Brady Morningstar (Steve Puppe photo)
News and notes on KU’s matchup with Colorado at Allen Fieldhouse at 3 p.m. today on ESPNU, while celebrating former Jayhawk star Paul Pierce’s selection in the NBA All-Star game on Feb. 15 in Phoenix.
This will be Pierce’s seventh All-Star appearance. “The Truth” is
averaging a team-best 18.8 points per game, and also chipping in 5.7
rebounds and 3.8 assists. He is tied with Dave Cowens, Kevin McHale,
and former Jayhawk All-American JoJo While for seventh place for Celtic
"It means a lot," Pierce told the Boston Globe. “It represents the
things you have done throughout the regular season. Representing the
Boston Celtics, it's always a joy to make the All-Star team. You don't
take those for granted because there will come a day where I'm not
going to make the All-Star team and I'll be like, 'Hey, I remember
those days when I made it.'
"I get to be around my peers and enjoy the weekend, the festivities. I
enjoy it more each time I make it."
35 AND COUNTING
Kansas looks to extend its nation-leading 35-game home winning streak.
The Jayhawks (16-4, 5-0 in Big 12) are also just one of two Big 12
teams (with Oklahoma) still undefeated in conference play. KU has won
five straight and eight of its last nine games.
Colorado (9-10, 1-4) is coming off a 55-49 victory over Iowa State in
Boulder on Tuesday. The Buffaloes had previously lost four straight.
CU, which is 0-4 in true road games this season, averages just 66.1
points per game and allows 66.3.
Sophomore guard Cory Higgins is the Buffs’ go-to player, averaging a
team-high 17.6 points and 6.9 rebounds per game, while also leading the
squad with 40 steals and an 86.3 percent mark from the free-throw line.
He made 12 of 12 in CU’s 73-56 loss to KU in Boulder on Jan. 17.
Higgins is also tied for team best in assists with 54.
Junior guard Dwight Thorne II is the only other player in double-figure
scoring at 12.7 ppg. He also has a team-high 27 three-pointers.
Freshman forward Austin Dufault is next in scoring (8.9 ppg), followed
by freshman guard Nate Tomlinson (8.2 ppg), senior forward Jermyl Jackson-Wilson (5.4 ppg and team-high 14 blocks) and sophomore forward
Casey Crawford (5.3 ppg).
KU leads the Big 12 in field goal percentage (48.9) and rebounding
defense (32.2 rpg). Kansas ranks among the conference’s top four teams
in scoring margin (third at +13.8), free throw percentage (third at
71.4), field goal percentage defense (second at 38.1), three-point
field goal percentage (third at 38.3), rebound margin (second at +6.3),
assists (second at 16.6), blocked shots (fourth at 4.5) and
assist-to-turnover ratio (fourth at 1.2).
STAMPEDING THE BUFFS
KU has a commanding edge in the overall series with Colorado (116-39),
and has won 12 straight and an eye-popping 39 of the last 40 meetings
dating back to 1991. Colorado last beat KU, 60-59, on Jan. 22, 2003, in
Boulder. Kansas advanced to the national championship game that season.
KU has won 25 straight games over Colorado in the Phog with CU’s last
win in Allen Fieldhouse coming on Feb. 10, 1983 (75-74).
In their last meeting two weeks ago, KU shot a blistering 61.4 percent
from the field, including 52.9 percent from three. The Jayhawks held
Colorado to just 37.2 percent shooting and 31.3 percent from beyond the
arc. Five Jayhawks scored in double figures, led by Sherron Collins
with 18, Cole Aldrich (15), Tyshawn Taylor (14), Tyrel Reed (11) and
Marcus Morris (10). Aldrich also grabbed a game-high 10 boards and was
perfect (6-6) from the field.
Higgins led the Buffs with 20 points, followed by Tomlinson and Thorne
II with 10 each.
Kansas pulled away from Colorado midway through the second half with
two three-pointers by Reed and a bucket by Morris. Reed scored all 11
of his points in the final 11 minutes.