Kansas vs. UCLA
Two of the most storied men's basketball programs will battle in the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series when No. 1 Kansas (6-0) travels to UCLA (2-4) Sunday. Tip from historic Pauley Pavilion will be at 4:30 p.m. (Central). Kansas ranks third in NCAA Division I history in all-time wins with 1,976, while UCLA is ninth with 1,648 victories. UCLA has won 11 NCAA titles, while Kansas has won five national championships. The Bruins have appeared in the Final Four 17 times and Kansas on 13 occasions. Basketball Hall of Famer Larry Brown coached at UCLA from 1979-80, 1980-81, and guided Kansas to two Final Fours - 1986 and 1988 - including the 1988 NCAA National Championship.
Kansas is coming off a 98-31 win against Alcorn State on Wednesday. UCLA has lost three straight after its 79-68 loss to Long Beach State on the final day of the 76 Classic in Anaheim, Calif., Nov. 29.
Kansas extended the nation's longest home court winning streak to 46 games with its 98-31 win against Alcorn State on Dec. 2. The win was KU's fifth margin of victory of 30 points or more in six games this season. Included in the victory was a 36-point run that was one point shy of the NCAA record of 37 set by Utah State in 2006. The top-ranked Jayhawks average 91.8 points per game and are giving up 54.8 points for a +37 scoring margin. KU is shooting 52.2 percent from the field, while its opponents are shooting 32.6 percent.
Freshman guard Xavier Henry leads the team with a 17 point scoring average. He is making 48.4 percent of his shots from three-point range. Senior guard Sherron Collins is at 14.3 points per game and he leads the team with 17 three pointers, two ahead of Xavier Henry. Collins and sophomore guard Tyshawn Taylor (7.0 ppg) are tied for
the team high with 22 assists. Collins and Taylor are second on the team with 11 steals, one behind Xavier
Sophomore forward Marcus Morris is a starter who is scoring 11 points and pulling down five rebounds per game. Junior center Cole Aldrich averages team bests in rebounds at 9.8 rpg and blocked shots with 3.7 per outing. He is scoring 11.2 points per game and has double-doubles in each of his last two games.
Sophomore forward Markieff Morris is shooting 72.7 percent from the field through six games and had a string of 15-straight made baskets. He is scoring 7.5 points per game and is third on the team with 5.7 rebounds per game.
UCLA is 2-4 on the season and takes a three-game losing streak into the Kansas contest. The Bruins
average 65.5 points per game and are giving up 67.7 points. They are outrebounding foes 35.5 to 34.5 per
contest and force 15.8 turnovers per game.
Senior guard Michael Roll leads the team in scoring with 13.2 points per game. He also leads the team with 30 assists, 14 three pointers and a 38.9 shooting percentage from beyond the arc.
Sophomore guard Malcom Lee is next in scoring at 12.3 points per game and assists with 22. He has made a team-high 15 free throws. He is pulling down 4.7 rebounds per contest. Senior forward Nikola Dragovic is scoring 7.8 points and pulling down a team high seven rebounds per game.
|Rank and Records||KU||UCLA|
|Strength of Schedule||#320||#40|
|RPI Top 50||0-0||0-3|
Meet the Opposing Coach
UCLA is coached by Ben Howland, who is 154-58 in his seventh season at UCLA. Howland is 322-157 in his 16th season overall. Howland, who has been his conference coach of the year in three different leagues, has led UCLA to three-straight Pacific-10 Conference titles (2006-08) and three consecutive Final Four appearances (2006-08). Last year, Howland guided the Bruins to a 26-9 overall record and a 13-5 league mark to place second in the Pac-10.
His Bruins have finished in the top three in the Pac-10 for five consecutive seasons. He also guided the Bruins to a school-record 35 victories in 2008. Additionally, he won more games in a three-year span (97 from 2006-08) than any other coach in UCLA history.
UCLA also won the 2008 Pac-10 Tournament Championship and finished the year with an overall record of 35-4 and a 16-2 mark in the Pac-10. Prior to UCLA, Howland was head coach at Pittsburgh from 1999-2003. He was the head coach at Northern Arizona from 1994-99.
UCLA leads the all-time series with Kansas 10-4 and the Bruins won the last meeting 68-55 in the West Regional finals of the 2007 NCAA Tournament in San Jose, Calif. Five of the 14 matchups have come in NCAA Tournament play with UCLA winning each of those battles. Half of the meetings have been played at neutral sites. This series dates back to 1958 and UCLA won the first eight meetings, but Kansas won four of the next five.
Kansas senior Sherron Collins is the lone Jayhawk to have played against UCLA in the 2007 West Regional final of the NCAA Tournament. Collins logged 15 minutes and was 0-4 from the field, including 0-1 from three-point range with one rebound and two assists against the Bruins.
This marks the third year of the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series. Heading into 2009-10 season, the Pac-10 holds a 13-11 advantage in all matchups. Kansas is 1-1 in the series and faced Arizona in the first two years of the event. The Jayhawks won 76-72 in overtime in 2007-08 in Allen Fieldhouse and the Wildcats won last year 84-67 in Tucson.
Not to overshadow the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series, but Kansas has become familiar with the Pac-10 Conference since the arrival of Bill Self in 2003-04. Under Self, Kansas has played eight Pac-10 teams eading into 2009-10 and will face UCLA Sunday and host California Dec. 22. Kansas is 5-3 against Pac-10 foes in the Bill Self era.