Courtesy: KU Athletics
LAWRENCE, Kan. – No. 3/3 Kansas (9-1) is looking for its seventh-straight victory in Sprint Center when it plays host to Davidson (5-3), Saturday, Dec. 17, at 6 p.m. on ESPN2 in the Jayhawk Shootout presented by Shawnee Mission Health. Kansas has won nine-straight games after its 89-72 win against Nebraska, Dec. 10. Davidson is looking to snap a two-game losing streak after its 83-74 loss at No. 7/6 North Carolina Dec. 7.
Kansas is playing its 40th game in Sprint Center. The Jayhawks are 33-6 (84.6 percent) all-time in the venue which opened in Oct. 2007.
Kansas has the nation’s longest active home court winning streak of 48 games, which includes 46 in Allen Fieldhouse and two in Sprint Center. The Davidson contest is considered part of the KU home ticket package.
Kansas’ current nine-game winning streak ties for fourth longest in NCAA Division I. The Jayhawks average 87.9 points per game and have a +19.3 scoring margin. Kansas leads the Big 12 with a 52.8 field goal percentage and a 43.1 3-point field goal percentage. KU averages 40.7 rebounds per contest with a +7.1 rebound margin. The Jayhawks also average 18.3 assists, 7.5 steals and 6.2 blocked shots per game.
The reigning Big 12 Player of the Week, senior G Frank Mason III has led Kansas in scoring in eight of 10 games this season, including each of the last three. He has six 20-point efforts, including two 30-point outings. Mason is averaging 20.5 points per game, which ranks second in the Big 12. Mason also leads KU in 3-point field goal percentage at 54.8 percent, assists at 5.5 per game and his 23 3-pointers are second on the team. Freshman G Josh Jackson leads Kansas in rebounds with 6.1 per game. A two-time Big 12 Newcomer of the Week, Jackson averages 14.8 points per game and also leads the team with 17 steals. His 15 blocked shots are second on the squad behind fellow freshman starter Udoka Azubuike’s 18. At center, Azubuike averages 5.0 points and 4.8 rebounds and is making a team-best 60.6 percent of his shots from the field. Junior G Devonte’ Graham has made a team-high 27 3-pointers this season, inlcuding 13 in his last three games. He averages 13.7 points and 4.7 assists per game. He is one behind Jackson for second on the team lead in steals with 16. Sophomore G Lagerald Vick has started the last five games and is averaging 9.1 points and shooting 56.3 percent from the field. Included is a career-high 23 points, on 9-for-9 shooting, including 4-for-4 from 3-point range, against Long Beach State (11/29).
Junior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk tied his season high with 15 points against Nebraska (12/10). He has made 13 3-pointers in his last five games and is one of four Jayhawks averaging double figures in scoring at 10.0 points per contest. He pulled down a career-high seven rebounds against UMKC (12/6). Sophomore F Carlton Bragg Jr. has started five games this season and is second on the team with a 5.3 rebound average. Bragg, who averages 7.8 points, missed the Nebraska contest (12/10). Senior C Landen Lucas scored a season-high 12 points against Nebraska (12/10) on 5-for-5 shooting with seven rebounds and two steals. Lucas averages 5.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per contest and is shooting 59.4 percent from the field for the season. Freshman F Mitch Lightfoot (1.1 ppg, 1.7 rpg) and junior F Dwight Coleby (1.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg) are also KU regulars off the bench.
Located in Davidson, North Carolina, with an enrollment of 1,900, Davidson is 5-3 on the season and 1-2 in true road games. The Wildcats are coached by Bob McKillop who is 521-316 in his 28th season as a head coach, all at Davidson. The Wildcats average 74.2 points per game and have a +4.6 scoring margin. Davidson pulls down 39.9 rebounds per game with a +2.3 rebound margin. The Wildcats make 9.4 3-pointers per game and rank fourth nationally with an 80.7 free throw percentage. They also average 15.5 assists, 4.1 steals and 3.1 blocked shots per outing.
Davidson features two players who average 20-plus points per game. Senior G Jack Gibbs leads the Wildcats in scoring at 24.3 points per game. He has made a team-best 22 3-pointers and also leads the squad with 29 assists. Junior F Peyton Aldridge scores 20.0 points per contest and leads Davidson with a 6.6 rebound average. He is second on the team with 15 3-pointers made and seven blocked shots. Junior F Will Magarity pulls down 5.6 rebounds to go along with his 8.3 scoring average. Freshman G Jon Axel Gudmundsson leads Davidson with 10 steals and is second on the team with 24 assists. Gudmundsson averages 7.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. Junior G Rusty Reigel (5.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 22 assists) rounds out the Davidson starters. Other Wildcat regulars include junior G Jordan Watkins (6.6 ppg, 2.5 rpg), junior F Nathan Ekwu (2.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg), and freshman F Dusan Kovacevic (2.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg).
This two-game series (1-1) has had drama. Kansas defeated Cinderella Davidson, 59-57, in the NCAA Championship Elite Eight in Detroit, Michigan, on March 30, 2008. The Jayhawks would go on to win the 2008 NCAA National Championship in San Antonio. Davidson returned the favor with an 80-74 win on Dec. 19, 2011, in the then-Kansas City Shootout at Sprint Center. Later that season, KU would advance to the 2012 NCAA Championship game in New Orleans.