Published May 02, 2016
Austin, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - A Top-25 matchup is on tap at the Frank Erwin Center on Saturday afternoon, as the 11th-ranked Kansas Jayhawks and 17th- ranked Texas Longhorns square off in a Big 12 battle.
Bill Self's Jayhawks are sitting pretty atop the Big 12 standings, tied with Iowa State at 4-1, although Kansas' lone league loss came at Iowa State last weekend. The team was able to get some distance from that setback however, with Monday's 85-78 win over nationally-ranked Oklahoma. It was the team's sixth win in the last seven games and moved Kansas to 15-3 overall.
Rick Barnes' Longhorns are a game back in the conference standings at 3-2. Texas enters with a brief two-game win streak in tow, including the most recent outing, a 66-48 rout of TCU in the road on Monday. The Erwin Center has been a safe haven for Texas, which is 9-2 at home this season and 234-34 all- time in the building in Barnes' tenure.
This is the 32nd all-time meeting in this series, with Kansas holding a sizable 23-8 advantage. The Jayhawks have won five of the last six meetings and nine of the last 11 overall.
Kansas was able to post its 18th straight win in the Allen Fieldhouse with a strong performance against a very good Oklahoma squad. The Jayhawks used a barrage of 3-pointers in the first half, tying the school record with nine treys in the first 20 minutes, leading to a 51-32 edge at intermission. Overall, Kansas rolled up 85 points on a solid .483 shooting, as five Jayhawks finished in double figures. Kelly Oubre Jr. led the way with 19 points. Perry Ellis poured in 16, followed by Cliff Alexander (13 pts), Brannen Greene (12 pts) and Frank Mason III (10 pts).
The offensive outburst was a bit shocking, considering Kansas hasn't really been a juggernaut this season. The team has posted modest numbers overall, averaging 72.3 ppg on .435 shooting. KU has been dominant at times on the glass, where it sports a +7.1 rebounding margin. Ellis is tops on the team in scoring (12.8 ppg) and rebounding (6.7 rpg). Mason is an all-around threat, showing the ability to score (12.7 ppg), rebound (4.0 rpg), distribute (team- high 4.2 apg) and play tight defense (team-high 25 steals).
Texas isn't going to blow out opponents with gaudy offensive performances either. The Longhorns are actually averaging just 69.9 ppg this season, but make up for it with exceptional defensive play. UT is among the nation's best in scoring defense (15th at 56.8 ppg), field-goal percentage defense (fourth at .344) and rebounding margin (second at +12.2). There aren't any prolific scoring options on the roster, but rather a collection of solid contributors. Myles Turner leads the way with his 11.8 ppg. He is followed closely by Jonathan Holmes (11.4 ppg), Isaiah Taylor (11.4 ppg) and Javan Felix (10.5 ppg).
The Longhorns held the Horned Frogs to just .333 shooting, while connecting on .480 from the floor in the victory earlier in the week. Texas also held a 40-31 edge in rebounding and blocked nine TCU shots in the game. Felix led four Longhorns in double figures with 15 points. Taylor added 13 points, followed by Turner and Cameron Ridley, who checked in with 11 and 10 points, respectively.