Kansas (14-4, 3-0) continues Big 12 play with two road games starting at Iowa State on Saturday, Jan. 24. The contest from Hilton Coliseum starts at 1 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN. KU will then play at Nebraska on Wednesday, Jan. 28, at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2. Kansas has won three straight and six of its last seven games. The Jayhawks are 3-0 in Big 12 play for the third straight season after their 73-53 win against Texas A&M on ESPN’s Big Monday. Iowa State is currently 12-6 on the season and 1-2 in Big 12 play. The Cyclones did not play a mid-week conference game and are coming off a 77-46 loss at Missouri last Saturday.
Ames Iowa and Hilton Coliseum has often been a tripping step for our beloved Hawks. Today this young Jayhawk squad looks for another conference win and another step toward the 6-0 start we've seemingly set as the RCT benchmark for a hopeful start. Containing 6'10" sophomore forward Craig Brackins will be a huge peice to the puzzle and I expect Cole Aldrich to be up for the task. Strike early and keep the Hilton crowd out of it and Kansas should pull this one out as both South Dakota State and Drake have shown. Let the Cyclones make this ugly like Colorado did and we could be in for a dogfight without the luxery of a friendly road crowd. Good news is a good 4 days of rest for Mario Little should spell playing time and if he performs at all like he did against A&M it should allow for the Kansas offense to overcome a slugfest. I like the recent progress this team has shown, I like the showings lately of Little, Taylor and Marcus Morris. Add those in the mix with the reliable Collins and the big guy inside and Kansas wins this one on the road and takes the momentum on to Lincoln. Those who can, enjoy the open game thread. I'll be sitting this one out due to a wedding, I'm sure both KU and RCT will have good showings in my absence.
Score Prediction: Kansas 71 Iowa State 61
Rock Chalk Jayhawk
Kansas is 14-4 (3-0 Big 12) on the season after its 73-53 win against Texas A&M Monday. The win made the four-time defending Big 12 regular-season champions 3-0 for the third straight season. The Jayhawks are averaging 79.1 points per game and giving up 64.6 for a +14.1 scoring margin. KU has shot a 50 percent or better in each of its Big 12 games for a league-best 56.5 field goal percentage in conference play. Conversely, KU has held its last four and 12 opponents in 18 games to under 40 percent shooting. Junior guard Sherron Collins leads KU in scoring at 18.3 points per game, which is second most in the Big 12. He has led the team in scoring in 14 of 18 games this season. He has a team-high 40 three point field goals and 96 assists. Collins enters the Iowa State game with 999 career points, just one 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 has a team-best 10 double-doubles on the season, second most in the Big 12. He leads the team with 9.7 rebounds per game, which is third in the conference and he leads the league in field goal percentage at 64 percent and blocked shots per game at 2.7. Aldrich is 19-of-25 (76 percent) from the field in three Big 12 games. Aldrich has 49 of KU's 86 blocked shots in 2008-09. Freshman guard Tyshawn Taylor is scoring 10.2 points per game and is tied with Collins with a team-leading 24 steals. He is averaging 14 points in his first three conference games and was named Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week for the third time Jan. 19. Sophomore guard Brady Morningstar is a starter who is averaging 6.9 points per game with 53 assists and 20 steals. He has 18 assists, four turnovers and seven steals in his last five games. Freshman forward Marcus Morris started the last game for the Jayhawks and is scoring 7.9 points and pulling down 5.1 rebounds. Junior guard Mario Little is coming off his best game as a Jayhawk scoring 15 points on 6-of-6 shooting against Texas A&M. He made his only three-point attempt and both free throws for a perfect shooting night against the Aggies. Little has played in six games; he missed the first 12 games of the season due to injuries. He is averaging 4.3 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. Freshman forward Markieff Morris (4.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg) and sophomore guard Tyrel Reed (7.4 ppg) are KU’s top reserves.
Iowa State is 12-6 on the season and 1-2 in Big 12 play with both losses on the road – at No. 7 Texas (75-67) on Jan. 10 and at Missouri (77-46) Jan. 17. ISU defeated Nebraska in its league home opener 65-53 on Jan. 14. Iowa State is 10-2 at home this season and 2-4 on the road. The Cyclones average 66.2 points per game and are giving up 61.4. Sophomore forward Craig Brackins leads the team in scoring at 18.1 points per game which is third in the Big 12. He is also averaging a team-best 8.8 rebounds, including 10.7 rpg in conference play. Sophomore guard Diante Garrett is next in scoring at 10.6 points per game and he has a team-leading 95 assists and 15 steals. Sophomore guard Lucca Staiger has made a team-high 47 three-point field goals and is scoring 9.1 points per game. Senior guard Bryan Petersen is second on the team in rebound average at 4.4 rpg and also has 57
assists to complement his 6.4 scoring average. Freshman center Justin Hamilton (5.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg) rounds out the Iowa State starters. Junior forward Jamie Vanderbeken (4.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg), freshman guard Wes Eikmeier (4.1 ppg), senior forward Alex Thompson (3.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg) and senior guard Sean Haluska (3.1 ppg) round out the ISU regulars.
