UK-KU Game notes: Cats travel to Kansas

Kentucky, the all-time winningest program in college basketball, travels to Lawrence, Kan., Saturday to face the Kansas Jayhawks, who rank third all-time in wins. It's the Wildcats first visit to Allen Fieldhouse in over 16 years. The team's last visit to Lawrence ended in the second-worst loss in Wildcat history and the worst in modern history. The Jayhawks, then coached by Roy Williams, forced Rick Pitino's debut UK team into 27 turnovers in the 150-95 KU win.

 

KENTUCKY

Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. PPG RPG Note

G 4 Rajon Rondo 6-1 190 So. 15.1 8.2 Hit game-winner vs. UCF

G 22 Patrick Sparks 6-0 179 Sr. 8.1 *2.6 Only Cat to start all 13 games

G 32 Joe Crawford 6-4 210 So. 9.3 4.2 43 pts in last three games

F 23 Sheray Thomas 6-7 230 Jr. 4.9 4.4 Only 1 pt and 3 rebs vs. UCF

C 10 Lukasz Obrzut 7-0 270 Jr. 2.7 2.1 Played just 5 mins vs. UCF

KANSAS

Pos. No. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. PPG RPG Note

G 15 Mario Chalmers 6-1 182 Fr. 6.8 1.3 Has a team-high 26 steals

G 3 Russell Robinson 6-1 196 So. 6.1 *3.2 Had 8 assts vs. Yale

G 25 Brandon Rush 6-6 207 Fr. 11.8 4.7 Shooting 54.8% from 3FG

F 34 Christian Moody 6-8 225 Sr. 4.7 3.5 Has started last three games

C 33 C.J. Giles 6-10 235 So. 8.4 6.5 Has 27 blocks this season

*assists per game

CATS TRAVEL TO KANSAS FOR FIRST TIME IN 16 YEARS

Kentucky, the all-time winningest program in college basketball, travels to Lawrence, Kan., Saturday

to face the Kansas Jayhawks, who rank third all-time in wins. It’s the Wildcats first visit to Allen

Fieldhouse in over 16 years.

The Wildcats ride a season-best, four-game win streak into Saturday’s non-conference finale, but the

contest marks UK’s first road game in more than a month. The team’s last visit to Lawrence ended in

the second-worst loss in Wildcat history and the worst in modern history. The Jayhawks, then coached

by Roy Williams, forced Rick Pitino’s debut UK team into 27 turnovers in the 150-95 KU win.

Rajon Rondo nailed a jumper with 1.5 seconds remaining Tuesday to give UK a 59-57 win over

UCF in Rupp Arena.

This is Kentucky’s final non-conference game before opening SEC play vs. Vanderbilt Tuesday.

QUICK NOTES

• Over the last four seasons, UK is second nationally in wins (97) and winning percentage (.843).

• UK is second in the SEC in FG percentage defense (.395) and third in scoring defense (61.8 ppg).

• Kentucky has used five starting lineups in 13 games this season.

• In Tubby Smith’s nine years, UK is 97-2 (.980) when shooting 50 percent or better.

• Rajon Rondo is the only player in the SEC top 10 in scoring (9th), rebounding (5th) and assists

(2nd).

• UK has held 77 of its last 79 opponents below 50 percent shooting. South Carolina (54 percent on

1/5/05) and Indiana (53 percent on 12/10/05) are the lone exceptions in that time.

• Kentucky has won 40 of its last 44 games at Rupp Arena.

[ESPN]

9 p.m.

SCOUTING KANSAS

The Jayhawks enter Saturday’s game with an 8-

4 record after earning an 87-46 win over Yale in

Allen Fieldhouse Wednesday. Kansas has won five

in a row, including four straight home games,

after losing four of its first seven contests. KU lost

two of three in the Maui Invitational in

November.

Freshman Brandon Rush leads the Jayhawks

with 11.8 ppg. Sasha Kaun adds 10.9 ppg and 6.7

rpg.

Bill Self is in his third season at Kansas and

claimed a share of the Big 12 title last season. In

his first two seasons, his teams totaled 47 wins

and just 16 losses.

SERIES HISTORY

• This marks the 24th meeting between

Kentucky and Kansas, two of the nation’s three

winningest programs. Kentucky has won three of

the last four meetings.

• Kentucky leads the overall series, 19-4, and is

7-3 against KU in Lawrence. This is the first

meeting in Lawrence in more than 16 years.

