News, notes and quotes on No. 5 Kansas’ matchup with UC Santa Barbara Friday in Allen Fieldhouse at 7 p.m.
Kansas won the only meeting with UCSB, 72-52, in the opening round of the Wolf Pack Holiday Classic, Dec. 20, 2003, in Reno, Nevada, in Bill Self’s first season at KU. Kansas is 5-2 all time against current membership of the Big West Conference with a 3-1 record versus Long Beach State and 2-1 mark against Hawaii.
Self begins his 12th season at Mount Oread with a 325-69 record and is 523-174 entering his 22nd season overall. His 82.5 winning percentage at Kansas is the highest in school history. UCSB head coach Bob Williams is in his 17th season at the school with a 269-212 record. Overall, Williams enters his 26th season with a 458-312 mark.
41 & COUNTING; 12 & COUNTING
Kansas has won its last 41 home openers in Allen Fieldhouse dating back to the 1973-74 Final Four season. Since 2001-02, Kanas has won its last 12 season openers.
ON THIS DAY?
KU is 3-0 all time on Nov. 14. On Nov. 14, 1997, No. 2 KU beat Santa Clara, 99-73, in the Phog. Senior Raef LaFrentz led all scorers with 22 points while also collecting a game-high 19 boards. Junior Paul Pierce scored his 1,000 career point with 18 for the game.
The Jayhawks had a great season, finishing at 35-4 (the same record as the 1986 Final Four team), won the Preseason NIT, the Big 12 regular-season title with a 15-1 record and the Big 12 Tournament. Unfortunately, KU was ousted in the NCAA second round by Rhode Island, 80-75, in Oklahoma City. Pierce led KU that season with 20.4 points per game, the first Jayhawk to average at least 20 points since Danny Manning (24.8 ppg) in 1988.
RECORD-SETTING NBA JAYHAWKS
An all-time high 17 former KU players appeared on opening-day NBA rosters. Paul Pierce, with Washington, has the most tenure entering his 17th season and first with the Wizards. KU’s 17 players in the NBA are the most among Big 12 schools.
Self is proud of all the former Jayhawks playing for pay in the League.
“I kept up pretty good,” he said. “I watched the game in Mexico City last night (between Minnesota and Houston). (Andrew) Wiggins had his moments (15 points on 6 of 13 shooting in 32 minutes) obviously, but Tarik (Black) played great (career-high 10 points and six rebounds in career-best 17 minutes). Tarik is doing good. And Markieff (Morris) is playing probably the best of any Kansas alum right now (career-high 15.1 points and 6.4 rebounds). ... So really pleased with all of those guys. Really happy for them."
A STEP UP FOR UCSB
UC Santa Barbara’s last time playing a team ranked in the top-five was on Nov. 21, 2008 when the Gauchos hosted No. 1 North Carolina.
A ZONE TEAM
Self said the Gauchos are “going to play zone. Play the three-two and two-three, and extend it a little bit, and then may do some things we haven’t seen.”
SVI “TOO NICE”
Freshman guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk struggled offensively in his start against Emporia State Tuesday night in Allen Fieldhouse. He shot one of five (all threes) for three points in 18 minutes, while collecting three boards, two assists, one steal and two turnovers.
“I think Svi position-wise is probably our best defender," Self said. "Svi didn't play well offensively, but he played a lot better after watching the tape. ... Svi’s going to be a special player.”
Self admits the 17-year-old is “too nice.”
“He worries about everything,” Self said. “He's got to get where things don't bother him. And of course, it's natural for that to happen to young kids, but I think as he gets a little older and being around here a little more, he'll get better in that area. He still amazes me. Out there starting the other night, I had to tell him where to run when they introduced him because that would be new. Think about 16,000 watching a high school junior play and that kind of stuff. It was pretty overwhelming for him there for a while.”