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Kansas vs. Texas A&M Preview

Kansas vs. Texas A&M

Kansas returns home for its first of four ESPN Big Monday contests in 2009 against Texas A&M. KU will also play ESPN Big Monday games at Baylor (Feb. 2), at Missouri (Feb. 9) and at Oklahoma (Feb. 23). The Jayhawks are 13-4, 2-0 Big 12, after their 73-56 win at Colorado Saturday. Texas A&M has lost two of its last three games and is 15-3, 1-2 Big 12, on the season. One loss was on the road at Oklahoma State, 72-61, and the other was to No. 6 Oklahoma 69-63 on Saturday. The game marks the return of former Kansas great Mark Turgeon. A guard from 1984-87, Turgeon is in his 11th season as a head coach and this will be the third time one of his teams has faced his alma mater and the first time in Allen Fieldhouse.

Denverjhawk's Thoughts...

Well, Mark Turgeon returns to Lawrence with his A&M Aggies squad and after the sloppy game Saturday I'm really hoping that our Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde act holds suit and the home court Jayhawks show up as they have managed to do this year.  A&M is comparatively the more experienced squad and with it's recent losses to two quality opponents in Oklahoma State on the road and Oklahoma at home they will be a tough task.  This is a big game for Kansas and truth be told every home conference game will be pretty important in this seasons success.  This one however set's the table for a very strong conference start prior to getting into a more difficult stretch later on.  My feeling is the first Saturday to Monday conference turn around will be a good thing for the Jayhawks, no time to think too much, only time to go out an play.  Kansas wins this one in a close one at home and Mark Turgeon remains in the good graces of Jayhawk fans.  I'll be at the open thread tonight and I hope to see anyone that can join as I won't be able to be around too much at the end of the week as I'll be in Minnesota for a wedding. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr....!!!! 

Score: Kansas 72  Texas A&M 64

preview continues after the jump...

About Kansas

Kansas is 13-4 (2-0 Big 12) on the season after its 73-56 win at Colorado Saturday. The win made the four-time defending Big 12 regular-season champions 2-0 for the third straight season. The Jayhawks are averaging 79.4 points per game and giving up 65.6 for a +13.8 scoring margin. KU shot a season-best 61.4 percent from the field at Colorado and held the Buffaloes to a 37.2 field goal percentage to mark the 11th time this season KU has held its opponent to under 40 percent shooting. Kansas has shot 50 percent or better eight times this season with six of those in Allen Fieldhouse. Junior guard Sherron Collins leads KU in scoring at 18.5 points pergame and has is averaging 22.2 points in his last five games. Collins has led the team in scoring in 13 of 17 games this season. He has a team-high 38 three-point field goals and 89 assists. Collins enters the Texas A&M game with 983 career points, just 17 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 posted his 10th double-double of the season, second most in the Big 12, with 15 points and 10 rebounds at Colorado. He leads the team with 9.8 rebounds
per game and is three rebounds shy of averaging a double-double. Aldrich is 11-of-12 from the field in two Big 12 games and leads the league with a 64.2 field goal percentage. Aldrich has 47 of KU's 83 blocked shots for a Big 12-leading 2.8 per game. Freshman guard Tyshawn Taylor is scoring 10.4 points per game and leads Kansas with 24 steals. He is averaging 17 points in his first two conference
games with 20 against Kansas State and 14 at Colorado. Sophomore guard Brady Morningstar is a starter who is averaging 7.1 points per game with 49 assists and 18 steals. Junior guard Mario Little rounds out the KU starters. Little missed the first 12 games of the season and is averaging 2.2 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. Freshman forward Markieff Morris (5.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg), freshman Marcus Morris (7.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg) and sophomore guard Tyrel Reed (7.7 ppg) are KU’s top reserves. At Colorado, Marcus Morris had 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting, while Reed scored 11 on 4-of-6 shooting, including 3-of-5 from three-point range.