• Tubby Smith is 2-1 all-time against the

Jayhawks, with the two wins coming during the

1998-99 season. Smith’s Cats defeated KU in the

Great Eight in Dec. 1998 before earning a 92-88

overtime win in the second round of the 1999

NCAA Tournament. The Cats lost last year’s contest

in Rupp Arena, 65-59.

• Bill Self is 1-1 all-time against the Wildcats,

losing a 74-53 decision in Lexington during his

first season at Tulsa before earning the win last

year.

KENTUCKY CONNECTIONS

• UK junior center Shagari Alleyne and KU

sophomore guard Russell Robinson were teammates

at Rice High School in Bronx, NY. They

claimed the 2002 state championship. The duo

also played on the same AAU team.

• Tubby Smith and Bill Self both were head

coaches at Tulsa. Smith got his first head coaching

there in 1991. He spent four seasons in Tulsa,

compiling a 79-43 record before taking the head

coaching position at Georgia.

Self replaced Buzz Peterson at Tulsa in 1998

and spent three seasons there before moving on to

Illinois. At Tulsa, he was 74-27.

• KU assistant Tim Jankovich previously spent

four years on the Vanderbilt staff. Between 1999

and 2002, Jankovich and the Commodores were

1-7 against UK.

• Former Jayhawk Danny Manning is a current

member of KU’s staff, serving as Director of

Student-Athlete Development. He played at KU

from 1985-88, facing UK three times during his

career. The Jayhawks were 1-2 during that time.

• Current UK assistant Reggie Hanson faced

Kansas twice in his career. One was the infamous

150-95 loss in Lawrence. The other was an 88-71

win in Lexington Hanson’s senior season. The

senior had 15 points in his win over the Jayhawks.

• Jayhawk assistant Kurtis Townsend played his

college ball at Western Kentucky, former school of

UK point guard Patrick Sparks. Townsend also

was a point guard for the Hilltoppers, guiding the

team to the 1980 OVC title. He later was an assistant

at Eastern Kentucky in nearby Richmond.

MEMORABLE UK-KU GAMES

• Dec. 14, 1959 - Playing on the road for the

fourth straight game, the Cats snapped their twogame

losing streak with a 77-72 overtime win in

Lawrence. Ned Jennings led UK with 21 points,

while KU star Wayne Hightower had 33 points

and 14 rebounds.

• Dec. 9, 1978 - After forcing overtime, the

Cats were down 66-60 with 31 seconds to go

Dwight Anderson scored back-to-back baskets,

then stole the inbounds pass and fed Kyle Macy

for the tying jumper. Macy completed the comeback

by adding a technical free throw when

Kansas called a timeout it didn’t have. The

Wildcats won the game 67-66.

• Dec. 12, 1981 - Derrick Hord had five points

in overtime as UK defeated Kansas at home for

the fourth consecutive time, 77-74. Jim Master

had 27 points, while Hord finished with 13.

• Dec. 31, 1984 - Unranked Kentucky gave one

of its best performances of the season, defeating

No. 12 Kansas, 92-89, in Freedom Hall. Kenny

Walker had 36 points and 19 rebounds, while

Jayhawk Danny Manning led KU with 30 points.

• Dec. 16, 1989 - UK’s last trip to Lawrence

ended in the second-worst loss in Wildcat history

and the worst in modern history. A highly motivated

Jayhawk team coached by Roy Williams

forced Rick Pitino’s debut Wiildcat team into 27

turnovers and a 150-95 loss.

• March 14, 1999 - After defeating Kansas 63-

45 in the Great Eight earlier in the season,

defending NCAA champs Kentucky faced off

with the Jayhawks in NCAA second-round action

in New Orleans. Behind a 29-point, 10-rebound

effort from senior Scott Padgett, UK overcame a

five-point deficit with 1:29 left in regulation to

beat Kansas 92-88 in overtime. Down 79-74, UK

forced OT when Wayne Turner sank two free

throws and Padgett driained a three-pointer from

the top of the key. It was all Padgett in overtime

as the Louisville native hit a jumper and five free

throws to secure the win. KU’s Ryan Robertson

had a game-high 31 points.

UK VS. BIG 12

Kentucky is 53-7 all-time against current members

of the Big 12 conference. The Wildcats have

played Kansas more than any other Big 12 team.

