Scouting UT Arlington

News, notes and quotes on No. 3 KU's matchup with Texas-Arlington tonight at 8:00 in Allen Fieldhouse on ESPNU while hoping the Jayhawks (11-0) come out energized in their final game of 2010.

SCOUTING TEXAS-ARLINGTON

UT Arlington (5-5) returns five letterwinners and two starters from last season's team, which went 16-14 and 8-8 in the Southland Conference. UTA's game vs. Kansas will be its fifth of six-straight road games. The Mavericks are 4-0 at home with victories over Texas Lutheran, UT Tyler, Hardin-Simmons, and St. Edwards, while going 1-5 on the road with their lone victory at Houston Baptist and losses to Oregon State, North Texas, Samford, Louisiana Tech, and Texas Tech  (73-56) on Dec. 22.

Texas-Arlington, which started the season winning five of its first six games, enters tonight's showdown on a four-game losing streak.

Junior forward LaMarcus Reed III leads UTA with 15.5 points per game, while his 20 three-point field goals are second on the team. He also averages 4.8 rebounds per game. Reed is the only player in double-digit scoring.

The Mavericks average 72.9 points per game and allow 65.0. They're shooting 42.8 percent from the field, 35.4 percent from three-point range, and 75.1 percent at the free-throw line. UTA is holding foes to 37.6 percent shooting and 32.3 percent from beyond the arc, while outrebounding opponents 38.1 to 35.9 boards per game.

Head coach Scott Cross is in his fourth season as head coach (all at UTA) with a 71-62 record.

SELF ON THE MAVERICKS & JAYHAWKS

"It's like watching us," KU coach Bill Self said of the Mavericks. "They do a lot of similar things that we do offensively. They do a few things different defensively, but they run the same things we run and they're pretty good at it. They're 5-5 and they played North Texas to four at North Texas (87-83 on Nov. 30), played La. Tech to one at La. Tech (62-61 on Dec. 18). They're pretty athletic, small, so it will be a situation where our bigs will have to guard out on the floor."

As for his own team, Self said the holiday practices have "been OK so far. It will be five practices after tonight (Tuesday). I think we have gotten a little bit better. "

THE SERIES

This will be the first meeting in men's basketball between Kansas and Texas-Arlington. The Jayhawks are 3-0 against current membership of the Southland Conference, including an 82-41 win against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Nov. 23 in Allen Fieldhouse.

SELBY MAKING HIS MARK

Freshman Josh Selby has made his mark in his first two games as a Jayhawk. He's averaging 19.5 points in 30.5 minutes per game while shooting a scorching 66.7 percent (8-12) from three-point range. Selby has also made  9-of-10 free throws.

"My teammates have made it a lot easier on me, putting me in the right positions to score, telling me where to be. I give all the credit to my teammates and coaches (for) helping me out," Selby said.

Selby, who said he's trying to adjust to the faster game speed of college basketball, knows he must improve defensively.

"I was struggling in the first game (against USC on Dec. 18) because I didn't know all of the tendencies," he said, "but the coaches and the players have helped me out and I'm getting it down pat."

Self said the freshman star "is doing great" and "picking up stuff all the time."

STEALS ARTIST

Sophomore swingman Travis Releford, who started the last two games (four starts on the year) in place of junior forward Markieff Morris, has two steals in each of his last three games. He's averaging 5.9 points in 15.3 minutes per contest, while shooting a scorching 59.5 percent from the field.

‘KIEFF ROLLIN'

Markieff Morris was named Big 12 Player of the Week (Dec. 27) after his career-high 21 points and 10 rebounds at California on Dec. 22. Morris has two double-doubles in his last three games, while just missing a double-double in the other game (11 points, eight boards) against USC.

Morris leads the Big 12 with a 9.1 rebound average, is 18th in scoring (13.0 ppg) and tied for 12th in free-throw percentage (75.0).

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