Kansas v Belmont
Following a brief holiday break, No. 1 Kansas (11-0) closes out the 2009 calendar year hosting Belmont (7-4, 2-0 Atlantic Sun) Dec. 29, at 8 p.m. on ESPNU. The Jayhawks are 11-0 for the third time under head coach Bill Self, joining the 2004-05 team, which went 14-0 and the 2007-08 NCAA Championship team, which posted a 20-0 record. Belmont last played Eastern Illinois on Dec. 19 and lost 63-60.
|Rank and Records||BELM||KU|
|Strength of Schedule||#302||#201|
|RPI Top 50||0-0||1-0|
Top-rated Kansas extended the nation's longest home-court winning streak to 49 games with an 84-69 win against Pac-10 foe California on Dec. 22. The Jayhawks, 11-0, average 88.4 points per game, are giving up 59.3 points and rank in the top five nationally with a +29.1 scoring margin. KU is shooting 51.6 percent from the field, while its opponents are shooting 34.9 percent. Only one KU opponent, Radford, has shot above 40 percent against the Jayhawks this season.
Xavier Henry leads the team with a 17.2 point scoring average. He has shot 50 percent or better in nine of 11 games this season is making 53.2 percent of his shots from the field and 48.2 from three-point range. Xavier leads KU with 27 threes and 19 steals.
Senior guard Sherron Collins has scored 36 points in his last two games and is averaging 14.2 points on the season. Collins and sophomore guard Tyshawn Taylor (7.4 ppg) are tied for the team lead with 47 assists. Taylor has 24 assists and two turnovers in his last fourgames. Taylor has 17 steals, three ahead of Collins (14).
Junior center Cole Aldrich leads the team in rebounds with 9.7 per game and has 21 boards in his last two games with 11 against Michigan and 10 versus California. Aldrich has four double-doubles this season and averages 3.6 blocked shots per outing.
Sophomore forward Marcus Morris has averaged 18.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in his last two games. He is scoring 11.4 points and pulling down 5.9 rebounds per game. Marcus' twin, sophomore forward Markieff Morris, is coming off the bench to score 7.9 points per game. Markieff, who recorded his first career double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds against La Salle on Dec. 12, pulls down 5.8 rebounds per game and leads KU with a 67.3 percent field goal shooting.
Junior guard Brady Morningstar returned to the lineup the past two games and is averaging 21.5 minutes, 4.5 points and 5.0 assists per game.
Located in Nashville, Tenn., with an enrollment of 5,393, Belmont has lost two straight and brings a 7-4 record to Lawrence. The Bruins are coached by Rick Byrd who is 476-265 in his 24th season at Belmont. Belmont lost at Saint Louis 75-67 on Dec. 16 and against Eastern Illinois 63-60 on Dec. 19. Belmont averages 76.9 points per game and is giving up 70.7 for a +6.2 scoring margin. The Bruins hold a +1 rebound margin against their opponents and average 7.5 three-point field goals per game.
Sophomore forward/center Mick Hedgepeth leads the team in scoring with 13 points per game and rebounding with 5.5 boards per outing. Hedgepeth also has a team-high nine blocked shots. Senior forward Keston Belcher and freshman guard Ian Clark are just behind Hedgepeth in scoring at 12.5 points per game each. Belcher has made a
team-best 25 three pointers and he is averaging four rebounds per contest. Clark is second on the team with 10 steals and he has 24 assists on the season.
Sophomore forward/center Scott Saunders comes off the bench to score 9.7 points per game. He is second on the team with a 4.1 rebound average. Freshman guard Kerron Johnson leads Belmont with 12 steals to complement
his 7.5 scoring average. Junior guard/forward Jordan Campbell is a top reserve who averages 7.2 points per contest. Junior guard/forward Jon House (7.0 ppg) and sophomore guard Drew Hanlen (4.7 ppg) round out the eight Bruins who average 16-plus minutes per game. Hanlen is a starter who leads the team with 46 assists on the season.