UK is also 7-0 against Kansas State and 6-0

against Baylor.

NEW YEAR’S CATS

Kentucky owns an all-time record of 533-179 in

the month of January, including a 291-50 record

at home, a 214-122 road record and a 21-7 mark

at neutral sites.

Last year, the Wildcats were 7-1 in the year’s

first month. The only loss was to No. 2 Kansas,

65-59, on Jan. 9 in Lexington.

MORRIS SITTING OUT FINAL GAME

Randolph Morris is eligible to play beginning

with the Jan. 10 home game against Vanderbilt.

Morris was orginially told he would have to sit

out the entire season after his NBA Draft exploration

last summer, but the NCAA Student-

Athlete Reinstatement staff revisited the decision

and reinstated Morris’ eligibility with the condition

that he be withheld from 50 percent of the

season (14 games) and required to repay the

impermissible expenses received.

Morris, a sophomore, averaged 8.8 points and

4.2 rebounds in 2004-05.

ROCKIN’ RONDO

All-America candidate Rajon Rondo currently

leads UK in scoring (15.1 ppg), rebounding (8.2

ppg), assists (5.3 apg) and steals (2.0 spg).

Rondo grabbed 19 rebounds against Iowa, the

most by a Wildcat in 12 seasons and the most ever

by a UK guard.

Rondo has led UK in rebounding in nine of the

12 games he’s played in, and has reached doublefigure

boards four times. He’s collected three double-

doubles on the year.

Setting new highs has become commonplace

this season for the Louisville sophomore. He

recorded his first career double-double (17 points

and 12 rebounds to go with six assists and six

steals) in the season opener against South Dakota

State. He scored a career-high 20 points against

North Carolina.

WEEK-BY-WEEK

SMITH EARNS 350TH CAREER WIN

UK’s 73-61 victory over Louisville on Dec. 17

gave UK coach Tubby Smith his 350th career victory.

With the win, he became the seventh coach

- joining Roy Williams (Kansas), Nolan

Richardson (Tulsa, Arkansas), Denny Crum

(Louisville), Jim Boeheim (Syracuse), Rick Pitino

(Boston, Providence and UK) and John

Thompson (Georgetown) - to reach the 350-win

mark in 15 seasons or less.

RONDO ON WATCH LISTS

Kentucky guard Rajon Rondo was named one

of the top 50 candidates for both the 2005-06

Wooden Award All-America team, the 2006 John

Wooden Award and the Naismith Trophy.

The Wooden list, which was voted on by a

national panel, includes returning players only. In

January, the Midseason Top 30 will be

announced.

In January, the Naismith Trophy Board of

Selectors will narrow its pre-season list to the Top

30 players in the nation.

SPARKS HAS CLASS

Kentucky guard Patrick Sparks is one of 30

nominees for the Senior CLASS Award, sponsored

by Bayer Advantage. Sparks is one of two

Southeastern Conference players on the list,

which was announced Nov. 30.

The award was launched during the 2001-02

season in response to the recent trend of college

basketball players leaving school early to turn professional.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty

and Achievement for Staying in School, the award

was developed to honor seniors for completing

their collegiate athletic eligibility.

UK's Tayshaun Prince, Keith Bogans, Gerald

Fitch and Chuck Hayes have been past nominees.

Last year's winner was Wayne Simien of Kansas.

The nominee list will be trimmed to 10 finalists

by a panel of national media in early February.

The winner will be announced by broadcaster

Dick Enberg at the 2006 Final Four in

Indianapolis, Ind.

ELEVEN FORMER CATS ON NBA ROSTERS

Kentucky has 11 former players currently on

NBA rosters. The players and teams are:

Former Wildcat NBA Team

Derek Anderson Houston

Keith Bogans Charlotte

Tony Delk Atlanta

Gerald Fitch Miami

Jamaal Magloire Milwaukee

Jamal Mashburn Philadelphia

Walter McCarty L.A. Clippers

Nazr Mohammed San Antonio

Scott Padgett New Jersey

Tayshaun Prince Detroit

Antoine Walker Miami

In addition, former UK All-American Pat Riley

is president and interim head coach of the Miami

Heat and former Wildcat Dwane Casey is the

head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

TOURNEY TIME

Tubby Smith is 27-11 in NCAA Tournament

action in 14 seasons as head coach. His .711 winning

percentage ranks as the sixth-best winning percentage

among active coaches:


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