chicago, Ill. (Latin HS)
15 Toby Veal F 6-7 225 Fr. Savannah, Ga. (Johnson HS)
24 Levi Knutson G 6-4 190 So. Littleton, Colo. (Arapahoe HS)
25 Andrew Zehnder G 6-3 175 So. Arvada, Colo. (Standley Lake HS)
*31 Jermyl Jackson-Wilson F 6-6 230 Sr. Milwaukee, Wis. (Ohio State)
*33 Austin Dufault F 6-8 210 Fr. Killdeer, N.D. (Killdeer HS)
34 Casey Crawford F 6-9 235 So. Overland Park, Kan. (Wake Forest)
44 Trent Beckley F 6-9 230 Jr. Vail, Colo. (Battle Mountain HS)
55 Trey Eckloff F 6-9 225 Fr. Englewood, Colo. (Cherry Creek HS)
Head Coach: Jeff Bzdelik (Illinois-Chicago, 1976)
Associate Head Coach: Steve McClain (Chadron State, 1984)
Assistant Coaches: Charles Baker (Eastern Kentucky, 1990);Derrick Clark (California Lutheran, 1995)
19 *TEXAS A&M (ESPN) .......... 8 p.m.
24 *at Iowa State (ESPN) ............ 1 p.m.
28 *at Nebraska (ESPN2) ....... 6:30 p.m.
31 *COLORADO (ESPNU) ........ 3 p.m.
2 *at Baylor (ESPN) .................. 8 p.m.
7 *OKLAHOMA STATE (ABC) ...2:30 p.m.