News, notes and quotes on No. 15 Kansas' matchup with No. 8 Iowa State at 8 p.m. in Hilton Coliseum on ESPN Big Monday, while wondering if freshman guard Wayne Selden will score at least 20 points for the third straight game. Selden, who was named Big 12 Newcomer of the Week, is averaging 22.0 points in his first two league games, while shooting a scorching 59.3 percent from the field and 53.3 percent from beyond the arc.
The Jayhawks are 11-4 and 2-0 in the Big 12.
SCOUTING Iowa STATE
ISU (14-1, 2-1 Big 12) opened the year 14-0 (longest winning streak in school history) before losing its first game to Oklahoma, 87-82, Saturday in Norman. The Cyclones are led in scoring by senior forward Melvin Ejim (18.0 ppg, No. 3 in Big 12). Senior guard DeAndre Kane follows him at 16.5 points per game while leading the conference in assists (6.1 apg) and ranking second on the team in rebounding (7.3 rpg) and first with 22 steals.
Sophomore guard Georges Niang averages 15.3 points and 4.1 rebounds while second on the squad with 53 assists. Junior forward Dustin Hogue is next in scoring (12.3 ppg), while his 9.3 rebound average leads the Big 12. Sophomore guard Naz Long is another weapon who averages 8.4 points per game and leads ISU with 32 three-pointers. His 45.7 three-point field goal percentage is third in the league.
The Cyclones average 86.7 points per game and boast a +17.9 scoring margin, while grabbing 40.2 rebounds per game with a +2.7 rebound margin. Iowa State entered last weekend No. 1 in the country in assists per game (18.9 apg) and assist-to-turnover ratio (+1.9). ISU also leads the Big 12 with 8.9 three-pointers made per game, attempting 24.9 per contest.
Kane, a transfer from Marshall and one of the best and most versatile guards in the nation, sprained his left ankle late in the OU game.
"I should be okay by Monday … It's hurting really bad. It's throbbing. It will probably swell up on the plane ride back home. I want to play [Monday] and will do whatever I can to get back on the court with (my) brothers," Kane told USA Today Saturday.
Coach Fred Hoiberg, who is 76-40 in his fourth season at ISU, told the Associated Press that Kane will be a "game-day" decision. Whether he plays or not, KU coach Bill Self expects an electrifying atmosphere in Hilton tonight.
"That will probably be as good an environment as we play in all year long," Self said. "Last year, we beat them three times, but two of them, we actually basically lost the game and somehow won on the scoreboard, kind of freaky, fluky things. They'll be hungry for us.
"... This is a huge game for both of us," Self added. "But since they lost (to OU), that place will be jumping. And they're so talented and can score from all five spots, and Kane is probably the early favorite for player-of-the-year in the league, I would say so far. It'll be a tough contest but one we always enjoy going up there and playing in. Hopefully it will be the same case (this year). Go up there, let's have some fun on Monday."
KU leads the all-time series with ISU, 173-59, dating back to 1908 and has won 16 of the last 17 meetings. Iowa State last won, 72-64, on Jan. 28, 2012 in Hilton. Since Hoiberg's arrival in Ames, four of the five meetings have been decided by nine points or less with two of those in overtime, both being last season's regular-season games. KU won, 97-89 (OT), in Allen Fieldhouse on Jan. 9 before also winning 108-96 (OT) in Ames on Feb. 25 behind a career-high 39 points from Elijah Johnson.
After struggling some in the nonconference season at 9-4 and losing to San Diego State, 61-57, in the Phog on Jan. 5, KU has played quite well in its first two Big 12 games against Oklahoma and KSU. The Jayhawks are shooting 55.5 percent from the field and 47.1 percent from three-point range in Big 12 play while outrebounding their opponents 34.5 to 23.5.
Self said after KU's 86-60 victory over K-State on Saturday that the start of league action has sparked his team.
"I think what has helped as much as anything is the start of a new season so everybody is 0-0," Self said. "I think that kind of renewed us from an energy standpoint and a focus standpoint. The nonconference is important but it doesn't carry any bearing on what's real important, other than maybe a seed line or two. So certainly getting to a new season was good for our guys."
KU is playing more relaxed now and having fun. "I think it's just guys going out there and playing," junior point guard Naadir Tharpe said. "I feel like Wayne and Wiggs (Andrew Wiggins) now just go out there and play their game, just being loose and having fun. When they play like that you see what happens."
"I feel like the pieces are starting to come together a lot better and we are starting to get after it defensively," Selden added. "We are going pretty hard in practice so I feel like we are going to keep getting better."