MBB Hosts Kansas Wednesday Night in Big 12 Home Opener
TONIGHT: Since 1990, Kansas has won 13 of the last 15 meetings in Boulder, including the last five in a row, three of those in Boulder. Tonight is the Big 12 opener and first road game for the 9-4 Jayhawks. Colorado is 10-2 after dropping their conference opener at Texas on Saturday. Tonight is the first time since 1998-99 that KU is not ranked in the AP poll when visiting Boulder. COMPLETE NOTES located below and under the game notes category.
Television: Fox Sports Rocky Mountain
Announcers: Drew Goodman (p-b-p), Ceal Barry (analyst), Dave Benz (sideline)
Radio 760-AM: Mark Johnson (p-b-p), Charles Johnson (analyst)
BEST START SO FAR: After falling at Texas, the Buffs are still off to their best start to a season in quite some time. Their 10-2 start mirrors five other seasons in which CU began the campaign with a 10-2 record. The others: 1980-81, 1979-80, 1978-79, 1968-69, 1944-45.
WIN STREAK: CU's nine-game winning streak was the longest in school history since the 1961-62 season when the Buffaloes won 12-straight.
CU vs. KANSAS: The Jayhawks have won the last five in a row over the Buffaloes since CU performed a rare 60-59 victory back on Jan. 22, 2003. Overall, KU leads the series 109-39 and holds a 36-26 advantage in Boulder.
SCOUTING THE JAYHAWKS: KU is peaking at the right time entering tonight's Big 12 Conference opener. KU is also proven to be game-tested with losses to Arizona, Arkansas, Nevada and Saint Joseph's. After dismantling Kentucky on Saturday, 73-46, KU has won six straight games and are led by freshman Brandon Rush (12.8 ppg., 5.2 rpg., 2.5 apg.) and sophomore Sasha Kaun (10.7 ppg., 6.5 rpg.). Head Coach Bill Self enters his third year with the Jayhawks with five sophomores, five freshmen, and four seniors.
BUFF TIDBITS: Before the Texas game, CU was 10-1 matching their best starts in 1978-79 (26 years ago) and the 1968-69 seasons (36 years ago) ... CU is unbeaten at home (7-0) ... The Buffaloes are 1-2 since 2000-01when beginning the conference season on the road then following with a home game (2004-05: lost to Nebraska (68-61); 2002-03: defeated K-State (69-63); 2000-01: lost to Missouri (82-76) ... Did you know this is the fourth time since 1996-97 that CU brings an undefeated home record into the KU game?? In addition to this year, CU was 7-0 in 1996-97; 7-0 in 2001-02; in 1999-2000 was 6-0 -- all three years lost to the visitors ... The Buffaloes are No. 1 among conference scoring offense (85.7), steals (11.1), and 3-point field goals made (8.1) ... The Buffs have made a 3-pointer in 112-straight games (last time CU they didn't was Jan. 16, 2002, Iowa State, W, 63-61) ... Head Coach Ricardo Patton is 1-21 lifetime against the Jayhawks ... INDIVIDUAL: Of the nine national categories located on page 5, Richard Roby leads CU in eight of the nine. The only exception is blocked shots (Andy Osborn) ... Osborn has made at least one 3-pointer in his last nine games ... Martane Freeman is averaging 12.8 points and 6.0 rebounds off the bench in his last four games ... Marcus Hall is No. 1 for a second straight week in assist/turnover ratio (2.61) ... Hall keeps moving up the schools assists chart as 17th (218) ... Roby is 64th in all-time scoring (669 pts. with a 15.8 ppg.).
SIXTH MAN: Senior Martane Freeman has proved himself in his second year with the Buffs scoring a career-best 20 points off the bench in the loss at Texas. It's the fourth time this season he has scored 17 or more points in a reserve role and third time leading CU in scoring. Freeman is shooting .565 (39-of-69) from the field, averaging 3.1 rebounds and shooting .758 (25-of-33) from the charity stripe.
3-POINT WATCH: So far after 12 games, the Buffs continue to make strides toward last year's school record of 223 made. After 12 games last year the Buffs were 71-of-196, this year they are an impressive 97-of-264.
