News and Notes: Sunflower Showdown

News and Notes for the first hoops edition of the Sunflower Showdown this season, while hoping basketball and his teammates bring Thomas Robinson a much-needed respite from the tragedies of recent weeks.

* Saturday's edition of the Sunflower Showdown marks the 270th time Kansas and Kansas State have met up on the hardwood. The Jayhawks currently lead the series by a 90-game margin.

* Kansas recovered from its first loss of the season nicely, with an 82-78 victory over Colorado on Jan. 25.

* Kansas State has had an unexpectedly rocky start. After opening the season as the pre-season pick to win the Big 12 conference and owning a top 5 ranking in the polls, the Wildcats have stumbled to a 14-7 overall start and a 2-4 record in conference play. They took a step in the right direction Monday night, however, besting Baylor by a score of 69-61.

* Senior guard Jacob Pullen leads Kansas Stat ein scoring with a 17.9 points per game average. He is followed by sophomore guard Rodney McGruder (11.2) and senior forward Curtis Kelly (10.5).

* Kansas has won 10 of the last 11 meetings with Kansas state, and leads the series in Lawrence 81-35. Since the inception of the Big 12, Kansas is 26-2 in regular season meetings with their in-state rival, and 33-2 including Big 12 Championship meetings. The series dates all the way back to 1907.

* The Jayhawks continue to lead the Big 12 in scoring margin, field goal percentage, three-point field goal percentage defense and assists. They have held 10 opponents to 60 or fewer points this season.

* Following the loss to Texas, Kansas dropped to No. 6 in both major polls this week. It marks the 31st straight week the Jayhawks have been ranked No. 7 or better in both polls.

* The Kansas family has dealt with more than its fair share of tragedy in recent weeks, none more so than sophomore power forward Thomas Robinson. The entire team flew to Washington, D.C. to attend the Thursday funeral of his mother, Lisa Robinson, who died last Friday at the age of 43. Robinson is expected to return today with director of basketball operations Barry Hinson.

* The family of Lisa is asking that in lieu of flowers or other gifts, contributions be made to the Lisa Robinson Scholarship Fund, for the benefit of her daughter, Jayla, c/o SNR Denton, 1301 K Street NW, Suite 600, East Tower, Washington, DC 20005-3364.

* ESPN College Gameday will be broadcasting live from Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday. This marks the fourth time the historic venue has hosted the widely-viewed program since 2005.

* Former KU basketball All-American Wayne Simien will have his jersey retired at halftime of the game. Simien ended his career as the No. 12 scorer and No. 7 rebounder in Kansas history.


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