Published January 28, 2012
| Sports Network
Bill Self's Jayhawks haven't lost since a December 19th setback to Davidson. The team has won 10 in a row, including all seven of its conference games, capped off by a 64-54 win over Texas A&M this week.
Fred Hoiberg's Cyclones have had a successful season thus far, sitting eight games over .500 at 14-6, with the majority of those wins coming in Ames (10). ISU enters this contest following a 62-55 loss at Texas this week, falling to 4-3 in conference play.
This series dates back to 1908, with Kansas holding a 171-58 advantage all- time. The Jayhawks have won the last 13 meetings overall and hold a stellar 66-36 advantage in games played in Ames.
With a +15.7 scoring margin, the Jayhawks obviously have the ability to amass wins at either end of the floor. Kansas is strong offensively, averaging 75.8 ppg on a healthy .480 shooting. In addition, KU is outrebounding foes by 7.3 rpg, while forcing 15.1 turnovers per game. Opponents are only shooting .372 from the field against Kansas. Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor give the team a formidable inside/out game. Robinson is playing at an All-American level, averaging a double-double with 17.8 points and 12.0 rebounds per game. Taylor does his work along the perimeter, pouring in 16.6 ppg, while leading the team in assists (75). Travis Releford (9.7 ppg), Elijah Johnson (9.2 ppg) and Jeff Withey (8.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg, team-high 66 blocks) round out the starting five. The Jayhawks weren't at their best offensively against the Aggies, shooting a modest 42.6 percent from the floor, including a 4-of-20 showing from three-point range, but they did turn up the heat defensively, posting a 10-point victory nonetheless. Robinson recorded his 14th double-double of the season with 18 points and 10 boards. Taylor tacked on 17 points, while Withey finished with 10 points and eight blocks.
The usually strong shooting Cyclones struggled in Austin last time out, hitting just 33.3 percent from the floor and a poor 5-of-21 from behind the arc in a seven-point loss to Texas. A strong performance by Royce White was spoiled as the ISU power forward finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds in the setback. Melvin Ejim finished with 12 points, while Chris Babb added nine. On the season, ISU is averaging 74.3 ppg and has relied heavily on the three- pointer, averaging nearly nine treys per outing. White has been a jack-of-all- trades for Iowa State, leading the team in scoring (13.4 ppg), rebounding (9.6 rpg), assists (90), steals (24) and blocks (23). Chris Allen (12.1 ppg), Scott Christopherson (10.7 ppg), Tyrus McGee (9.3 ppg) and Babb (9.3 ppg) provide perimeter balance. The quartet are responsible for 156 of the team's 177 three-pointers.