BIG 12 OPENER: The Buffaloes saw the same ?ole thing in their conference opener at Texas last Saturday, they lost. It was the ninth straight conference opener loss and kept CU 0-4 on the road. Lone win was Nebraska in 1996-97.
Jan. 07, 2006 at Texas L, 64-89
Jan. 08, 2005 at Oklahoma L, 55-85
Jan. 05, 2004 KANSAS L, 62-77
Jan. 11, 2003 at Oklahoma L, 54-69
Jan. 05, 2002 KANSAS L, 85-97
Jan. 06, 2001 at Baylor L, 56-61
Jan. 08, 2000 KANSAS L, 69-84
Jan. 02, 1999 TEXAS L, 68-73
Jan. 03, 1998 OKLAHOMA L, 68-69
Jan. 04, 1997 NEBRASKA W, 79-73
BIG 12 10TH ANNIVERSARY VOTING NOW OPEN: The Big 12 is celebrating its 10th anniversary this season and is selecting special teams to honor the top players in the first nine years of the conference. Followers of the Big 12 can vote for the top five men's basketball players in league annals by visiting the conference web site at www.big12sports.com. Click on the "Vote Now" button on the left side of the home page. Users may also go directly to the following link for voting information: www.big12sports.com/10th-anniversary/ Winners will be announced live on the ESPN Plus Studio 66 halftime show in early February.
TEXAS & SAVANNAH STATE: After beating Savannah State by 64 and losing to Texas by 25, the Buffs completed the largest margin point swing (89 pts.) in back-to-back games in school history. The only other time the Buffs were involved in a similarly large margin in back-to-back games was in the 2000-01 season when they beat Texas-Arlington and St. Mary's by a combined 88 points.
UNBEATEN AT HOME: The Buffs (7-0) are one of four Big 12 teams who remain undefeated at home (Kansas, Kansas State and Oklahoma are the others). Overall, the Big 12 is a combined 84-8 in home games this season.
IF YOU DISMISS Dartmouth, Mercer, Savannah State from the schedule, you get: CU is one of only three Big 12 teams (Kansas and Nebraska are the others) without a player averaging 30 minutes of playing time per game. Sophomore Richard Roby leads the team (29.4 mpg), with eight other players averaging double-digit minute totals.
Forward Martane Freeman is 10th in the Big 12 in FG percentage (.563) among players with at least as many shots attempted (48) as him; he is second in the conference in steals per 40 minutes (3.6). Freeman is only seventh on the team in minutes played (15.8 MPG), but he is fifth in scoring (8.6 PPG) and third in points per 40 minutes (21.5).
CU's offensive boards account for 37.6 percent of the Buffs' total rebounding total. Only Missouri (39.1%) and Oklahoma (43.3%) have a higher percentage of offensive boards compared to their totals.
(*All totals minus three games against low RPI opponents Mercer, Dartmouth, Savannah State)
A TALE of Two POLLS: CU comes into the game ranked 31st in the ESPN/USA Today poll, with 27 votes; Kansas is ranked 41st in the same poll with four votes. Kansas is ranked 33rd in the AP poll with 27 votes, while CU is not receiving any votes in the same poll.
#33 RETURNS: Julius Ashby, CU's 6'9" senior forward from Trinidad & Tobago has officially returned to the lineup after being academically ineligible for the fall semester. In his last four games, Ashby is averaging 7.0 points, 5.5 rebounds. In his first real test against competition (Texas), Ashby played 13 minutes, grabbed three rebounds and fouled out with 16 minutes remaining.
TOP 25 RANKINGS...almost: Hey, we're STILL getting votes, 27 in the latest ESPN/USA Today poll (week 10). That means we're the No. 31st ranked team nationally if the poll was 31 or more teams. The last time the Buffs were ranked in either poll came in 1997 at No. 24 (Associated Press). The others were 1969 (#18), 1963 (#10), 1962 (#9) and 1955 (#15).
MORE TIDBITS: CU's misfortune on the road against a ranked opponent continued to 0-22 (last time CU defeated a ranked team on the road was Jan. 11, 1997 at Texas Tech, 80-78) ... Enter tonight's game, CU represents the top in a various conference categories: Marcus Hall is No. 1 for a second straight week in assist/turnover ratio (2.61), scoring offense (85.7), steals (11.1), and 3-point field goals made (8.1) ... Hall keeps moving up the schools assists chart as 17th (218) ... Roby is 64th in all-time scoring (669 pts. with a 15.8 ppg.) ... CU has made a 3-pointer in 112-straight games (last time CU they didn't was Jan. 16, 2002, Iowa State, W, 63-61).
