Scouting Texas A&M

News, notes and quotes on No. 2 KU's matchup against No. 21 Texas A&M tonight at 8 (CT) in Allen Fieldhouse on ESPN2, while knowing the Phog will be rocking in the regular-season finale and last home game for seniors Tyrel Reed, Brady Morningstar and Mario Little.

Kansas (27-2, 12-2 in Big 12), which has has won 27-straight home finales, can move one game ahead of Texas for first place in the conference with a victory.

SCOUTING TEXAS A&M

Texas A&M (22-6, 9-5 Big 12) is in third place in the Big 12 and coming off a 58-51 loss at Baylor Saturday. The Aggies, who had previously won five straight, are led by sophomore forward Khris Middleton, who averages a team-high 14.6 points per game. He's also tied for team lead in steals with 34. 

Junior forward David Lobeau is next in scoring (11.2 ppg), followed by senior forward Nathan Walkup (9.7 ppg, team-high 5.8 rpg), senior guard B.J. Holmes (9.5 ppg), freshman forward Kourtney Roberson (5.9 ppg), sophomore guard Naji Hibbert (5.6 ppg) and junior guard Dash Harris (4.3 ppg, team-best 89 assists).

The Aggies average 69.4 points per game and allow 60.5. They're shooting 44.5 percent from the field, 33.8 percent from three-point range, and 70.0 percent at the free-throw line. A&M is holding opponents to 41.0 percent shooting and 31.7 percent from beyond the arc, while outrebounding foes 36.8 to 29.5 boards per game. The Aggies lead the Big 12 in defensive rebounds at 29.5 boards per game.

Head coach Mark Turgeon, the former KU standout (1983-87), is in his fourth season at Texas A&M with a 95-37 record. He is in his 13th season overall with a 248-156 mark. Turgeon has led the Aggies to three NCAA tournament appearances and advanced into the second round all three years.

Turgeon, the first player in Jayhawk history to play in four straight NCAA tournaments, is 0-5 against Kansas.

SELF ON A&M

KU coach Bill Self has great respect for Turgeon and the Aggies.

"They're well coached," Self said. "Turge is doing a great job. He's a good coach, period. They don't beat themselves. They don't give up easy baskets. They've had a couple players really mature and become terrific players. I think Loubeau definitely has a chance to be an all-league player, and Middleton may have a chance to be an all-league player this year, and that's just as a sophomore. Those two are terrific."

LITTLE TO START/ELIJAH GETTING TO THE POINT

Self plans on starting the three seniors against A&M, meaning Little will receive his first start of the season and fourth start of his career.

Johnson will be the first guard off the bench, while Self told the Lawrence Journal-World Tuesday night that suspended guard Tyshawn Taylor (he's missed the last two games) "will be in uniform."

Self said Johnson has played "pretty well the past two or three weeks." The sophomore has started the last two games and shot 5-of-6 from three-point range with four assists and two turnovers.

"In my mind, if we were going to play an NCAA tournament game tomorrow," Self said, "Elijah Johnson would be our starting point guard."

MCMORRIS FINALIST FOR OSCAR ROBERTSON TROPHY

Junior forward Marcus Morris was named one of 10 finalists for the Oscar Robertson Trophy by the United States Basketball Writers Association of America (USBWA) on Monday.
 
Morris leads Kansas in scoring at 17.3 points per game (No. 5 in Big 12), while averaging 19.0 points in Big 12 play. He leads the conference in shooting percentage at 60.7 percent.
 
Last season, KU's Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich were finalists for the Oscar Robertson Trophy.

THE KU-TEXAS A&M SERIES

KU leads the all-time series with A&M 16-1 with the Jayhawks winning the last five meetings. The teams have met in the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament two of the last three years (2008 and 2010) with Kansas winning both times and eventually winning the tournament title.

Turgeon faced KU for the first time in Allen Fieldhouse in 2009; KU won 73-53.

The Jayhawks are 6-1 against A&M in the Phog...The first game in the series was played in 1967 in the Sunflower Doubleheader in Manhattan, Kan., with KU winning 78-52. The teams have since met in the Big 12 era.

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