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Nuts & Bolts Preview: Kansas vs. Texas

Kansas vs. Texas

No. 9 Kansas (24-6, 13-2 Big 12) returns home for Senior Day when it plays host to Texas (20-9, 9-6 Big 12). The game, televised on CBS at 3 p.m., will be the final home appearance for seniors Matt Kleinmann and Brennan Bechard. Since 1983-84, the Jayhawks have won 24-straight Senior Days and 25 consecutive final home games of the season (as in 2007 there was no senior on the KU roster). Both invited walk-ons, Kleinmann is a fifth-year senior, while Bechard is completing his third season at Kansas after transferring from Barton County Community College in 2005. Kansas is coming off an 84-65 loss at Texas Tech on Wednesday. Despite the loss, Missouri's win against Oklahoma guaranteed Kansas its fifth-straight, ninth Big 12 and 52nd overall conference regular-season title for KU.

Denver's Thoughts...

Well rumor has it we're pretty successful on Senior days, but on a day where a team led by anything but seniors takes the court there is a little to be concerned about.  I do think however that the wakeup call issued by the Red Raiders on Wednesday along with the friendly home crowd makes this one we don't lose.  The Jayhawks have a chance to clinch the conference title outright and that should mean something to this group.  I think Kansas comes out quick in this one and A.J. Abrams and Damien James lead the Longhorns on a run but it won't be enough.  The one thing that worries me a bit is if Abrams takes a page from Voskuhl the other night or if the Connor Atchley show decides to come out of hiding.

Final Score: Kansas 78 Texas 70

Team Stat Comparison

                    PPG FG% FT% 3P% RPG ORPG DRPG APG TPG SPG BPG FPG
Texas TEX 73.0 44.0 66.4 32.0 42.8 14.4 25.0 13.3 12.3 6.5 5.3 19.3
Kansas KU 77.4 48.1 72.4 37.9 41.8 12.1 26.9 16.2 14.9 7.1 4.4 19.5
Texas TEX Opponents 65.1 40.7 64.5 34.2 38.0 11.8 22.4 11.1 14.2 6.1 3.1 20.3
Kansas KU Opponents 65.4 38.4 71.1 33.7 34.4 11.1 20.4 12.7 14.1 7.1 3.0 20.4


Full preview and breakdown after the jump...


Ranks and Record

Rank and Records TEX
RPI #36
Strength of Schedule #32
Overall 20-9
Conference 9-6
Home 13-2
Away 4-5
Top 25 3-3
RPI Top 50 6-5

About Kansas

Kansas will be the No. 1 seed in the 2009 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship March 11-14 to be played at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City. KU has won the event each of the last three seasons and six times since the inception of the league in 1996-97.

At 40 consecutive wins in Allen Fieldhouse, Kansas takes the nation's longest home court winning streak into the Texas contest. The Jayhawks have won five of their last six games and 13 of their last 15 games. The Jayhawks are averaging 77.4 points per game and giving up 65.4 for a +12.0 scoring margin. KU leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage defense at 38.4 percent, rebound defense at 31.5 and rebound margin at +7.6. In conference play, KU leads the conference in scoring margin (+10.5), field goal percentage defense (38.4), rebounding (38.3), rebounding defense (29.5) and rebound margin (+8.8).

About Texas

Texas has won three of its last four games and brings a 20-9 record into Allen Fieldhouse. The Longhorns are tied for fourth in the Big 12 standings with a 9-6 record along with Oklahoma State. A victory over KU would assure UT the No. 4 seed in next week's conference championship. Texas averages 73.0 points and allows 65.1 for a +7.9 scoring margin. The Longhorns lead the Big 12 in rebounding with 39.4 boards per game. Texas has a deep team as eight players average 14-plus minutes per game. Senior guard A.J. Abrams leads the team in scoring with 16.9 points per game, which is seventh in the Big 12. Abrams leads the conference in three-point field goals made per contest at 3.0 with 88 treys in 29 contests.

The Series

Year-in and year-out the Kansas-Texas battles are some of the biggest in the Big 12 and nationally. Kansas leads the overall series 15-6 and has won four of the last five meetings. These teams have met in each of the last three Phillips Big 12 Championship title games with KU claiming all three match ups - 80-68 in Dallas in 2006, 88-84 in overtime in Oklahoma City in 2007 and 84-74 in Kansas City last year. Kansas is 8-0 against Texas in Lawrence, including a 6-0 record in Allen Fieldhouse. Expect a close contest, as each of the last four have been decided by 10 points or less. This series dates back to 1938.

Senior Notables

--Both are invited walk-ons

--Regular members of the Red Team (i.e., the team which goes against the KU regulars day-in and day-out in practice)

Matt Kleinmann (6-10, C, Sr., Overland Park, Kan., Blue Valley West HS)

--Academic All-Big 12 First Team as a senior

--Six-time member of the Athletic Director's Honor Roll

--Has been a member of eight Big 12 Championship titles (five Big 12 regular-season, three Big 12 Tournament)

--Has appeared in 68 games while at Kansas with one start.

--Kansas is 19-0 when Kleinmann scores in a game, including 4-0 in 2008-09

--Was a redshirt in 2004-05

--Kansas has averaged 28.4 wins per season in Matt Kleinmann's five-year career as a Jayhawk.

--KU is 142-29 (83 percent) during his stint at Kansas.

--Member of Kansas' two NCAA Tournament Elite Eights (2007, 2008) and the 2008 Final Four and NCAA National Championship teams.

Brennan Bechard (6-0, G, Sr., Lawrence, Kan., Lawrence HS/Barton County CC)

--Was a member of the Athletic Director's Honor Roll his sophomore year.

--Has appeared in 33 games while at Kansas.

--Has been a member of five Big 12 Championship titles (three Big 12 regular-season, two Big 12 Tournament)

--While Bechard has been a Jayhawk, Kansas is 94-14 for an 87 percent winning percentage.

--KU has won an average of 31.3 games per season with Bechard as a team member.

--Member of Kansas' two NCAA Tournament Elite Eights (2007, 2008) and the 2008 Final Four and NCAA National Championship teams.

--Transferred to Kansas from Barton County Community College following his freshman season.


A Trip Down Memory Lane...

A look at favorite opponent players of the past, feel free to add yours...

Chris Mihm - What we all hoped for out of Eric Chenowith

Gabe Muoneke - Competitor

Travis Ford - Texas' Jacque Vaughn only a better scorer

PJ Tucker - Could have played Longhorn Football

Kevin Durant - WOW

Royal Ivey - just a general thorn in our side at times

Lamarcus Aldridge - His time was too short in my opinion

DJ Augustine - Can you say 4 way tie for the Big 12 if he sticks around

Luke Axtell - Partial credit goes to Luke who's best year in college was actually his freshman season at Texas...hats of to Luke

Up Next

Kansas' next action will be Thursday, March 12, in the quarterfinals of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City. KU is the No. 1 seed and will play at 11:30 a.m. KU is three-time defending Big 12 Championship champion.