LIFE BEFORE CUPCAKES: With all due respect to Mercer (Dec. 22), Dartmouth (Dec. 31), and Savannah State (Jan. 3), a trio of teams at the bottom of the competitive barrel, CU sophomore Richard Roby has suffered the most in terms of statistical improvement. Before Mercer, Roby was averaging 18.5 points per game, today he's averaging 15.8 (he scored 14 at Texas). In those three games, Roby averaged nine points and four rebounds per game.
THIS DAY IN HISTORY: CU is 11-8 on this day in their history with a 7-4 home record. However, the Buffs have played their last four games on the road (2-2). The last time they played home was 1992 losing to Nebraska, 84-74.
MORE BUFF INDIVIDUAL Tidbits: Richard Roby collected his third career double-double versus Utah (19 pts., 10 rebs.) ... Andy Osborn collected his second career double-double at CU, 17 pts., 10 rebounds against Cal Poly (four at Loyola Marymount) ... Roby failed to make a 3-pointers against SSU, ending his streak of 30 games going back to last season ... Chris Copeland has cracked the CU all-time rebounding list. Copeland has 332 for 51st; Glean Eddy has 360, 42nd all-time ... Scott Senger grabbed a career-best five rebounds (four offensive) against Saint Mary's ... Roby scored 480 points during his freshman season, the most of any frosh in its history, including Chauncey Billups (465) ... On page 9, a handful of CU players are moving upward on career school lists ... Seniors Chris Copeland, Glean Eddy, Antoine McGee, and Jayson Obazuaye close out their final year in 2005-06. It's also the first senior class under Head Coach Ricardo Patton that four players will have played their freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years at CU.
BUFF NOTES against the little three: Since CU has returned to reality after falling at nationally-ranked Texas, those three games against Dartmouth, Mercer and Savannah State technically don't count. However, if you're curious, here are some tidbits that the Buffaloes excelled at: Over those last three games, the CU starters averaged 54.7 points per game combined, while the bench averaged 50.7 points...Overall, the Buffs' bench has accounted for roughly a third (34.0%) of CU's total points...The Buffs have only fallen behind by a double-digit margin once. It came against Penn when CU fell behind 33-23 with 5:43 left in the first half. They went on to knot up the score 37-37 at halftime before eventually winning by 18...The Buffs have failed to open up a double-digit lead against an opponent only once, as CU's largest lead against Colorado State was nine...Production from the CU frontcourt and backcourt have been relatively equal. After 11 games, the frontcourt has produced 51.6% of the offense, while the backcourt has produced 48.4% of the offense. Though CU's roster consists of 10 seniors, they account for just over half (58.3%) of the Buffs' points. The quartet of 'middleclassmen,' juniors Marcus Hall and Dominique Coleman, and sophomores Richard Roby and Marcus King-Stockton contribute 38.6% of CU's points. The remaining 3.4% has come from the Buffs' three freshmen...Over the last four games, the Buffs have led for 158:14 of the possible 160 minutes; over the last five games the Buffs have led for 195:16 of the possible 200 minutes. During the course of the season, CU has led for an average of 34:37 minutes (86% of the time). Only twice (CSU and Penn) has CU trailed for over 25% of the game?they trailed for 10:13 in each game ... CU has won 16-straight non-conference games since Jan. 8, 2004 ... CU's 67 first half points against Savannah State (Jan. 3) set a school record for most points in the first half as well as their margin of victory over the Tigers (64 points) ... The Buffaloes 51-point halftime lead bettered the 36-point halftime advantage against Mercer for the most points scored ... The Buffaloes tied a season-high 12 3-pointers against Savannah State ... The 116-52 romp over Savannah State produced a CU record seven players in double figures, incredibly one of the wasn't Richard Roby (six points) ... In his limited role, Roby played only 11 minutes in CU's dismantling of Mercer (117-74); AND only 15 minutes in romp of Savannah State (116-52) ... Holding Savannah State under 70 points improved CU's record to 7-0 in this category.