Meet the Opposing Coach
Iowa State coach Greg McDermott is 40-41 in his third season at Iowa State. Overall, McDermott is 262-167 in his 15th season as a head coach. McDermott’s meteoric rise in the head coaching ranks occurred in his five seasons as the head coach at his alma mater (2002-06), Northern Iowa. After taking over a program that had not posted a winning season since 1997, McDermott’s recipe for success launched the UNI program into the national spotlight. In his third season with the Panthers, McDermott led UNI to the 2004 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title and its second NCAA Tournament appearance in school history, while recording a 21-10 mark. He followed that season with two more NCAA Tournament appearances in 2005 and 2006.
Dating back to 1908, Kansas leads the all-time series with Iowa State, 164-58, and the Jayhawks have won six straight against the Cyclones. KU is 17-7 in Big 12 regular-season play against ISU (19-7 including two Big 12 Championship contests). Prior to KU sweeping the last three season series, each team won seven games against the other from 1999-2005. Including season sweeps, the visiting team has claimed at least one victory eight times in the last eight seasons - dating back to 2000. KU is 63-39 against Iowa State in games played in Ames, yet holds a 19-18 edge in games played in Hilton Coliseum. KU has won the last four and six of the last seven meetings in the building dating back to 2002.
Improve Kansas to 15-4 on the season, 4-0 in Big 12 play for the second straight season… Give Kansas its second straight and second overall true road win of the season… Give KU its seventh straight win against Iowa State and give Kansas a 165-58 series advantage against the Cyclones… Give KU its fifth straight win versus ISU in matchups in Hilton Coliseum… Improve Bill Self to 157-36 while at KU, 364-141 overall and 10-2 against Iowa State… Make Kansas 1,958-789 alltime.
Junior guard Sherron Collins is one point shy from becoming the 51st Jayhawk to score 1,000 points for his career. Collins has 330 points (18.3 ppg) this season and 999 for his career. Last season, Brandon Rush and Mario Chalmers each accomplished the feat. Rush ended his career ranked 20th on the KU scoring list with 1,477 points, while Chalmers is 24th with 1,341 points.
--Since the inception of the Big 12 in 1996-97, Kansas has a winning record against every team inthe Big 12.
--Kansas is first in the conference in wins with a 161-34 record in Big 12 regular-season games. Texas is next at 138-57. Including the league postseason championship, KU is tops at 186-40. Texas is second at 154-69.
--Kansas is the only Big 12 school to have won its regular-season championship with two different coaches – Roy Williams and Bill Self.
--Under Bill Self, Kansas is 19-6 in Big 12 road games in the last four seasons. He is 28-12 in league road games in his sixth season - 4-4 in 2004, 5-3 in 2005, 6-2 in 2006, 7-1 in 2007, 5-3 in 2008 and 1-0 in 2009.
--KU has won 10 or more league games for the last 14 seasons and 46 times overall.
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 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)
Iowa State Cyclones (*last game starters)
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Class Hometown (Previous School)
0 Charles Boozer G 6-3 195 So. Raleigh, N.C. (Stoneridge (Calif.) Prep)
1 Dominique Buckley G 6-2 205 Fr. Detroit, Mich. (Romulus)
2 Scott Christopherson G 6-3 205 So. LaCrosse, Wis. (Aquinas)
3 Sean Haluska G 6-3 210 Sr. Carroll, Iowa (Indian Hills (Iowa) CC)
*5 Lucca Staiger G 6-5 225 So. Blaustein, Germany (Decatur [Ill.] Christian)
*10 Diante Garrett G 6-4 185 So. Milwaukee, Wis. (Vincent)
12 Wes Eikmeier G 6-3 170 Fr. Fremont, Neb. (Archbishop Bergan)
15 Alex Thompson F 6-10 235 RS-Sr. Ames, Iowa (Ames)
*21 Craig Brackins F 6-10 230 So. Palmdale, Calif. (Brewster (N.H.) Academy)
*22 Bryan Petersen G 6-1 180 Sr. Clinton, Iowa (Kirkwood (Iowa) CC)
23 Jamie Vanderbeken F 6-11 245 Jr. Belleville, Ontario (Tyler JC)
24 Cameron Lee G 6-2 180 RS-So. Country Club Hills, Ill. (Hillcrest)
33 Clinton Mann F 6-7 230 Fr. Overland Park, Kan. (St. Thomas Aquinas)
34 L.A. Pomlee F 6-8 235 Fr. Davenport, Iowa (Central)
*41 Justin Hamilton C 6-11 255 Fr. Alpine, Utah (Lone Peak)
Head Coach: Greg McDermott (Northern Iowa, 1988)
Assistant Coaches: T.J. Otzelberger (Wisconsin-Whitewater, 2001);
Daniyal Robinson (Arkansas-Little Rock, 1999); Jeff Rutter (Winona State, 1988)
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.
14 *at Kansas State (ABC) ..... 2:30 p.m.
18 *IOWA STATE (B12) ............. 7 p.m.
21 *NEBRASKA (B12) ............... 3 p.m.
23 *at Oklahoma (ESPN) ............ 8 p.m.