About Texas A&M

Texas A&M is 15-3 on the season and 1-2 in Big 12 play after its 69-63 loss to No. 6 Oklahoma Saturday in College Station. The Aggies are 11-1 at home and 4-2 away from Reed Arena. A&M opened the season 4-0 and following a loss to Tulsa (67-56) rattled off 10 victories before falling at Oklahoma State (72-61) in its league opener on Jan. 10. The Aggies, who do not have a senior on their roster, are outrebounding opponents by +4.5 boards per game and have a plus-7.9 scoring margin scoring 70.8 points and giving up 62.9 points. Junior guard/forward Josh Carter leads the
team with 13.4 points per game, including a team-best 36 three pointers. He leads the Big 12 in free throw percentage at 88.1. Sophomore guard Donald Sloan has a team best 60 assists to go along with his 11.6 scoring average. He is second on the team with 20 steals. Sophomore forward Bryan Davis is third on the team in scoring at 10.6 points per game and is second on the team with 6.1 rebounds per outing and 23 blocked shots. Sophomore forward/center Chinemulu Elonu leads A&M in rebounds at 7.6 rpg and blocked shots with 28 to complement his 10.3 scoring average. Sophomore guard Derrick Roland (5.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg) rounds out the starters. Freshman guard B.J. Holmes has a team-best 22 steals on the season and is scoring 9.1 points per game. Other top reserves include freshman forward David Loubeau (4.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg), freshman forward Nathan Walcup (3.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg) and freshman guard Dash Harris (1.6 ppg, 33 assists, 14 steals).

The Coaches

Former Kansas guard Mark Turgeon is in his second season at Texas A&M with a 40-14 record. Overall, he is in his 11th season in the college ranks with a 193-123 record. Turgeon came to A&M following seven seasons at Wichita State, where his teams advanced to the postseason three of his last four years. In seven years as head coach at Wichita State (2000-07), Turgeon built the Shockers into one of the premier teams in the Missouri Valley Conference, culminating in a conference title and NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2006. His Shocker teams averaged 20.8 wins in his final five seasons at WSU. Turgeon served as an assistant coach at Kansas for five seasons, first under Larry Brown (1987-88) and then under Roy Williams (1988-92). The Jayhawks made the NCAA Tournament four of those seasons, capturing the national championship in 1988 and finishing second in 1991.  Kansas won back-to-back Big Eight Conference titles in 1991-92. A point guard at Kansas from 1984-87, Turgeon was the first player in Jayhawks history to play in four consecutive NCAA Tournaments, helping the team to a 108-33 record under Brown. A native of Topeka (Hayden HS), Turgeon served as team captain in 1986 and 1987, leading the Jayhawks to the 1986 NCAA Final Four. He was named to the Big Eight All-Academic Team in 1986 and was selected to the Big Eight
All-Freshman Team in 1984. He is 0-2 against his alma mater.

A Kansas Win Would…

Improve Kansas to 14-4 on the season, 3-0 in Big 12 play for the third straight season… Give KU its third straight win against Texas A&M and give Kansas a 14-1 series advantage against the Aggies, including a 6-1 mark in Allen Fieldhouse… Extend KU’s home court winning streak to 35 games, the second longest in the NCAA… Make Kansas 627-106 all-time in Allen Fieldhouse, including 78-6
under Bill Self… Improve Bill Self to 156-36 while at KU, 363-141 overall and 6-3 against Texas A&M… Make Kansas 1,957-789 all-time.

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 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 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)


Texas A&M Aggies (*last game starters)

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Class Hometown (Previous School)

*0 Bryan Davis F 6-9 250 Jr. Dallas, Texas (Grand Prairie)

2 Derrek Lewis G 6-5 195 So. Tulsa, Okla. (Union)

*3 Derrick Roland G 6-4 190 Jr. Dallas, Texas (Seagoville)

5 Dash Harris G 6-0 175 Fr. Los Angeles, Calif. (Monteverde (Fla.) Academy)

10 David Loubeau F 6-8 215 Fr. Miami, Fla. (Westlake Prep)

11 B.J. Holmes G 6-0 175 So. Houston, Texas (Hastings)

12 James Blasczyk F/C 7-0 225 Fr. Houston, Texas (Friendswood)

14 Andrew Darko G 6-0 165 So. Conroe, Texas (Conroe)

*15 Donald Sloan G 6-3 205 Jr. Dallas, Texas (Seagoville)

21 Denzel Bowles F/C 6-10 250 So. Virginia Beach, Va. (Kempsville)

*23 Josh Carter G/F 6-7 200 Sr. Dallas, Texas (Lake Highlands)

24 Shawn Schepel G 6-4 200 So. Dallas, Texas (Flower Mound)

31 Chris Chapman G 5-11 175 Jr. Houston, Texas (Memorial)

40 Bryson Graham G 6-3 195 Sr. San Antonio, Texas (Lon Morris JC)

*41 Chinemelu Elonu F/C 6-10 235 Jr. Houston, Texas (Alief Elsik)

45 Nathan Walkup F 6-6 195 So. Houston, Texas (Deer Park)

50 Marshall Carrell F 6-8 200 So. Paris, Texas (Paris)

Head Coach: Mark Turgeon (Kansas, 1987)

Associate Head Coach: Scott Spinelli (Boston, 1989)


Upcoming Games


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.

9 *at Missouri (ESPN) ............... 8 p.m.