The Jayhawks are 16-4 and 7-0 in Big 12 after their last 92-81 win against Iowa State on Wednesday in Allen
Texas (16-4, 5-2 Big 12), which has already matched its win total from all of last season, won 10 of its first 11 games, yet dropped its first two Big 12 contests before entering the KU showdown on a five-game winning streak. UT has defeated three straight AP Top-25 teams (Iowa State, K-State and Baylor) for the first time in school history.
The Longhorns have 10 players who average 10 or more minutes per game with junior forward Jonathan Holmes leading the attack with 12.9 points per contest. Sophomore guard Javan Felix is next in scoring (12.2 ppg, leads UT with 29 three-pointers), followed by freshman guard Isaiah Taylor (11.7 ppg, team-high 73 assists and 84 free throws made), sophomore center Cameron Ridley (11.2 ppg, team-high 7.8 rpg and 2.4 bpg) and sophomore guard Demarcus Holland (8.6 ppg).
Texas averages 77.6 points per game and has +7.0 scoring margin. UT leads the Big 12 with 41.7 rebounds per game and boasts a +6.8 rebound margin. Texas also leads the league in blocked shots with 6.5 per game, while averaging 28.5 free throw attempts per game.
UT shoots 44.6 percent from the field, 32.9 percent from three-point range, and 65.3 percent at the free throw line while holding foes to 39.7 percent shooting (No. 2 in Big 12 in field goal percentage defense) and 33.3 percent from beyond the arc.
Improved defense has been a big key in the Longhorns' five-game winning streak. Texas has held its last five opponents to an average of 66.6 points per game while allowing just 39.2 percent shooting, including 25.9 percent from beyond the arc.
Coach Rick Barnes is 374-159 in his 16th season at UT and 576-293 in his 27th season overall.
COACH SELF ON THE HORNS
KU coach Bill Self expects a huge test from the Longhorns.
"They're really young and fast, probably as fast a team as we'll play all year long," Self said. "They're big, obviously, when you have Ridley, (Connor) Lammert (5.5 ppg, 4.8 rpg) and Holmes playing inside. Rick's got a fun team, and they're obviously playing their tails off for them."
GOOD TEST FOR JOEL
Self knows the Longhorns' big frontcourt will be a good test for freshman center Joel Embiid and the other KU bigs.
"Cameron's big," Self said. "He's a legit 7-foot kid, or 6-111/2 or whatever. He's got weight on him and he's gotten himself in great shape. This will be a good test for our frontline, without question and certainly Holmes can step away from the basket. I'm excited to see how Joel reacts and I'm sure he'll be excited to play."
KU has already set a school record by beating four straight AP Top-25 teams this season (Jan. 11-20). Now, the ‘Hawks hope to stop Texas from accomplishing the same feat.
"I told our guys our goal obviously is not to let that happen," Self said. "We need to go down there with a great mindset. They'll play with a free mind and they'll play hungry."
The KU-UT series dates back to 1938 with Kansas leading 22-7. The Jayhawks have won five straight and eight of the last nine meetings. Self is 12-7 all time against Texas, including 12-5 while at KU. Barnes is 6-16 all time versus Kansas.